The Los Angeles Rams lost for the first time this season against the New Orleans Saints. While the Saints are now the darlings of the NFL, this loss should only show how good the Rams really are.
The Los Angeles Rams made it halfway to a perfect regular season and that is as far as it got. After starting the year 8-0, in which the Rams were noticeably the best and most talented team in the NFL, the team dropped its first game to the New Orleans Saints.
As a result, the now 7-1 Saints are atop many people’s NFL power rankings and rightfully so. The Saints could very well be 8-0 if it were not for a shocking loss in Week 1 to Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
I have seen the Rams as far as third in some power rankings behind the Saints and the 8-1 Kansas City Chiefs, which really does not make a ton of sense considering the Chiefs are ahead of the team that beat them, the New England Patriots.
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Either way, personal power rankings do not really matter, actual conference standings do. And this loss does hurt the Rams in terms of NFC standings as the Saints now hold the tiebreaker over LA. Despite having the same amount of losses, the Rams are essentially one game back of the Saints for home-field advantage in the NFC.
The Rams now have to finish with a better regular season record than the Saints. If not, and the two teams meet again in the NFC Championship, the game will again be played in the Superdome.
Aside from that, this loss was actually a statement loss by the Rams and should help the team moving forward. The Saints are no pushover and it is not like the Rams were convincingly beat.
I will say, the defense did not look great. The pass rush was not as good as it should have been and Drew Brees seemingly did whatever he wanted. The secondary is missing Aqib Talib‘s presence and Marcus Peters looked particularly terrible.
However, the Rams were on the road in one of the loudest and toughest places to play in the NFL; that did not seem to affect the offense at all. The Rams came back from a 35-14 deficit to tie the game at 35. That is an extremely difficult thing to do on the road against the Saints.
If this game is played in LA it could have been a completely different situation. In fact, if Jared Goff does not throw that first-half touchdown, the Rams could have won this game.
Instead of the pick, if the Rams would have driven down and kicked a field goal to end the half it would have been a 28-17 game. Instead, that pick opened the door for another Saints touchdown and a Rams field goal to end the half.
Then, if the defense would have held them as they did in the third quarter, this could have been a 35-28 Rams lead. That drastically changes how the game ends and would likely mean a Los Angeles Rams win.
Granted, that is not what happened and the Rams have to live with that. However, just one different play could be the difference between a win or loss, on the road in New Orleans, for the Rams.
That is promising. The Los Angeles Rams proved that they are as good as they seem, even in a loss. The team did not back down like many teams would have with a 21-point deficit. Instead, the team dang-near came back and stunned the Saints on the road.