The outlook of the 2023 season seemed bleak for the Los Angles Rams, even to the point where Chief Operating Officer Kevin Demoff felt compelled to write a letter reassuring fans that the team was on the right track. Behind leadership from the Rams’ “weight-bearing walls” (Matthew Stafford, Aaron Donald, and Cooper Kupp) as well as a now-historic 14-member rookie draft class, Los Angeles has secured the sixth seed in the NFC playoffs. They defied all odds and are set to take on the Detroit Lions in the wildcard round. The Rams have put the NFL on notice both for the 2023 playoffs but also moving forward.
The same cannot be said of the “other” team in Los Angeles, who hit a new low this weekend when they couldn’t manage a win at “home” over the limited Kansas City Chiefs without Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce.
The Chargers, after a difficult exit in the opening round of the postseason a year ago, brought back nearly their entire roster and mortgaged their salary cap future to make another push at a championship. While the Rams make their playoff push, the Chargers will be looking for a new head coach and general manager after firing Brandon Staley and Tom Telesco. Whoever ends up taking over the reigns will find themselves approximately $41M over the salary cap for the new league year in 2024. The Chargers will have to take serious looks at moving on from high-cost veterans in Joey Bosa, Khalil Mack, Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, and Derwin James. They’ve already released former Ram Sebastian Joseph-Day who is now a member of the San Francisco 49ers.
The arrow is pointing straight up for the Rams while the Chargers will rebuild their roster from the ground up now that they are paying QB Justin Herbert one of the richest contracts in NFL history.
The Rams continue to deny the Chargers the opportunity to make LA feel like home, and the Rams have enjoyed gobs more success than the Chargers since they started sharing the Los Angeles market in 2018. The Rams have two Super Bowl appearances with a victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI while the Chargers are still looking for their first postseason victory.
2023 was supposed to be the Chargers’ year, but the Rams had other plans in mind. If the Chargers couldn’t be the more exciting team in Los Angeles this season, will it ever happen for them?