Believe it or not, it's January 1, 2024. That carries a lot of significance for the LA Rams. After a dismal 2022, the Rams admittedly pushed competing in 2023 to the back burner, and made it very clear that the team would target 2024 to be competitive in the NFL Playoffs once more. And true to form, here it is, the first day of 2024, and the LA Rams are competing in the NFL Playoffs once again.
But if you ask me, the team is ahead of schedule, by about a year.
The glass is half empty to some. The glass is half full to others. But if you ask me, the LA Rams are playing with house money right now. Even as the LA Rams have clearly proven just how vital great coaching can be in the modern day NFL, I suspect that all of the heart wrenching moments of Rams HC Sean McVay after a disappointing 2022 NFL season would have been so arduous if he had any inkling that 2023 was going to be so fun, and so successful.
The LA Rams are in. That's right, the once 3-6 LA Rams have won six of their last seven games to clinch a spot in the NFL Playoffs. But the Rams need everything that this second year player had to get them there. And if you think about it, his Week 17 performance was pretty awesome.
Don't take my word for it. Just see and hear what Brian Baldinger, the top-tier NFL Insider and Analyst, has to say about LA Rams feature back Kyren Williams. "Sound the sirens Kyren," has a great ring to it.
The LA Rams scored just 26 points, a bit fewer than the 30 point average before the game. But RB Kyren Williams was not the weak link in Week 17. Quite the contrary, in fact. Williams rushed 20 times for 87 yards and three touchdowns. Scoring three times is known as a hat trick in the NHL, and surprisingly, the Rams needed every score to win this time.
For the season, Kyren Williams has competed in 12 games, rushed 228 times, and piled up 1,144 yards and 12 rushing touchdowns. But he makes a great receiver option as well, So far, he has caught 32 of 48 passes thrown his way for 206 receiving yards and three receiving touchdowns. In 12 games, he has accounted for 15 TDs.
That's impressive. In fact, his 15 scores make up more than 36.5 percent of the LA Rams total touchdowns this year. This is just the second year of his four-year rookie contract. Even early in his NFL career, Williams exhibits many qualities of an elite NFL running back.
The LA Rams entered Week 17 focused on passing the football. By game's end, starting quarterback Matthew Stafford attempted 34 passes, and was sacked another four times. While completing 24 passes for 314 yards and one touchdown, he was intercepted twice. And on one completion, WR Demarcus Robinson fumbled the football. 314 yards? Yeah, sure. But four sacks to the starting quarterback and three turnovers? I was starting to get a bit squeamish.
I am not clear as to why the Rams felt the need to pass so often, especially when the Giants field one of the worst rush defenses in the NFL in 2023. But the Rams did win. And they were able to claim the victory because whenever the Rams got close to the endzone, RB Kyren Williams found a way to score.