Los Angeles Rams: 10 Observations through Week 10, Part 1


With the NFC West leading Los Angeles Rams sitting at 7-2, a look at five of 10 observations through Week 10 of the 2017 season.

Week 10 of the 2017 NFL season is in the books, and with it came another victory for the Los Angeles Rams. With a first-year head coach and an abysmal 2016 campaign to look upon coming into the season, no one could’ve expected what they’ve seen thus far.

Yet here we are. Through their first nine games and the opening 10 weeks of the season, the Rams sit atop the division and are a near-lock to make the playoffs. However, football at this level is never as simple as a record.

Thus, at this proverbial landmark point of the season, I will take a look at some key observations about this team — 10 observations to be exact. The following are the first five of those observations.

1. The Los Angeles Rams are good. Really, really good. At 7-2, with a red-hot offense, a special  special-teams group and a one-game lead in the NFC West, they have a golden opportunity to punch a trip to the playoffs for the first time since 2004. After such a fast start through nine games, Los Angeles may need as few as two to three more wins during their final seven games to qualify for the postseason, and it would be silly at this point not to expect them to lock up at least that many victories the rest of the way.

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2. With the odds of the Rams making the postseason currently very high, it’s fair to begin looking at potential seeding. As it stands now, the Rams have more than a punchers chance to eventually grab the NFC’s No. 1 seed. Currently, the Philadelphia Eagles (8-1) hold the top spot in the conference, but L.A. has a great shot to gain a game on Philly when they host the Eagles on Dec. 10 in what should be a primetime game. If L.A. can find a way to win that one, they will own the head-to-head tiebreaker over Philadelphia, which could be critical at the campaign’s culmination.

3. Beyond the Eagles, L.A. faces a murderers row of top teams in Weeks 11-16, including the NFC South leading New Orleans Saints (7-2), the NFC North leading Minnesota Vikings (7-2), the AFC South leading Tennessee Titans (6-3) and a quite formidable division rival by the name of the Seattle Seahawks (6-3). If the Rams can manage to win three of the five aforementioned contests, they will cement themselves as Super Bowl contenders in the eyes of objective analysts/fans and certainly be battle-ready for the pending postseason.

4. While the Rams have been winning and winning big with the NFL’s top-rated offense, the team has yet to draw optimal crowds. Make no mistake, the Rams have great fans — they just don’t currently have enough showing up to the antiquated Coliseum on game day. Through four L.A. based home dates, the Rams have distributed an average of 59,379 tickets, with a variety of media from both L.A. and national publications noting that there has typically been noticeably fewer than that in the house.

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Even with the franchise reportedly capping attendance around 70,000, they have yet to come close to selling out a game this fall. Interestingly, the above-linked L.A. Times report shares that while the Rams insist they lowered their capacity to enhance the fan experience, the club admits they reserve the right to go above their cap under certain conditions such as, for example, if the team makes a playoff push or plays a popular opponent. So, if they ultimately raise their cap, then how was the cap ever about the fan experience?

Apparently, the supposed desire for an enhanced fan experience ceases to matter if you have a chance to sell more tickets. And if that’s the case, this alleged cap was never real to begin with.

5. While attendance hasn’t been quite as good as one would expect, particularly when factoring in the Rams considerable success in a region of 19 million people with access to lots of cheap and affordable tickets, it doesn’t seem too much to expect TV ratings to be skyrocketing with the team playing such exciting, winning football. Thus far, however, the wins haven’t translated to exceptional home market viewership, as the Rams once again finished third in L.A. based tv ratings last week, and that excludes the Thursday or Monday night ratings, where the club likely finished at least behind the Monday night tilt.

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When one considers the fact that NFL home teams routinely finish No. 1 in home market ratings by a wide margin in virtually every other city, it is baffling to see the Rams regularly finish no better than third or fourth in theirs. Perhaps the ratings — and attendance — will significantly increase in time. For now, though, neither the number of fans in the stands nor the number watching at home have reached the levels one would reasonably expect them to. Maybe a postseason appearance could help to change that for the better, however, both this season and in those to come.