While Thursday's 30-29 loss to the Seahawks at CenturyLink Field sent the Rams to their second consecutive defeat, it also kept things in perspective.
At 3-2, Los Angeles know they are still guaranteed 11 more games and that there is still plenty of season left to be played.
"The season never stops after five games," Rams head coach Sean McVay said. "It's been two disappointing weeks for us, but I can promise you that we'll find a way to bounce back."
Examples from the past two seasons serve as a point of reference that a 3-2 record is, in fact, not detrimental to a team.
Rams QB Jared Goff pointed out that in 2017, Los Angeles began the season 3-2 but still managed to qualify for the playoffs. Its opponent in the Super Bowl the following season, the New England Patriots, also posted a 3-2 record through the first five weeks and eventually reached the postseason.
A closer examination of the records of other 2018 playoff qualifiers beyond the Patriots also offers reason for optimism:
- In the AFC, the No. 3-seed Texans were 2-3 entering Week 6. The Ravens and Chargers were both 3-2 after Week 5 and went on to secure the conference's No. 2 seed and a wildcard berth respectively. The Colts overcame a 1-4 start to capture the final AFC wildcard spot.
- In the NFC, the fourth-seeded Cowboys, fifth-seeded Seahawks and sixth-seeded Eagles pushed through 2-3 starts to land the conference's final three playoff spots.
An early-season hole for the Rams? Hardly.
"There's a lot of game left," Rams QB Jared Goff said. "We've got a really good group in there. We're going to bounce back, we're fine."
For Los Angeles ILB Cory Littleton, the resiliency shown by his teammates provides him with confidence moving forward.
"I respect all the guys I play with," Littleton said. "Everybody fought until the very end. That's what a competitive team does. It didn't work out in our favor, but hey, we'll try to work on that fix that next week."
When the Rams lost to the Seahawks in 2017, it also came in Week 5. However, Los Angeles went on to win eight of its final 11 games for a first-place finish in the NFC West.
If history his any indication, there's a good chance the Rams will learn from their loss to the Seahawks and follow through on McVay's promise.
"We'll get healthier with a couple days, and then we'll come back ready to play a really good San Francisco 49ers team, so there's a lot of things to look forward to," McVay said. "Is it disappointing? Absolutely. But it's not something that's going to be debilitating and prohibit our ability to move forward as a team."