A new coach. A new roster. A new Rams.
Or so we're hoping to believe.
The 2017 Los Angeles Rams are back at the site of what could be pointed to as the game that undid them just three years ago looking to validate the early excitement around the offensive explosion under Head Coach Sean McVay. This is the biggest test for these Rams hoping to prove that their contention in the NFC is legitimate and beyond just hype and headlines. With RB Todd Gurley being named NFC Offensive Player of the Month, there's plenty of style behind today's matchup.
The question is whether or not the 2017 Rams are of any substance.
Today, we'll find out.
We found out.
Over the course of the last 60 minutes of football, we saw an offense clawing through a talented Dallas Cowboys defense that had the home crowd on its back. The Rams only broke into the end zone twice, but constantly drove down the field and threatened Dallas’ side of the field. K Greg Zuerlein had a monster day going 7/7. While he might not have totally excised the demons of his 2015 season, but he has earned the right to get an opportunity in the biggest moments to come. And today proved they will come, thanks largely to the effort from the Wade Phillips-coordinated defense.
Through two quarters, it looked abysmal. The Cowboys used their four possessions to score three touchdowns and kick a field goal.
Something happened at halftime.
It may have been tactical. It may have been interpersonal. Hell, it may have been spiritual.
But something happened.
After not forcing a single punt in the first half, the Rams came out in the third quarter and forced one in their first opportunity. And then another. And then another. And then forced a takeaway.
And when the Cowboys started what would be the deciding drive at their own 20-yard line with a chance to make a statement to the rest of the NFL, the Rams’ defense made one.
I don’t know quite where this team is headed. This is a franchise that has been maligned, rightly, for more than a decade. We have been a horrible franchise that acted like it was above rapproach with a media class that refused to acknowledge anything was wrong before the closing weeks of a season.
This year is, for any reason you want to pick out or for all of them collectively, different. This is a different brand of football. This is what success looks like.
No doubt, many will point to the 3-1 start last year that preceded the 1-11 collapse. That collapse isn’t coming.
I don’t know what is.
But we’ve been waiting for it for 13 goddamned years.