What’s wrong with the Rams? Revisits Carson Wentz blockbuster, more

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This week, Between The Hashmarks dives into the Los Angeles Rams’ sudden downturn, Eagles-Colts Carson Wentz showcases blockbusters and more as the NFL stretch begins

Los Angeles Rams general manager Les Snead went all-in on the NFL trade deadline.

He could have seen his Super Bowl hand break as a result.

Since trading with Von Miller at the trade deadline and signing of Odell Beckham Jr. nine days later, the Rams have lost three straight, dropped from their seat at the top of the NFC to 7-4 and clung on to No. 5 seed in less than a month.

“They have too many veteran players and made too many moves too fast,” a league source told FanSided. “A dream team does not always lead to success.”

Snead’s Rams is the embodiment of a veteran roster that has not made a first-round pick since the election of Jared Goff overall No. 1 in 2017. After swapping Goff for Matthew Stafford this offseason, and for Miller by the deadline, does Rams it does not own a first-round pick again until 2024.

Yes, Snead pressed on all his chips to the table to win a Super Bowl this season.

But betting on a veteran list and a quarterback at Stafford, who has never won a playoff game, may prove to be a foolish proposition for Los Angeles.

For all the star power that goes into playing home games in the shadow of the Hollywood sign, it’s no wonder that when the calendar turns December, some of the Rams’ problems have suddenly begun to stifle a once promising season.

“They’re too heavy in big names and star players,” an AFC scout tells FanSided. “The problem is that their depth is lacking.”

Many thought Beckham would seamlessly step in and replace Robert Woods, whom the scout called “contributing to the Rams’ offensive success”, but Beckham’s growth in a new plan after being thrown into Stafford’s arsenal has been enormous.

However, there is hope as Beckham returned from a disastrous debut against the Niners to catch five passes for 81 yards and a touchdown in Green Bay against the Packers on Sunday.

However, it is reasonable to wonder whether Snead’s aggressiveness changed the chemistry in a list that arrived at deadline 7-1. But the day-to-day manager who moves mountains to win a Super Bowl ring deserves only part of the blame for what is becoming a debacle in Tinsletown.

Sean McVay, who is largely seen as the NFL’s eternal prodigy, has only twice guided his teams out of the NFC’s Wild Card round.

“McVay is also part of their problems right now,” the scout said. “There is no doubt that he has bought himself into his media image.”

Over the last four seasons, the Rams were 52-21 with Goff, but it was McVay who pushed for Stafford in hopes of pushing the Rams to new heights this season.

Stafford, having started the season with nine touchdowns to just one interception in a productive September, have as many touchdowns as interceptions during Los Angeles’ current three-game skirmish.

There’s time for the Rams, currently the No. 5 seed in the NFC, to correct the ship, but it’s getting late in a hurry if Los Angeles does not turn things around.

After a fair game at home against the Jaguars on Sunday, Los Angeles travels to the desert to host the conference-leading Cardinals, hosts the Seahawks before a brutal back-to-back in the Minnesota and Ravens, and closes for regular season at home against the San Francisco 49ers .

Los Angeles ‘way home is the fifth toughest among the NFC teams, and Washington is the only team on the side of the line that would be in the playoffs if they started today with a tougher schedule than the Rams’. 500 left. opponents.

It would not be surprising if the Rams were one of the two best seeds at the time the season is over or should be heading wild card weekend to a place like Lambeau, or Dallas or Tampa Bay where they would probably be underdogs in someone of these matchups.

The Rams could always get hot, become this year’s Buccaneers and win the Super Bowl in their own building in February. But if they do not, if the Snead’s Rams do not at least reach Super Sunday for the second time under McVay, after all they have invested, it may be time for a serious soul search for the franchise from top to bottom.

Revisiting Eagles-Colts Carson Wentz blockbuster

It is rare that a trade ends up being a win for both franchisees involved.

But if there was ever a case, it’s the February blockbuster that sent Carson Wentz from Philadelphia to the Indianapolis Colts and Eagles a third-round pick in 2021 and conditional second-round in 2022.

Wentz, while playing behind one of the NFL’s leading offensive lines, has the kind of season reminiscent of his 2017 MVP-caliber campaign, in which he completed 62.8 percent of his passes in 2,790 yards with 21 touchdowns to just five interceptions.

“He’s looking at Carson way more comfortable in that offense, ”an NFC head coach told FanSided on condition of anonymity to speak freely. “He has a strong running game and a great RPO package that fits perfectly with his skill set.”

There is perhaps no more telling comparison of how valuable an offensive line is for a quarterback than Wentz ‘rebound from the worst season of his 2020 career in Philadelphia to his return to form in Indianapolis.

Last season, Wentz was an indecisive quarterback, while afterwards playing a seemingly different offensive combination each week. He passed just 2,620 yards with 16 touchdowns to 15 interceptions and a career-low 72.8 passing rating in 12 starts before being benched for Jalen Hurts.

Reunited with Frank Reich, the architect behind Wentz’s best season in Philadelphia, the 28-year-old looks like one of the top 15 quarterbacks in the league and has the Colts in the playoffs, currently a game out of the AFC’s seventh seed.

“Frank Reich’s influence is obvious, and a great help to Wentz,” an NFC North chief of staff told FanSided. “But Carson also has a better offensive line, Jonathan Taylor is a great running back and he has quality receivers. He still throws a bad choice sometimes, but not quite as often. Whether he can stay healthy will be a big question for him. “

Meanwhile, there may be no one cheering louder for Wentz and the Colts ‘success this season than the Eagles’ general manager Howie Roseman, 650 miles away.

That’s because the conditional second-round pick Indianapolis sent Philadelphia becomes a first-round pick if Wentz plays in 70 percent of the Colts’ offensive snaps and Indianapolis gets in the playoffs or if Wentz plays in 75 percent of snaps. Wentz was to cross that benchmark by the end of Week 15 against the New England Patriots.

Following this trade, few teams are better equipped to run on any of the veteran quarterbacks expected to be available this offseason; Deshaun Watson, Russell Wilson, Jimmy Garoppolo, Aaron Rodgers and possibly Derek Carr.

If the season ended today, Philadelphia would own Nos. 8, 9 and 14 (Colts’ picks) in next spring’s NFL Draft to either invest in blue-chip talent to build around Jalen Hurts, or the more likely option, pry one of the documented veteran passers away out of season.

By trading Wentz, Philadelphia moved an underachieving quarterback who was in dire need of a change of scenery in return for the opportunity to evaluate his future at the position and a significant chip to either trade with a quarterback in the future or build around one.

Similarly, the Colts invested a first- and third-round pick for a quarterback whose ceiling is likely to be a top-10 passer.

In what is a rarity, both teams are significantly better and perhaps each helped their future exponentially by making this trade.

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Citerbar

“Of course we have to have DK football. We called several plays for him. He had a sweet deep tick that he wanted to be wide open, maybe for a touchdown that I had to move. . . . It was unfortunate. . . . We called some other things and they doubled him. We called two games in a row for him and they doubled him on them. . . . He is one of the best football players in the world. We have to get him the football. We need to find ways to do that. “

– Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, after Monday night’s 17-15 loss to the Washington Football Team

The problems in Seattle go much deeper than the fact that DK Metcalf only saw four goals in a catastrophic loss to Washington.

It may be time for an honest introspective between general manager John Schneider, head coach Pete Carroll and quarterback Russell Wilson over the future of one of the most stable franchises of the last two decades.

Teams with legitimate post-season hopes do not lose to a team like Washington.

Wilson was particularly awful Monday night, erratic through much of the game against the NFL’s 26th-ranked passing defense, culminating in a terrible interception on a two-point conversation with 15 seconds left that would have drawn the game.

Seattle’s loss dropped it to 3-8, and for all intents and purposes, out of the NFC playoffs. It could also have ended an era.

Wilson, after missing three games with a broken finger, is 27th in passing yards (1,811) and 23rd in passing touchdowns (12), despite having the league’s highest goal of $ 32 million this season.

Meanwhile, Carroll has long run a program that hits players in a way that time spent in New England under taskmaster Bill Belichick does. But the difference between tolerating Belichick, who has won six rings, to dealing with Carroll’s hypercompetitive daily life, with only one won the Super Bowl ring, is marked.

Over the last several low seasons, there has been a lot of squabbling and hand-twisting over Wilson’s future.

After failing to get out of the NFC’s division round each of the past six seasons – and apparently earmarked to miss the playoffs for the third time in that time – a break can be best for all parties involved.

The Seahawks traded their first-round pick in 2022 for the New York Jets in exchange for Jamal Adams, so they will not even see the rebuilding benefits of what appears to be earmarked for a final spot in the NFC West.

Moving on from Wilson and recovering some of the lost draft capital may prove necessary to actually rebuild in Emerald City.

Teams like the Philadelphia Eagles, Miami Dolphins and maybe even the New York Giants have more choices in the first round and can be a Wilson away from turning the corner from rebuilding to fighting.

All good things must one day come to an end, and if this season is any indication, the Carroll / Wilson era may have already run its course.

Last thought

The 2022 NFL Draft has the chance to be very, very strange …

After the Seahawks’ defeat to Washington on Monday night, if the regular season ended today, the top 10 would look like this next spring:

  1. Detroit Lions
  2. Houston Texas
  3. Jacksonville Jaguars
  4. New York Jets (via Seattle Seahawks)
  5. New York Jets
  6. New York Giants
  7. New York Giants (via Chicago Bears)
  8. Philadelphia eagles
  9. Philadelphia Eagles (via Miami Dolphins)
  10. Carolina Panthers

Not since 1992, when the Colts selected Steve Emtman and Quentin Coryatt No. 1 and No. 2 overall, has a team owned consecutive picks in the top-10.

Going back to 1960, there have never been three teams in a row owning back-to-back picks.

Similarly, if that is how the draft order takes shape, seven teams picking in the top 10 would be the fewest ever in the modern era. The closest comparison was in 1979 with eight franchise companies in the aforementioned area.

There is plenty of football left, but this current draft order would be a historic anomaly and an opportunity for teams like the Jets, Giants and Eagles to set in motion their rebuilds. If it holds.



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