Should The Rams Be Super Bowl Favorites In 2022?

Super Bowl MVP Cooper Kupp #10 of the Los Angeles Rams celebrates with the Vince Lombardi Trophy during the Super Bowl LVI Victory Parade on February 16, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.
(Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)

After moving back to Southern California in 2016, the Los Angeles Rams finally won a world championship for the City of Angels by defeating the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI.

Whenever a sports team wins a championship, the question of whether they can repeat the following year is almost always asked.

Although Los Angeles has retained most of its key players from last season’s squad, there have been a few defections.

On top of that, there is also the inevitable question of how hungry it will be after winning it all.

Are the Rams the odds-on favorite to win next season’s Super Bowl, or are they simply one of several teams that could do so?

Not Quite Running It Back

When the Rams celebrated their Super Bowl win with a parade down the streets of L.A., multiple members of the team, including head coach Sean McVay, expressed their desire to run it back with the same exact core next year.

It hasn’t quite happened the way they wished.

Linebacker Von Miller, who was considered the final piece when they traded for him at midseason, has traded in his flip-flops for snow boots, as he is now a Buffalo Bill.

Meanwhile, wide receiver Robert Woods, who tore his ACL in November, was traded to the Tennessee Titans.

The remaining question marks are defensive lineman Aaron Donald and wideout Odell Beckham Jr.

Rumor has had it that Donald may retire this offseason, but Rams management is talking to him about a new contract.

Beckham Jr. injured his ACL during the Super Bowl, making it the second time in just over a year that he suffered the same injury, and it is not clear how many other teams are vying for his services.

On the other hand, quarterback Matthew Stafford just received a new deal, and the team also acquired wideout Allen Robinson to give him another reliable weapon.

It’s Hard To Repeat

Of the four major pro sports in the nation, it’s probably hardest to repeat as champs in the NFL, given its parity, its team-oriented aspect and the fact that its season is much shorter and is followed by a one-and-done playoff format.

The last time an NFL team has repeated as Super Bowl champs was the 2004 season, when Tom Brady and the New England Patriots got it done.

The other issue is the simple matter of motivation.

When someone accomplishes a life-long goal such as winning a world championship, it is human nature to have a letdown the following season and to have trouble heating up the competitive fires again.

The Rams, collectively and individually, may have to up the intensity even more to get another ring in 2022.

The Rest Of The NFL Has Gotten Better

Another obstacle is that the rest of the field has improved, especially in the AFC.

The Bills, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers, Denver Broncos and Miami Dolphins have made key additions, and at least four of those teams will likely have a real shot at winning it all.

In addition, the Rams’ divisional rivals, the San Francisco 49ers, also seem to have a Super Bowl-worthy roster, especially once they get their QB situation sorted out.

As of now, many consider the Bills the early favorites to hoist next year’s Vince Lombardi Trophy.

That trophy could well remain in the Rams’ possession, but they shouldn’t be the odds-on favorite, at least not yet.

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