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 by AvengerRam
2 weeks ago
 Total posts:   3675  
 Joined:  Oct 03 2017
Israel   Longwood, FL
Superstar

Its amazing how quickly things can change.

When the Rams take the field to start 2020, close to half of the players who started in last year's Super Bowl will likely no longer be on the team. Some have been replaced by players who could be considered upgrades, while other spots are in a state of flux.

My question is, looking at the core of players who are signed through 2020, the players who may be re-signed, and our cap/draft resources, do you feel like we are still in striking distance of a title?

I do.

Certainly, some things will have to go our way. The front office will need to find a way to keep at least some of the key guys who are FAs (Whitworth, Blythe, Fowler, Littleton, Zuerlein), entice some FAs who can fill roles, and use the limited draft picks wisely.

But if you ask me whether I see enough talent on this team to (with good health, a bit of luck, etc.) make a run in 2020, my answer is yes.

Does anyone see it differently? Does anyone see 2020 as a mere stepping stone year or, worse, a prelude to another rebuilding?

Just taking our collective pulse.

 by PARAM
2 weeks ago
 Total posts:   4300  
 Joined:  Jul 15 2015
Barbados   Just far enough North of Philadelphia
Superstar

The team will always be "within striking distance" with McVay leading them. Some might recall Vermeil's statement that a good roster makes a head coach look really smart but it's more than that. It's the system too. And then of course the roster. My only question about the roster as it currently stands offensively is, Gurley. Is he done or near done? Is he going to bounce back in 2020? Or as some rumors suggest is he soon gone?

We have the QB. We have the TEs and WRs. We have a young line who showed much promise. We have Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey and with those two in a good system with a decent surrounding cast, it should be no worse than upper half in the league, possibly much better.

As always, the most important factor is health. Every team has injuries and provided they're not to key players, they can be overcome. We'll never know....or at least won't know until it happens....but I wonder how things would have played out last year, had the O line experienced the same good luck as 2017-18. Would the young guys have been playing much better and the unit much more together in the second half of the season?

But would it have helped enough with the defense completely shitting the bed in some games? I can't think of more than 2 games where the defense played reasonably well and we lost, except for the first niner game and in Pittsburgh. Ironically, in those two games we lost both of our rookie lineman (Noteboom vs. SF; Allen vs. Pittsburgh) and it happened very early in the game.

Noteboom went down on our 2nd series with 2:09 left in the first quarter and Allen dropped on the first play of the 2nd quarter. It puts a huge strain on the OL when you have a new guy come in relatively early in the game, particularly if he's inexperienced. In the SF game when Noteboom went down we already had 7 points and we'd not score again. Against Pittsburgh the score was 7-7 (thanks to a defensive score) and the rest of the way we'd get a FG and a safety.

Will what was a weakness in 2019 (inexperience on the OL) be a strength in 2020? I would hope so. Really expect so. And of course a lot depends on if Whitworth will be back. On the defensive side, will they resign Fowler and Littleton, neither or both? And will Staley's defensive philosophy compliment the talent on that side of the ball? We don't need a 2000 Ravens defense or 85 Bears but they will have to be at least upper half of the league, and certainly not as inconsistent as Wade's D.

 by snackdaddy
2 weeks ago
 Total posts:   6276  
 Joined:  May 30 2015
United States of America   Merced California
Hall of Fame

Pundits don't have us as bad as the years priors to McVay. But many don't have us in the top ten. I can't blame them. We're coming off a 9 win season with a QB and line that regressed from 2018. A defense that laid eggs in big games. A star running back with health issues. If I'm trying to be objective as I can, I think I might not have them in the top ten based on all of that.

But I don't subscribe to theory that our window is closing because of cap issues. Its quite possible the cap is going up enough to make the deals the past couple years affordable with some upcoming new ones. In a couple years Goff's deal will be middle of the road. Donald won't be in the top 5 for defensive players. Maybe not in the top ten.

The way I see it, a return to the playoffs is a very good possibility. We have a QB and offense that can put up points to compete. We have a couple superstars on defense that can make a difference. And we have one of the brightest offensive minds in our head coach.

To me it all comes down to the defense. They played pretty poorly at times last year so a change in coaching was the right move. But we no longer have experience in coaching the defensive side. A first time DC will be interesting. I feel like McVay wants to put his stamp on defense too. He's a sharp cookie so its quite possible he will.

 by Elvis
2 weeks ago
 Total posts:   24185  
 Joined:  Mar 28 2015
United States of America   Los Angeles
Administrator

Absolutely.

Even in the worst case scenario "worst to first" happens, and we're nowhere near that.

If you take NE out of the equation, it's really hard to consistently compete for a SB.

Yes we're a legitimate contender and yes it's really hard...

 by PARAM
2 weeks ago
 Total posts:   4300  
 Joined:  Jul 15 2015
Barbados   Just far enough North of Philadelphia
Superstar

snackdaddy wrote:To me it all comes down to the defense. They played pretty poorly at times last year so a change in coaching was the right move. But we no longer have experience in coaching the defensive side. A first time DC will be interesting. I feel like McVay wants to put his stamp on defense too. He's a sharp cookie so its quite possible he will.


That's one thing that has baffled me a long time. If a guy is an offensive savant, you would think he knows what defenses would stymie his offense. And consequently, if he understands offense like that, it shouldn't be a huge chore to dissect opposing offenses and know exactly how to stymie them. He is a bright mind and maybe his involvement in the defense will pay huge dividends.

 by snackdaddy
2 weeks ago
 Total posts:   6276  
 Joined:  May 30 2015
United States of America   Merced California
Hall of Fame

PARAM wrote:That's one thing that has baffled me a long time. If a guy is an offensive savant, you would think he knows what defenses would stymie his offense. And consequently, if he understands offense like that, it shouldn't be a huge chore to dissect opposing offenses and know exactly how to stymie them. He is a bright mind and maybe his involvement in the defense will pay huge dividends.


There are instances where guys who come from an offensive or defensive side of the ball have a strong unit on the side that wasn't their expertise. Dan Quinn, who was a DC, took the Falcons to the Superbowl on the strength of their offense. Tony Dungy who's background is defense, coached one of the best QB's off all time with a strong offense.

So yes, their expertise on that side of the ball should give them insight on the other side of the ball. McVay spent most his time trying to decipher defenses. Now he gets to use that expertise to decipher offenses since he knows so much about offense.

 by CanuckRightWinger
2 weeks ago
 Total posts:   1194  
 Joined:  Jan 13 2016
Canada   VANCOUVER, BC
Pro Bowl

Are we still in striking distance?
That's the $200 million question for 2020....

per spotrac.com, Los Ramos have 2020 CAP dollars spent thusly (SO FAR):
RAMS UNIT...MILL$...CAP%...NFL RANK
OFFENSE.....110.6.....53.3.....3RD
DEFENSE......65.3......31.5.....22ND :shock2:
ST. TEAMS......5.7........2.7.....13TH
THE OTHER 13% OR $23 MILLS (APPROX) IS CAP SPACE

The Rams were Offense Spending Heavy in 2019 as well, but for 2020, you can see we're High on Offensive Spending (3rd in NFL), MidPack for STs (13th), and 22nd in Defensive Dollars spent. Again, this is without 2020 high-priced Ram FAs Fowler, Littleton, Brockers and Whitworth figured in as yet.

Then when you look at Offensive Positional Spending, here's the numbers:
POSITION....MILL$....NFL RANK
QUARTERBACK/36.6/ 1ST
RUNNING BACK/20.0/ 1ST
WIDE RECEIVERS/28.2/ 7TH
TIGHT ENDS...11.6/ 10TH
OFF.LINEMEN/14.6/ 30TH :shock2:

IMO, given the above, there is no question that we DO NEED Andrew Whitworth back holding down LT for Goff in 2020.
Hopefully Havenstein was playing hurt all of 2019, and rebounds.
Of the yutes, David SneadDraftSteal Edwards looked like a keeper.....the others? I dunno.
Maybe Austin Blythe might be stronger at OC in 2020 with his shoulders now surgically repaired.....or maybe, like I posted earlier, Snead draft OL early and often. :idea2:

Our last 8 games were against 3 Playoff Teams and 5 Non-Playoff teams. We went 4-4, getting beat by Non- Playoff teams 2 times....PIT, and DAL, and losing to Playoff bound BALT and SF. We beat Chicago, Seattle and Zona twice post ByeWeek.

In the 2019 finale the Rams had a 5-0 turnover advantage over the hapless Cards....yet we were tied with them 17-17 early in the 4th Quarter! :shock2:
Why so close you ask?
Goff played well, 29 of 45, for 319 yds, 7.1 YPA, 3 TDs, 0 picks, 107.5 QB Rating...
...throwing to 7 different receivers. 8-)
But against a Zona Team that per ESPN gave up 120.1 YPG rushing (24th), and 4.4 YPC (20th Tie), the Rams, when you take out Robert Woods jet sweep of 9 yards, and Nick Scott's fake punt 6 yards.....had 98 yards rushing on 31 carries for a 3.16 yds/carry average. :?

So our yute OL, against a very soft D (32nd in NFL with 402 YPG surrendered) and a last place team long eliminated from Playoff contention, in the final game of the season (Ie. maximum 2019 gelling time) couldn't run the ball effectively on the Cards, forcing Hekker to punt 4 times and, then the failed fake punt. You fail to move the chains, keep giving the ball back to a team you should beat easily....and that's how you end up 17-17 in the 4th qtr! :(

So given the above, lack of spending, lack of experience, lack of efficiency, the thing that could hold us back for Championship contention in 2020, is the same thing that held us back in 2019....the Rams OLine. :idea2:

Hopefully Snead works his magic and gets us OL help thru the Draft and Free Agency and maybe trades? Trent Williams anybody? He knows Kevin O'Connell and McVay.....who knows?

But IMO we need to beef-up the OL for 2020, because we never pushed anybody around in 2019 consistently did we? :?

JMO.

 by R4L
2 weeks ago
 Total posts:   988  
 Joined:  May 08 2017
United States of America   Dayton, Ohio
Veteran

For the playoffs? Sure. A lot of things need to happen for that to continue though. Revamping the OL is #1. Then pass rushers at both DL and OLB.

But the biggest question is Gurley. Will he play for the Rams again? If he does how will he perform? If they bring him back will he be pissed about the trade talk? If he don't come back, who replaces him?.

Imo, all these things need to be resolved before they can make another run at the bowl.

 by BobCarl
2 weeks ago
 Total posts:   3248  
 Joined:  Mar 08 2017
United States of America   LA Coliseum
Superstar

Rams win the Super Bowl in 2021 ... in their home stadium. Bank on it.

 by Horny Mcbae
2 weeks ago
 Total posts:   1438  
 Joined:  Mar 12 2018
United States of America   South Bay, Los Angeles
Pro Bowl

Time will tell. Halfway through the next season we’ll have our answers.

For me we have as many question marks as reasons to be optimistic. We have to make really smart decisions in the off season and then have really good coaching to get back to the playoffs and actually have a shot. Our division is brutal.

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23 posts Feb 26 2020