More eyes on Rams, who choose to ignore increased praise, pressure
By Rich Hammond
THOUSAND OAKS — The Rams should win Sunday. Easily. They should go into New York and handle a Giants team that is 1-6 and beset with internal strife, and take another big step toward the playoffs.
This is the pleasurable burden of winning. The Rams have the highest-scoring offense in the NFL. Their hotshot rookie head coach was on national TV last weekend in a three-piece suit. No longer are the Rams a curiosity. They’re considered winners, and for the first time in recent memory, there are expectations.
“I mean, who is saying that?” Rams quarterback Jared Goff said after Wednesday’s practice at Cal Lutheran, barely able to keep a smile off his lips.
Goff knows. As much as the Rams talk about ignoring outside pressure, it’s unavoidable. It was there a year ago, when the Rams were trashed and ridiculed during a dreadful 4-12 season. Now it has flipped, and all the chatter is positive, and they had a bye week to relax and let praise wash over them.
If handled improperly, that could be a problem. The Rams remain one of the NFL’s youngest teams and have few players who have experienced winning. The schedule gets tougher after this week, so a loss to the struggling Giants would stunt the momentum built from a 5-2 start to this season.
“If we don’t go out and play well next week, it’s, ‘Oh, they’re not doing things. They’re back to what we thought,’” Coach Sean McVay said. “We don’t really get caught up in that. That’s one of those things where, you can speak it consistently, day in and day out. The players have bought in and we believe it as a coaching staff. It’s the truth.
“If you look back and say, ‘After seven or eight games, what were teams’ records last year?’ people couldn’t […]