After losing in the Super Bowl a season ago, the Los Angeles Rams had aspirations of returning and winning it all in 2019. Unfortunately, a lot of things didn’t go the Rams’ way this season though, and they were officially eliminated from postseason contention when they lost to the San Francisco 49ers in Week 16 to drop to 8-7.
The Rams were forced to deal with a number of injuries in 2019, which is one of the reasons they took a big step back.
“Sometimes we played like the No. 1 team in the conference, and sometimes we played like a team that had no business being out there,” linebacker Clay Matthews said, piercing the silence of a locker room in the wake of a 34-31 defeat to San Francisco. “Unfortunately, we’re in the position we are today because of that.”
It’s hard to disagree with what Matthews is saying considering the Rams have some solid wins over playoff teams like the Seattle Seahawks and New Orleans Saints. On the other hand, they also put up some non-competitive performances against the 49ers, Baltimore Ravens and Dallas Cowboys.
Rams defensive lineman Michael Brockers, who is the organization’s longest-tenured player, agreed with Matthews’ sentiment. He believes the number of young players on the team led to the inconsistency:
“We’re a young bunch,” said Rams defensive tackle Michael Brockers, among the team’s elder statesmen. “We’ve got a lot of young guys on this team that are going to have to go through some of these aches and pains. We don’t want it, it’s unfortunate that we have to go through it, but you’ve got to learn from these losses.
“We were so up and down this year. We have to be more consistent. We don’t have no quitters on this team. Everybody is trying to execute the plays. … You always look back and regret. Immediately after the games you feel like you should win, you feel like, ‘Dang, that’s going to bite us.’
“Our losses are never just losses. They’re lessons.”
Regardless of what did or didn’t go wrong, the Rams will be watching the postseason from home this year. Head coach Sean McVay recently stated that he is ready to attack the offseason to get better though, so look for this team to bounce back and get back in the postseason picture in 2020.
Matthews has one year remaining on the two-year contract he signed with the Rams last offseason, so he will be back in the mix next season. Brockers, on the other hand, is set to hit free agency and likely will be playing elsewhere.