NFL roundtable: Rams prove they still can battle for playoffs

The Los Angeles Rams put up a valiant fight against the AFC powerhouse Baltimore Ravens, but ultimately fell in overtime due to a punt return. The Chargers, on the other hand, lost more than just the game to the Broncos. They also lost their quarterback, Justin Herbert, to a broken index finger on his throwing hand, effectively dashing any hopes of reaching the postseason, despite being alive mathematically.

In a discussion between the Los Angeles Times Rams beat writer Gary Klein, Chargers beat writer Jeff Miller, NFL columnist Sam Farmer, and columnist Dylan Hernandez, various topics were touched upon. Klein suggested that the Rams should have relied more on their ground game after a strong start in the game against the Ravens. Farmer agreed, emphasizing that the Rams could have changed the game’s outcome if they had managed to score a touchdown on their opening drive.

As for the Rams, the devastating loss to the Ravens was not necessarily a confidence booster. However, the game provided valuable experience for the younger players on the team. They reflected on how little margin for error remains as they prepare to face the Commanders, emphasizing the need to win these crucial home games.

For the Chargers, the mood in the postgame locker room reflected resignation. Despite still being mathematically in the hunt for the playoffs, the players and coaches seemed to acknowledge that they are simply not good enough this season. There was a sense of defeat, as expressed by head coach Brandon Staley and safety Derwin James Jr. at the inability of the offense and defense to perform well at the same time.

The Chargers have been forced to rely on backup quarterback Easton Stick after Justin Herbert’s injury, sparking discussions about Stick’s capabilities. While it was noted that Stick performed decently in the game against the Broncos, it remains to be seen whether the Chargers will make more lineup changes to utilize younger players now that playoff hopes seem increasingly out of reach.

Looking ahead, the Chargers are set to face the Las Vegas Raiders who were shut out 3-0 at home by the Minnesota Vikings. This presents an opportunity for Stick to prove himself, potentially shaping the trajectory of his career.

As for historic background, it’s worth mentioning that the Rams have a strong history in the NFL, both in Los Angeles and formerly in St. Louis. The Chargers, on the other hand, have built a loyal fan base in San Diego before moving to Los Angeles. These teams continue to capture the attention of football fans, despite their recent struggles on the field.

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