Look at it this way Rams fans, it’s not all bad. Believe it or not, there are some Rams bright spots.
Today, let’s look at the bright side.
The Rams are still in the hunt for a playoff spot. Remember, last year, at this time, the Cardinals were running away with the NFC West.
Did that happen? No. The Cardinals collapsed (cough, cough). The Rams signed Odell Beckham Jr., got hot and went on to win Super Bowl LVI. There are still nine games left in the regular season. The Rams could still finish 12-5!
The Cardinals have always been the Rams “get right” game. Los Angeles has beaten Arizona three times in a row, and 11 of the last 12 times.
Listen, I know not much has gone right for the Rams so far this year, but let’s be positive. It’s not like Matthew Stafford has gotten hurt or anything.
No no no, I’m not falling into the trap. These are the Rams who have been heroes during the first eight games of the season.
He’s the obvious choice as the Rams biggest bright spot. The Rams offense has not been good, but could you imagine it without Kupp?
You could even argue he’s also been the Rams best threat out of the backfield on those jet sweeps.
But catching the ball is what Kupp does best. His numbers aren’t quite on the same pace as last year, but they aren’t that far off. Kupp is second in the NFL with 72 catches, fourth in yards (813). He has seven total touchdowns, by far the most on the Rams.
Cooper Kupp remains one of the best weapons in the NFL.
When Jordan Fuller went down, Nick Scott emerged as the Rams best playmaking safety. He ranks fourth on the team in tackles with 36, has a tackle for loss, an interception and has forced a fumble.
The fourth-year man is on track for a career year in all defensive categories. He’s only 27, so just now approaching his NFL prime.
The real playoff hero last year, Gay has picked up where he left off as the Rams place kicker. He’s 11 for 12 on field goals this year and perfect on 14 extra point attempts.
His only miss of the season was a 51-yarder against the Cowboys. That was a big miss at the time (it could have made the score 19-13) but in hindsight it probably wouldn’t have made a difference.
Gay has a long this year of 57 yards and ranks ninth in the NFL in touchback average (yes, they have stats for everything) at 81.2 percent. If anything, the Rams wish they could use their star kicker more.
The Rams have found a niche for Skowronek using him as a fullback/wide receiver hybrid player. Back in the day, it used to be called an H-back.
Why do teams do this? To confuse opposing defenses in the huddle. If Skowronek is on the field, is he lining up wide? Is he lining up in the backfield? His versatility keeps defensives off balance.
As a blocker, Skowronek is good – even if the Rams running game is bad. He’s the fourth-leading receiver on the team with 24 catches for 231 yards. Pretty good considering he had 11 catches last year.
This is where I just don’t understand the decision on Bobby Wagner right now, because Jones, in his second year out of South Carolina looks like a younger, faster, Wagner. Jones is second on the team in tackles at 57. He doesn’t have a sack – the Rams only have 16 sacks all season, which is 24th in the NFL. He is also on pace to have a big year.
To me, Wagner is a great player, but one on the downside of his career, Ernest Jones is the future of the Rams at linebacker.
From the street to the practice squad to the Rams starting offensive line, Aboushi, a journeyman if there ever was one, was forced into action against the Carolina Panthers and San Francisco 49ers. In eight games, the Rams have started eight different offensive line groups. Aboushi was not on the Rams radar at all when the season started, but now they know they can count on him for depth in the second half of the season.
Havenstein has been one of the few constants on the Rams offensive line. According to Pro Football Focus, he is their highest-rated lineman.
I’m sorry to end on a painful note, but the list of offensive linemen who have gotten hurt for the Rams is amazing.
Logan Bruss – torn ACL in pre-season (injured reserve)
Tremayne Anchrum Jr. – broken leg (injured reserve)
David Edwards – concussions (injured reserve)
Joe Noteboom – Achilles (injured reserve)
Coleman Shelton – ankle sprain (due back from injured reserve)
Brian Allen – knee injury
Alaric Jackson – hurt knee against the Bucs and is questionable for the Cardinals.
That’s how a team ends up 3-5, but there’s still reason to believe in the Rams.