The Los Angeles Rams managed to make quite a statement with their dominant win in Week 14 and will need to keep it going on the road against the Dallas Cowboys if they hope to keep their playoff hopes alive.
The Rams were thrust into a must-win situation heading into the final stretch of the 2019 NFL season thanks to the NFC West being the most competitive division in the league. Fortunately, they have managed to respond with a sense of urgency by pulling off impressive back-to-back wins over the Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks.
After dropping their last three games, the Cowboys are also at a point where they must take control of their own playoff destiny by winning out. Although they have had the benefit of the NFC East being the weakest division in football, it has become evident that the team and front office alike are desperate to get back into the win column.
This is exactly why Rams head coach Sean McVay is not taking this matchup for granted, via Stu Jackson of the team’s official website:
“I think in a lot of instances, I keep saying it, but the record is not indicative of what type of football team this is,” McVay said. “They’ve played some really good teams, they’ve been in every game, they’re playing really explosive on offense.”
McVay added that it is important for the Rams to get off to a hot start like they did against Arizona and Seattle:
“When you are able to operate with a lead, now you force them – based on the nature of the game – to be a little bit more one dimensional,” McVay said. “I think we’ve seen that kind of show up in the last couple weeks against two teams that have been playing really well.”
There is certainly plenty of truth to McVay’s comments on both the Cowboys’ record and the importance of securing an early lead. The Rams have made it a point to strike first as of late and it has clearly paid huge dividends for them when it comes to controlling the game on both sides of the ball.
Like Los Angeles, Dallas has fallen vastly short of expectations in the 2019 campaign after spending big money to secure its key pieces in the offseason. The onus will once again fall on McVay to ensure that this offense is clicking on all cylinders in order to keep this resurgence going.