The Rams had been seen as authentic Tremendous Bowl contenders following a 7-1 begin to the season. The acquisition of quarterback Matthew Stafford appeared to make an enormous distinction for them, and within the second half of the NFL season, they had been alleged to problem the Cardinals for the No. 1 spot within the NFC West.
Expectations had been solely raised when the staff dealt for Von Miller earlier than the NFL commerce deadline and signed Odell Beckham Jr. following his launch from the Browns. Nevertheless, the Rams have misplaced three consecutive video games since buying and selling for Miller and back-to-back video games with Beckham within the lineup.
So, what offers? Do not the Rams have sufficient star energy? Sure, however that really could be the issue. A minimum of it’s in accordance with former Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman.
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Aikman spoke concerning the Rams’ tremendous staff on 1310 The Ticket on Tuesday, and he defined that he would not suppose all-star groups work within the NFL.
“We’ve talked about it — the all-star staff simply — I’ve by no means seen it work within the NFL,” Aikman stated, as transcribed by Rams Wire’s Skyler Carlin. “I do know Washington tried it again in, I feel, ‘99. I’ve simply by no means seen a staff that goes out and tries to place collectively this all-star staff that may win a Tremendous Bowl, a lot much less success. It normally unravels, and proper now, that’s sort of what’s occurring to the Rams. They’ve simply not been very constant.”
Aikman talked about Washington, however there’s a newer instance of an excellent staff failing. The 2011 Eagles had been infamously dubbed the “Dream Staff” by quarterback Vince Younger after the staff signed a number of high-profile free brokers together with Nnamdi Asomugha, Jason Babin, Cullen Jenkins and Evan Mathis. Whereas a few of these gamers panned out, the staff did not reside as much as the lofty expectations. They went simply 8-8 regardless of being seen as a possible Tremendous Bowl contender.
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The Rams aren’t fairly the identical because the Dream Staff Eagles. They’re merely in a protracted, three-game droop throughout which they’ve finished little proper. Stafford has handled a again harm and misplaced one in every of his prime receivers, Robert Woods, for the season due to a torn ACL. That has slowed the offense considerably whereas the protection hasn’t been capable of decide up the slack.
However on the similar time, Los Angeles hasn’t jelled thus far throughout the season. There appears to be some type of disconnect between the gamers on each side of the ball.
That is a part of the explanation that Aikman is not excessive on the Rams. They appear to be crumbling on the flawed time and Aikman is not certain whether or not the staff will get better.
“It was not efficiency in any respect the opposite night time after we had them, however I don’t know in the event that they’re going to have the ability to pull it collectively or not,” Aikman stated. “That was an enormous sport for each of these groups, not just for the Rams to maintain tempo with Arizona within the division, but additionally they had been nonetheless within the hunt probably for a first-round bye. But it surely simply doesn’t have really feel. I really feel it all through your complete group. I simply don’t know that they’re going — I don’t suppose they’re finished. I feel they’re going to have some moments the place they climb again into it, however I don’t know in the event that they’re going to have sufficient to recover from the hump.”
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The Rams are 7-4 and could be the No. 5 seed within the NFC as the highest wild card. The 49ers are gaining quickly on them and the Rams are two video games again of the first-place Cardinals with a vital Week 14 tilt between the 2 upcoming.
Maybe the Rams can get again on observe towards the Jaguars. But when they wrestle in any respect, that could possibly be a crimson flag because the staff appears to start one other postseason run.