It doesn’t feel like it’s been long at all since Matthew Stafford and the Los Angeles Rams lifted the Lombardi Trophy after defeating the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI on their home turf in SoFi Stadium.
With training camp right around the corner, we turn the page on that chapter in league history and set our eyes on a clean slate.
Typically, defending champions are given quite a bit of respect heading into the next season. This year, however, it feels like the Rams are being wildly doubted for no apparent reason, leading to great value on them to repeat as NFL champions.
Los Angeles Rams Super Bowl odds (+1100 BetMGM)
Currently, the favorite to win the Super Bowl is the Buffalo Bills (+600), followed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+750), Kansas City Chiefs (+900), and the Rams at (+1100). I understand that the Bills are a great team. I also understand that the Buccaneers have Tom Brady. The Chiefs are a bit surprising after losing star wide receiver Tyreek Hill.
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But let’s talk about the Rams. Last year was the first season for Stafford in LA, and he’s apparently feeling more comfortable heading into his season year with head coach Sean McVay.
“At this point in the year last season, I think to myself what I knew about this team and this offense, and it’s just so small in comparison to what I know and understand now,” Stafford said, per the team website. “So that gives me great comfort in the fact that we can go above and beyond what we did last year.”
A comfortable Stafford should scare opponents.
Also of note are a couple key offseason additions in linebacker Bobby Wagner and wide receiver Allen Robinson.
Wagner, who spent his first 10 years in Seattle, is on a Hall of Fame trajectory. In his 10 seasons in Seattle, Wagner racked up 1,383 tackles, 78 quarterback hits, 68 tackles for loss, 11 interceptions, and 23.5 sacks from the middle linebacker position. Since entering the league in 2012, no player has more combined tackles than Wagner.
And it’s not like he’s slowing down. Granted, last season saw the NFL add an additional game to the schedule, but Wagner’s 170 combined tackles last season was a career high in his age-31 season.
Wagner will join Aaron Donald in solidifying what should be one of the best defensive units in the NFL this season.
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As for Robinson, the veteran receiver will operate as the second option in a passing attack opposite Cooper Kupp, which will be a welcome change.
Robinson was a prolific receiver prior to a horrible 2021 season with the Chicao Bears. He has three seasons with north of 1,100 receiving yards to his name, despite playing with underwhelming quarterbacks.
Add a post-prime Andy Dalton and rookie Justin Fields operating in a horrible system with an atrocious line to that list. A gross situation combined with nagging injuries led to Robinson having the worst season he has had in the pros. Give him a change of scenery, an offensive mastermind in McVay, and the best quarterback he has ever played with, and Robinson is primed to bounce back and contribute handsomely to the Rams’ repeat efforts.
The Rams are stacked, have top-tier talent at all levels on both sides of the ball, and are coming off a dominant season. Add the fact that they are playing in a suddenly-winnable division, and they should be in the mix to be the No. 1 seed in the NFC heading into the playoffs. The value is there to chase a repeat with the Rams.