A system is the foundation of a great organization. When a team implements a successful system, it translates into wins. Prime examples of teams with successful systems include the New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens and the New Orleans Saints. Year in and year out they produce on the field, and when they struggle, it’s a given that they will bounce back. A winning system becomes apparent when a starting player goes down. The next man up is immediately successful, and the team doesn’t miss a beat.
Proof in Week 12
We saw this with the Rams during their Week 12 victory over the New Orleans Saints. The Rams lost wide receiver Robert Woods a week prior, and they needed someone to step up. With the team’s No. 1 receiver out, the question was how the Rams would respond. The answer was quite well thank you very much. The Rams receiving corps responded with Sammy Watkins grabbing 82 yards and a touchdown. Additionally, Cooper Kupp led the team with eight catches for 116 yards. Oh and the reliable sneaky Josh Reynolds made a beautiful catch to score the first touchdown of his career.
Quarterback Jared Goff spread the ball around. He found receiver at every level of the field, including over the middle, in the flats, etc. It’s important to note that the Rams played this game without their top receiver, slot corner, starting edge rusher/captain, and their second-string running back. All this is easy to see a Patriots- type scenario where almost any player that steps into a starting role will be successful due to the system.
The Patriot way?
Plenty of players with adequate careers turned a corner once they joined the Patriots. Danny Amendola, Chris Hogan, Branden LaFell, and Rex Burkhead come to mind. All of them came to the Patriots with some success elsewhere, but the way the fit into the Patriots’ system made them even more effective. The Rams seem to have created a similar atmosphere. Who would have thought that Goff would produce a career-high in yards passing with his best receiver out? The next man up mentality took over, and head coach Sean McVay’s system proved adaptable for the rest of the receiving corps.
Only time will tell if the Rams truly have implemented their system or if they are still working towards it. The hope is that offense will maintain a plug-and-play attitude. We’ll know the Rams have arrived when players like Austin Blythe can seamlessly step in for center John Sullivan and guard Rodger Saffold. The same goes for the defense with Sammy Ebukam taking over for team captain Connor Barwin out.
What general manager Les Snead and McVay have done in such a short time together is nothing short of remarkable. They are building something strong that will stand tall for years to come.