Calling all Los Angeles Rams Fans. Thanks for visiting this news blog site. If you are looking for gear click the link to Shop ProFanGear.com for Los Angeles Rams Gear. I’ve teamed up with Fanatics to connect my readers with the best selection of officially licensed Los Angeles Rams fan gear out there. If you purchase through my links, I will earn a commission that will support the work I do on this site. Los Angeles Rams fans bookmark this page and keep up with the latest Rams news and happenings. Thanks again for visiting.
Turf Show Times - All Posts #7and9bullshit...has ended!
Rams re-sign defensive back Donte Deayonby Bill Williamson on March 30, 2020 at 11:04 pm
Jalen Ramsey, Donte Deayon | Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images DB played three games for LA in 2019 The Rams brought back defensive back Donte Deayon on Monday, according to an NFL Network report… and Deayon himself. All God #GoodEatz #RamsHouse https://t.co/m2YVZVxNGE— Donte Deayon (@AyoItsND) March 30, 2020 Deayon was a restricted free agent, who the Rams did not give a tender to, so he became an unrestricted free agent. He will now have a chance to compete to be the slot cornerback as the Rams need to replace Nickell Robey-Coleman, whose option wasn’t exercised by the team so signed with the Eagles. Deayon, 26, played in three games for the Rams last season. The Southern California native joined the Rams in 2018. He entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the New York Giants in 2016.
2018 Rams-Chiefs ‘Monday Night Football’ re-watch open threadby Bill Williamson on March 30, 2020 at 11:00 pm
Todd Gurley | Photo by Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images Yes, we have a game to watch We have football tonight and you’re going to love it. ESPN is replaying the classic Monday Night Football game between the Rams and the Kansas City Chiefs from Nov. 19, 2018. The 54-51 Rams’ win was the most fun game I have ever watched, and I’m sure most NFL fans probably feel the same way. In case you forgot (which I can’t imagine is possible ...) it was the highest-scoring game in Monday Night Football history according to ESPN as Patrick Mahomes set a MNF record with six touchdown passes. Originally scheduled for Mexico City, the game was played at the LA Coliseum due to concerns about the safety of players at Estadio Azteca because of poor field condition — making it the first Monday night game in Los Angeles since 1985. The game starts at 5 p.m. PT on ESPN, with commentary from Joe Tessitore, Jason Witten, Booger McFarland and Lisa Salters. Check out our highlight post from the day after the game to get you primed for the wild ride. Tune in, have fun and relive the MNF thriller in the comments section below.
The O-line problem isn’t as bad as it looksby 3k on March 30, 2020 at 8:48 pm
Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images Don’t assume they’re going to draft one early either. The conventional wisdom for the Los Angeles Rams coming out of the 2019 season was that change was needed on the offensive line perhaps significant change. The personnel on the line rotated throughout the year several times but never led to consistent play regardless of who got pushed into starting duty. Longtime stalwart LT Andrew Whitworth had his worst season as a Ram with an unusually poor first six games. RT Rob Havenstein himself, also ever reliable in the past, had a very shaky start to the season before seeing his year end in Week 10 with a knee injury. The rotation along the interior never found a sweet spot. This isn’t for a lack of spending. The Rams signed Whitworth and have now re-signed him to a second lucrative deal. Havenstein was provided a significant extension through 2022. And the Rams drafted four players who saw significant playing time on the line along with the trade for OL Austin Corbett who played nearly half of all the offensive snaps in 2019. The Rams had a plan for the line in 2019. The plan failed. Now they must come up with a new plan. One that suits the needs of the team moving forward. A team without RB Todd Gurley. A team looking to reestablish their offensive credentials. But that plan doesn’t necessarily require new personnel. The Rams bought into the idea that an offensive line depth chart of Whitworth, Havenstein, Austin Blythe, Joseph Noteboom, Brian Allen, Bobby Evans, David Edwards and Rob Havenstein could work. There’s, obviously then, reason to believe they could just as easily buy into it moving forward. And there’s reason to think that’s just fine for three reasons. 1.) Despite the poor play from the line, the Rams still went 9-7 Amid the disappointment from the season for missing the playoffs and underwhelming most projections, the Rams still had a winning record. A few luckier bounces here or there and the Rams could have easily snuck into the wild card slot. This isn’t to say that matters much, but it is to say the Rams weren’t far off last season despite the O-line’s performance. Our report cards from last year week by week? C, C+, C, D-, B-, F, B, A+/C+, D, A, F, C-, B, A, D, N/A. That’s 2.5 A’s, 3 B’s, 4.5 C’s, 3 D’s and 2 F’s. Not exactly as bad as most of us probably remember it, but that’s kind of the point. The Rams didn’t benefit from great O-line play, but they played well enough for the most nonetheless. So the requirement here isn’t to come out of 2020 with 10 A’s and 6 B’s. Clearly the Rams don’t need that kind of offensive line output to succeed. 2.) It likely won’t get worse If the Rams run it back on their OL group, there’s little chance the quality of play declines. For one, the Rams aren’t likely to get a poor start from Whitworth. For two, the Rams’ worst lineman was OL Jamil Demby who probably is on the outside looking in when it comes to the 53-man roster. Beyond that, the experience for Noteboom, Allen, Evans and Edwards can only help their causes headed into 2020. The chances of injury are much lower as well. Blythe was initially injured in Week 2 and missed out on Week 3. Noteboom went down three weeks later followed by the Week 10 calamity in which the Rams lost Havenstein and Allen. For a line that had remained entirely intact the previous two seasons into the playoffs, it was a severe regression to the mean. Could the line have a similar season in 2020 to 2019? Of course. But if the injury front looks better, there’s obvious reason to buy into improvement here especially because the line has improved over time every season under Run Game Coordinator/Co-Offensive Coordinator Aaron Kromer. Unlike the first two seasons though, the improvement last year coincided with the injury-forced personnel changes. Could the line last year have seen a similar improvement with the Week 1 starters had they been able to get through the season unscathed? I think it’s possible. That kind of improvement, since deprived of it, might be on track for 2020. 3.) The rest of the offense has the opportunity to pick up the slack Part of the reason the Rams won nine games despite the poor line play in 2019 was the rest of the offense. Rams Head Coach Sean McVay is still a very good offensive overseer despite a departure from the lofty perch he held in 2018 as he saw the Rams toward a Super Bowl berth. QB Jared Goff threw for 4,638 passing yards, the third-most in the NFL. The Rams still have a plethora of weapons in the passing game. And while the Patella Novella has come to an ignominious ending that deprives the Rams of Gurley’s natural talent, it does free up a more sincere rushing attack. Perhaps a sign of hubris, the Rams thought they’d be able to keep Gurley on a load management plan and maintain their offensive potency. While they were clearly wrong, moving on from Gurley means moving on from the load management plan. If you were to chart a course from 2019 to 2020 that would see the Rams win more games, the conventional wisdom would start with the offensive line. A more realistic plan (and one that might be more popular among the staff and front office that bought into that line in the first place) might instead look at a more impactful running game. a more consistently dependable Goff and more consistent team overall. Part of what the Rams’ O-line suffered from was the wild swing from 2018 in which we saw the best Rams offensive line season of my liftetime to 2019 in which we did not. The detrimental effect that had on the team was blatant at times and more subtle others but nearly always on the wrong side of the fence. While improvement should be expected in 2020, I wouldn’t be surprised if it comes from a similar cast in 2019. Don’t be surprised if the Rams get through Day 2 of the 2020 NFL Draft without a new offensive lineman. And don’t be too upset about it either. As some of yall know, the former TST team is working on a new project. Stay connected with us as we continue to work on things before we go live. Newsletter: Sign up here. Twitter: Follow us here. Instagram: Follow us here. YouTube: New channel here. Twitch: Yeah we’re doin that too. TikTok: What the hell. Let’s get crazy. Fun times ahead. Stay tuned...
How do the Rams rank after free agency?by Kenneth Arthur on March 30, 2020 at 4:16 pm
Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images How do the four teams in the division seem to rank after the first couple waves of free agency? There’s an interesting set of free agents available right now, including three former first overall picks: Cam Newton, Jameis Winston, and Jadeveon Clowney. It’s still possible that the Seattle Seahawks will sign Clowney but as of now, it doesn’t seem likely that any team in the NFC West will add any of these players outside of that potential transaction. According to OvertheCap.com, right now this is the 2020 cap space of those teams: San Francisco 49ers, $15,308,790 Seattle Seahawks, $11,329,997 Arizona Cardinals, $8,836,852 Los Angeles Rams, $6,915,418 Any team could move some money around if necessary, but there aren’t many big free agent moves these clubs could make and if a big move does happen between now and the start of the season, predicting those transactions now is a bit of a useless art. These teams also still have to allocate a good chunk of that remaining space on rookies, practice squad, and injured reserve. There’s not a lot of money left at this juncture and we can assume not much else is happening. When more things happen, more outlooks will be had. Despite it being an exercise that will bear no fruit because it is late March and nobody can predict the outcome of next season within even 500 miles of notable accuracy even if it was early September, what are some thoughts about how the four NFC West teams seem to rank against each other thus far? What we know 2019 standings (DVOA Ranking: total - offense - defense - special teams) San Francisco 49ers, 13-3 (5 - 7 - 2 - 12) Seattle Seahawks, 11-5 (8 - 5 - 18 - 20) Los Angeles Rams, 9-7 (12 - 17 - 9 - 23) Arizona Cardinals, 5-10-1 (20 - 13 - 23 - 26) The NFC West was the only division with all four teams in the top 20 of DVOA. Going back another season to the 2018 standings: Los Angeles Rams, 13-3 (2 - 2 - 17 - 17) Seattle Seahawks, 10-6 (12 - 9 - 14 - 24) San Francisco 49ers 4-12 (30 - 27 - 23 - 14) Arizona Cardinals, 3-13 (32 - 32 - 18 - 11) Over the previous two seasons, the Rams are 22-10 under Sean McVay, the Seahawks are 21-11 under Pete Carroll, the 49ers are 17-15 under Kyle Shanahan, and the Cardinals are 8-23-1 under Steve Wilks and Kliff Kingsbury. Most notable Rams 2020 free agent/other losses: Todd Gurley, Cory Littleton, Dante Fowler, Nickell Roby-Coleman, Greg Zuerlein, Eric Weddle, Clay Matthews Most notable Rams 2020 acquisitions: Leonard Floyd, A’Shawn Robinson Largest #Rams Cap Figures in 2020:1. Jared Goff $36M2. Aaron Donald $25M3. Brandin Cooks $16.8M4. Jalen Ramsey $13.7M5. Tyler Higbee $8.6M6. Robert Woods $8.1M7. Michael Brockers $8M8. A’Shawn Robinson $7.9M9. Rob Havenstein $7.8M10. Andrew Whitworth $6.6M— DOWNTOWN RAMS [DTR] (@DowntownRams) March 28, 2020 Most notable Seahawks 2020 free agent/other losses: Jadeveon Clowney (presumed), George Fant, Germain Ifedi, Ziggy Ansah (presumed), Mychal Kendricks (presumed), Marshawn Lynch (presumed), Mike Iupati (presumed), Quinton Jefferson, Josh Gordon (presumed) Most notable Seahawks 2020 acquisitions: Greg Olsen, Quinton Dunbar, Bruce Irvin, B.J. Finney, Cedric Ogbuehi, Brandon Shell, Phillip Dorsett, Chance Warmack Comp update: Seahawks are sending Washington a 5th-round pick in exchange for CB Quinton Dunbar, per source.So Redskins trade a 5 for QB Kyle Allen, get back a 5 for Dunbar.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 23, 2020 Most notable 49ers 2020 free agent/other losses: DeForest Buckner, Emmanuel Sanders, Sheldon Day Most notable 49ers 2020 acquisitions: Travis Benjamin, Tom Compton, Joe Walker, Kerry Hyder DeForest Buckner is 6'7", 300+ and moves like this. #Colts pic.twitter.com/BWsd26n3Gr— Locked On Colts Podcast (@LockedOnColts) March 26, 2020 Most notable Cardinals 2020 free agent/other losses: Rodney Gunter, Damiere Byrd, Pharoh Cooper, Joe Walker, Cassius Marsh Most notable Cardinals 2020 acquisitions: DeAndre Hopkins, Jordan Phillips, Devon Kennard, De’Vondre Campbell What I think The Cardinals improved the most I already wrote out my thoughts about Arizona, but looking just at transactions is interesting. It’s not nearly as simple as this but I’m going to do it anyway: I’d rather have Hopkins taking a WR spot than Byrd, I’d rather have Phillips taking a DT spot than Gunter, I’d rather have Kennard taking a pass rushing spot than Marsh, and I’d rather have Campbell taking a LB spot than Walker. So from that simplistic view of the roster, I think the Cardinals have improved the most especially considering that no other team in the division seems to have improved at all. The Seahawks have experienced a mass exodus of talent in the last few years, highlighted this year by Clowney’s likely departure. The Rams are feeling a similar type of way after losing Fowler, Littleton, and Gurley. The Niners may be up a first round pick but as of today, they’re down a 26-year-old beast in the middle of their defensive line. What holds Arizona back from rising up to the top of the division? The uncertainty around Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray’s abilities to belong at this level. I have personally felt for awhile that Murray could be 2020’s breakout quarterback (2019: Lamar Jackson, 2018: Patrick Mahomes, 2017: Jared Goff) but who knows? Let’s check back to last summer and see how many predicted that Lamar would be much better than Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold. My belief is that Kyler is better than Lamar, to use the most recent example, but all of those quarterbacks excelled with the guidance of a great coach. In the cases of Goff and Lamar, perhaps especially because of great coaching. Kliff worked with both Baker and Mahomes at Texas Tech but found little in the way of team success. So I see Arizona has having made the most improvements in free agency but their ceiling — which could be 5-10-1 — depends a lot on if Kliff can elevate Kyler and/or if Kyler can elevate everyone around him. I tend to lean more on the latter being more likely than the former and again, I do like Kyler quite a bit. The Seahawks and Rams both lost a lot Seattle may have the room to sign Clowney, especially given that he’s still a free agent and so his price is obviously not where he thought it would be. There are also uncertainties around his health and now complications with teams conducting physicals and an inability to travel that could give the Seahawks an advantage over other clubs. That being said, I felt Clowney was significantly underwhelming in 2019 and regardless of his presence, Seattle had one of the worst defenses in the league when it came to applying pressure on the quarterback. With or without Clowney, I don’t yet see how they’ve addressed that issue. The Seahawks are also once again rebuilding the offensive line, have injury issues at running back, and are relying on players past their prime such as Duane Brown, Greg Olsen, and potentially Bobby Wagner. You could almost consider Gurley a 2019 loss given his lack of being “Todd Gurley” last season and that remains an issue for McVay to address. The Rams also lost two of their best starters on defense, plus several other starters, and are also retooling the offensive line. I think both of these teams remain consistent threats for various reasons that include coaching, and in the case of Seattle, often being carried by their elite quarterback. What I believe For the 49ers, regression is real Which team in the division is most likely to lose more games than they lost last season? There’s no debate among the reasonable, it’s the 49ers. They went 13-3 and they are unlikely to repeat or raise that total. It’s also very hard to win 12 games, especially in back-to-back years, unless you’re the New England Patriots and you’re playing in the AFC East. San Francisco is not playing in a division anything like the AFC East. The New Orleans Saints have gone 13-3 in consecutive years, but prior to that hadn’t won 12 games — even with Drew Brees at the helm — since 2011. The Green Bay Packers went 13-3 last season after going 13-18-1 over the previous two seasons combined. Aaron Rodgers hadn’t won 12 games in a year since 2014. The Baltimore Ravens went 14-2, their first 12-win season since 2011. The Kansas City Chiefs have won 12 games in three of the last four years but Jimmy Garoppolo isn’t Patrick Mahomes (two of those years) and again, the competition isn’t as difficult. Every team in the NFC West has ruled at some point recently. The Seahawks went 13-3 in 2013, 12-4 in 2014, then 10-6, 10-5-1, 9-7, 10-6, and 11-5. The Rams have gone from 11-5 to 13-3 to 9-7. The Cardinals went 10-6 in 2013, then 11-5 in 2014, then 13-3 in 2015, to 7-8-1 in 2016. Back in 2018, the LA Chargers and Chicago Bears both went 12-4. In 2017, the Pittsburgh Steelers, Minnesota Vikings, and Philadelphia Eagles all went 13-3. None of those five examples won more than nine games in the following season. The Patriots and Saints could repeat for various reasons, but repeating is even more difficult than getting it done in the first place which for San Francisco took several painful years of bad football. How far removed are they really from bad football? The 2019 49ers were a great team led by their pass defense and an efficient offense. The 2020 49ers? Yeah, lots of the same pieces are there, including some of the best young players in the NFL like George Kittle, Nick Bosa, Fred Warner, Mike McGlinchey, and so on. But I believe at this point that San Francisco will be stuck in the moshpit with everyone else, not safely up on stage. My beliefs don’t matter But this is where I would stand on the standings based on these early moves. Keep in mind, I find predictable predictions to not just be blatantly boring but inaccurate for no good reason other than empty risk aversion. You’re avoiding taking a risk without any benefit to being right or any punishment to being wrong. But we know that every single season a bunch of teams are a lot better than we thought and a bunch of teams go in the opposite direction. Every year. We humans are horrible at predicting things and the last thing I care about is putting my foot down and saying, “This is what will happen! Don’t doubt me!” Doubt me. But this is what will happen. LA Rams, 11-5 San Francisco 49ers, 9-7 Arizona Cardinals, 8-8 Seattle Seahawks, 6-10
Cardinals could be dangerous next seasonby Kenneth Arthur on March 29, 2020 at 3:09 pm
Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images The Rams may have more than two dangerous teams to deal with next season In his NFL debut, Kyler Murray faced a 24-6 deficit to the Detroit Lions early in the fourth quarter. Murray, a quarterback who only threw 519 passes in college and exactly one year earlier was facing off against Chip Kelly’s awful UCLA defense, led the Arizona Cardinals to 18 unanswered, including a touchdown and two-point conversion in the final minute to force overtime. On the second play of overtime, Murray launched a bomb to Larry Fitzgerald — the future Hall of Fame recipient of his game-tying touchdown — that was caught at the Arizona 32. Though Murray’s Cards stalled inside the 10 and kicked a field goal, a win by old standards, and the game ended in a tie, the number one overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft was looking the part immediately. $36,042,682 $31,000,000 $26,600,000 $8,080,601 These are the 2020 salary cap hits, in order, for Jared Goff, Russell Wilson, Jimmy Garoppolo, and Murray. Already in the argument for being better than Goff and Garoppolo, Murray represents a cost difference of $27,962,081 to what the LA Rams are paying Goff and $18,519,399 to what the San Francisco 49ers are paying Garoppolo. There is also a $22,919,399 difference to what the Seattle Seahawks are paying Wilson, creating a lot of ground for all of these quarterbacks to make up if they want to give their teams better value than what the Cards are getting with Murray. Kyler Murray's arm talent is ridiculousThrows this ball 40 yards in the air from opposite hash to the SIDELINE on a dime pic.twitter.com/qn5GugPjY8— Ted Nguyen (@FB_FilmAnalysis) March 22, 2020 Welcome to how you have to do business in the modern NFL and the Cardinals could be very good now because of it. Coming off of a 5-10-1 campaign with only one win or tie vs a team that had a winning record (27-13 win over the Seahawks in Seattle in Week 16), Arizona may not seem like they were on the cusp of greatness, but we must factor in their 2018 performance of going 2-14 and being the worst team in the league. Starting from zero, the Cardinals did avoid losing six of their 16 games, lost four games by six points or less, and finished 20th in DVOA, ahead of the LA Chargers, Denver Broncos, Cleveland Browns, Oakland Raiders, and others. They may also be one of the most improved teams of the offseason and still hold the eighth overall pick in the draft, higher than any of their divisional opponents, especially the first round-less Rams. (To their “credit,” the 49ers now hold two first round picks after trading DeForest Buckner to the Indianapolis Colts, but they do have to replace Buckner now.) Despite Murray having an exceptional-for-a-rookie QBR ranking of 15th last season (ahead of Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Philip Rivers, Teddy Bridgewater, Goff, Baker Mayfield, and so on), Arizona went into the offseason with a need for a really good receiver to help Kliff Kingsbury’s air raid offense really go the next time regular season games are played. They responded by trading David Johnson and a second round pick to the Houston Texans for DeAndre Hopkins*, one of the few players at his position in the league today who may retire in the same echelon as Fitzgerald. Excited to watch Kyler Murray in year 2. DeAndre Hopkins will be on the receiving end of these now. Bright future in Arizona. pic.twitter.com/7y9o9qxYga— Jordan Reid (@JReidNFL) March 24, 2020 The QB-to-WR options now for the Cardinals are Murray in the former role and Larry Fitzgerald, DeAndre Hopkins, Christian Kirk, 2019 second rounder Andy Isabella, 2019 fourth rounder Hakeem Butler, and several others in the latter. The team likely eschews any usage of a tight end in the receiving game, but 2019 midseason acquisition Kenyan Drake caught 28 of 35 targets for 171 yards during his eight-game stint with the team and his role should increase as well. Without Johnson around to sap his opportunities, Drake can also build on his 123-carry, 643-yard, 5.2 YPC performance on the ground. Three of his eight games resulted in over 100 rushing yards; Johnson’s third most-recent 100-yard rushing game came on October 23, 2016 against the Seahawks and that game also resulted in a tie meaning it took five quarters for him to get there. Of course, remaining questions about the offensive line could still be key as to if any of this plan works or not. But they extended left tackle D.J. Humphries, paid guard Justin Pugh a lot of money in 2018, and may use that first pick on one of the four premier offensive linemen in this draft. 8. Cardinals: Tristan Wirfs, Iowa13. 49ers: Jerry Jeudy, Alabama27. Seahawks: Ezra Cleveland, Boise State@PFF_Mike: https://t.co/ENi1Z5byFM— PFF (@PFF) March 28, 2020 They could also choose to take a defensive player and that side of the ball — the side that needs the most improvement after finishing 23rd in DVOA — is already looking like its in better position for next season. Though Chandler Jones registered 19 sacks (and eight forced fumbles), second on the team was Terrell Suggs at 5.5, then Rodney Gunter at three. The team let go of Suggs late last season and Gunter recently signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars, leaving Corey Peters as the player returning with the second-most sacks on the team at 2.5. In response, the team signed defensive tackle Jordan Phillips, who emerged from nowhere to post 9.5 sacks and 16 QB hits with the Buffalo Bills. They also signed outside linebacker Devon Kennard, who posted seven sacks in each of the last two seasons with the Lions and is expected to be in more pass rushing situations in Arizona. Here are the details of Jordan Phillips’ three-year contract with the Cardinals: Sign bonus: $8 million2020 - Base: $2M. Cap: $4M (Guaranteed)2021 - Base: $10M. Cap: $12M ($4.5M guaraneed. Rest gurantees on 3rd day of 2021 LY).2022 - Base: $10M. Cap: $12M2023 - Voidable— Josh Weinfuss (@joshweinfuss) March 26, 2020 They also signed inside linebacker De’Vondre Campbell, who has started most of the Atlanta Falcons games since being a fourth round pick in 2016. Campbell posted 129 tackles, two sacks, and three forced fumbles last season and he could replace first round disappointment Haason Reddick. In the secondary, the Cards would like a full season of Patrick Peterson after he was suspended for six games of 2019. Cornerback Byron Murphy was fairly awful as a rookie but had a lot of potential as the 33rd overall pick last year and just turned 22. Starting safety Jalen Thompson doesn’t turn 22 until July and two-time Pro Bowler Budda Baker will only be 24. Including in linebacker Jordan Hicks at 27, it is a young team for defensive coordinator Vance Joseph, who still has a fairly short track record as a DC or head coach so maybe he can improve his track record; that being said, the Broncos were fifth in DVOA on defense in 2018 for Joseph and dropped to 13th in 2019 under Vic Fangio. Plus there are plenty of intriguing defensive options at pick eight, such as Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons, Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown, or Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah should any of them “fall” a tiny bit. Why say all of this on a Rams website? Because in the NFL — in any sport — level of competition matters. It especially matters within your own division, as millions strive to point out when addressing Tom Brady and Bill Belichick’s six Super Bowl championships coming out of the AFC East. Some divisions don’t require a good team to win, as we saw in the NFC West from about 2002 to 2011 and some divisions have 3+ really good teams as we’ve seen in the NFC West from 2012 to present. Right now, the NFC West could have four playoff teams. Technically under the new playoff structure, we could see it too. (I don’t think we’ll see it, and the NFC South and NFC North also present tough divisions, as of March 29 at least.) So I find it important to continuously check on the competition and for the Rams, that doesn’t just mean the 49ers, who went to the Super Bowl. Or the Seahawks, who’ve managed seven playoff trips in eight years. Now there’s also the Cardinals and I think at this point success no longer hinges on talent. With Murray, Hopkins, Fitzgerald, Drake, Jones, Baker, Peterson, and so on, they have talent. I think success now rests solely on the concept of whether or not Kingsbury is a good coach. We have no way of knowing that yet but at the moment there’s only one team in the division that has the advantage of a rookie contract QB and that’s the Arizona Cardinals. Whether or not they can take advantage of that advantage will determine if the NFC West has the best fourth place team — and if that team is even the Cardinals. *The teams also exchanged fourth rounders.