What is the most important key to LA Rams 2023 NFL season?

Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /
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The LA Rams came off an incredibly high feeling of euphoria after winning Super Bowl LVI. But just a few months later, found themselves licking their previous season’s injuries, back in training camp, going through the grind once more.  In some ways, it seemed a bit anti-climactic. It was clear in the season opener that this was a team that was still shaking off that post-NFL Championship hangover, or simply still nursing old wounds, but that led to something far more threatening to the team’s future.

The LA Rams, even in that opener loss, appeared to be a team that was not having fun playing football. By mid-October, the situation had gotten so bad that we began to make some suggestions as to how to infuse fun into the locker room, the sidelines, and among the players again. We called them crazy ideas at the time, but those ideas proved not to be so zany after all.

In the final few games, with free agent quarterback Baker Mayfield under center, the Rams’ offense finally appeared to have some fun again. RB Cam Akers ran for 100+ yards for the final three consecutive games. The patchwork offensive line, although not great, began to stiffen in protection and blocking. Is there a lesson to learn here?

The season that got away

It was not until the LA Rams season was gone and the NFL Playoffs were long out of reach that the team began to stop, look, and listen to the true problems with the offense. Play-action plays do not work unless the opposing defenses need to worry about the running play first. Secondaries do not cover any receivers who have already been ignored by the quarterback throughout the game.

It was such a plummet from riches to rags, that in many ways it felt like an animated Disney movie in which the hero takes good fortune for granted, leading to squandering those riches, feeling deep remorse, and then finding some way to recover those riches.

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But this was no Disney flic, and this was not animated. The LA Rams season was a complete disaster in terms of doing the wrong this to resolve the adversity that the team faced. It almost felt as though the team was seeing a completely different version of the game than I was observing. Here’s what I mean: