They claimed the Lombardi Trophy in a thrilling climax to the campaign, hosting the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20 in front of a capacity SoFi Stadium crowd in their home city on Sunday night.
This was a project year for the Rams. It started with a trade, taking veteran quarterback of 12 seasons, Matthew Stafford, from Detroit and offloading Jared Goff in the process. It was a move that handed the Detroit Lions two first-round draft picks, as well as Goff.
Twelve months later, Stafford combined with Cooper Kupp for a touchdown with 90 seconds on the clock and took the lead for the first time since the half-time show against the Bengals and, on the back of a dominant defensive effort, got their hands on the prize. They made the right move.
Right now, it’s time to celebrate for the Rams, but next week their general manager Les Snead will have to start figuring out how to do it again.
During the season, the Rams added line-backer Von Miller and picked up receiver Odell Beckham Jr. Both players have demonstrated their value in this play-off run. Undoubtedly, the Rams wouldn’t be champions without them.
Beckham caught the first touchdown pass of the Super Bowl and looked set for a huge game before he lay crumpled on the field, holding his knee in the second quarter. While it was a night-ending injury for Beckham, the repercussions could be that the Rams get the receiver back on a short-term “prove-it” contract in August.
Miller put in a strong performance, where the Rams’ pass rush was constantly in Joe Burrow’s face. Miller firmly stated after the game that he wants to stay in LA, even challenging Snead and his agent to get it done.
The key to the whole Rams defense, though, is three-time defensive player of the year Aaron Donald. He would not be drawn on his future by him in the wake of the victory. Donald is under contract for the next three seasons, but now he has his Super Bowl ring, is there anything left to do?
LA has some questions to answer on the offensive side of the ball too.
On Sunday, the Rams had no run game. Cincinnati dominated the line and with 40-year-old Left Tackle Andrew Whitworth expected to call it a day, this is where the Rams need to rebuild.
The Rams have Stafford under contract for another year and will be expected to extend the 34-year-old’s deal beyond that, so making sure that the team have an offensive line to protect the quarterback is vital.
Despite all that, the Rams strategy of trading away high draft picks for experienced players is the real reason the Rams won Super Bowl LVI.
The Rams believe that choosing experience over potential has built a great team, so well done Snead. You’ve proven a lot of people wrong, including this Rams fan.
So enjoy the win, Les, but don’t take too long because if you want to be back here, then there’s work to do, and now the fans expect it.
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