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Airing my grievances towards the 2023 Los Angeles Rams

“I’ve got (some) problems with this team and now you’re gonna hear about it!”

Washington Commanders v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Ric Tapia/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Rams gave fans an early Christmas present with their win on Thursday night to hold onto the NFC’s sixth seed with two games remaining. LA has experienced a Festivus miracle this season as the team has surpassed all realistic preseason expectations. There have definitely been plenty of things to be grateful for in 2023.

Despite that, it is Festivus and in the true spirit of the holiday, there are still a few grievances to air towards this year’s Rams team. Thankfully, I don’t have as many to air as I did last season. Those were dark days and I prefer not to let them bring me down.

Serenity now! Serenity now!

Either way, I have (some) problems with this team and now you’re gonna hear about it! Here are a few of the ways LA has disappointed me this year.

Matthew Stafford haters who are looking pretty silly right about now

As the old adage goes, it’s not always how you start but rather how you finish. Matthew Stafford looked cooked for much of the first half of the season. During LA’s current 5-1 stretch, Stafford has been red-hot and is undoubtably playing some of the best football in his career. Perhaps on-par with his first year in Hollywood back in 2021.

There was every reason to question Stafford’s legacy in LA prior to the Week 10 bye. He has taken his play to another level and has shut up most of his critics. Helping drag this Rams team to the playoffs should ultimately prove his worth in the eyes of the haters he’s had throughout his NFL career.

San Francisco 49ers

I hate everything about the 49ers. I hate Deebo Samuel’s loud mouth. I hate Kyle Shanahan’s resting b*tch face. I hate how Brock Purdy is an MVP frontrunner for all the YAC his receivers accumulate on short little baby passes. I hate how this team will likely hoist the Lombardi Trophy in February. And I also hate the lengthy regular season losing streak to this team. Please let the pain end in Week 18! I’m begging you football gods, hear my prayers!

NFL officiating

Who doesn’t have a grievance to air with the officiating this season? Every team has been screwed over by the zebras at one point or another. Don’t think Rams faithful has forgotten about the end of the Steelers game and the missed block in the back in overtime against the Ravens.

I hope every officiating crew in the NFL is on Santa’s naughty list and will receive massive lumps of coal in their stocking. Or how about Aaron Donald showing up at all of their holiday get-togethers for the feats of strength? Actually, I like that idea. If that doesn’t scare them into making the correct calls on the field, then nothing will.

Although those dopes would still get it wrong so nevermind.

Brett Rypien

Do I really need to explain this one?

Perhaps my grievance should instead be aired at Les Snead for failing to add a quality backup behind Matthew Stafford for the second straight season. You can’t expect Stafford will be able to play all 17 games consistently at this stage of his career.

I won’t hold this misstep against Snead completely as he has a couple “get out of jail free” cards at his disposal thanks to winning a Super Bowl and for his amazing 2023 draft class.

If LA misses the playoffs, Rypien’s disasterclass in a 20-3 loss at Lambeau Field will not be forgiven by the fanbase anytime soon.

Brett Maher

Again, do I really need to explain this one?

Why the Rams felt the need to add a veteran kicker who got the yips badly in the playoffs last season is beyond me. The red flags were painfully obvious to begin with. Yet when someone gets desperate, you’ll take anything that breathes and question your life choices in the morning. Clearly the front office didn’t follow Tinder rule #1.

For the love of all things holy, wipe left the next time this occurs!

Lucas Havrisik

You know you’re down bad when you’re pining for your godawful ex when your current relationship is already going down the crapper.

For whatever reason, the front office fails to prioritize special teams as much as they “emphasize” the QB2 position. Now if Snead and company gave a hoot, Matt Gay never would’ve walked out the door and signed with the Colts. He was a top-level player who deserved a (reasonable) sum of money for his services.

Assuming LA makes the playoffs, the lack of a quality kicker is what I see costing the Rams. Taking the approach of signing a random kicker off the street and throwing them into the mix just hasn’t worked.

Havrisik has been the latest casualty as he’s missed at least one field goal in five of his eight appearances. The second-year kicker is a horrific 2-of-6 on field goals from 40-49 yards out. Nothing about it has me confident in his abilities during this final postseason push. Sean McVay mentioned after the Saints win that replacing Lucas is “not something that we’re thinking about right now.”

Let’s hope for McVay’s sake that his confidence isn’t misplaced. If it is, I expect Sean to make a sizable donation to the Human Fund in the offseason.