Probably the biggest question heading into Week 12 was just how legit are the Rams? Fair question. Because 7-3 looks great on paper and so does having the league’s best offense. And doing it all with the youngest coach in the NFL and a first round draft pick that looked like a bust last year only adds to how incredible the turnaround has been. But the doubters were there. Especially after getting manhandled by the Vikings. And especially since that loss only fueled the narrative that the Rams inhale the cupcakes and CHOKED on the meat and potatoes.
So when the Saints and their eight game winning streak rolled into the Coliseum yesterday, Sean McVay faced the biggest prove-it moment of his very young career. Win the game and the Rams are as legit as their record says they are. Lose it and become the softest 7-4 team in the league.
Well, you know what you can do with all that talk that the Rams aren’t who they think they are? You can Ram it!
Jared Goff wasted no time getting after it—hooking up with Sammy Watkins for 6 on the opening drive and then again with Josh Reynolds to cap off an eight-play, 86 yard touchdown drive in the second quarter.
Goff finished with 354 yards passing, two touchdowns and one pick. Greg “The Leg” Zuerlein added four absolutely drilled field goals from distance and the Rams beat the Saints wire-to-wire, 26-20.
This wasn’t a typical Greatest-Show-On-Surf win. The offense didn’t go off for 30-plus and Goff and Gurley weren’t living the end zone to the degree they have been in all the other seven wins. This was as much about the defense as anything McVay dialed up for the offense. LA held the Saints well below their season averages in points and yards. And they got Brees to the ground three times.
So now the Rams have twice as many wins as they did last year. They’re in first place over the Seahawks. They bounced back from a game in Minnesota that had everyone wondering just how legit they were. They played their most complete game of the year. And they beat a squad who rolled into town with a winning streak that spanned two months.
So are the Rams for real? Hell freaking yes they are. And no one better ask again. Because they answered that question yesterday. And after their trip to the desert to take on the Cardinals this week, they’re home against the Eagles and the road against the Seahawks—in two of the most anticipated games coming down the stretch.
Who the hell would have thought the Rams would be co-headlining can’t-miss games in December? They’re legit. And so are the Chargers. And the first year L.A. has two teams back in the market, they have a legitimate look at the postseason. Who says this isn’t a football town?