Before the last confetti canon was shot and Rihanna got lowered from her platform off the ceiling, sportsbooks already had posted odds on the winner of Super Bowl LVIII, with the Los Angeles Rams checking in at +3500 at DraftKings.
That’s 13th overall, with the Chiefs and Niners 1-2.
I’m not a fan of the holding call at the end of Super Bowl LVII, but I expect that story to go away the next few days. That’s the NFL machine for you.
Congratulations to the Chiefs. They played well. Whatever they injected in Patrick Mahomes ankle at halftime did the trick.
Ram fans, take heart, we’re close. Really. I know the Rams were 5-12 last year, the worst record for a defending Super Bowl champion ever, but things in the NFL change quickly and we’re coming back.
Here are the reasons why the Rams will win Super Bowl LVIII.
I know it gets strange when NFL players are like “no one believes in us.” Who exactly are these people? Most NFL players are highly rated stars out of high school, and college, drafted at the top of the NFL Draft.
But the genius of an NFL player is that they believe every slight. It’s what makes them work harder and get better.
The Rams will be a team on a mission in 2023. They -really- are going to be counted out, dismissed (+3500 odds?) after what happened last year. Coach Sean McVay even thought about leaving and coming back. He’s not coming back to mess around you know what I mean? The Rams are built to win now and will be motivated to do so. That makes them dangerous.
Injury Luck To Turn
Credit Tom Court @RamsBeat for this one. He said that Ram players missed 223 total games either on injured reserve of the PUP list this season. That’s 13 starters a game.
That’s unheard of.
Yes, the NFL is a brutal sport, and players get hurt, but everyone all the time? That was the story of the Rams 2022 season. Aaron Donald, Cooper Kupp, Matthew Stafford…hurt. The offensive line…hurt. Like all of them. A’Shawn Robinson…hurt.
Some of this is just bad luck. The Rams didn’t have this problem when they won Super Bowl LVI. They were relatively healthy.
Expect the Rams injury list to return to normal in 2023. Yes, they’ll miss some guys, but not all of them? It just can’t happen.
The Draft Picks, Baby
Let’s be honest, the Rams have not drafted well in the last five years. The last Rams draft pick to make a Pro Bowl was Cooper Kupp. He was drafted in 2017.
The last time the Rams had a Rookie of the Year was Todd Gurley in 2015.
Sort of like injury luck, the Rams are due to find one or two good players in the NFL Draft. They have 10 picks entering the draft in April. I know it’s a Rams philosophy to make trades and get established NFL players, but even so….teams find stars in the late round of the NFL Draft and it should be the Rams turn.
The Way The NFL is Played
Watching Super Bowl LVII and I was telling someone who doesn’t watch a lot of football (ok, she’s the person who married me) that offenses don’t get stopped in the NFL anymore by defenses. The only thing that stops offenses are sacks, penalties and turnovers so that’s what defenses go for.
Partly it’s because of how supremely athletic and refined the offenses are and partly, it’s the NFL rules that don’t let you hit anyone and how teams run pick plays – aka “rub routes” – to get open.
The Rams are part of this trend, in fact, they perfected it last year, and they bring back all the same pieces to form another unstoppable offense in 2023. They have the quarterback who can make every throw (Stafford) and the wide receiver who can’t be covered (Kupp). They also have a dominant defensive player (Donald) to set them up.
The Niners Will Mess Things Up
The Rams toughest competition in the NFC West comes from San Francisco, who has now reached the last two NFC Championship Games and lost them both.
When you get so close, the temptation is to try something different and I believe San Francisco will succumb to that as well.
Also, they must do something different, because all three of their quarterbacks got hurt. Do the Niners go back to Trey Lance, who started the season for them but got hurt? Do they go back to Jimmy Garappolo who seems just good enough to lose in the playoffs or do they ride Brock Purdy who came on at the end of the year?
It’s a brutal decision, but one the Niners absolutely have to get right and I don’t think they will.
It’s All There For The Taking
Here’s my last thing on the Rams entering 2023, at this moment, what team scares you in the conference? In the NFC West, the Cardinals still don’t have a coach, and quarterback Kyler Murray is probably not going to start the season. The Seahawks are what exactly? A team with a young running back and no defense.
The Eagles are legit, and young. They’ll be back, but the Cowboys can’t get out of their own way when the pressure is on. Does Kirk Cousins scare you with the Vikings? Yeah, me neither. Aaron Rodgers is an enigma and is likely getting out.
The NFC South is a dumpster fire. There’s no more Tom Brady with Tampa and the Saints, Panthers and Falcons are retooling to put it best.
You could make the case the Rams have the third-best roster in the NFC (behind Eagles and Cowboys). If they can stay healthy, they can win Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas. Mark the calendar: Feb. 11, 2024. You heard it here first.