If Dak-less Cowboys can beat LA Rams, what about coachless Panthers?

Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

If you were worried about the LA Rams Week 5 opponent, perhaps we need to be a bit more concerned about Week 6. By all accounts, the Carolina Panthers are nowhere nearly as competitive as the Dallas Cowboys, even without their starting quarterback Dak Prescott. The Panthers are 1-4, are the worst NFL offense at gaining yards, and are only a bit better at putting points on the scoreboard than the currently battered LA Rams offense.

Defensively, the Panthers are the 20th-ranked NFL defense in allowing yards, and the 21st-ranked defense in points allowed. But again, in terms of rankings, the LA Rams are not much better than that, coming in as the 16th-ranked defense.

Well, we know that the Rams’ defense has been fighting to overcome numerous offensive giveaways, including gifting opposing teams 21 points where the defense never stepped foot onto the football field. And that has been in just five games this year. The Panthers’ defense has created just five takeaways, while the Rams have created seven. But the Panthers’ offense has only allowed seven turnovers, while the Rams have allowed 12 turnovers this year so far.

The LA Rams are 2-3 and spiraling downward, while the coachless Carolina Panthers are 1-4 and clearly in rebuild mode. But even teams who are all but flatlining during the season get a boost when a new interim head coach takes over. The Panthers did defeat the New Orleans Saints and lost to the Cleveland Browns and New York Giants by a total margin of just five points.

Carolina Panthers are not creampuffs

I’ve noticed comments on social media and in chat rooms where the terminology used to describe the Carolina Panthers include creampuffs, pushovers, easy-win, and hapless. Right now, that is not a fair summation of the Rams’ upcoming opponent. In fact, the LA Rams need to treat each opponent faced for the rest of the season as very dangerous and capable of winning the game

Just imagine: How thrilling would it be if the Panthers’ new interim head coach can rally that team to beat the Rams at SoFi Stadium? And there is no way that the current state of the LA Rams team allows the organization to look past any opponent.

Per WynnBET, the LA Rams are currently favored in Week 6 (-11.0 points). But the Rams are not exactly successful at covering the spread as huge home favorites. Now, I’m not declaring the Week 6 contest as another loss. But from what I’ve seen so far, the Rams’ offense is capable of shooting itself in the foot to the point where any opponent has a chance at winning the game.

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The Rams’ offense has scored 80 points this season while gifting 21 points to the opposing team. I understand that a good scenario for the LA Rams this week would be to win handily, head into the BYE week, heal up, and then emerge healthy and determined.

Last year, the LA Rams thought the same thing, facing the San Francisco 49ers before the BYE, and the Green Bay Packers after the BYE. The Rams would go on to lose both games before reformulating the offense to feature RB Sony Michel and going on to win nine of their next ten games.

NFL teams will continue to give the LA Rams their best this year. That means that there are no creampuffs, easy wins, or pushovers. The LA Rams need to get their minds right, rekindle that competitive fire, and stalk their opponent with the Eye of the Tiger once more. There are no easy victories for the LA Rams this season. Nobody will gift the football, or a win, to the Rams. But there are wins to be earned.

Ugly victories or complete beatdowns both count as one win. Right now, the Rams need to accumulate victories. I think one could be found in Week 6, but the Rams will certainly need to work hard to find it.

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