In the bitterly disappointing aftermath of the Rams’ loss to the Eagles on Sunday, after raw emotion settled down and anger and frustration subsided, fury and exasperation began ceding to another sentiment.
And as the Rams took an honest look at themselves and the situation they face, a bit of a calming effect ensued.
From the scoreboard to their souls, the loss to the Eagles was a devastating blow. On many fronts, they played well enough to win. They were mostly done in by self-inflicted wounds. Carelessness. Momentary lapses of composure. A handful of poorly timed penalties. And with the margin for error as thin as it was against a fellow NFC power, those unforced errors had grievous results.
Their disappointment in themselves was evident as a result.
But as the Rams reflected and digested and processed what had just happened and the role they personally played in their demise, a window cracked open. And the frank and honest view it offered provided a necessary balance to their anger and disappointment.
“There’s nothing to worry about, we’re still in a good position,” said Aaron Donald. “We’re going to keep working and keep grinding. We’re still winning.”
Donald didn’t say that faintly. He did so confidently.
The Rams were not outclassed by the Eagles, they were merely out-finished.
And by the slimmest of margins imaginable. The mistakes and lapses are correctable. So while the disappointment was obvious, the power they possess to make the necessary changes was also apparent.
“It comes down to, at the end of the game, who makes the play and who doesn’t and who takes care of the ball and doesn’t have dumb penalties and stuff like that,” said Jared Goff. “That ends up being the difference in the game, and we did that and they didn’t.”
It doesn’t require massive changes or outside reinforcements or some pipe-dream level hope and prayer to close the scoreboard gap on the Eagles.
Or, for that matter, fellow NFC playoff contemporaries like the Vikings or Seahawks.
This isn’t about talent deficiency or a coaching disadvantage.
The Rams stand eye-to-eye with their NFC counterparts. That’s not frivolous hyperbole or irresponsible embellishment. The competitiveness the Rams have displayed in all their matchups against the best teams in the conference – be it tight losses to the Vikings and Eagles or the win over the Saints – is proof of the of their validity.
This is purely and simply about tying up…