The Los Angeles Rams are on the verge of collapse
After a 22-year absence, the Rams finally came home to Los Angeles for the 2016 season.
After they shed the fat, following a 7-9 campaign, and hired offensive genius Sean McVay as head coach, the Rams became the best offense in the league, thanks to the strong play of quarterback Jared Goff and running back Todd Gurley. The Rams won the NFC West the following year, and went to the Super Bowl LIII a season later but lost to the New England Patriots.
In 2019 the Rams stumbled out of the gate, with a 3-3 start to the season, and couldn’t recover. They settled for a 9-7 finish, as their offense regressed and their defense failed to hold it down. The Rams weren’t a bad team, but there is plenty to be worried about for the 2020 season. They once showed promise but are now on the verge of collapse.
Gurley's production fell drastically
The first domino fell when the Rams cut ties with Gurley, just two years into what was supposed to be a four-year extension. Gurley had the least-productive season of his career in 2019 and was hampered with the lingering effects of a previous knee injury. The former Offensive Player of the Year saw his numbers drop across the board, and the team suffered for it.
Whether Gurley can resuscitate his career with the Atlanta Falcons is anyone’s guess, but with Gurley gone, the task to lead the offense falls on Goff.
Goff was exposed last season
While Goff looked like a machine when the offense was clicking, he has looked like a shell of himself last year. With Gurley gone, and behind an offensive line that can’t protect him, the quarterback may not have the time or resources to turn things around.
Opposing defenses have figured out McVay’s schemes and are daring the Rams to put the game in Goff’s hands. Their QB of the future looks more like a liability, unless they can immediately boost the talent that surrounds him.
Aside from their offensive woes, the Rams suddenly find themselves in the NFL's deepest division. San Francisco and Seattle are two legitimate teams, and Arizona’s Kyler Murray got help in a big way when the Cardinals traded for Deandre Hopkins.
The only thing the Rams have done this offseason is debut a hideous new logo, with uniforms soon to follow.
L.A. needs to lean on its defense
If the Rams are to make good on their +2400 odds to win the Super Bowl, they’ll have to do it with defense. But defensive end Aaron Donald and cornerback Jalen Ramsey are languishing under Wade Phillips’ system.
Goff can't put up points on his own next season, so the defense needs to hold the line.
Los Angeles is a city that loves a winner, but the Chargers are rebuilding and the Rams are due for a collapse. The Golden State might have to look north for football success in 2020.