The Los Angeles Rams offense is going to look a little different heading into the 2021 season, specifically at the quarterback position with the addition of quarterback Matthew Stafford. There are also some new weapons at wide receiver with DeSean Jackson and TuTu Atwell.
The Rams defense meanwhile is going to look a lot different with new starters and a new defensive coordinator.
When it comes to “bold” predictions, some pundits go for shock value. Others play it safer, opting for calls with close to a 50% chance of coming true. If something is bold, it should be bold. I won’t be playing it safe, but I also won’t be going for something totally out of left field that doesn’t have a chance of happening. Let’s get to my bold predictions for the Los Angeles Rams 2021 season.
1. Aaron Donald Wins His Fourth Defensive Player of the Year
Nobody in the history of the NFL has won a defensive player of the year award four times. However, if there’s anyone who can do it, it’s Aaron Donald. Donald is still in his prime and is still arguably the best defensive player in the year by a long shot.
The issue if this doesn’t happen will come down to two factors. The first – the voters won’t allow it. In respect for the greats like Lawrence Taylor and JJ Watt, the voters might not allow it to happen. In order to sway the voters, Donald is going to have a season like no other.
The second – the competition. There will be a lot of competition for this award this year. Both of the Bosa brothers will be back and healthy. Myles Garrett seems ready to take over the league. And, let us not forget about TJ Watt who some believe should have won the award last year. That doesn’t even include someone like Chase Young.
Aaron Donald will have all of this one his mind with the Los Angeles Rams this season. Going into his age 30 season, there is still nobody more physically dominant that Donald. In a 17 game season, he’s going to have another 10+ sacks and be the most feared defender on the football field.
2. DeSean Jackson Surpasses 800 Yards
This one might be in more of the very bold category. This would not only require Jackson to stay healthy all season, but it would mean that he’s a huge part of the offense. I think both happen and I truly think the first has a good chance at happening.
Over the last two years, DeSean Jackson has played for arguably the worst training staff in the NFL. The Philadelphia Eagles have been constantly hampered by injuries, ranking in the bottom-5 in the NFL. The Los Angeles Rams meanwhile have ranked among the healthiest. Clearly, Reggie Scott and his team know what they’re doing.
Secondly, while Van Jefferson could see more time than he did last year, Jackson is the most experienced wide receiver on the Rams. He also brings an element that none of the others can. Jackson can still take the top off a defense at 34 years old. The receiver from Cal also has a quarterback who can hit him.
It’s a small sample size, but take Jackson’s 47.2 yards per game last season with the Eagles and spread it over 17 games. That’s 802 yards. Do we think Jackson isn’t capable of 47 yards per game in a Rams uniform?
3. The Los Angeles Rams Repeat as the Number One Defense
After the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2011 and 2012 and the Seattle Seahawks in 2013 and 2014, no team has repeated as the team’s number one defense. It’s been six years since a team repeated as the number one overall defense. Of all of those teams however, the Rams might have the best chance.
As with everything on the defensive side of the ball for the Los Angeles Rams, it starts with two things. Those two things are Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey. Donald and Ramsey are two of the best defensive players in the league. The best part is that they play on the same defense.
Yes, the Rams lose John Johnson III who played a big role last year. Michael Brockers also isn’t back along with Troy Hill. However, the Rams have players who can replace them. Rams fans must feel good about Jordan Fuller. A’Shawn Robinson will be a great replacement for Brockers. The Rams are thin at cornerback, but Robert Rochell and David Long should be able to replace Hill along with Terrell Burgess in the slot.
The stars would need to align almost perfectly, but with Donald and Ramsey, the odds are certainly increased for a repeat.
4. Andrew Whitworth Finishes With a Pro Bowl Season
This is likely Andrew Whitworth’s final season. The Los Angeles Rams left tackle is going to want to go out on top and leave everything he has on the field. Whitworth hasn’t been named to the Pro Bowl since his first season with the Rams. Whitworth will start his career with the Rams with a Pro Bowl season and finish it with a Pro Bowl season.
Whitworth is still one of the best left tackles in the NFL. He may not be the most popular with players like David Bahktiari and Trent Williams leading the position. However, Whitworth is still quietly solidly inside the top-10. Some of the all-time greats seem to save their best for last. Andrew Whitworth is going to do exactly that.
5. The Rams Win the Super Bowl in Los Angeles
This one seems a little too easy to put in here, but how could you not? The Rams have a top-four roster in the NFL and will have all of the hype going into the season. After having no team ever winning the Super Bowl on their home field, the Rams are going to make it back-to-back.
Last season, the Rams lost games to the San Francisco 49ers, Miami Dolphins, and New York Jets primarily because of the quarterback. With Matthew Stafford, those type of losses won’t happen. It’s because of those losses that the Rams didn’t get the number one seed in the NFC.
With a seven team playoff, getting the top-seed and that first round bye is an incredible advantage. The Rams get that this year and play in SoFi throughout the postseason which ends in a Lombardi Trophy.