Ain’t no fun when the rabbit got the gun.
It’s a saying that the Los Angeles Rams couldn’t relate to as they cruised to seven wins through the first eight weeks of the season. That’s when things became a little confusing about who the rabbit was. Over the course of a month the Rams went from NFC power and Super Bowl contender to “what the hell is happening here?”
By last Monday night’s game against the Arizona Cardinals, it was no doubt the Rams were the rabbit in this scenario.
So when Odell Beckham Jr. celebrated his touchdown that night with a clever mock of the Detroit urban survival training guy, it may have represented more than just a running internet joke.
The Rams got the gun now.
— Odell Beckham Jr (@obj) December 14, 2021
If that was indeed the message—punctuated by a 30-23 win for the Rams—there was no better team to make it against than the Cardinals, who were alone at the top of the NFC West entering Week 14 and gave the Rams a nice beating in Week 4.
With Beckham in tow, the Rams appear back on track and are just half a game behind the Cardinals entering Tuesday night’s game against the Seattle Seahawks. Los Angeles has +162 odds to win the division on Tipico Sportsbook, second to the Cardinals at -190. But since Beckham started receiving significant playing time, the Rams are 2-1 and back to averaging over 30 points per contest after combining for just 26 in their previous two losses.
Beckham celebrated a touchdown in the previous week’s 37-7 blowout of the Jaguars by imitating a Call of Duty self-revive. While the video game portrayal may have symbolized exactly what was happening—a revival of a career that appeared on the decline in Cleveland—Beckham’s addition to the Rams has also meant a revival of their offense.
— Dockery (@realDockery) December 5, 2021
“Sometimes you get down in life and it’s always good to have a self-revive,” Beckham said of the celebration. “I had to go ahead and use the self-revive, get back up, you know? Just having fun.”
🚨LIVE: WR Odell Beckham Jr. talks matchup on MNF vs. Cardinals https://t.co/39xoN4Y1CX
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) December 11, 2021
The Rams signed Beckham during their winless November, after their first defeat in a three-game losing streak; a 28-16 loss to a Tennessee Titans team without its best player. Beckham had been waived by the Browns after his dad pinned the struggles of a third straight underwhelming season on quarterback Baker Mayfield. Others questioned whether Beckham still had the big-play ability that made him a star with the New York Giants. No one was quite sure what to expect when he joined a once promising Rams offense led by Matthew Stafford.
Having played just 15 snaps in that week’s loss to the 49ers in which the Rams scored just 10 points, it wasn’t until after their bye week when they played the Green Bay Packers that the true potential of an offense with Beckham was realized. Stafford threw for over 300 yards with three touchdowns, LA scored 28 points and Beckham tied for a team-high 10 targets, turning five receptions into 81 yards and his first touchdown of the season.
Since that loss, the Rams have won two straight and Beckham has contributed in a big way. He’s complimented fellow wide receiver Cooper Kupp quite well and has a touchdown in three straight games, his first such streak since 2015. Intentional or not, how he’s celebrated those touchdowns reflect how the Rams’ season is going.
That the celebrations are premeditated might be the best part of all this for the Rams, because it means he’s anticipating big games. That’s something he said he did often with the Giants, when he was last at the top of his game, when he scored 44 touchdowns in 59 outings.
“It’s something I used to do a lot when I was in New York. I remember I would go home and be like, ‘Man, I’m scoring three touchdowns. What should I do on the first, second and third one?’” Beckham said. “I feel like by having that, it allows you to be in your gameplan more and to know like, ‘OK, this is the play that I’m going to score on, this is exactly how it’s going to happen.’ You visualize it happening before it happens and not all the time but usually good things work from that.”
The Rams have +500 odds to win the NFC, third-shortest behind the Green Bay Packers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
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