Aaron Donald #99 of the Los Angeles Rams
Aaron Donald #99 of the Los Angeles Rams Getty Images | Focus on Sport

Heading into NFL Week 14, the Los Angeles Rams are on the brink of the worst Super Bowl hangover in National Football League history.

The Los Angeles Rams (3-9), currently on a six-game skid, host the Las Vegas Raiders (5-7) in a Thursday Night Football matchup, at SoFi Stadium. The Rams are fourth in the NFC West. A loss to Las Vegas on Thursday would give Los Angeles their 10th this season, tying the 1999 Denver Broncos for the most losses by a defending Super Bowl champion.

Here are 3 things that have gone wrong for the Los Angeles Rams this season.

Departure of notable players

Despite off season departures due to trades, free agency and retirement, Los Angeles still had plenty of talent on their roster. However, the Rams have struggled to play at top form without said pieces.

Robert Woods had 45 catches and 556 yards to go with five touchdowns in nine games, before suffering a season ending ACL tear for the Rams in 2021. After five seasons on the West coast, Woods was traded to the Tennessee Titans for a sixth-round pick in the offseason.

The Rams have also felt the effects of losing star defensive end Von Miller in free agency after expending tremendous draft capital, trading a second and third-round selection, to acquire the pass rushing sensation. In his eight regular season games in 2021with the Rams, the eight-time Pro Bowler finished with five sacks and 32 total quarterback pressures.

The Retirment of four-time Pro Bowler, Andrew Whitworth, 40, has also caused a chink in the Rams offensive line armor. L.A. is ranked 30th in total rushing yards with 1,048 and 30th in yards per carry averaging 3.7 after week 13.

Offensive Injuries

Los Angeles claimed former 2017 Heisman trophy winner Baker Mayfield off waivers on Tuesday as the team looks to strengthen its quarterback room. Mathew Stafford is questionable to return in 2022, with a bruised spinal cord. The Pro Bowl quarterback was placed on the Injury Reserve list before week 13.

The ankle injury to All-Pro wide receiver Cooper Kupp, has not helped in the Rams struggles either. Kupp has been out since Week 10 and is unlikely to return for the remainder of the 2022 season. L.A. will have to play the rest of the year without the offensive production from the 2021 Pro Bowler who compiled 812 yards, and six touchdowns before succumbing to the ankle injury.

Lack of draft capital

The Rams did not have a selection until the third-round of the 2022 NFL draft. In addition, Los Angeles currently owes their first-round draft pick to the Detroit Lions, for the draft haul required to obtain their franchise quarterback Matthew Stafford. The Rams have six picks in 2023, with four of those coming after the fifth in next year's 2023 draft.

A lack of promising young talent has created a disastrous season for the defending Super Bowl LVI champions. It has created a lack of depth at wide receiver, defensive line and now a depleted quarterback room. After the all-in approach to winning the "Big Game" last year, the Rams are now suffering from a Super Bowl hangover in 2022.

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