Photo courtesy of turfshowtimes.com
LOS ANGELES RAMS – 2017 BY THE NUMBERS
Final Regular Season Record: 11-5, NFC West Division Champions – won for the first time since 2003
- First time they finished at .500 or better since 2004
- First time in the NFL playoffs since 2004
- Top ranked offense in the NFL (29.9 points per game)
- Lost to the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Wild Card game on January 6th, 26-13
- FINAL OVERALL RECORD: 11-6
Jared Goff, QB – 62.1% completions, 3,804 yards, 28 TD, 7 INT (Team Offensive Co-MVP)
Todd Gurley II, RB – 1,305 rush yards, 4.7 ypc, 13 TD // 64 receptions, 788 yards, 6 TD (Team Offensive Co-MVP)
Cooper Kupp, WR – 62 receptions, 869 yards, 5 TD
Robert Woods, WR – 56 receptions, 781 yards, 5 TD
Sammy Watkins, WR – 8 TD
Marc Barron, LB – 72 tackles (led team)
Alec Ogletree, LB – 63 tackles, 2.0 sacks
Aaron Donald, DT – 11 sacks (Team Defensive MVP)
Robert Quinn, LB – 8.5 sacks
Greg Zuerlein, K – 38-40 field goals (Longest: 56 yards)
Johnny Hekker, P – 47.9 yards per punt
Hopeful NFL MVP Todd Gurley getting some of his 1,305 yards against the Dallas Cowboys. Courtesy of YouTube.
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS – 2017 BY THE NUMBERS
Final Record: 9-7, Second in the AFC West
- Finished one game behind the Kansas City Chiefs
- Finished 9-3 after an 0-4 start
- Won 7 out of 8 games in one stretch
- Beat the Oakland Raiders, 30-10, in their last game on December 31st
Philip Rivers, QB – 62.6% completions, 4,515 yards, 28 TD, 10 INT
Melvin Gordon, RB – 1.105 rush yards, 3.9 ypc, 8 TD // 58 receptions, 476 yards, 4 TD (Team Offensive Co-MVP)
Keenan Allen, WR – 102 receptions, 1,393 yards, 6 TD (Team Offensive Co-MVP)
Hunter Henry, TE – 45 receptions, 579 yards, 4 TD
Tyrell Williams, WR – 43 receptions, 728 yards, 4 TD
Joey Bosa, DE – 54 tackles, 12.5 sacks (Team Defensive Co-MVP)
Melvin Ingram, LB – 43 tackles, 10.5 sacks (Team Defensive Co-MVP)
Jahleel Addae, SS – 66 tackles (led team)
Tre Boson, FS – 56 tackles, 5 INT (led team)
The Chargers’ Kennan Allen having a monster game vs the Buffalo Bills with these 159 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Courtesy of YouTube.
THOUGHTS AND ANALYSIS:
Two words best describes these two NFL teams this season, who weren’t even based in Los Angeles two years ago…
Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Robert Woods celebrates his touchdown against the Houston Texans during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Photo courtesy of ocregister.com
Both of these clubs immensely improved their win total from last year, while one of them went a long way to win back the hearts of SoCal fans (their playoff loss to the Falcons notwithstanding) in not only having a winning record, but making the post season for the first time in a decade and a half.
As far as those Rams are concerned, though it was obviously disappointing to see their season end so soon at the hands of those Falcons, I’m sure they’re not too discouraged.
Nor should they be.
Youth, from their first year, 31-year old head coach Sean McVay,
To key guys like Jared Goff, who essentially became an NFL quarterback this season as judging by the numbers he put up this season as opposed to his rookie year in 2016, he basically grew up,
And Todd Gurley, who in his third year in the league had the season of his life with his over 1,300 yards on the ground and 19 total touchdowns, 13 as a running back – and who has a good chance to be named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player in a few weeks,
Not to mention players on the defense side like Alec Ogletree and Aaron Donald – I know that everyone forgot his holdout this past summer…
Will only help those Rams going forward as I see them being contenders for the next several years.
Since they won’t have a very high pick in the upcoming draft in April, they would be better served by trading for or signing a free agent to put them over the top.
Unless some big name college guy falls into their lap, of course.
For now, if I was in that organization, whether as a player or a coach or an intern in the front office, I’d be chomping a the bit to get things started again in training camp next summer.
The undisputed leader of the Chargers – essentially a coach on the field – quarterback Philip Rivers, who had another exceptional season and who’s undoubtedly on his way to the Hall of Fame. Photo courtesy of bleacherreport.com
As For The Chargers:
I give them MUCH credit and respect for fighting back from that 0-4 start to seriously contend for the AFC West title and a playoff berth in their first season in L.A. (technically Carson at StubHub Center) after spending nearly 60 years entrenched in San Diego.
I especially give all the props in the world to (like McVay across town) first year coach Anthony Lynn for keeping the team together and fighting back to win nine of their remaining 12 games.
I’m sure it was agonizing to think that more than one of those first four losses could have been wins if it were not for those missed last second field goal kicks.
Which most likely would have equaled a spot in the playoffs.
Indeed, that was such a weak spot for those Bolts that they went through four guys; it’s obviously a position that they need to settle.
Like the Rams, with the exception of Rivers, who’s undoubtedly serving as a sage and the voice of experience, the Chargers are a young squad with a big upside.
Melvin Gordon and Keenan Allen were the men at running back and wide receiver, respectively, with them having over 1,000 yards each, and Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram were beasts on defense with their combined 23 sacks.
If I were the Chargers’ brass, the ideal thing I would do would be to see if I could make a trade with the historically pathetic Cleveland Browns – in finishing 0-16, they joined the Detroit Lions as the only teams in pro sports history to go winless in a season – to possibly get their #4 overall pick, or even their #1 pick.
So they could get UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen, as he would be the perfect heir to Rivers, who has just finished his 14th year in the league.
Rosen would be the perfect guy to back up Rivers and learn from the seasoned veteran, and with his mentoring would be the perfect guy to take over when Rivers retires, which considering all the pounding that he has taken in his 14 years as a Charger will be sooner rather than later.
The Bottom Line For These Two NFL Teams Calling Los Angeles Home:
It was a good first two-teams-in-L.A. year in SoCal as both the Rams and the Chargers played well, were contenders, and set the groundwork for future success.
There’s one thing for fans of both these teams to get excited about next fall:
* On a date to be determined,
* Los Angeles Rams vs Los Angeles Chargers
* L.A. Memorial Coliseum.
It will be the first time since the early 1990s that two L.A. pro football teams will be playing each other in the regular season, and I am certainly looking forward to that.
Until the start of training camp next July…
Los Angeles Rams running back Malcolm Brown #34 is pushed out-of-bounds b y Los Angeles Chargers free safety Dwight Lowery #20 in the first half. The Los Angeles Rams and the Los Angeles Chargers played a pre-season game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, CA 8/26/2017 Photo by John McCoy/Los Angeles Daily News (SCNG) Photo courtesy of ocregister.com