Three Keys for the Rams to return to the Postseason

Three Keys for the Rams to Return to the Postseason

  • Andrew Whitworth
  • Brian Allen
  • Cory Littleton
  • Dante Fowler
  • Jared Goff
  • Leonard Floyd
  • Los Angeles Rams
  • Micah Kiser
  • Sean McVay
  • Terrell Lewis
By Eli Pearl July 4, 2020 0 Comment
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Rams must follow this blueprint for 2020 success

After making the playoffs in back to back seasons, the Los Angeles Rams missed the playoffs for the first time in Sean McVay’s era as head coach last year. And with an increasingly difficult NFC West, which I’ll preview soon, the Rams need to execute better then they have done in recent years to make it to the postseason. Today, we’ll look at three keys that the Rams must satisfactorily complete to be in playoff contention.

 

1: Make Jared Goff comfortable

 

Jared Goff is a system quarterback through and through. He’s not my favorite quarterback in the world, and can’t win on his own, but in a good system can succeed well enough to be a winning quarterback. But Goff isn’t very good when he’s out of his comfort zone, and asked to do too much. This year, the Rams need to make Jared Goff comfortable. Goff is excellent on the play action, so the Rams need to ensure that they have established the run, so the play action works. Goff isn’t the most mobile quarterback ever, so the offensive line needs to be consistent for him to get into a rhythm. And the play-calling also can’t ask Goff to do too much. Goff can succeed, but you have to give him what he needs.

 

2: Stabilize the Offensive Line early

 

The main thing the Rams need to succeed is a consistent offensive line. They didn’t really solidify the offensive line until week 11, which is way too late. This year the Rams need to find the most cohesive group that they can, and preferably fast. With Andrew Whitworth, Brian Allen, Austin Blythe, Austin Corbett, Jamil Demby, David Edwards, Bobby Evans, Rob Havenstein, Joe Notenbloom, and Tremayne Anchrum competing for a starting spot, the Rams have the talent to put together a good enough unit. They just need to find which players have chemistry together, and preferably find it fast.

 

3: Find replacements on defense

 

The Rams lost two of their best defensive players in Dante Fowler and Cory Littleton in free agency, and need to find adequate replacements. Fowler’s replacement looks to be Terrell Lewis, but it is risky to depend on a third round rookie. It also could be Leonard Floyd, but the draft bust hasn’t impressed, and that doesn’t look like it will change. The competition there will be interesting to watch, and the two probably can replicate the impact of Fowler.

The bigger issue is Littleton’s replacement. The Rams, for some reason, didn’t draft a single inside linebacker until the 7th round. Thus, they don’t really have any obvious guy who can step up and fill Littleton’s void. The Rams are counting on either Kenny Young, Micah Kiser, Travin Howard, or Troy Reeder. The good thing is that the Rams really only use one traditional linebacker. Wade Phillips used a safety as the second linebacker, and so will Brandon Stanley. This “big nickel” position was manned by Marqui Christian last year, and a combination of Terrell Burgess and Jordan Fuller will play this year. But the Rams still need to fill the massive void that Littleton left.

The Rams have the talent and the coaching staff to make it back to the postseason. However, they must adequately address their issues, or they will fall back into the same mediocrity that plagued the team during the Jeff Fisher era.

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