Heading into their Christmas day game against a fellow disappointment, the Los Angeles Rams haven’t had a whole lot of things to be grateful for this season. They basically have to win out to avoid a dubious honor. LA trots out the equivalent of a practice squad roster every week so they’ll likely hold that distinction barring a Festivus miracle.
The Rams and the 1999 Broncos are the only teams to lose 10 games the season after winning the Super Bowl. One more loss, and LAR will be the worst title defenders in league history.— Jeff Wallner (@JeffWallner) December 20, 2022
With the spirit of Festivus filling my heart on this 23rd of December, I decided to partake in the airing of grievances towards this year’s Rams team. I have a lot of problems with this team and now you’re gonna hear about it! These are all the ways LA has disappointed me this year. Let’s just pray Aaron Donald doesn’t read this when it’s time for the feats of strength.
Allen Robinson because he didn’t ease the pain of losing Robert Woods
I get it. LA wanted to make the splashiest move for style points and look where that got them. This is what happens when one gets distracted by tinsel. Do you think there’s anything sexy or remarkable about the Festivus pole? No, but it gets the job done. Same thing with Robert Woods.
Nothing about him was overly spectacular when he arrived back in 2017, Yet he was an effective piece in Sean McVay’s offense and a welcome veteran presence on a team that desperately needed leadership. Woods provided that and more, up until he was unceremoniously shipped to the Titans for mere peanuts.
Through 14 games including 12 starts with Tennessee, Woods has 40 receptions for 418 yards and a single touchdown. That’s modest production from a player coming off a torn ACL. I’m certain Rams faithful would rather have him back than the player they chose to replace him with.
Allen Robinson has been one of the offseason's worst signings. In late November, Robinson underwent season-ending foot surgery, mercifully ending a dreadful campaign. The veteran pass catcher only had 339 yards and three touchdowns in 10 games. He broke 50 yards receiving just three times. For a guy eager to shake the Matt Nagy stench, all he did was carry that smog to his new city. Los Angeles already has enough air pollution as it is dude.
Why must you always beat us?! You’ve swept the season series each year since 2019. Doesn’t kicking our asses every season get boring for you? Whatever. Eat my shorts jerks.
Von Miller (Why did you have to leave?)
I had reservations about his acquisition when the news broke. Yet Von shut me up good when he racked up nine sacks in the regular season and playoffs combined during his 12-game stint in Hollywood, winning his second career Super Bowl title.
Keeping Miller was going to be tough but the Rams tried all they could. Eventually, Von signed a monster deal in free agency with the Buffalo Bills that was essentially too good to pass up. With all the money given to him at this stage in his career, could anyone blame him for taking it?
Miller was quite effective in Buffalo, up until he tore his ACL in a Thanksgiving win over the Lions. Through 11 games prior to injury, he totaled eight sacks and 12 QB hits. He was a proven pass rusher for a defense that needed something to put them over the edge.
The loss of Von Miller really stung the Rams. After a season in which they ranked third in the NFL with 50 sacks, that number has dipped way down to 29. In ‘21, Miller was third on the team in sacks behind Aaron Donald and Leonard Floyd. His mere presence was intimidating to opposing offenses due to all the attention he required. LA’s lack of a consistent pass rush has taken a lot of bite out their defense that they’ve had in previous years.
Do I really have to explain this one?
The offensive line
Ever since the Rams gave up seven sacks in the season opener, there was a sinking feeling that the offensive line would be an issue all year long. Those feelings never waivered as the Rams have tied the Broncos for the most sacks given up this year with 51. Do you know how bad you have to be to tie the Broncos in anything?
The first domino to fall was Andrew Whitworth to retirement following Super Bowl LVI and the line has been in shambles ever since. Injuries have been a big factor for the regression. Literally anyone you can think of on the O-line has been injured at some point. To put into perspective, Matthew Stafford was sacked 30 times in 17 games in 2021. He was dropped 29 times in nine starts this season. Call it the Bengals curse if you will.
I’m convinced that bengals somehow cursed the rams to deal with what we dealt with last season rams have had 14 different o line combinations this season all of them sucked— WhoDeyMailMan (@WhoDeyMailMan) December 20, 2022
All backups behind Matthew Stafford
Say it with me now: Bryce Perkins and John Wofford ARE NOT NFL quarterbacks.
This isn’t regarding a specific move that LA made in the offseason. It’s more so related to a move they didn’t make. Matthew Stafford had an injury history coming into the season but the front office appeared to downplay it. He had played in every game in the two years prior so what’s the big deal?
The problem was that he, along with the rest of the team had remarkable luck avoiding the injury bug in 2021 and Los Angeles took it for granted. They paid for it severely once the regular season began without a reliable signal caller behind Stafford.
The Colts are the ninth team to start at least 3 QBs this season, joining the Panthers, Dolphins, Texans, Jets, Patriots, 49ers, Rams (league-high 4) and Cardinals (who will have to start a third QB this week).— Jonathan Jones (@jjones9) December 21, 2022
Baker Mayfield was a fun story for a game but whatever miniscule spark he may have provided was left behind in the frozen Wisconsin tundra Monday night. Great organizations are prepared for all situations and this was one important position to overlook.
He joins my list for all the confusion he brings me. Some fans defend him while others despise him. I’m not sure how I’m supposed to feel about him. Should I be ungodly angry over his play calling or should I respect his defense doing well in key areas?
The Rams defense has allowed 20 red zone touchdowns this season and 120 red zone points which is tied for fourth in the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys.— Blaine Grisak (@bgrisakDTR) December 22, 2022
This is all despite opposing teams running 154 red zone plays against the Rams this season which is the most in the NFL.
Despite being 4-10 and playing from behind often, the Rams are just one of four teams that have yet to allow a 100 yard rusher.— Blaine Grisak (@bgrisakDTR) December 22, 2022
Rams are one of just two teams with a losing record to have a top-10 run defense, ranking fourth in total yards and yards per carry.
Go get ‘em champ or go pack your bags? Can somebody please tell me how I’m supposed to feel? Curse you Raheem for giving me a headache.
Whatever you do, try not to let the national holiday of Festivus interfere with your feelings towards the organization this season. The Rams haven’t been easy on the eyes. However, that isn’t an excuse to be a bunch of soup Nazis by taking away Sean McVay’s Chunky soup.
I have no doubt that the Rams would invest in a time machine to take back all or most of the disappointment they have given their fanbase last offseason. However, that technology doesn’t exist so LA is left to deal with the consequences of their actions.
While I’ve aired my grievances towards LA this year, now it’s your turn! It’s quite therapeutic once you get into it even if it’s not exactly ideal for your blood pressure. Although I’ve heard screaming “serenity now” could help that.