The Los Angeles Rams enter the new NFl season as the defending champions. That has not happened since after they won Super Bowl XXXIV in 1999. With the proverbial target painted on their collected backs, the Rams should be ready to face an uphill climb to defend their throne. As such, let's look at some Rams 2022 bold predictions for the coming season.
The highlights of last season's Rams will be remembered with a lot of drama and fondness. They overcame the odds and a ton of hardship. Matt Stafford may even wind up in the Hall of Fame as a result of their memorable victories. The rings will shine in perpetuity, and the banner will look great at SoFi Stadium.
It's all about legacy, after all. The question now is whether the Rams can repeat and make the sheen on their legacy even brighter. Nobody knows better just how tough that can be than Rams head coach Sean McVay.
“So many things have to go right,” McVay said, via the Associated Press. “We could be a better team this year, and I think we’ve got a chance to do that, and it might not mean we win a Super Bowl, because there are a lot of things that take place throughout the course of a game — the bounce of a ball here — certain things that are out of your control.”
The general consensus, of course, is that the Rams should be a very successful team in 2022. And yet, they may never again have the breaks that most teams need to win a Super Bowl.
Having said that, here are four Rams predictions for 2022.
One day closer. pic.twitter.com/mo2bNhIOOp
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) September 3, 2022
4. Rams RB Cam Akers bounces back
Running back Cam Akers recovered from his Achilles injury in record time, allowing him to participate in the 2021 playoffs. He didn't look the same, though. Now backed by a whole offseason to train and rehab, he should be back stronger. Akers' ability to run and receive the ball makes him an important part of the offense. At the same time, he must be in dominant form in order for all of Sean Mcvay's play actions to be effective. Given Akers' talent and how he'll play with a chip on his shoulder, he might have his finest season yet.
3. OBJ returns to the Rams
With Odell Beckham Jr. out until at least December, he might rejoin the champions and start up where he left off. Beckham was on his way to dominating the Super Bowl and ripping up the playoffs the last time we saw him. However, if Ben Skowronek is unable to develop into a reliable third receiver for the squad, having Beckham back for a postseason run may be a fantastic combo. OBJ's latest surgery may even be an intriguing blessing in disguise. Iy restored the rupture while also correcting the poor surgery that occurred the first time he tore his ACL. With a completely healthy Beckham returning for a playoff push, he might be a significant impact player and the key x-factor in whether or not they repeat.
2. Matthew Stafford is the 2022 MVP
Winning the NFL MVP is now the only main thing missing from his Stafford's projected hall of fame resume. His case also continues to strengthen now that he is in the limelight in Los Angeles. Keep in mind that he was never given credit for his prowess in Detroit. That has changed big time now that everyone in Los Angeles knows how terrific he is.
With Cooper Kupp and Allen Robinson as the team's top receivers in 2022, the Rams also have a strong one-two punch. Take note, though, that because Kupp plays all over the field, the team employs a lot of three-receiver sets. As the third receiver, either sophomore WR Skowronek or the returning OBJ will need to have a strong year. Stafford might be a contender for MVP if all three receivers produce well and they go on another deep playoff run.
1. Rams don't repeat
Matthew Stafford hooked up with Sean McVay in the latter half of his career, and it's the sort of partnership that seems such a good fit that it may result in numerous championships. That is unless one of them (or both) leaves LA in the future, of course.
Aside from those two, there are other pieces that have to fall into place for the Rams to go back-to-back.
One of those pieces is WR Cooper Kupp. For some reason, he seems doomed to be underappreciated for the rest of his career despite having one of the best seasons in NFL history. How that affects his mindset entering their “repeat effort year” remains to be seen.
Take note that including the playoffs, Kupp has 178 receptions, 2,425 yards, and 22 touchdowns. Allow that to sink in. He also caught the game-winning pass in the final seconds against the Bucs, scored both of the Rams' touchdowns in the NFC title game, and converted a fourth-and-1 in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl. You can't do much more amazing stuff than that in a single season.
In addition to Kupp, of course, there's defensive dynamo Aaron Donald.
Nobody doubts Aaron Donald's talent. He might be the best defensive player of all time, or he could be on a shortlist. Then there's Jalen Ramsey as perhaps the finest cornerback in the NFL. There are solid guys surrounding those stars, and the Rams keep adding essential players because they understand how tough it'll be to repeat.
As deep as they are, however, none of this implies that the Rams will ever win another title. Postseason fortune may go either way. Their fans, though, are confident that the Rams have positioned themselves up to be contenders again this season. That's all you can really ask for.
Having said that, a repeat is not a guarantee. It is probably not even be in the cards.