The Los Angeles Rams didn’t get to ring in the new year like fans would’ve liked as they were blown out by the Los Angeles Chargers 31-10.
The game was relatively close at halftime before the Chargers took complete control in the second half. It marked the Rams’ 11th loss of the season, a reminder that the year hasn’t gone according to plan despite some encouraging moments the past month.
The Rams’ fall from grace as Super Bowl champions has been shocking, to say the least, though it’s hard to blame them too much as they’ve dealt with numerous injuries to key players over the course of the year. Regardless of any justified excuses, it doesn’t stop them from setting an unfortunate record, via CBS:
2021: Win Super Bowl
2022: set new record for most losses (11) by a reigning Super Bowl Champion in NFL history pic.twitter.com/ObtQqOw5Qb
— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) January 2, 2023
It’s the worst season under head coach Sean McVay. who has only missed the playoffs one other time, funnily enough following their Super Bowl run in 2018. With another missed postseason appearance, the Rams become just the 17th NFL team in history to miss the playoffs after winning the Super Bowl.
The injury luck was horrendous this year, with Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp and Aaron Donald all missing time down the second half of the season. Those are just the stars, but the offensive line also took a massive beating as the team was forced to use a different combination of lineman almost every week. That much change from a week-to-week basis would be too much for any team to handle, let alone a Rams team that had one of the most difficult schedules.
Although the Rams have nothing left to play for, they will still have a hand in this year’s playoff standings as they take on the Seattle Seahawks in the season finale. The Seahawks have a shot to take the last playoff spot in the NFC, but must beat the Rams while also needing the Detroit Lions to beat the Green Bay Packers.
It’s not the kind of drama the Rams were hoping to make at this time of the year, but there’s always some excitement and fun in playing spoiler to a division rival. Seattle got the best of the team last time around, but Los Angeles will be playing as hard as they can in order to start the offseason on a high note.