The Los Angeles Rams were handed their second loss of the season during Sunday Night Football, which proved how valuable home-field advantage really is.
The Los Angeles Rams were the number one seed in the NFC prior to Sunday with a one-game lead over the New Orleans Saints. After a Saints win and a Rams loss at the hands of the Chicago Bears, the road to the Super Bowl in the NFC now runs through New Orleans.
There is still three more games left to play in the NFL season and the Saints have the tougher remaining set with two games against the division-rival Carolina Panthers and a home game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Rams, meanwhile, host the Philadelphia Eagles before ending the season with the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco Giants. Despite how easy that might seem, the Saints control the destiny in the NFC.
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And Sunday night’s loss to the Chicago Bears showed just home important that destiny really is.
The Los Angeles Rams looked terrible against the Bears on Sunday night. One of the most explosive offenses in football could only muster six points and did not score in the final 34 minutes of the game.
The Bears offense did not look great, either, which makes this more frustrating as a spectator of the Rams. Chicago’s second field goal of the game was the product of a terrible Jared Goff throw and a safety on the first drive of the second half really shifted this game.
The Bears offense had one good drive, which came after the safety and needed some gutsy play calling to get the six points. Besides that, the Rams defense did a great job at limiting the Bears, who also posted under 300 total yards.
The two biggest takeaways of the night (aside from the Bears defense being freakishly good, we have to give credit where credit is due) is that the home crowd really had an impact on the Rams’ rhythm and that the cold Chicago weather was something that the Rams were not used to.
In fact, if you look at all of the Rams’ games, it is evident that the team does not travel east very well. Los Angeles somehow got the luxury of only needing to go significantly east three times: against the Saints, the Lions and the Bears.
The Rams lost to the Saints and Bears and looked awful against the Lions before blowing the game open in the closing minutes.
The Rams thrive at home. The team thrives in nice, Los Angeles weather where you cannot see your own breath. The Bears, on the other hand, thrive in the cold Bear weather. The weather that makes opposing offenses uncomfortable and seemingly gives the Bears defense superpowers.
Home-field advantage in the playoffs is immensely important. This is a potential postseason matchup and right now, if it were to happen, it would happen in Los Angeles.
If this game were to happen in LA, something tells me it would have been drastically different for the Los Angeles Rams. Now, the focus has to shift to winning out, getting home-field advantage and avenging the two losses to the Saints and the Bears.