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Los Angeles Rams vs. Kansas City Chiefs: What we learned from the Game of the Year©

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There’s been a lot to learn, and accept heading into the bye.

Kansas City Chiefs v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The Rams have enough weapons to replace WR Cooper Kupp that will help in the redzone

Los Angeles Rams WR Josh Reynolds, TE Gerald Everett, and TE Tyler Higbee appear to be more than novelties having stepped up with WR Cooper Kupp out for the year. We had seen a steady uptick in their production over the previous weeks but in Week 11 it felt like they were truly integrated into the offense. They weren’t just making gimme plays, they were making plays. Higbee hauled in a challenging and vital reception along the north sideline during a crucial drive in the fourth quarter. Everett tiptoed along the field’s southern boundary to cash in the go-ahead score in front the YG VIP tent in the fourth quarter. Josh Reynolds showed great body control and concentration when snatched his touchdown out of the night sky in the back corner of the end zone.

Of course, RB Todd Gurley had a rolled ankle against the Kansas City Chiefs, and will be more of the focal point in weeks to come, but there will still be plenty room for the Rams’ emerging weapons to make an impact. I fully expect two of the three mentioned weapons to have strong production against the Detroit Lions off the bye.

We need to evaluate defense on a different scale

That whole three straight defensive stops thing is so 2017. Three-and-out now feels like what a touchdown used to feel like: a breakthrough, a triumph to celebrate. Nowadays, we have to accept that every defense in the league is going to give up a bunch of yardage and the chains are going to move. But if the defense can end a drive via a sack or turnover a few times a game, you can probably work with that. And even better, as was the case on Monday, if they generate points then you probably win.

But remember back when cornerback Aqib Talib was playing and the Rams had a legit good defense that would string scoreless quarters together? Well, as the Rams near the final quarter of the season Talib is set to return and we’ll see what kind of impact he has. It still feels like the Rams have a lot of potential on defense, especially with an improved edge rush featuring Dante Fowler Jr. and an emerging EDGE Samson Ebukam. Maybe, just maybe, the Rams will have a few dominating games down the stretch.

Six of the last seven Rams games have been nail-biters

The Rams have a chance to cruise with the schedule easing up a bit. Playing the Chicago Bears on a freezing night by Lake Michigan will be a real test; and we’ll see how the Lions and Philadelphia Eagles games shape up, but at very least the Rams will wrap things up with what should be easy dinner against the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers. It would be nice to see the Rams match the domination that the New Orleans Saints have displayed lately and be running on all cylinders heading into the playoffs.

It really feels like the Rams have had to dig deep to get over the last few games, and the bye week should really help them. The Rams can finally exhale. LT Andrew Whitworth and Rodger Saffold can finally sit down and rub their knees. Rams Head Coach Sean McVay won’t rest for more than ten minutes, but will love having two weeks to devise a nice game plan for Detroit. And you, the Rams fan can say hi to your family, maybe watch some stress-free football, draw a picture, bake a pie, whatever…

See ya in two weeks!