The Los Angeles Rams have done a stellar job of taking control of their own destiny over the final stretch of the 2020 NFL season.
Following a disappointing loss to the San Francisco 49ers, they have since managed to take care of business with wins over the Arizona Cardinals and New England Patriots. As a result, they find themselves in the driver’s seat atop the NFC West with three games left.
The Rams have an ideal opportunity to maintain their lead as they get set to host the winless New York Jets in Week 15. They seem to be well aware that this is not a matchup they should overlook.
Head coach Sean McVay touched on the importance of these final games and what it means going into the postseason, per Gary Klein of the L.A. Times:
“I don’t think there’s a better time to get on a streak than in December when you’re playing meaningful games and trying to carry some momentum into January, so I do think it’s important,” coach Sean McVay said Monday during a videoconference with reporters.
McVay added that while the Rams are focused on getting to the playoffs, they must continue to take things one game at a time:
“We always talk about your temporary goals and then your big-picture goals,” McVay said. “For us, even [Monday], you say, ‘Hey, are we in the playoffs yet?’ The answer is no.
“We accomplished a winning season, and that’s all good and well, but that’s not the goal. … There’s a lot of things that we still want to try to accomplish as a team, but the only thing we can accomplish this week is ensuring ourselves an opportunity to get into the postseason and that’s by getting our 10th win.”
McVay’s comments indicate that the coaching staff is doing what it can to keep the players locked in on the task at hand. It is easy to see why considering this could very well be a trap game for the Rams if they do not tread carefully.
Although the Jets are still looking for their first win of the year, they have had a number of close games where they could have escaped with a win. Unlike the Rams, they have nothing to lose aside from being in position to secure the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Regardless, L.A. has an ideal opportunity to extend their lead before a pivotal NFC West showdown versus the Seattle Seahawks next week.