Hope you had a great Thanksgiving, everyone. And we're grateful for your support throughout a trying season.
I can't predict what good is going to come of this 3-7 start, the relentless turnover on the offensive line, or any of the other issues that are plaguing your favorite team.
However, I do know something productive will come from this adversity and the seven remaining games. We'll look back and be able to point to something – hopefully, multiple somethings – that served the Rams well in 2023 and on their next championship campaign.
For now, with their goals falling by the wayside, I'm curious to see if they can muster their own motivation. Without the weight of "run it back" expectations, as heavy underdogs against the Chiefs, might they play as fast and fearless as they have all year? Taking the field at Arrowhead Stadium like there's nothing to lose is the only way to snap this losing streak.
Had a great chat with rookie safety Russ Yeast this week.
He's the son of a former NFL receiver, picked up two degrees in five years of college at Louisville and Kansas State, has become a core special teams player, and was part of last week's rotation in the back end of the Rams defense.
It was encouraging to learn that fellow seventh-round selection Nick Scott took Yeast under his wing. Scott has grown from a kicking game ace into a starter at safety and one of the hardest hitters in the NFL. Would be tremendous if Yeast could follow the same career arc.
Some other up-and-comers I'm excited to see, potentially, over the next seven games: Kyren Williams, Tutu Atwell, Bobby Brown III, Cobie Durant, Lance McCutcheon, AJ Arcuri, Quentin Lake, Zach Thomas, and Jacob Harris.
For a franchise that's been in constant contention for over five years, and doesn't exactly pour into preseason games, live evaluation periods have been rare, and almost exclusively by necessity.
Rather than merely playing out the string, the next two months have the potential to be a totally unique window into the future depth – or maybe more – of the roster.
Monday Night Memories
Given the current state of the offense, it's bittersweet to think back on the Rams 54-51 win over the Chiefs at the Coliseum in 2018. But that will remain one of the best wins in franchise history and perhaps the greatest Monday Night Football game of all time.
The victory sent the Rams into their bye at 10-1 and averaging 35.4 points per game!
Sean McVay's recollections this week were – no surprise, given his recall – spot on. It was, paradoxically, a defensive showcase, as well. Seven total takeaways, three defensive touchdowns, two courtesy of Rams outside linebacker Samson Ebukam.
"I was actually talking about that game with Aaron (Donald) earlier today," the head coach said on Monday. Aaron Donald had two sacks and forced a pair of fumbles that night.
"High scoring, but there's a lot of great defensive plays there… A lot of great players making great plays in a lot of the biggest moments. That's going to go down in history as one of the greatest games. It was a fun one. It was exhausting, for sure."
Must K.C. TV
I don't know what the plan is or will be for Donald (and other accomplished veterans) moving forward. Like you, when he opted to return, there's no way I saw his age 31 season going like this.
Donald continues to play a career-high 91 percent of defensive snaps in 2022, and that doesn't seem like a sensible pace given the reduced stakes.
But for three hours on Sunday, I'll be thankful for however many plays he's on the field, especially teaming with Bobby Wagner and Jalen Ramsey. To see those individual talents square off with Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce is a privilege in any context. Would be great if Cooper Kupp had been able to take that field at Arrowhead with them, too.
The Rams and Chiefs don't get together often. And for the past six seasons, they've been the model of sustained individual and team success.
Kansas City is closing in on a seventh consecutive division title, and vying for the AFC's top seed with the ambition of hosting the conference championship for a fifth consecutive year.
We can and should look forward to L.A. being back on that stage as soon as possible.
Take a look at the best practice photos as the Los Angeles Rams get ready to take on the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium this Sunday.