As John Cena used to say back in his wrestling glory days “The Champ is here”. The Los Angeles Rams are coming into the 2022 season as the reining and defending Super Bowl champions and according to the top Vegas NFL odds makers, they look just as good to run it all back one more time this season.
While there has been a lot of buzz around how the Buffalo Bills are looking like the best team to take a clear shot at winning SB LVII, if you look at the majority of NFL odds outlets, you’ll see that the Rams are right up there on their tails, meaning that their championship pedigree is as strong and present as ever.
With Matthew Stafford finally showing the league that he can play the part of a Super Bowl-winning QB perfectly, Cooper Kupp ready to show the league that his MVP-caliber numbers from last season were no fluke and a defense led once again by the likes of Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey, it’s almost too obvious as to why NFL lines pundits can’t seem to get enough of this Rams team, even if the season hasn’t started yet.
For now though, while we wait until the 2022 NFL season gets going, let’s talk some Rams football.
Los Angeles Rams Last Season Performance
So, the Los Angeles Rams had a pretty interesting 2021 season to say the least, right? After making what could easily be taken as a proverbial move that will continue to pay off in the foreseeable future, bringing in former Lions QB Matthew Stafford to become their new leader on offense, the team looked more than ready to finally get theirs in the league, a feat that looked more and more impossible to accomplish while having former QB Jared Goff calling the shots on offense for the team. With Stafford, the Rams got an accomplished, respected, and battle-proven QB looking for his chance to shine, and well, LA got exactly that.
And what about Cooper Kupp at receiver? The man played his best football last year and made it seem like it was nothing. As soon as the Stafford/Kupp connection got going in LA, a whole new era in Sean McVay’s pass-driven offense was ushered in, putting LA’s offensive powers on the NFC map, something unusual for a team that for some time had been known more and more for their defensive dominance rather than anything else.
Speaking of LA’s defense, Aaron Donald, Jalen Ramsey, and company once again showed up, dominated, balled out, and gave opposing offenses left and right nightmares. All this would end up leading to the Rams winning the NFC West divisional title, with a record of 12-5, followed by one of the most dominant showings in the postseason in years, taking down the Cardinals, Buccaneers, and 49ers on their way to finishing out the season with a SB LVI win against Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals, at home in SoFi Stadium.
Los Angeles Rams Off-Season Changes
While keeping the roster as untouched as possible for the upcoming season was one of the most important missions for the Rams, the team still had to go through some sensible departures, be it from free agency deals, retirement, or team cuts. Still though, when you’re a championship team, the market for players wanting to come to play for you is usually an ample one where having the top picks of the litter, which is something that the Rams have taken some sound advantage of.
In the 2022 draft, the Rams focused on using their late draft capital to continue strengthening one of their more important lines in the field that was in dire need of some new faces, their secondary. By drafting CBs Decobie Durant out of South Carolina State and Derion Kendrick out of Georgia as well as safeties Quentin Lake out of UCLA and Russ Yeast out of Kansas State, LA made it clear that they want their secondary to be up to par with the rest of the team. With Jalen Ramsey commanding that unit, it shouldn’t be a problem whatsoever though.
Los Angeles Rams Key Additions
Aside from the already mentioned rookies that the Rams picked up in the 2022 draft, amongst others, LA also caused some major splashes in the offseason free agency market, most importantly by re-signing QB Matthew Stafford to a multi-million-dollar, four-year deal, as well as signing C Brian Allen, LT Joseph Noteboom, OL Coleman Shelton, and WR Allen Robinson to further strengthen their offense, especially after the departures of players like G Austin Corbett who left for the Panthers and WR Robert Woods who was traded to the Titans for a 2023 6th round draft pick.
On defense most importantly, to be able to fill the space Von Miller left after leaving for the Bills, the Rams decided to cause a major splash in their division by signing former “Legion of Boom” original and Seattle Seahawks defensive legend Bobby Wagner to a 5-year, $50 million deal.
Imagine you’re a QB playing the Rams and you have to worry about guys like Aaron Donald, Leonard Floyd, and A’Shawn Robinson coming right at you. Sounds scary right? Now imagine those three previously mentioned guys rushing straight at you with Bobby Wagner closing out that strike. Yeah, it sounds like a beating on the way.
Los Angeles Rams Key Subtractions
Three main departures stand out as the most important for the Los Angeles Rams this offseason. First and most importantly, OLB Von Miller leaving the Rams to join the hottest team in the league right now, the Buffalo Bills, stands out as the most sensible subtraction to the team this offseason. Now, speaking from a football fan’s perspective, wouldn’t it be the best full-circle moment if the Bills, with Miller at the helm of the defense, end up playing the Rams, Miller’s former team in Super Bowl LVII?
Aside from that, on offense, the Rams have also had to deal with the departures of G Austin Corbett to the Carolina Panthers and WR Robert Woods to the Tennessee Titans to fill in for A.J. Brown, who himself left for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Analysis
Sean McVay is the future of professional football coaching, at least in the eyes of a myriad of experts and NFL fans all around. His explosive, offense-friendly strategies and energy that he injects into his team have made him one of the league’s most important coaches in the past years. McVay has never been one to shy away from bringing a refreshing, new take on how the sport of football should be played, which is exactly what continues to make him one of the most followed, and influential coaches in the league.
After finally being able to capture a Lombardi trophy last season, the future has never looked brighter for McVay. He should once again be poised to make another successful run for the Super Bowl in this upcoming season, especially after being able to maintain the core of his team intact and being able to make some very good moves in the offseason to not only fill in the gaps that the team has presented but also bolster the roster to make it even more stacked if that’s even possible.
If there is one simple way to explain what fans should expect from Sean McVay and his team this season is explosiveness on offense, matching the level of dominance that the team constantly shows on defense and more progress towards making this team this generation’s “Greatest Show on Turf”.
Los Angeles Rams Injured Players at the Beginning of the Season
During this offseason the Rams have had to deal with some injury problems that have delayed the team’s progress, especially looking forward to the team’s camp and preseason. QB Matthew Stafford has been dealing with a right elbow injury that has slowed his process of continuing to learn McVay’s offensive schemes for the season. Still, it is expected for him to be fully recovered once the preseason gets going and especially ready for when their week 1 showdown against the Bills goes down.
Aside from Stafford, on offense, players like RB’s Kyren Williams and Xavier Jones, as well as TE’s Jacob Harris and Tyler Higbee have also all presented different injuries which have seen their playing status turn to questionable for the start of the preseason as well as for week one of the regular season.
On defense, the most important injury report comes from star CB Jalen Ramsey who after suffering a shoulder-ACL joint injury that required surgery, is now recuperating in the hopes of being able to be back with the team by the start of the preseason at the latest, although there are serious doubts about if he’ll be able to make it to week 1 at all.
Los Angeles Rams Offense
Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp left NFL fans wanting more last season out of their newly found connection as the Rams’ QB and No.1 receiver. As they enter their second season playing together, many experts are foreseeing the 2022 season as the one in which the Stafford/Kupp connection will take off and take over the league.
If you add to that the addition of former Bears standout receiver Allen Robinson, who is in dire need of having a redemption season after what happened in his last year with Chicago, and a returning Cam Akers as the starting running back, this offense screams action and an overload of points to be scored.
One thing is to be noticed though. The Rams need for their offensive line to get better. Given that they are the defending NFL champions, every single defense will be gunning to stop Stafford and company along the way which is why this offensive line needs to stand to the challenge and take out any and every threat coming their way.
Los Angeles Rams Defense
How can you go wrong in a defense that has Aaron Donald, Leonard Floyd, and now Bobby Wagner leading the charge? In a world where in sports it has always been said that offenses win games but defenses win championships, the Rams have proven to be the perfect example of such a statement.
It almost seems unfair that Aaron Donald still hasn’t won an MVP award, especially with how utterly dominant he is in every single down he plays, but if he can lead this defense into a solid and dominating 2022 season, he should be taken as a front-runner for said award.
On the secondary, the Rams did a great job bolstering up their lines through the draft and free-agency market, especially now that they are still dealing with a recuperating Jalen Ramsey. But just you wait, as soon as Ramsey is up to par and ready to play, this secondary will be as dominant as ever.
Los Angeles Rams Special Teams
In the special teams department of the Rams, the most surprising move comes from the departure of punter Johnny Hekker, who was cut from the team and later joined the Carolina Panthers. Hekker, who has been one of the league’s best punters in recent times will now see his job in the Rams taken by newly signed punter Riley Dixon who joined the team in a one-year deal from the Giants. For the kicker position, returning starter Matt Gay will again take the lead in the department.
For the punt and kick return duties, WR Brandon Powell alongside 2nd year pro WR Tutu Atwell will be competing for the starting duties in said positions.
Los Angeles Rams Prediction for the 2022 Season
You know what makes the LA Rams both a great team and one of the biggest threats to their competitors? The fact that even while having one of the best rosters in the league and arguably the best coach in the NFC, the team still feels human. If you look at their record last season, you’ll see that they grinded their way to the Super Bowl, which goes to show that the fighting spirit in this team is much bigger than expected.
For 2022 it’s more than clear that the Rams will have a massive bullseye in their backs, with every team in the NFC gunning to stop them from running back their championship season this year. But, while that could end up becoming a problem for any other team, the Rams look, play, and handle themselves as a squad ready to not only throw down with whichever team wants a piece of them, their hype, and their status.
So, when predicting the 2022 season for the Rams, it shouldn’t come as a shock if they make it to the playoffs, winning their division with a certain ease as well as making it at least to the NFC Championship game once again this year.
Los Angeles Rams Final Thoughts
You have to give credit where credit is due, which is why nobody in their right mind can deny that the most dominant team in pro football right now is the Los Angeles Rams. Every game they play, they go into it as if it was the last on earth. Every down is played with as much intensity and drive as the last, and they carry themselves as a team that does not carry one bit about who their opponents are, because, at the end of the day, the main thing that matters is winning.
On another note, how can you not love Matthew Stafford’s new outlook on his career? We’re talking about a man who deserved his shot at greatness, got it, and did the best job anybody could with it, cementing his status as one of the best and most consistent quarterbacks in the league in the past years. And what about the impact that players like Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey bring to the table on defense? I wouldn’t go as far as to compare the present-day Rams to “The Greatest Show on Turf” Rams team from the turn of the millennium.
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Los Angeles Rams Frequently Asked Questions
What Made the Rams Move from St. Louis to Los Angeles?
The now Los Angeles Rams can be taken as sort of a nomad team in the NFL. After starting their tenure in pro football as the Cleveland Rams in 1936, it took the team 10 years to make their first move, out west to LA. After staying there for a total of 48 years, the Rams once again packed their bags, heading to St. Louis for a total of twenty years, from 1995 to 2015 before once again moving back to Los Angeles, the city they currently call home once again.
Now, to look for an answer as to why the Rams decided their stay in St. Louis was done and over with and moved back to LA, you don’t need to look too much into it. The answer is simple, money.
The main reason that Rams owner Stan Kroenke moved the team was that having a team in a market as small as St. Louis where the room for economical growth was minuscule in comparison to LA, the 2nd biggest sports and entertainment city in the US was not a very smart business idea. So, with the league’s permission and after paying a hefty $550 million relocation fine, the Rams moved back out west in 2016.
How many Super Bowls have the Rams been in?
After winning last year’s Super Bowl, the Rams managed to win the 2nd Lombardi Trophy in the history of the team. Having appeared in a total of five Super Bowls throughout their tenure in the league, the Rams have been on both sides of the story when it comes to the NFL’s most important game of the year.
When it comes to winning, who can forget “The Greatest Show on Turf” aka the St. Louis Rams team from 1999 to 2001 in which Kurt Warner, Marshall Faulk, Isaac Bruce, Tori Holt, and company showed the league what it was like to have to play against one of the best offensive units that professional football has ever seen.
It was in their first year together as a unit that the Rams went on to beat Steve MacNair and the Tennessee Titans to win SB XXXIV. Apart from that, last season’s win over the Bengals in SB LVI is still pretty fresh in the minds of most football fans.
On the other hand, the Rams have also had to deal with being on the losing side of the game as well. Starting in 1979, the Rams lost Super Bowl XVI to the Pittsburgh Steelers. After that the Rams would go on to lose twice against Tom Brady and the Patriots, first in 2001 and back in 2018, making their historic Super Bowl record to 2-3.
Will the LA Rams make the 2022 Super Bowl?
Trick question alert here, but let’s try to break it down in the best way possible. The question shouldn’t necessarily be “will the LA Rams make the 2022 Super Bowl?” but rather “do the LA Rams have what it takes to make it to Super Bowl 2022?”. The answer to that second question is yes, this team has everything it takes to make it to Super Bowl LVII.
On offense, defense, secondary, and coaching staff, this team is stacked to the brim with talent, hunger, and now a championship pedigree that cannot be denied. Even in a conference as tough as the NFC, now that the Rams know what it’s like to be the top dogs in the league, they will surely not want to let that go whatsoever.
Yes, they will run into some very strong competition along the way, but if there was ever a team ready to put up a fight and most likely come out on top, it’s the Rams.
Which Los Angeles Rams Players Are Poised for A Breakout Season in 2022?
In a squad that holds a roster as stacked as the one, the LA Rams hold, trying to have a breakout season could end up becoming quite a conundrum because of the level of competition to get enough playing time with the starting team. Still, even with the Rams having some of the most recognizable players in the league in their rotation, there are a few under-the-radar stars that might end up taking 2022 as the perfect year to truly break out and burst into the pro football scene, either for the first time or once again.
Two players jump out right from the gate as the perfect suitors for a breakout season in 2022. Former Bears WR Allen Robinson, who joined the Rams after escaping what ended up being his two worst seasons with Chicago, after becoming one of the league’s best receivers, will be looking to make his mark in Sean McVay’s pass-oriented offense. With Robert Woods having left for the Titans and with OBJ being far, far away from coming back to the Rams, the stage is set for Robinson to pair up perfectly with Cooper Kupp and have a career-reviving season.
Also, on offense, expect great things from returning running back Cam Akers, who will finally have a chance to have a breakout season, after having his big chances be shut down by season-ending injuries both in 2020 and 2021 respectively. If he’s healthy from the start of the season, count on Akers to be the team’s top RB and have a very good season stats-wise.