LA Rams BYE helps now that over half of NFC Playoff teams are 3-4

(Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images) /
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The LA Rams won Super Bowl LVI, but to do so meant that they had to get by or beat a team that got by the Green Bay Packers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dallas Cowboys, Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, or Philadelphia Eagles.  Today, after all those teams except for the LA Rams and the Philadelphia Eagles have played their seventh game, only three teams from among that group are at .500 or better.

The NFC playoff teams from last year that remain at or above .500 are: The Philadelphia Eagles (6-0), the Dallas Cowboys (5-2), and the LA Rams (3-3).  All other 2021-22 NFC playoff teams are currently 3-4.

While that is more of a misery-loves-company than an event that genuinely benefits the LA Rams, the fact is that the Rams have been one of the harder-hit teams in terms of injuries. But the good news is, the Rams have lost just one true starter for the season in offensive tackle Joe Noteboom.

So the Rams will heal up and get better.

How soon will the Rams return to health?

How quickly? The LA Rams project five players will return to the active roster for the Rams in time to face the San Francisco 49ers.

Perhaps the best news is that the Rams will have their offensive center, Brian Allen, back. If you recall, the 49ers rolled over the Rams’ offensive line thanks to A-Gap blitzes and defensive line stunts. That overwhelmed third-string offensive center Jeremiah Kolone, which allowed the 49ers’ defense to sack QB Matthew Stafford seven times.

Fans may be more excited over the return of WR Van Jefferson, a stretch-the-field offensive weapon who truly seemed to come into his own on the offense last season. If the Rams’ offensive line can hold up, Jefferson truly adds a new dimension to the Rams’ offense.

The Rams will also benefit dramatically from two solid defensive backs returning in Cobie Durant and Troy Hill. But, with no reason whatsoever, I think that the return of Bobby Brown to the defensive line rotation could spark some quarterback pressure. Not only is he healthy, but he has had to sit on the sidelines and watch his team struggle through those six games without him. Hopefully, his return will add energy to a pass rush that truly needs some help.

We know that the San Francisco 49ers got better since the last time they faced the LA Rams. But the Rams got healthier. Will it be enough?

That is tough to say. But it is a start.

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