Yes, the LA Rams are a young team. How can they not be? The Rams made it a point to shed a number of highly compensated veterans after a disappointing 5-12 season in 2022. By the time that the 2023 NFL Draft arrived, the Rams roster was more empty than filled. The Rams drafted 14 rookies, all of whom made the 53-man roster. And now, the Rams have harnessed that energy to rise to a record of 8-7. The Rams simply need to win their final two games to ensure participation in the NFL Playoffs.
And despite the risks of looking past theri Week 17 opponents, the New York Giants, I think the Rams show up and get the job done.
While the LA Rams have shown incredible resiliency this season, as well as still having notable areas to fix, the Rams have done a remarkable job of showing up to play football every week this season. The Rams were only truly not within reach of winning in the fourth quarter of two games, and that's something to be proud of in 2023.
This young Rams roster is simply too talented to hold back any longer.
If this young Rams roster depended on just one or two players to step up in Week 17, there would be valid reasons to be concerned. But with the exception of starting quarterback Matthew Stafford on offense, and perhaps defensive tackle Aaron Donald on defense, this team has multiple players who continue to cycle through carrying the team by doing heavy lifting.
The Rams offense has been powered by RB Kyren Williams, rookie WR Puka Nacua, WR Cooper Kupp, WR Demarcus Robinson, and even TE Tyler Higbee. The Rams defense has been powered by ILB Ernest Jones, DB Ahkello Witherspoon, DB Jordan Fuller, rookie NT Kobie Turner, rookie OLB Byron Young, NT Bobby Brown III, and even OLB Michael Hoecht.
Not all will show up to carry the Rams to victory in Week 17. But enough will show up in this game to help the Rams compete.
The Giants are going to be motivated. After being eliminated by the Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants have pivoted from playing for a chance to compete in the postseason to competing for their roster spot and for their NFL careers. And that makes the Giants a very dangerous team right now.
Still, I continue to believe that the game is more about the Giants facing the Rams than the Rams facing the Giants. Right now, the Rams offense is clicking on all cylinders, and the renewed ability to run the football has amplified the Rams passing attack in the process.
Yes, many of the Rams best performers are rookies. But they are not apt to make rookie mistakes. The Rams leveled up the coaching staff this season to ensure that young players would be ready to play. Now, in Week 17, they will have a chance to pass another critical test.
Players who are the right kind of men do not fear failure. Rather, they seek out and embrace a chance to compete. They will get that chance to compete on December 31, 2023 at 10:00 am PT. And with no fear, I look for good things to happen.