It’s been a different tale for each of the Los Angeles football teams during the 2022 season as the Rams are eliminated from the playoffs while the Chargers are still in the hunt for a spot.
The Rams have been marred by injuries to key players all season long, while the Chargers have started to find their stride as key players have come back. The squads are going in opposite directions this year, though at least the city can still feel invested in what the Chargers do the rest of the way with the playoffs still on the table.
Going into the year, the Rams and Chargers matchup in Week 17 looked to be one of the best games of the season given the collective talent on both squads. However, with the Rams unable to overcome all the adversity they’ve experienced the NFL decided to make a programming change, via Adam Schefter of ESPN:
Ravens-Steelers game next Sunday has been flexed to 8:20 p.m; Rams-Chargers is out of the Sunday night slot.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 25, 2022
The league is making the smart choice to feature a rivalry game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens as both teams still have something to play for down the stretch. The Steelers managed to comeback late against the Las Vegas Raiders which kept their postseason hopes alive, while the Ravens clinched a playoff spot with their recent win over the Atlanta Falcons.
The AFC North division title is also up for grabs as Baltimore could possible clinch the top spot if they win out the rest of the way. The Cincinnati Bengals are the current favorites to win the division, but there’s still a decent-sized shot that the Bengals end up taking it instead.
The Rams were able to win in convincing fashion against a severely underwhelming Denver Broncos team, but are still playing for next year given their record. On the other side of their matchup, the Chargers are fighting for one of the Wild Card spots because the Kansas City Chiefs have already wrapped up the AFC West.
Head coach Sean McVay and his coaching staff have done a good job of keeping the team competitive during the last few weeks despite some losses. Their young players have shown flashes with the added opportunities on the field, so fans can only hope that this extra development time pays dividends once the 2023 season rolls around.