PHOENIX — Last year, the Los Angeles Rams identified a pub to move all-in, acquire the players out there to round out a talented roster and make a deep playoff series.
The result: a Super Bowl appearance for the first time in 17 seasons, even though it ended at a 13-3 loss to the New England Patriots.
Since the Rams get ready for its 2019 season, the pub remains wide open, also as trainer Sean McVay highlights the tough nature of a duplicate run.
“People say,’Well, you are going to be back,'” McVay said in the NFL’s annual meetings. “But it’s similar to this.”
But with the yield of several stars and minimal turnover in launching positions, it is the realm of possibility. Several groups spanning the last three decades, such as the Patriots, Seattle Seahawks, Denver Broncos, Dallas Cowboys, Buffalo Bills and San Francisco 49ers, have produced successive Super Bowl appearances.
The Rams have the talent and funding to join the list.
“Any time you have a young head trainer and a young quarterback, significantly young center players, you are from the window to take a number of those matters that we’ve talked around,” general director Les Snead said. “And you are always navigating that based on who comes on the roster who comes it off .”
Coming off a 13-3 season and back division titles, the Rams return star play makers Aaron Donald, a twotime NFL Defensive Player of Year; quarterback Jared Goff, a twotime Pro Bowl selection; and running straight back Todd Gurley, a twotime All-Pro. Plus, a couple of important additions have been made in free agency.
Let’s go through the defense.
Before the legal tampering period, the Rams secured a bargain in a hot market for pass-rushers if they signed out linebacker Dante Fowler Jr.. Into a yearlong contract worth around $12 million. He proved himself valuable, particularly in the NFC Championship Game, at which he forced New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees to an errant pass which resulted in a interception and spurred the Rams into an overtime win.
Weddle’s addition will soften the loss in Lamarcus Joyner, that departed for its Oakland Raiders at no agency. Even a 12-year veteran, Weddle is at the twilight of his career, and it was seen after a season in which he produced no interceptions whether he still has elite playmaking ability.
Matthewsa 10-year expert who additionally offers limited seasons staying, knows how to get a Super Bowl. Contemplating his experience playing indoors and out, he will offer flexibility within defensive coordinator Wade Phillips’ 3-4 scheme.
But keeping in mind that the draft is yet to come, questions stick to the shield. Who will plug the hole by Ndamukong Suh? The defensive handle isn’t predicted to return because of budgetary constraints (that the Rams have about $4.8 million staying in their salary cap( according to ESPN Roster Management). If promoted to a rookie, will second year expert Micah Kiser burst set up of interior linebacker Mark Barron, that premiered to truly save 6.33 million in salary?
On offense, few changes are expected on a unit which ranked second in the NFL in scoring last season, averaging 32.9 points per match.
Goff is entering Year 4 of the rookie contract, which allows for funds to be spent elsewhere. But a big cash is probable on the horizon, even as he’s got steadily climbed the quarterback rankings. Last seasonhe not only recorded a perfect passer rating in a Week 4 triumph within the Minnesota Vikings but finished the season with 4,688 yards, 32 touchdowns and 12 interceptions and helped orchestrate a come-from-behind triumph at the NFC Championship Game.
Goff’s go-to goals return, especially Gurley and receivers Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp, that will soon be coming off a season-ending knee accident. Last week, the three receivers were pace to record 1000 receiving yards, and Woods reached the mark.
Last season, Gurley rushed for more than 1000 yards for a second consecutive season and included that a league-best 21 touchdowns, though questions regarding the longterm durability of his left knee remain.
Beside Gurley’s kneethe biggest question on offense is the way it could operate with two key players that are veteran. Left guard Rodger Saffold departed for the Tennessee Titans at no agency, and the Rams failed to grab the second year option on centre John Sullivan‘s contract.
The decision to move on from Sullivan and the increasing loss in Saffold cannot be over stated. They contributed on the only real offensive line to maintain the exact same five starters throughout the season, and they were one of the grandest groups from the league.
However, the Rams entered the past season’s draft preparation Particularly for the line’s future when they selected Joseph Noteboom from TCU from the third round and Brian Allen from Michigan State from the fourth round. Noteboom is predicted to launch in place of Saffold, and Allen will take control for Sullivan.
“coming out with this season, what we do understand is that we could win back branches. That which we didn’t understand after the’17 season was, how can we win a playoff game?” Snead said. “This yearwe know that we could. … The big-picture response to the question: We all know very well what we’re capable of, but 2019 differs than’18.”
After this season, everything could change.
The Rams undoubtedly might need to pay Goff, and contract decisions needs to be made on the young center, including potential paydays for right guard Austin Blythe, cornerback Marcus Peters, linebacker Cory Littleton and safety John Johnson III, that intercepted a team-best four passes last season and couldn’t help but grin when asked during free agency when he detected the amount of money doled out into safeties.
However, those are problems for the future.
For the time being, it’s Super Bowl or bust .