By adding Von Miller, LA Rams set expectations incredibly high

Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /

If there is one type of game that still makes me squeamish, it is that type of game played at SoFi Stadium where the LA Rams are heavily favored. Why? Well, the track record over such games is that the team doesn’t cover the spread. If they do, the Rams have found through trial and error that the guys who are not starting are ridiculously below the level of the Rams starters.

38-0 as the LA Rams sent their backups onto the field in the fourth quarter against the Houston Texans. Final score: 38-22.  Even as backups, I don’t think that the coaching staff is okay with other teams mopping the floor up with the second unit.

With today’s trade to acquire All-Pro outside linebacker Von Miller, the margin of difference between the starters and the backups is even more pronounced.

And perhaps, rightfully so.

But there is some downside to all of this now too. Do you see it? Before today, when examining the LA Rams remaining nine games of the 2021 NFL schedule, the outcome of winning five more games was perfectly acceptable. After all, a 12-5 season record would almost certainly guarantee the LA Rams berth in the NFL Playoffs.

After today? Who’s kidding whom? The expectation is that these LA Rams will not another game for the rest of the season. Let’s examine the remaining nine games and see where things may have changed.

Rams Next Game and Schedule

The next game will be in Week 9 on Sunday, November 7th hosting the Tennessee Titans on Sunday Night Football. Here’s a look at their schedule for the next four weeks:

Week 9: vs. Tennessee (6-2)
Week 10: @ San Francisco (3-4)
Week 11: BYE WEEK
Week 12: @ Green Bay (7-1)
Week 13: vs. Jacksonville (1-6)
Week 14: @ Arizona (7-1)
Week 15: vs. Seattle (3-5)
Week 16: @ Minnesota (3-4)
Week 17: @ Baltimore (5-2)
Week 18: San Francisco (3-4)

Before the LA Rams made a trade, this schedule was not exactly screaming five more wins. Get that win against the Jaguars, split games with the San Francisco 49ers,  defeat the Arizona Cardinals in the rematch, sweep the Seattle Seahawks, and grab the win against the Minnesota Vikings.  But now? Who do you believe can drop these LA Rams for a loss?

Can fans be patient enough for this to gel?

The LA Rams front office did what it had to do. They added the pieces to build a team capable of winning four consecutive games in the NFL Playoffs and winning Super Bowl LVI in SoFi Stadium. Now, all the LA Rams need to do is get there. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers used a record of 7-5 to launch a winning streak that would carry the team all the way to the top.

The LA Rams are 7-1 but are about to face the toughest competition of the entire NFL season. The Rams are very good, but even an NFL great like Von Miller will need time to familiarize himself with the city of Los Angeles and the entire LA Rams organization.

The least we, as fans, can do is to stand back and cheer successes when they happen, but try to temper the calls to cut and fire and make wholesale roster changes on a bad play, series, or game. This team is by no means a finished product. They are still improving, still getting better.

Just plopping Von Miller into the LA Rams defense will not ‘fix’ anything. But it does add another gem for the setting. Now, the Rams coaching staff will be tasked with creating better opportunities for the players to succeed. When that happens, the defense will produce outstanding results.

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The LA Rams just planted the seeds for a great Super Bowl run. Now, for the tough part, sitting back and letting events play out while it happens.