You don’t win the game in the first quarter. You also don’t build next year’s playoff roster in March and April alone.
The LA Rams were in this position a year ago, advancing to the divisional round of the playoffs, but hopes weren’t nearly as high. Or realistic. The Rams could have stayed the course after last season’s loss to the Green Bay Packers. The team had improved from 2019, were back in the postseason, and had the number one ranked defense in the NFL.
But Sean McVay and Les Snead looked over the roster and thought, “We’ve hit the ceiling. Time to renovate.” And so they renovated.
And they renovated.
And they just keep renovating.
Eric Weddle played for the Rams tonight.
“This is the first time I’ve been in SoFI. Great place.” — Eric Weddle #RamsHouse pic.twitter.com/bMP6Ilm09g— Michael J. Duarte (@michaeljduarte) January 18, 2022
The LA Rams defeated the Arizona Cardinals 34-11 on Monday Night Football. These are some players that helped them do it:
- Matthew Stafford had three touchdowns, the first Rams QB to score three touchdowns in a playoff game since Kurt Warner in 2000. Stafford is also the first Rams QB to score two touchdowns in a game since Marc Bulger in 2005. (Acquired in late January, 2021.)
- Sony Michel had 13 carries for 58 yards. (8/25/21)
- Von Miller had another sack with the Rams. (11/2/21)
- Odell Beckham had four catches and a touchdown. (11/12/21)
- Cam Akers had 17 carries for 55 yards and a 40-yard catch. (Activated from IR on 12/26/21)
- Eric Weddle....Played for the Rams tonight! (Added to the active roster today.)
Even Brandon Powell, a player added to the practice squad on November 4th, has had an impact on special teams.
The Rams made some moves last year that did not work out as planned, but Monday’s win put on full display what “higher expectations” can do for Snead’s aggressiveness with adding talent midseason. Or making blockbuster trades that many GMs would never attempt.
The Buccaneers did something similar with Tom Brady in 2020 and we see how well that’s worked for them. We’ll see Stafford against Brady next Sunday at noon.
To talk about Monday’s win and next Sunday’s game against Tampa Bay, I spoke with Blane Dydasco for another INSTANT REACTION episode of the TST podcast. Find it, subscribe to it, or listen to it right here: