The Los Angeles Rams are coming off of a momentous win against the Seattle Seahawks. They travel to play the Tennessee Titans in Week 16. Should the Rams win, they will clinch the NFC West Division crown and host at the very least a wildcard game at home in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
The Rams have beaten every other team in the AFC South and are now looking for the sweep. This is by far the worst division in NFL, so it should be no surprise that the Rams should win this game at least on paper.
Tennessee needs this win badly to stay in the AFC playoff picture. They’re young and sit at 8-6, two games behind the Jacksonville Jaguars for the division lead. If the season ended today, the Titans would be the 5th seed and secured as a wildcard team in the playoffs. If they lose, they will need some help to make the postseason.
Nevertheless, the Rams have the better team. The Rams rank 2nd in points per game, 10th in yards per game, 12th in passing and 7th in rushing compared to the Titans who rank 19th in points per game, 22nd in yards per game, 25th in pass yards per game and 13th in rushing.
The defense of the Titans ranks 18th in points per game compared to the Rams who rank 5th. The Titans defense doesn’t give up a lot on the run ranking 3rd, but rank 25th against the pass. You flip the switch with the Rams, who rank 24th against the run and 6th against the pass.
None of these stats mean a lot for this game. This game is about the Rams winning the NFC West.
The Rams need this win now. Should they lose and the Seahawks win, then the Rams would have to beat the Niners, who are playing really good football now having just upset the Titans, in order to clinch the division.
But, if the NFC West crown comes down to the last game of the season a Rams/Niner matchup on December 31st, New Years Eve, rivalry game—throw out the records, statistics—the Niners season would be a success should they pull off the upset causing the Rams to wind up to 10-6 and possibly out of the playoffs all together.
That’s why this game is a must win for the Rams. Win it, win the division, and secure at least one home game for the wildcard round. Leave next week’s game to seeding in the playoffs.
The Biggest Factor Heading Into The Game
Football is an emotional game. The biggest key to winning this game is for the Rams to AVOID A LETDOWN coming off their huge win last week against the Seahawks.
If the Rams need any motivation, its that this game is for the NFC West division title and a seat at the playoff table.
So to one of my favorite weekly readers, you’re right this time for this game:
JUST SCORE MORE POINTS AND GET THE HECK OUT OF NASHVILLE
I don’t care what the Rams do on offense, defense or special teams to get the job done—just win. If the Rams play their game, they win the West. Do whatever it takes. Get the “W” and get on the first plane home.
One More Thing
The Rams put K Greg Zuerlein on injured reserve ending his 2017 season. This is a big blow to Rams.
GZ/Legatron/Mr. Automatic/Greg The Leg was elected to the Pro Bowl this year because he was having an outstanding season. While I am concerned, I’m not panicking yet.
The one edge the Rams had heading into the playoffs, was GZ’s ability to hit that 50-yard field goal to win the game and our confidence that he would make it. We know nothing about the Sam Ficken whom the Rams signed to replace him.
Injuries are a part of the game, but this one to GZ came at a bad time late in the season. If the Rams knew about this injury to Zuerlein, as has been reported, then they should have done a better job preparing for it. Nonetheless, one should have confidence that General Manager Les Snead and Special Teams Coordinator John Fassell got the right guy, but I’m sure most of us are taking a wait and see attitude as to whether the loss of GZ will affect the Rams scoring.
Once out the field, Ram fans will be able evaluate how much missing GZ will affect the team keeping in mind this: Place kickers are weird. They make the ones you don’t think they’ll make, and miss the ones you think they’ll make. If Ficken doesn’t get the job done, it will alter the Rams 4th down decision making for sure.
So with that, its time to get onto to the job at hand: beating the Titans.
“Tis the season to be jolly” and for Los Angeles Rams fans the Christmas present is under the tree ready to be unwrapped. When you open the box its contains a simple card. That card says this: “THE LOS ANGELES RAMS ARE THE 2017 NFC WESTERN DIVISION CHAMPIONS.”
It’s a gift that we have wanted and waited for over 30 years.
Merry Christmas—GO RAMS!