WEEK 14 CRYSTAL BALL - THURSDAY
The Rams tough 2022 isn't getting easier
My friends, THE GURU woke up this morning with three thoughts:
Sean McVay is a brilliant football mind.
His Rams are likely to miss the 2022 playoffs.
Stromboli is the logical centerpiece for this weekend’s Army-Navy tailgate.
Indeed, all three of the above statements are as on target as the meatballs we enjoyed at Sunday’s Giants-Washington tailgate, courtesy of my man BONELESS MING. But I’m going to focus on item #2 in tonight’s brief column.
This season would mark the second time McVay has missed the postseason in his six years at the helm with the first instance (2019) also following a trip to the Super Bowl. History repeats.
LA famously went all in in 2021 and earned the ultimate award in taking home the Lombardi Trophy. Defiantly, they took the same path this season, per The Ringer, which ranked the team #1 in its All In-Dex. The website isn’t wrong.
Unfortunately, nothing has panned out for the franchise this season with a string of disheartening losses and a 1-4 record in the NFC West. Putting a (painfully) fine point on it, it only took eight weeks in 2022 for the team to lose as many games as it lost all of last season (five). That’s rough.
In addition to losing leaders like star pass rusher Von Miller (free agency) and ageless left offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth (retirement), the injury bug has had its way with the team. Among those on the shelf for considerable chunks: Super Bowl MVP Cooper Kupp, injured in Week 10, and QB Matthew Stafford, who underwent surgery on his right (throwing) elbow in the offseason and subsequently hurt his neck. He was placed on injured reserve last weekend, likely ending a year where he has committed 11 turnovers, equaling his number of touchdowns.
As for what the future holds, 2023 is scheduled to be the team’s seventh consecutive year without a first-round selection in the NFL Draft, matching Washington’s streak from 1984-90. The modern-day record is believed to be the 11 seasons Washington went without making a first-round choice (1969-79). Hey, it’s nice to have goals.
Fast forward to tonight (Amazon Prime, 8:15 pm ET) and the undermanned Rams face a tall task with Aaron Donald sidelined for the second straight game with a high right ankle sprain. Making matters worse, their opponent, the Raiders, are in a groove with their offensive line improving each week and running back Josh Jacobs averaging 160 yards rushing in the past three games. Feels like a simple choice to me. VEGAS, 26-23.
Last week’s record was pretty good with a 10-4 mark (.714) pushing the season record to 117-77 (.603). We’ll see what happens this weekend.
Enjoy the game, folks, and God bless!