Few expected the LA Rams (6-6) to have any chance against the Baltimore Ravens (9-3) on the road in Week 14. The Rams entered today's game as a greater than a seven-point underdog, and for good reason. The game started at 10:00 am PT, the Ravens are coming off a BYE, and the game is being played in lousy weather. To top it all off, the Rams have been losing players to injury at a frighteningly rapid pace.
Is there such a thing as a moral victory in a loss? Many will argue the easy way, there are no wins in a loss. But that is not how this game 'feels' to me. This game, despite the errors, the bad plays, and the final score, truly feels like a Rams team that is turning the corner. Could the Rams have won this game? Yes. Should the Rams have won this game? You decide.
While the LA Rams may have lost the game, there are many reasons to be optimistic about the Rams' chances going forward. Need some help turning that frown upside down? Well, the facts are these:
- LA Rams QB Matthew Stafford led the Rams offense to score 31 points on the stingiest defense in the NFL. Before the game, the Baltimore Ravens defense had only allowed an average of 15.6 points per game.
- LA Rams DB Ahkello Witherspoon intercepted Ravens QB Lamar Jackson, a quarterback who had only thrown five interceptions all season (through 12 games) prior to Week 14
- LA Rams RB Kyren Williams continues his assault on the NFL, rushing 25 times for 114 yards, and improving his season total to 159 carries for 801 yards (in just nine games)
- LA Rams kicker Lucas Havrisik, thought to be on his way off the team, was a perfect three of three kicking field goals, and two of two on extra points
- LA Rams rookie tight end Davis Allen had a solid game, catching four of five passes for 50 yards and a touchdown.
- Veteran WR Cooper Kupp returned to form, catching eight of 10 passes thrown his way for 115 yards and a touchdown.
- OLB Michael Hoecht did not record a sack, but some of his seven tackles were huge stops for the Rams.
- OLB Byron Young recorded his sixth QB sack of the season.
In the end, you are either okay with the way the LA Rams competed today or not, based on your expectations for the team. These Rams had to overcome a host of opposing factors, including inclement weather that seemed to impact the Rams' ability to rush the passer.
The LA Rams played their hearts out. Some fans won't see anything to be hopeful about in this loss. But if you compare how the Rams played in the toughest conditions possible and nearly got the win, it's no stretch of the imagination to envision this Rams team winning their next three games.