The Los Angeles Rams were handed a demoralizing, overwhelming loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 15, 21-44.
It was a comprehensive beatdown as the offense looked overpowered and the defense out of their depth.
Let’s step back and look at the overall perspective.
While the season is effectively over barring a miracle, the injury to CB Troy Hill is a pretty significant one. With the remaking of the cornerback depth chart in mid-October bringing in CB Jalen Ramsey with CB Aqib Talib and CB Marcus Peters exiting, Hill was effectively promoted into a CB2 role he’s known well in recent years. The real question is if Hill misses the next two games and how the Rams respond. The Rams obviously didn’t anticipate the injury, so rookie CB David Long, Jr., was among the inactives. That meant the only outside cornerback available was CB Darious Williams as CB Dont’e Deayon is more of a backup in the slot for CB Nickell Robey-Coleman. If Hill’s unavailable for Week 16 against the San Francisco 49ers on a short week playing on Saturday, the Rams have an interesting decision between Williams and Long to make.
The only other injury impact might be the potential return of RT Rob Havenstein. Hav was yet again designated “doubtful” on the final injury report for the second week in a row after being ruled out the three previous games. The mantra for those supporting his exclusion in favor of OL Bobby Evans has been “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Well, the line was pretty broke against the Cowboys especially in the running game. Would it make sense to bring Hav back in for two games, or does Evans warrant two more games of experience? How much of the decision at right tackle has to do with the offensive line outlook for 2020?
Absolutely, but I think it’s worth looking into them in a separate space. The inconsistency of this team has been the defining trait over the whole of the season. I doubt that’s going away over the last two games, but figuring out the source and addressing it is the top priority for Head Coach Sean McVay especially because it has plagued both sides of the ball and nearly every unit. The lack of coherence is hurting some very talented players and has likely undone a very good roster in 2019.
Not this year.
Well, that about does it. The Rams have a mathematical shot at the playoffs, but as I mentioned above that would be pretty miraculous to pull off.
As it stands and is likely to stand in two weeks when the season ends, the Rams are on the outside looking in.
And they have nobody to blame but themselves.