This is a relatively new feeling as a Los Angeles Rams fan. We are being hit with all of the cliches. Trap game, must-win, the potential of falling back down to earth. Wait, we’re road favorites?
What do you even call a game like this? For the 5-2 Rams, you certainly can’t call this a “must-win,” but losing to the 1-6 New York Giants would be a bad look. Not only for those that don’t quite consider the Rams contenders but it also surrenders a game to the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC West battle right around the time where Russell Wilson traditionally decides to stop losing football games.
5-3 isn’t a death sentence. It just won’t get any easier. The snake-bitten Giants will be trotting out one of the worst rosters the Rams will have the fortune to play this season, even before it was announced that former Ram Janoris Jenkins will be missing this game. And after this game, 5 of the remaining 8 games for the Rams will be against teams who currently lead or share a lead in their divisions. This will be a tough second-half of the season for the Rams. If we want to talk about the potential of football in January, they’re going to probably have to find another 5 wins for a Wild Card spot, and maybe 7 to take the West.
So, is it a must-win? Nah. A should-win? A make-life-easier-for-yourself-win? Yeah I think I can settle with that. Not as sexy, not as much urgency, but more accurate.
One final thing I’d like to say: getting caught into the hype of this playoff picture and counting games that have yet to happen is exhausting, and I don’t really like it.
If the wheels fall off this bus, I wasted time looking ahead and not in the moment. And in this moment, the Rams are exceeding expectations have been the fun and exciting team we’ve been hoping for. Besides, when we were asked, all of us on the TST team had us losing this game when asked for our predictions before the season.
Predictions are hard. Let’s just have some fun.