LA Rams youth grew up quickly in Wild Card Round of 2024 NFL Playoffs

Los Angeles Rams, Kobie Turner, Ernest Jones, Byron Young
Los Angeles Rams, Kobie Turner, Ernest Jones, Byron Young / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

It's one thing for the LA Rams young defenders to see film about the challenge and ferocity of competing in the NFL Playoffs. But for the young and rising stars on this Rams defense, you simply cannot beat first-hand experience. The Rams, a 10-7 underdog, traveled to face the Detroit Lions in the Wild Card Round of the 2024 NFL Playoffs, and were turned away by one point.

Every player on the Rams roster walked away from that loss with disappointment. But in the aftermath, the words spoken by team leader, All-Pro defensive lineman Aaron Donald, carried an extra bit of harsh meaning.

"You got to play every snap like it's your last."

Aaron Donald

For the Rams players, it ultimately was:

No, this isn't an article about feeling down about the team, licking wounds, or throwing shade at dubious NFL referees or overzealous Lions players. This is a story about how the LA Rams young stars wll process being sent home after their first and only playoff game.

I believe that whatever level the Rams may have played at in 2023, they are about to take it all up a notch. For some players, that upgrade already comes from a rather lofty perch. This is a story to confirm what we all saw, and what many fans still believe. This team, with a bit of offseason housekeeping to the Rams roster, will not only compete for a playoff berth in 2024 but are on track to compete for a spot at competing in the next Super Bowl.

The Rams finished out the 2024 NFL season on a 7-1 run. Over 17 games, that is no worse than 14-3, which works out to one win better than the best record of the NFL, the Baltimore Ravens who finished with a record of 13-4. And you ain't seen nothing yet from the LA Rams young'uns.

While the LA Rams were powered by a young core of OLB Byron Young, ILB Ernest Jones, and NT Kobie Turner, only Ernest Jones was really able to sink his teeth into the playoff game, emerging with nine tackles and 2.0 quarterback sacks, tops for both teams in the game.

Byron Young recorded three tackles, one for a loss, while Kobie Turner had one tackle and 0.5 QB sacks. You see, that is not where the story ends for the LA Rams. It's where the story begins. The Rams stars are only beginning their long and productive NFL careers.

Many fans are lobbying hard for the LA Rams to pursue Carolina Panthers DE/OLB Brian Burns in the offseason. But both Byron Young and Kobie Turner generated as many, if not more, than his 8.0 quarterback sacks in 2023. And they did it for a fraction of the price.

While the LA Rams may sign a free agent or two, I don't believe that the team will spend a significant portion of their available salary cap on a player who may or may not work out for them. The young players on the Rams roster grew up quickly in 2023. I believe they will be fine to make a Super Bowl run in 2024.