It’s the holiday season, and there is nothing better than beginning the season of giving by remembering all the things we have to be thankful for.

In a crazy year like 2020, it might not seem like there is much to be thankful for but for Rams fans, there is so much to choose from.


Photo: Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times

1) Jared Goff Is Outpacing His 2019 Season

Jared Goff has played at elite caliber this year, similar to his 2018 season, where he led the Rams to their first Super Bowl appearance since Kurt Warner in 2001. Last season Goff had thrown for 12 interceptions; this season, he’s thrown 10.  He also has five more touchdowns, his completion percentage is almost nine percentage points better, taken five fewer sacks, and is only behind by 172 yards. 

He is playing extremely well. He is right on target with his 2018 completion percentage from 2018 but behind everywhere else. Goff playing as he did in 2018 is the key to the offense’s success this season, and he is bringing it thankfully because Goff wasn’t himself in 2019. 


2) The Running Back by Committee Paid off

Todd Gurley was a phenomenal running back that is up until last season. Even in an off-year, he was still putting up decent numbers. It was nothing like his three 1000+ rushing season but enough not to be the biggest problem last season. No single back would replace Gurley’s best season, but luckily they haven’t had to. Goff and the passing game have been firing on all cylinders eclipsing the running game every game. In his best season, Gurley averaged 87 yards per game; this season, no player has eclipsed 50 rushing yards per game. Henderson leads the team with 44 yards per game. 

That’s what happens in a committee; the workload stays the same, but it’s evenly distributed, and that strategy has worked this season. Goff leads the team in touchdowns, but the rushing game is only two touchdowns behind. They are finding ways to score and contributing to the offense. It might not be the highlight of the game, but they are making an impact. 


Photo: Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

3) Brandon Staley Was the Best Offseason Move

I might have to do a Brandon Staley appreciation post at the end of the season because he’s given the defense identity in 2020 and completely turned it around from 2019. The Rams’ defense has shut down some of the NFL’s best offenses and keeping them competitive. Last season the problem was the defense would collapse, and the offense wouldn’t score; now it’s the exact opposite. 

The rams are in the top five in points, total yards, rushing, yards, and passing yards allowed per game. They are No. 1 in total yards allowed, second in points and passing yards allowed per game, and fifth in rushing yards allowed per game and sacks. They are one of the best defenses in the league this season and probably one of the most underrated defenses at the same time. 

The defense is now a shutdown defense that’s going to swallow up opposing receivers and quarterbacks and receivers. They are forcing teams to rely on their run game, and not many can average more than four yards a carry. Staley has also helped break, Jalen Ramsey, out for a big year, proving he is worth that five-year/$100 million contract. 

Under Staley’s leadership, the defense has played better, especially since the bye week. Since the bye week, the defense has forced seven turnovers in three games; before they bye week, they only managed to do it eight times.


4) The 2020 Draft Class Has Stepped up in Big Ways

Obviously, I’m not talking about Sam Soloman and Clay Johnston because they are no longer with the team. Still, almost every pick has contributed in some way, especially are defensive draftees. 

Jordan Fuller has solidified himself as the starting safety, especially with Taylor Rapp and Terrell Burgess, another rookie, on the injured reserve list. Terrell Lewis, who is out, has also made plays when given the opportunity. He blocked the pass Tom Brady caught and threw again for an illegal forward pass. Burgess hasn’t played since week seven but has the makings of an excellent safety duo with Fuller. 

The Rams offensive draftees are developing into the franchise’s next star players. Cam Akers is growing into the Rams featured running back, and Van Jefferson is making the most of his chances when he gets on the field. Both have already recorded their first NFL touchdown. 

We still need to wait and see on Bryce Hopkins and Tremayne Anchrum because the Rams were desperate for a tight end or guard. However, they are taking the typical rookie journey, putting in time on special teams, and there is nothing wrong with that. We have to hand it to Sean McVay and Les Snead. They drafted an outstanding crop of rookies despite not having a first-round pick.


Featured Image: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
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