Now at 6-2 and headed into the meat of their November schedule, here’s how things look heading toward Week 10.
It’s simply ridiculous that the Rams have had the run they’ve had since Week 1 last year. That the only major players on IR (and I’m using “major” loosely here) are DL Dominique Easley, S Cody Davis and TE Temarrick Hemingway is just unbelievable when you (a) look across the NFL and (b) remember that the Rams were probably the healthiest team in the NFL in 2016.
So thanks be to luck and thanks be to Head Athletic Trainer Reggie Scott. And thanks to both working together to keep this going.
So two weeks ago, the only two things I had here were the use of timeouts and the pass rush issue.
Rams HC Sean McVay yet again added more evidence to suggest that he’s competent beyond his experience as a first-year head coach by coming out of the bye week and erasing that timeout issue very effectively. If that holds, it should be perhaps one of the most concrete bullets on a Head Coach of the Year resume.
As for the pass rush, we’re facing some strong offenses coming up that will test that fault line. The New Orleans Saints are fourth in the NFL in passing yards per game and second in total yards. Moreso than any challenge in November, that one will be as demanding of a task on the defense than any. We’ll see how Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips works around the deficiency in the pass rush. If he continues to add heavy blitz looks, we’ll have to see if QB Drew Brees and his stable of targets exploit the space the blitz opens up. If we can pass that test, it should leave fans feeling very comfortable about perhaps the sole performance deficiency on the entire team.
That there’s just one performance deficiency on a team after Week 9...yeah, this team is pretty damn good.
And now that we’ve crossed the halfway pole, we can start looking at the conference as a whole:
This is more a starting point for the conference playoff picture than a midpoint. We have to see where things go from here and how we start seeing the wildcard fight develop separate from the individual division races.