As we near the opening of training camp for the 2019 Los Angeles Rams, we’re counting down the top storylines.
- Countdown to Camp #5: Final shot for some Rams
- Countdown to Camp #5 Question: Who will be missed the most?
- Countdown to Camp #4: Rams continue to land star veterans
- Countdown to Camp #4 Question: Which star vet will have the most impact?
- Countdown to Camp #3: Out with the old, in with the new
- Countdown to Camp #3 Question: Which rookie will have the most impact?
- Countdown to Camp #2: Gurley’s knee
- Countdown to Camp #2 Question: Will Gurley have more or less than 200 carries?
It’s the dumbest narrative. It’s also the biggest one for the Rams in 2019.
The Super Bowl hangover.
It doesn’t mean anything specifically. Wikipedia has citations that identify three separate “phenomena” for teams that make the Super Bowl. But because it’s a three-word phrase that can be appropriated for television and radio, is has currency. And it has the most currency of anything for the Rams heading into 2019 because of how 2018 ended.
The Rams had one of the best offenses in the NFL in 2018. But because of how that offense performed in Super Bowl LIII against the New England Patriots, there are now questions as to whether that offense can excel moving forward.
Those questions are, to be blunt, unnecessary and misguiding.
Yes, the offense that was among the top (insert # less than 6 here) offenses in the NFL that returns nine of 11 starters should be able to be among the top offensive units again. And that means that a defense that underperformed overall across the breadth of the season especially as a run defense won’t be pressured to improve much. That the Rams found success with and excellent offense while the defense tried to find consistency is a template they might repeat in 2019...and hopefully to similar levels of success.
But this world is the world we live in.
We will have to subject ourselves to the lazy calls from analysts who lean into phrases like “Super Bowl hangover” to subsist upon to get to the next commercial break.
Does that empty maxim impend that the Rams might not win as many games in the regular season and finish their playoff run earlier? That’s an obvious possibility that has nothing to do with last year’s Super Bowl. Does it suggest that teams have “figured out” Rams Head Coach Sean McVay’s offensive blueprints? That’s an odd insinuation given that the Super Bowl was McVay’s 36th game as head coach and that the NFL isn’t in its infancy.
No, the idea of a Super Bowl hangover is one borne out of probability.
It is probable that the Rams won’t make the Super Bowl this year. It’s probably that we’ll win less than 13 games this season.
So be it. Probabilities be damned.
The bottom line is that the window of success is wide open for these Rams. That’s a much more favorable entrance than we enjoyed in any of the preceding eras before this one.
There is no hangover from the Super Bowl or the playoffs or the end of the regular season or 2018 as a whole. There’s only what’s in front of us.
And as a fan of the current Rams, I feel just fine about it.