Did COVID-19 force LA Rams to forge a championship caliber team?

Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Tempered in the forge of adversity

Any military member knows that basic training is more than a physical and mental exercise of learning how to perform in the service of the country. Sure, there is daily physical training. Yes, there is any number of military classrooms that educate the new arrivals in the history, the customs, and the courtesies of life as a GI (government issue). But the primary reason for the nature of basic training is to forge a group of young men and women into a singular military unit.

And to do that, the primary tool is adversity.

Hard times strengthen the bonds between people. Forbes touts that strategy. So does Psychological Science.org. People need to bond, to become close to one another, but never more so than when times are difficult. So when the LA Rams were suddenly forced to compete in NFL games without key starters, the entire 70 player roster was simultaneously thrust into a horrific series of vital NFL games which would be played by whoever was healthy on the roster.

Winning shorthanded? Twice as nice

If the Rams lost games, it could have been rationalized by the fact that they were backups, and that the team had so little time to synchronize play. But backups did not fail. AJ Jackson, Coleman Shelton, David Long Jr., Travin Howard, and even Brandon Powell stepped up and helped the team extend the winning streak to five games during the most important period of the season.

And what of the three newcomers over the past four games?

Quarterback Matthew Stafford has completed 91 of 131 passes for 1027 yards, eight touchdowns, and six interceptions. Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has caught 16 of25 passes for 160 yards and three touchdowns.  And what of Von Miller? He has recorded 16 tackles, three quarterback sacks, six tackles for a loss, and five quarterback hits.

Fans no longer ask when they will make an impact on the outcome of the game, but rather how much of an impact they will make on the outcome of the game. They are no longer players. They are now full members of the LA Rams. And the LA Rams, with Matthew Stafford, Odell Beckham Jr., and Von Miller on board, are a very dangerous team.

Trending. The LA Rams are 7-0 when OLB Justin Hollins plays. light