clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Perspective for Los Angeles Rams looks strong as playoff picture begins to come into focus after Week 8

New, comments

We’re halfway through the 2018 season. Here’s how things look as you pull back from the Rams’ 29-27 win over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Los Angeles Rams Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams eked out a major win against the Green Bay Packers in Week 8, 29-27. While it wasn’t pretty and certainly wasn’t motivated at the hands of a friendly crowd-fueled home field advantage, the Rams navigated the game well enough to come out with the W.

Here’s how the big picture looks at the midpoint of the season.

Injuries

The Rams didn’t take on any major injuries in this one thankfully. They went into the game with WR Cooper Kupp and OLB Trevon Young both DOUBTFUL, so they might be able to go in Week 9 when the Rams hit the Big Easy to take on the New Orleans Saints.

We’ll get day after remarks from Rams Head Coach Sean McVay later today, so we’ll see if anyone picked up anything to put them on this week’s injury report. Otherwise, we’ll see what the initial injury report looks like on Wednesday.

Performance Issues

This one’s a bit skewed right now. At 8-0, teams know they have to bring their A game against the Rams on every snap. So I’m not surprised in the least that they’ve been pushed the last month and a half, save for the blowout win in Week 7 over the San Francisco 49ers. Doubt that changes in the coming weeks with the Saints, Seattle Seahawks and Kansas City Chiefs on the docket.

That being said, the Rams should be held to the highest of standards. As the best team in the NFL through the first half and carrying postseason expectations as early as August, there’s not much room for subpar performance. So a couple notes.

The offense, strangely, looked very off in the first half. It wasn’t so much individual execution. It was a generic malaise of confusion and apprehension. Credit the Packers’ coaching staff for putting together an early gameplan that took the Rams’ O out of things moreso than in any game this year. The offensive line was beleaguered with different looks, creative blitz packages and varied timing of those blitzes to keep the Rams off kilter for the first seven possessions of the game.

Beyond that, there’s also fair concern for the play of the starting outside cornerbacks right now. Both CB Marcus Peters and CB Troy Hill were exposed often on big plays making it difficult to keep QB Aaron Rodgers from pushing the ball downfield.

Standings

First, the division:

Beautiful.

With the Arizona Cardinals topping the Niners on Sunday, they’re both left toggling for early 2019 NFL Draft position. And while the Seahawks’ two-win streak built off of the Oakland Raiders and Detroit Lions has brought them back into the conference fold, they’ve got the Los Angeles Chargers, us, the Packers and the Carolina Panthers up the next four weeks. And they’re already past their bye week.

Speaking of that conference outlook, here’s the current playoff standings halfway through the season:

Obviously, it’s a huge clash coming up with the two best teams in the NFC meeting up.

Beyond the Rams and the Saints though, there’s just a huge muddle in the middle. The Lions are 3-4 with wins over the New England Patriots and Packers. And they’re all the way at the bottom at 13th with tiebreakers settled! It’s just a huuuuuuuuge logjam right now.

And that’s what we’re looking at. A very, very fascinating November upon us with the Rams in, well, perfect position.