The Rams had a very disappointing year last season after the team made it all the way to the Super Bowl in 2018. Anything short of the playoffs for the team this season will be seen as yet another bust. The team still has some question marks that could prevent that from happening. Here are four areas that need to improve for LA to have any sort of success this year.
What version of Jared Goff will we see?
After leading his team to the Super Bowl the year before, Goff took a step backwards in 2019. In 2018, he looked like one of the top quarterbacks in the league and the Rams awarded him by giving him a four-year contract extension before the 2019 season. Goff didn’t perform well to back up the decision as he was very inconsistent and struggled mightily behind a constantly shuffling offensive line. By the end of the season, Goff started to show signs of the 2018 version again. If the Rams hope to compete in 2020, they need Goff to be more consistent throughout the season and improve his game. If he can’t do that then the team is looking at another disappointing season.
How will the offensive line perform?
Part of Goff’s success and struggle has been the performance of the offensive line the past couple of years. In 2018, they were an elite group that gave him needed time in the pocket as well as opened up some big holes for Todd Gurley to do his thing. However, in 2019, the line was a big question mark. Injuries plagued the team’s line as Rob Havenstein, Austin Blythe, Brian Allen, and Joe Noteboom all went down at one point. The team had to shuffle players around and throw in unproven rookies to fill the holes. With a clean slate and everyone healthy, the team hopes the line can have a bounce-back year.
Will releasing Gurley haunt them?
Todd Gurley became a burden on the team after the uncertainty of his health and his declining performance that led to some of the offense’s 2019 issues. The Rams still have Malcolm Brown who was a good backup to Gurley as well as Darrell Henderson who was a rookie last year and showed signs of the potential that he has. The team also drafted Cam Akers in the second round of this year’s draft to give the team another option in the backfield. All three running backs should have a chance to showcase their abilities but can they be enough?
Will the defense be a weakness?
The Rams lost some big-time players from their defense this past offseason. Dante Fowler and Corey Littleton both signed with other teams, they released Clay Matthews, and Eric Weddle decided it was time to call it a career. They have tried to offset those losses by signing A’Shawn Robinson and Leonard Floyd as well as re-signing Michael Brockers who almost left via free agency. LA also brought in some interesting talent via the draft in safety Terrell Burgess as well as outside linebacker Terrell Lewis. Hopefully, the group is enough to help out Aaron Donald and take off some of the pressure.