LA Rams: It's a game where East meets West, with the NFL Playoff picture on the line

Los Angeles Rams, Puka Nacua, Kyren Williams
Los Angeles Rams, Puka Nacua, Kyren Williams / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

The LA Rams had fallen to one of the bottom rungs in the NFL as recently as Week 10 in the 2023 NFL season. But this is a team that had a different destiny in store. With the help of a timely BYE, the Rams healed up enough to begin to turn the corner. And now, with five wins in the last six games, the Rams have nearly completed a record setting comeback.

But no matter how distant or close the Rams fall short, the act of not winning nine games in 2023 is indeed falling short this year. At least when it comes down to the renewed lofty expectations of so many Rams fans.

By all accounts, the Rams had already met their mark for 2023 when the team won their sixth game against the Joe Flacco-led Cleveland Browns. At the time, Rams fans truly did not have a clear understanding of just what an accomplishment defeating veteran quarterback Joe Flacco and the Cleveland Browns truly was. To this day, many may not grasp the achievement.

The Cleveland Browns, and quarterback Joe Flacco, have won all four games played since facing the Rams.

The LA Rams must travel east once more. On New Year's Eve, the Rams must travel as close to the Big Apple as possible to play a game on Week 17. But this is not about champagne glasses, party hats, noisemakers, or watching the ball drop on Times Square. This trip is about facing the New York Giants (5-10) to determine whether or not the LA Rams have what it takes to compete in the NFL Playoffs this year.

Don't look for the Giants to hold the door open for the Rams. Despite arriving with a record of 5-10, the Giants had a three-game winning streak going before running up against the New Orleans Saints and the Philadelphia Eagles. Now, having been eliminated from postseason possibilities, the Giants would love to play spoiler.

Misery loves company.

But so do competitors. The LA Rams are loaded with young guns who you can expect to show up with guns blazing in this one. For the Rams offense, look for some of the heavy lifting to be done by second-year RB Kyren Williams, while veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford should be able to connect with rookie WR Puka Nacua.

With plenty on the line today, don't look for the Rams young players to make any rookie mistakes. This young Rams roster has been improving each game, and the results of a season's worth of some of the best coaching in the NFL will be tested on the road in Week 17.

I think that the LA Rams can pass today's test with flying colors