Los Angeles Rams: Run it Back? Can the Rams Repeat in 2022?

by Blaine Grisak
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The Los Angeles Rams have won the Super Bowl against the Cincinnati Bengals. Now, the obvious question is whether or not they can repeat. No team has repeated as Super Bowl champions since the 2003 and 2004 New England Patriots. A few times have tried. The 2013 Seattle Seahawks won the Super Bowl before losing in 2014. The Patriots won in 2016, but lost in 2017 to the Philadelphia Eagles. Just last year, the Kansas City Chiefs went for a repeat, but lost to the Buccaneers.

It’s very difficult to repeat in the NFL and it’s only going to get tougher now since the season is longer and the Super Bowl takes place a week later. However, the Rams could have a good chance and here’s why.

Run it Back

The never-ending narrative is that the Los Angeles Rams are in salary cap hell and don’t have any draft picks. However, what the facts will tell you is that it’s just plain false. With some movement, the Rams have plenty of cap space and they actually are predicted to have eight draft picks. This Rams team will be able to reload.

With simple restructures, the Rams could have as much as $71M in cap space. There’s been a lot of speculation that the Rams would lose Von Miller, Odell Beckham Jr., However, with that amount of cap space, they can bring those players back, look to re-sign guys like Joe Noteboom and Austin Corbett, and possibly make another move or two.

One of the most difficult things to do after winning the Super Bowl is being able to bring that same team back. However, it looks like the Rams will have that ability. Yes, they’ll likely lose Andrew Whitworth to retirement, but that’s what makes having the ability to bring Noteboom back that much more important.

The Rams will also be able to add to their depth with eight draft picks. Their first draft pick won’t come until the third round, but with comp picks, they’ll have ability to bring in guys to re-tool any depth that they lose.

The Los Angeles Rams will be a favorite, if not the favorite in the NFC in 2022 and a lot of that has to do with the fact that they have the ability to bring back some of their key star players.

Matthew Stafford best QB in NFC

The NFC could take a huge hit next year. Tom Brady has already retired which will make the Buccaneers much less of a threat. There are also rumors that Aaron Rodgers could be on his way out of Green Bay. If that happens, that leaves Matthew Stafford as likely the best quarterback remaining in the NFC.

If you have the best quarterback in the entire conference, that gives you a very good chance to repeat. That was the case in 2003 and 20004 when the Patriots won. It’s been the consistent similarity with the other teams that also had a chance to repeat.

The only threats at quarterback will be Dak Prescott, Kyler Murray, and Russell Wilson. And Wilson could also be on his way out of Seattle!

Prescott and Murray both have their troubles in the playoffs, although a lot of that in franchise based. With that said, Prescott has three touchdowns and two interception in his last three playoff games and Murray played his worst game of this season in the wild card round against the Rams.

Meanwhile, Stafford will continue to grow within  the Sean McVay offense. Next season, Cooper Kupp will still be a Ram, Robert Woods and TuTu Atwell will be back, and hopefully Odell Beckham Jr. returns around midseason.

Young Players Taking Next Step

This season, the Los Angeles Rams got a lot out of some young players, especially in the postseason. Heading into year two, Ernest Jones will certainly be someone to keep an eye on in the middle of the Rams defense. Troy Reeder won’t have as big of a role and he was a weakness on that Rams defense.

Greg Gaines and Nick Scott also grew into roles late and they’ll be back. Brycen Hopkins could continue to grow into the role that he had in the Super Bowl with Johnny Mundt hitting free agency.

The Rams have done a great job of developing young players. They did it with Cooper Kupp – a third round pick. John Johnson III is also another great example. Nick Scott, Greg Gaines, and Ernest Jones are just the latest example of that.

Additionally, it’s worth mentioning that Cam Akers didn’t hit the field until Week 18 and didn’t see a full-time role until the wild card round. The Rams offense will be able to do things that they planned to do with Akers in the early stages of next season. It’s possible we see a section of the Rams playbook that we haven’t seen before.

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