What if I had told you at the beginning of the season the Rams would end the regular season as the NFC West division champions, earn a first-round home playoff game at the Coliseum, produce an MVP candidate in Todd Gurley, an NFL Defensive Player of the Year favorite in Aaron Donald, a Pro Bowl quarterback in Jared Goff and an NFL Coach of the Year candidate in Sean McVay?
If you’re a long-suffering Rams fan who just endured 13 straight non-winning seasons, the obvious immediate reaction would have been: Where do I sign up?
Followed by a sheepish: “Hold up. So what’s the catch?”
You just knew that was coming, right? And there is one, as it turns out.
The trade-off for all of that happening — and as we all know now, it all has happened — is that the Rams would rest many of their starting players in their regular-season finale. It’s not quite mailing the game in or conceding defeat. But, well, you might want to lay off this one if you’re a betting person.
McVay let that cat out of the bag when he said he’d most likely rest his key players on Sunday when the Rams close out their historic turnaround season at the Coliseum.
“I think you might see us rest some guys and use this week where, you don’t ever take anything for granted, but knowing that you do have a home playoff game regardless of how things play out, this might provide an opportunity for us to get some guys healthy,” McVay said.
Big deal, right? It’s essentially a meaningless game, the only real element at stake whether the Rams claim the third our fourth seed in the playoffs, who they’ll play in the opening round and what side of the postseason bracket they’ll end up.
In the whole scheme of things, none of those factors are worth risking injuries to key players or taking advantage of a chance to rest or heal up veteran players for the playoffs.
On top of everything else, it’s a no-brainer coaching decision to play it safe and prudently. And even the most hardcore fan…