The Rams are considered legitimate Super Bowl contenders after their 7-1 season start. The acquisition of quarterback Matthew Stafford seems to make a big difference for them, and in the second half of the NFL season, they are expected to challenge the Cardinals for the No. 1 spot in the NFC West.
Expectations were only raised when the team settled for Von Miller ahead of the NFL trade deadline and signed Odell Beckham Jr. after he was liberated from the Browns. However, the Rams have lost three games in a row since trading for Miller and returning games with Beckham in the squad.
So what for? Don’t Rams have enough star power? Yes, but that could actually be the problem. At least that’s in the words of former cowboy defender Troy Aikman.
Aikman spoke about the Rams’ super team on 1310 The Ticket on Tuesday, and he explained that he doesn’t think all-star teams work in the NFL.
“We talked about it – all-star team – I’ve never seen it in action in the NFL,” Aikman said, as Edited by Skyler Carlin of Rams Wire. “I know Washington tried again, ’99 I think. I’ve never seen a team go out and try to put together this all-star team that managed to win the Super Bowl, much less successful. That often unravels and right now, that’s what’s happening with the Rams. They’re not very consistent.”
Aikman mentioned Washington, but there is a more recent example of a failed super team. The Eagles in 2011 were dubbed the “Dream Team” by defender Vince Young after the team signed a number of prominent free agents including Nnamdi Asomugha, Jason Babin, Cullen Jenkins and Evan Mathis. While several players were eliminated, the team failed to live up to lofty expectations. They only went 8-8 despite being considered potential Super Bowl contenders.
The Rams are not quite the same as the Dream Team Eagles. They are simply in a state of ups and downs that have lasted for 3 games where they have done very little right. Stafford has been dealing with a back injury and lost one of his top players, Robert Woods, of the season to a torn ACL. That has reduced the attack speed significantly while the defense has not been able to catch up the slack.
But at the same time, Los Angeles has not featured so far throughout the season. There seems to be some disconnect between the players on both sides of the ball.
That’s part of the reason that Aikman isn’t so highly rated on the Rams. They seem to have collapsed at the wrong time and Aikman is not sure if the team will recover.
“It wasn’t a good performance all the other nights when we had them, but I don’t know if they can pull it together,” Aikman said. “It was a great game for both of those teams, not only for the Rams to catch up with Arizona in the division, but they were also hunting for the possibility of a bye in the first round. But it does not have a good feeling. I feel it throughout the organization. I just didn’t know they were going – I don’t think they finished. I think they’ll have some moments where they climb back to it, but I don’t know if they’ll be enough to get over the hump. ”
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Rams is 7-4 and will be the 5th seed in NFC as the top wild card. The 49ers are on the rise and the Rams are the two returning games for the first-rate Cardinals with a crucial Week 14 tilt between the two upcoming games.
Maybe the Rams can get back on track against the Jaguars. But if they get stuck, that could be a red flag as the team prepares to start another post-season run.