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Rams chances of contending in 2019

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Going into last season, the Rams were an obvious favorite coming out of the NFC.  They saw an opportunity with a QB on his rookie deal and a talented roster and loaded up in FA.  I kept hearing that this was a 2 year window that they created for themselves.

 

Out of curiosity I went over to overthecap.com to see how they were looking from a cap perspective.  A quick glance has them at about $30 million under putting them at the middle of the pack.  Doesnt immediately jump out.  But then I looked at the players under contract and I was surprised.  They only have 39.  Contrast that to the rest of the league, and it makes them only 1 of 6 teams who do not have 51 players signed.  4 teams are close to 51 (Raiders - 50, Giants - 49, Seahawks - 48, Falcons -48).  The fifth team is the Jets at 42.  But unlike the Rams, they have a whopping 95 million to spend. Here is what it looks like all in a glance (In order by $ per empty roster spot):

 

Team    Cap Space    UC    Amount to fill top 51 per player
Rams    $29,758,415     39     $2,479,867.92 
Falcons    $26,679,374     48     $8,893,124.67 
Jets    $95,337,575     42     $10,593,063.89 
Giants    $28,252,094     49     $14,126,047.00 
Seahawks    $51,994,716     48     $17,331,572.00 
Raiders    $71,234,430     50     $71,234,430.00 
 

What this tells us is that just to fill out the roster, the Rams have to average $2.5 million per person.  This is kicker, punter and Tyler Higbe money.  Teams like the Giants and Seahawks are in great shape, needing only one or two players and not only have more than enough money to do it, but can fill the roster hole but can afford to get an impact player to do so.  (I know there are draft picks.  I haven't touched upon that as it kind of makes things murkey as teams have to set aside a certain amount to sign their picks and yada yada yada... )

 

This tells me a few things:

The roster is going to be really top heavy.  They will need to rely on smart drafting and finding some gems in FA.  If not, they could be one of those teams where an injury to a key player can blow up an entire squad (and by being a weakness sink the team).  (Did we see a little bit of this last season?  They were killing everyone before the injury bug hit)

There is a lot of personnel churn.  While keeping the same team on paper doesn't guarantee success, it doesn't hurt.  Conversely, a shaken up roster doesn't predict failure (See: Superbowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles).  But is something to keep an eye on in case they come out flat.

 

 

 

Bottom line:  The Rams have a ton of talent, more than most teams.  With the moves they made last year, it was obvious they were built to win now on Goff's rookie contract.  And we knew they would have to pay the piper in the near future.  This was just a thought exercise looking at state of the team, cap wise, in 2019 and discuss if given this we still think they are a shoe in to be a top 2 or 3 team in the NFC

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I think they'll contend in 2019, but I doubt they end up with 13 wins again. Goff better learn how to read a defense because DC's are going to be picking through that Super Bowl tape with a fine-toothed comb.

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3 hours ago, Dawkins 20 said:

I think they'll contend in 2019, but I doubt they end up with 13 wins again. Goff better learn how to read a defense because DC's are going to be picking through that Super Bowl tape with a fine-toothed comb.

Like I've heard, Belichick changed up the defense once Goff's helmet mic turned off, so he didn't have McVay in his ear on what defense was set initially set up. If it's that easy, Goff is going to be in for a world of hurt.

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3 hours ago, Dawkins 20 said:

I think they'll contend in 2019, but I doubt they end up with 13 wins again. Goff better learn how to read a defense because DC's are going to be picking through that Super Bowl tape with a fine-toothed comb.

First they have to finish combing the desert.

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2 hours ago, Boss Hawg said:

Like I've heard, Belichick changed up the defense once Goff's helmet mic turned off, so he didn't have McVay in his ear on what defense was set initially set up. If it's that easy, Goff is going to be in for a world of hurt.

Yup.

Mcvay was the brains behind goffs sucess.

Not sure why more defenses didnt do what belicheat did in the super bowl but then again not every coach is belicheat ge may be a cheater but the dude is a great defensive mind.

I think its ridiculous that a coach is able to talk to a qb through his helmet for any amount of time but the nfl is what it is these days.

Gives more credibility to the old timers that didnt have the benefit of their coach reading the defense for them and telling them where to throw the ball.

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The Rams went all in last year and they came up just short. That's unfortunate for them but that's the risk they took. They still have a chance this year because of the talent they have under contract but it's going to be harder for them for sure. 

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Guest MH1989

Who are the Rams main opposition to a return to the Super Bowl?

- Bears: lost to us because of a missed field goal. Should return to the postseason. They've got a well built defense and a solid offensive unit.

- Cowboys: hate to say them but their defense did well last year. If their offense can find consistency and Prescott can take the next step, they could be a contender.

- Saints: if Brees continues as he is and their defense continues to play well, they should be back next season. 

- Seahawks: surprised some people last season with how they played. With another good draft and free agency they should be able to fight for a postseason spot.

There are other possibilities like the Packers, Vikings, Giants, Falcons (etc) that could compete for a postseason spot, but they all come with significant question marks. 

Obviously we are a contender if all goes well. A solid draft and free agency, combined with continued growth from our players, should see us return to the postseason. So I'd fancy our chances of another run.

So is there a clear path to the Rams returning? Not really. There's legitimate competition they will have to overcome. Their defense and run game will take them a long way but they'll need Goff to step up and develop to take them the rest of the way. Without further development from Goff I'm not convinced they'll play the Super Bowl next year if defense can get to him like the Patriots did. And with some of the NFC defense I think there are teams that could cause him problems if he doesn't take that next step. 

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2 hours ago, MH1989 said:

Obviously we are a contender if all goes well. A solid draft and free agency, combined with continued growth from our players, should see us return to the postseason. So I'd fancy our chances of another run.

Thank god you mentioned us in the end! 

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This isn't me being conspiracy theorist or anything, but the NFL did not want an Eagles vs Rams matchup in the NFCCG. Rams would have been defeated without much issue by the Eagles, no question.

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As has been stated, they likely will contend because of the personnel they have, but at some point, McVay needs to get Goff to learn how to read defenses on his own. Otherwise, teams are going to do what Belichick did, and change the defensive look after the headset cuts off. As of now, Arizona, and San Fran aren't threats until proven otherwise in that division. So it's down to the Rams and Hawks for the West. The Rams have been successful lately against the Hawks winning 3 straight, including 2 in Seattle.

Of course, there is also the obvious. McVay can't make things easier for the other team by not playing Gurley. Maybe he wasn't healthy enough and they kept that quiet, I don't know, but if Gurley was completely healthy, and McVay for whatever reason just held him back, then you're just making things easier for the defense.

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17 minutes ago, EagleJoe8 said:

McVay needs to get Goff to learn how to read defenses on his own. Otherwise, teams are going to do what Belichick did, and change the defensive look after the headset cuts off.

Yeah this is going to be pivotal for that team. If they can't develop Goff to be able to better read defenses then they are going to be in trouble. Not all defenses have the personnel of the Pats and the mind of Belichick... But I think he really highlighted a weakness that teams are going to go after! And good defenses are going to look to focus the hell out of Goff. 

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2 minutes ago, UK_EaglesFan89 said:

Yeah this is going to be pivotal for that team. If they can't develop Goff to be able to better read defenses then they are going to be in trouble. Not all defenses have the personnel of the Pats and the mind of Belichick... But I think he really highlighted a weakness that teams are going to go after! And good defenses are going to look to focus the hell out of Goff. 

Right. The personnel the Pats have is only part of it. If McVay is telling him the look, and where the best place to go with the ball is, then any team switching up after the 15 second mark is going to be problematic for Goff if he now has to think on his feet because he's getting something completely different and no instruction on what to do.

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1 minute ago, EagleJoe8 said:

Right. The personnel the Pats have is only part of it. If McVay is telling him the look, and where the best place to go with the ball is, then any team switching up after the 15 second mark is going to be problematic for Goff if he now has to think on his feet because he's getting something completely different and no instruction on what to do.

Yeah and that's where I think Belichick really exposed Goff and that's what teams will be looking at now. 

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Just now, UK_EaglesFan89 said:

Yeah and that's where I think Belichick really exposed Goff and that's what teams will be looking at now. 

Yup, and it's now incumbent upon Goff to take the next step and figure this out on his own.

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I'm not high on the Rams. I don't like a situation where my HC is talking to my QB to survey the field for him.  They didn't belong in the SB and it showed.  I predict a big SB hangover for the Rams.

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Goff's "ability as a QB" took a header when he lost Cooper Kupp.  And the "Wunderkind" Coach didn't only get exposed by Belichick.  He got exposed by Doug too.

Sure, the Rams may be playoff contenders for a few years.  They play in a weak division.  But I am not sold on them as SB contenders.  If not for an historically bad call, they wouldn't have been there this year.

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I think Goff was exposed. If the defense waits until 15 seconds, then adjusts, he can't read it. So Goff either has to get the ball snap before 15 seconds or risk having happen what happened in the Super Bowl.

 

21 hours ago, Mortimer said:

First they have to finish combing the desert.

 

 

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Guest MH1989
7 hours ago, UK_EaglesFan89 said:

Thank god you mentioned us in the end! 

Saved the best till last! 😎

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1 hour ago, UK_EaglesFan89 said:

Naturally

Seeing that reply, the first thing that came to mind was:

 

 

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They're a good team in a weak division. That's 4-6 wins right there. if they can go .500 the rest of the way, they're a 9-11 win team without any overachieving. They'll be back in the playoffs. I suspect they'll also get bounced again at some point.

Despite the Rams damage control program to the contrary, Goff doesn't seem all that bright. Beyond having to depend on his HC in his ear until it cuts out, there's another issue that tells us Goff is probably a dummy.

Kyle Van Noy recently stated that the Rams didn't use one single wrinkle in their play calling as the SB went along. Not once. McVay is smart enough to do it, so why couldn't he? I'm pretty sure that he doesn't have confidence in his QB being able to handle a lot of change on the fly. After all, this supposedly smart kid didn't know the sun rises in the East and sets in the West. I wonder what other basic knowledge he lacks, and how coddled he was academically in college simply because he could throw a football.

In time he'll learn the NFL game and get better, but I doubt he'll regularly outsmart D-coordinators like the elite QB's do. Super Bowl champion Rams in 2019-2020? I'm betting against it.

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The book is out on Goff, all you gotta do is send in 2 defensive calls and shift to the 2nd one once he breaks the huddle, that's it.

Unless and until he learns how to read defenses at a slightly above high school level, he's gonna be an anchor around the Rams neck.

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