The same all-in approach that won the Rams a Super Bowl also unspooled into their current mess

The Los Angeles Rams are in a curious space as far their organization timeline goes.

To their credit, their "all-in" strategy undoubtedly worked. They stocked their roster with top end talent for years and won a Super Bowl because of it. Big-time trades for Matthew Stafford, Jalen Ramsey and Von Miller were crucial in delivering Sean McVay his first title as the Rams head coach. Even signings like Andrew Whitworth and Robert Woods when McVay arrived helped lay the foundation of a team that was littered with Pro Bowl-level talent. It's impossible to call the Rams strategy over the few years a failure since they achieved the one feat that everyone in the NFL is chasing.

Flying high is fun, but it also has consequences. Right now, the Rams are feeling some of the heat from their spending sprees. They’re 2-3, they have one of the worst offenses in the NFL, and they currently look closer to a fringe playoff team than a real Super Bowl contender. Their stars are still integral pieces to whatever success they can cling to for the rest of the season, but they’re clearly being anchored by a lack of depth and talent at other spots — particularly the offensive line.

Blocking Demarcus Lawrence, Micah Parsons and the rest of the Dallas Cowboys' athletic, penetrating defensive line is a tough task for anyone, but the level of talent that the Rams are lining up in the trenches right now couldn't even compete on Sunday. Stafford was under siege all day, getting sacked five times (including a game-ending strip sack) and hit another 11 times. The Cowboys also managed six tackles for a loss on just 15 rushing attempts.

That’s not going to fly. Injuries to the interior of the Rams' line have made their offense more difficult to manage, but even some entrenched starters are struggling. The drop from Andrew Whitworth to Joseph Noteboom at left tackle has been apparent. According to Pro Football Focus, Noteboom had two separate games with at least eight pressures allowed entering their Week 5 matchup. For an offense that wants to be able to hit chunk plays down the field off play action, that’s crippling. The passing game is taking too many negative or empty plays and the rushing game has become ineffective as well. Stafford has picked up his play since the Rams were drubbed by the Bills to start the season, but he needs help.

Stafford, Ramsey, Aaron Donald and Cooper Kupp account for 40.5% of the Rams' cap space this season. Woods and Whitworth account for an extra 7 percent of the cap due to dead money. These cap issues are easier to maneuver when a team has cost-controlled first- and second-round picks to add to the roster. The Rams piled four first-round picks into acquiring Ramsey and Stafford and a second-round pick for Miller last season. Again, the strategy worked because they won a Super Bowl. They're just feeling the ramifications now. Whiffing on a big contract with wide receiver Allen Robinson this past free agency period is only accentuating those problems.

The hard pill to swallow is that their offensive line issues are going to plague them for the rest of the season. It’s difficult to find quality offensive line help in-season, so the Rams will have to figure out ways to mitigate those woes as the year progresses. It's a sieve they need to patch up without it coming at the expense of the rest of their offense. It sounds good in theory to have more blockers in on a given play to help the offensive line, but that’s going to rob a very good quarterback of options to throw to downfield. Every player that stays in to block is a loss of a route that can challenge the defense. Very few offenses can be successful with a litany of two- and three-man route concepts.

They have to try something, though, because their current operation has been dead on arrival in their recent losses to the Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers. Next offseason will be difficult to manage as well because they’re projected to be $3 million over the 2023 cap according to Spotrac — and the Lions own their first-round pick due to the Stafford trade. General manager Les Snead is going to have to put on his thinking hat to make sure the Rams can sustain success beyond this season. The core stars are still among the best in the league, but the bill has come due. They’ve built a roster that has a razor-thin margin for error and also suffered some injuries.

Good luck to McVay. Navigating that won’t be easy for the rest of the year.