The Los Angeles Rams come out of the bye with just five games remaining in the regular season. The 10-1 Rams head out in Week 13 to face the 4-7 Detroit Lions in the first of a two-game road swing as (as of now) 10-point favorites. So with the 8-3 NFC North-leading Chicago Bears looming in Week 14, it means one thing...
You can admit it. It’s not Candyman. You won’t be harmed...I think...
This is a trap game.
The Rams are 10-1 with one of the best offenses in the NFL and are coming out of the bye looking to secure a first-round bye and possibly the #1 overall seed in the NFC playoffs with CB Aqib Talib returning to play in his first game since Week 3 against the Los Angeles Chargers. Suffice to say, things are going well.
Meanwhile, the Lions have lost four of their last five games en route to a 4-7 record as the subject of Jeopardy!-fueled roastings:
As mentioned, the Rams are currently huge favorites here and for obvious reasons.
Trap game prerequisite 1.
Big game upcoming
The 8-3 Chicago Bears have a trap game of their own this week dealing with the floundering 3-8 New York Giants this week before hosting the Rams on Sunday Night Football.
Suffice to say, both teams could suffer from focus issues this week knowing just how big next week is going to be. Not as a function of poor coaching or a lack of preparedness. Just as a function of, well, reality. Trap games are trap games for a reason. And a big game forthcoming afterward is one of them.
Trap game prerequisite 2.
This isn’t to say the Rams are likely to lose the game. That’s not at all the point.
The point is that there’s a very specific challenge here for the Rams this week. It’s the kind of challenge the Rams have passed by-and-large over the last two years, though I’m not sure there’s been an example as stark as this one.
This is, of course, one of the trappings (pun intended like a mug) of success. Ain’t no trap games for half-runs or would-bes.
So be it. On their way to the playoffs, the Rams have a unique opportunity this week to play a team that’s virtually out of the playoffs as the Rams hit two major games on national television over the next two weeks.
Watch your step, Sean McVay.