LA Rams might proves right in Week 13

Cleveland Browns v Los Angeles Rams, Kobie Turner, Aaron Donald
Cleveland Browns v Los Angeles Rams, Kobie Turner, Aaron Donald / Michael Owens/GettyImages

The LA Rams may not have been facing the starting quarterback of the Cleveland Browns, but that was not the strength of that team anyway. The Browns, much like the San Francisco 49ers, are built on the strength of their offensive line and their defense. To beat the Cleveland Browns, an NFL team has to play fundamentally sound football, and hope that the Browns make a mistake.

In the end, it was the LA Rams who forced a turnover. In the end, it was the LA Rams pass rush that got to the Cleveland Browns quarterback. Not once, but twice. And in the end, it was the LA Rams who emerged with a win that restored the Rams at .500 with a record of 6-6, and a much better shot at a playoff berth in the NFC.

For the LA Rams, this was not an easy win. But graduation is never an easy process in the NFL, or any professional sport. For the record, the Cleveland Browns fell to a record of 7-5, but thanks to losses by other notable AFC teams, like the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Denver Broncos, the Browns remain embedded as the sixth seed in the AFC Playoffs race for at least one more week.

Rams are already better than 2022, and getting hot at the right time

In a game in which the Rams path to winning held a tight and narrow trek to success, the Rams playoff hopes did not fall and plummet to its death. With the exception of some special team snafus with missed kicks, the effort by the LA Rams was one of its very best of the season.

We argued that the Rams would do 4-4 or better after the BYE, and received a great deal of ridicule and scoffing from disheartened fans who did not see the logic. Perhaps they stopped at the headline? In any event, the logic was sound, and the proof is in the pudding. The LA Rams have emerged from the BYe on a tear, winning three consecutive games.

The factors for their sudden surge of success? The Rams are getting heallthy. The Rams schedule has softened considerably. And finally, the LA Rams have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

It was clear from the pre-game discussion that the Browns were going to be a difficult team to defeat. The Browns play a very physical style of football that does not need Pro Bowl quarterbacking to win. The Browns were confident that veteran Joe Flacco could be enough in the pocket to carry the Browns to a win. And if any Browns fans are reading this, he nearly did. A year ago, the Rams would have lost this game, with or without Stafford under center.

But as the game wore on, the LA Rams' entire team grew stronger. 16 of the Rams 36 points were scored in the fourth quarter. Both quarterback sacks occured on the Browns' last possession, one of which resulted in a safety.

The LA Rams offensive line did not allow a single quarterback sack against a defense that had 34 quarterback sacks to their credit before facing the Rams offense. The Browns leave SoFi Stadium with that same number, 34 QB sacks. The Rams neutralized one of the best pass rushes in the NFL today.

51. Final. 19. 53. Browns Rams score. 36

If you love competitive football, this was a barn-burner. Until 3:48 remaining in the football game, the Rams were no better than one point in the lead. But a final burst of 16 points by the Rams were not a team running up the score. Rather, much like the Move, the Matrix, the Rams saw themselves going toe to toe with a very physical Cleveland Browns, and began to believe in themselves.

In Week 13, the LA Rams changed from Mr. Anderson into NEO before the eyes of every fan in SoFI stadium. Let's hope the Rams do as well as NEO in their final five games of the season.