The Los Angeles Rams are the team that everybody knew was trying desperately to get to Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium, so the Rams have been painted as the bad guys. The ones who openly aimed to be the best team in the NFL and to hold the Lombardi Trophy in 2022.
The Cincinnati Bengals, on the other hand, were a team that also and equally wanted to win the Super Bowl at SoFi Stadium, but I guess because they weren’t so “in your face” about it, they’ve been labeled as the “last hope” for every fan who simply doesn’t want to see the Rams succeed in their quest to build a super-team of champions.
Which is odd, given that the Rams also haven’t won a Super Bowl during the 21st century; they lost an NFL record 42 games over a three-year period in the tens; were sold in 2010; lost another 14 games; fired a coach; hired the coach who people use as the definition of mediocre; legitimately bombed the decision to trade up for Jared Goff; then doubled down on their mistake to the tune of $134 million; and had to rebuild the last all-in Super Bowl team in less than three years.
If you want the hot take of Super Bowl week: it is just as unbelievable that the Rams are here as it is that the Bengals are here, even if you just look at it from the end of last season.
The Rams had to win a division where three teams won at least 10 games; the Bengals won the AFC North with a 10-7 record at a time when all three other teams in the division had massive issues at quarterback. The Rams were stuck with a Goff extension that hadn’t even kicked in yet and didn’t even have a 2021 first round pick, but somehow still managed to acquire Matthew Stafford that same year. The Bengals were getting back Joe Burrow and knew they had a top-five pick to get him some help, which eventually resulted in drafting the best rookie receiver of all-time.
You may see OBJ, but I see a team that replaced Josh Reynolds with DeSean Jackson.
You may see Von Miller, but I see a team that has had to overcome losses like John Johnson III, Dante Fowler Jr., and Michael Brockers in the last two years.
You may see Sony Michel, but I recall Cam Akers getting injured just before training camp.
You may see Matthew Stafford with a 3-0 playoff record in L.A., but I recall many people noting his 0-3 playoff record in Detroit not even a year ago ... a month ago.
So many teams that have lost the Super Bowl have hit the tank, but the Los Angeles Rams lost the Super Bowl in 2019 and rebuilt themselves into a Super Bowl team in less than five years. It will surely be notable if Jalen Ramsey, Matthew Stafford, and Odell Beckham Jr. win a Super Bowl, they are superstars without a ring, but that doesn’t mean that they were just automatically gifted an appearance at SoFi Stadium on Feb. 13.
The Bucs would have been less surprising. The Packers would have been less surprising. If the Cowboys had reached the Super Bowl, or even won a playoff game, you couldn’t ignore that the roster is stacked at certain positions like a great Super Bowl roster would be and wouldn’t be surprising.
People are comparing the Rams to a “Goliath” in this matchup against the Bengals, and yet Cincinnati went to the playoffs seven times between the Rams’ last postseason appearance in St. Louis (2004) and first in Los Angeles (2017).
From my perspective, I can’t quite get on board with the premise that the L.A. Rams were “supposed” to get here and that’s even knowing that like many of my colleagues at SB Nation, I expected it to happen when they traded for Stafford. They were my favorites to win the NFC. And many favorites don’t make it that far. Most do not. They always have bad things happen to them along the way. So did the Rams.
They just overcame the bad and now they’re one win away from doing something very good.
But that’s just one SB Nation writer’s opinion on the 2021 LA Rams and Super Bowl expectations. It had me wondering, “What do site managers for the other 31 teams at SB Nation think of the Rams?” Because everyone had an opinion on the Rams in 2021. It was a prerequisite for tuning into almost any primetime game.
So I asked them. This is a network that is full of experts who have great opinions on football, including when it’s not about the teams they cover, and I wanted to know: What do you think of the Rams and who are you rooting for in the Super Bowl?
Here are their answers.
I have put them in alphabetical order for the easiest possible scrolling and skimming experience. (For 49ers fans: The alphabet is the one that starts “A-B-C” etc.)
Arizona Cardinals - Seth Cox, Revenge of the Birds
For the Rams it is the culmination of really putting all their cards on the table. They saw the flaws in their team and added Matthew Stafford, they saw key pieces go down and added Sony Michel and Odell Beckham Jr. The Rams have been built to win a Super Bowl in the next two seasons. They now have that opportunity and the dynamic offense and aggressive defense to see it come to fruition. With Aaron Donald, Von Miller and the Rams pass rush, this Rams team is tough to beat.
The rise and fall of the Arizona Cardinals— Rams HQ (@LARAMSHQ) February 6, 2022
Atlanta Falcons - Dave Choate, The Falcoholic
The Rams felt pretty inevitable this year, which is why the many bumps and bruises along the way were so jarring at times. This was a stacked, well-coached team clearly swinging for the fences this year at the expense of quite a few Aprils to come, so anything short of a Super Bowl would’ve been a disappointment. As the year went on and the Packers and Buccaneers, among others, revealed their weaknesses I was pretty certain we’d see the Rams here.
I’m partial to an underdog AFC team, so I am rooting for the Bengals even though I don’t think they’ll win. This is the rare Super Bowl where both teams are likable and I’m not going to be exactly devastated if the Rams do triumph. They’ve done what I think few teams are capable of doing and went all-in successfully, and at the very least I’m going to be interested to see how many executives across the league will try to emulate the Rams in the years to come.
Extremely cool to see the Bengals in the Super Bowl, hope they win— The Falcoholic (@TheFalcoholic) January 30, 2022
Baltimore Ravens - Kyle Barber, Baltimore Beatdown
When I watched the Rams play the Ravens, I saw a bit of a flawed team. It could have been a slump, or the long flight from Los Angeles to Baltimore impacting the team, but they looked off-kilter.
However, I saw a team with the star power to overcome their misgivings; the talent the Rams both drafted and traded for executed against the Ravens. Cooper Kupp moved the chains and caught a touchdown from Matthew Stafford. Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. also reeled in a touchdown pass from Stafford. Aaron Donald was a force of nature, and veteran linebacker Von Miller delivered a game-sealing sack to shut down the Ravens. The 2021 Rams are a culmination of building a team from the ground up to win, while being unforgiving in the trade and free agency markets to acquire the talent for the final push.
Let's go Rams.— Baltimore Beatdown (@BmoreBeatdown) January 31, 2022
Buffalo Bills - Matt Warren, Buffalo Rumblings
I think the way the Bills are built, we are probably rooting against the Rams, or at least how they were built. We have this sustainability model where you guys pushed all your chips in the table to win ‘ships. At the same time, I don’t want Joe Burrow or the Bengals to receive accolades ahead of our boys. Ultimately, Stafford and what he’s been able to do has been fun to watch so you somehow turned into a sentimental favorite. Go Bills!
Like the development Josh Allen, the way the Rams have built their team is not something that can be easily replicated.— SportsRoc (@SportsRoc2) January 31, 2022
It’s the tightest of needles you have to thread.
The “stars” you traded for need to 1000% play like stars
And you NEED to hit with the few picks you have
Carolina Panthers - Bradley Smith, Cat Scratch Reader
I like what the Rams are doing by trading draft picks to build an “all star team” full of quality veterans. It’s an interesting strategy that goes against the traditional wisdom of accumulating draft assets and building through the draft, so I am interested to see if it nets them a Super Bowl victory. I’m rooting for Matthew Stafford even though he turned down a trade to Carolina last offseason (to be honest I don’t really blame him for turning it down because we’re a dumpster fire right now), and even if Stafford wasn’t playing in his first Super Bowl I’d be rooting for the Rams, because taking down the Bucs is enough to convince me to root for them to win it all.
We stan for other cat teams. Congratulations @CincyJungle— Cat Scratch Reader (@CatScratchReadr) January 30, 2022
Chicago Bears - Lester Wilfong, Windy City Gridiron
I knew the 2021 Rams were the real deal on Week 1 when they dismantled the Bears. Matthew Stafford was a definite upgrade at QB for Sean McVay, and Aaron Donald was going to keep doing Aaron Donald things. Cooper Kupp has been fantastic all year and L.A. seems destined to win it all. They are the more complete team, and I think they sneak out a close victory.
Joe Burrow is going to get demolished by Aaron Donald and Von Miller, and I'm still not totally confident the Rams win.— Jacob Infante (@jacobinfante24) January 31, 2022
This could be a really fun Super Bowl.
Cincinnati Bengals - Jason Marcum, Cincy Jungle
While the offense gets much of the attention, the Rams defense is what really scares me in this matchup. Von Miller, Aaron Donald and Leonard Floyd make up the best pass-rushing trio the NFL has, while Joe Burrow has been sacked 33 times over his last eight games (regular and postseason), including nine against a Titans front that’s at least a step down from what the Rams have.
If the Bengals can protect Burrow, this should be a fun game that comes down to the wire. But if not, it could look a lot like last year’s Super Bowl when Tampa Bay’s defense manhandled the Chiefs en route to a blowout victory.
Cleveland Browns - Chris Pokorny, Dawgs by Nature
I’m happy that Matthew Stafford — after all of those years stuck in Detroit — is getting the chance to win a Super Bowl. I also have a respect for the Rams’ unique approach to roster-building. It was a gamble, but it has paid off.
Regarding Odell Beckham Jr, I don’t hate the guy and I’m not rooting against him, but it’s just a disappointment how he handled everything. Fans were patient with him, and I kept giving him the benefit of the doubt, but he repeatedly dropped passes in Cleveland. Then, you read the story about him telling Von Miller this past offseason, “Don’t come to Ohio,” and the writing is on the wall that he basically orchestrated his own release from the Browns. I know Beckham adds a nice dimension to the Rams’ offense, but Cooper Kupp is the guy I’m envious of there.
Dallas Cowboys - R.J. Ochoa, Blogging the Boys
The Los Angeles Rams are such an interesting team, one that I have trouble figuring out my feelings on. On the one hand the way that the league has crowned Sean McVay can be a bit much (sorry, love you guys), but on the other I greatly admire how the team is unafraid to take any sort of risk in the name of improving their team. Objectively I think they are the superior team in Super Bowl LVI, but I would be lying if I said a part of me wasn’t pulling for the Cincinnati Bengals over them.
When you lay out each sector of the two teams and compare them it is difficult to find a spot where the Bengals have the OVERWHELMING advantage. They obviously have some close ones, and Ja’Marr Chase is insane, but Cooper Kupp is insane. Aaron Donald is insane. Jalen Ramsey is insane. Von Miller and Odell Beckham Jr. and Van Jefferson and, oh yea, Matthew Stafford have insane moments.
All told my brain says that the Rams are going to win, but going back to Sean McVay he is prone to turtle-ing up a bit in serious moments. I hate to be “it’s going to come down to this” guy, but I really feel there will be a moment next Sunday where McVay will have to make the right call.
We are all rooting for the Cincinnati Bengals, right?— Blogging The Boys (@BloggingTheBoys) January 31, 2022
Denver Broncos - A.J. Schulte, Mile High Report
I’ve been a Rams fan for most of my life. I grew up through the Spagnuolo and Jeff Fisher years, through the Kellen Clemens and Shaun Hill eras, and the heartbreak of the 2018 season. This year in my first year covering an NFL team and through a weird coincidence, the Rams happened to trade for the most important player of that team; a player who embodied the heart and soul of the Denver Broncos. That player, of course, is Von Miller.
Watching him thrive on my favorite team has been a joy to watch from afar. Seeing him really turn their defense around and change the culture for the Rams on defense as a leader has been truly special. Miller has that kind of personality, and he did the same for the Broncos when he was here.
These two teams have been linked through this trade. Many Broncos fans I know are rooting for the Rams specifically for Von. Everybody in Denver wants Von to earn another title ring. He’s that special.
Watching from afar and seeing the team I cover and the team I love share this bond together has been pretty special. It’s a special sort of magic that I can’t really put into words. Von Miller is that special of a person, and his presence has sparked this incredible run for the Rams. Even if it means Denver has a slightly worse draft spot, I am one thousand percent rooting for the Rams to win this one. Not just for me, but for Von Miller and for Broncos Country.
Von on Broncos fans cheering for the Rams "I’ll always have Orange and Blue in my blood…I’ll always be a Coloradan…you know I didn’t want to leave, I got traded…if it was up to me I’d still be in Denver trying to figure it out…I’ll always be a Denver Bronco forever!"— Brandon Krisztal (@BKDenverSports) February 7, 2022
Detroit Lions - Jeremy Reisman, Pride of Detroit
What’s happening with Matthew Stafford and the Rams is not surprising to me in the least. I had always believed him to be a quarterback capable of taking a team to the Super Bowl. His arm talent and extreme intelligence has allowed Sean McVay to open up his playbook again, and he’s giving his talented receiving corps an opportunity at an elite level.
We’ve seen the bad side of Stafford, too. The occasional disastrous read or questionable decision. It’s all part of the Matthew Stafford experience we all witnessed for a dozen years in Detroit.
The only thing that is surprising about Stafford is how it all managed to come together in Year 1. It takes a lot of things to fall into place to reach the title game and it’s all happening in his first year out of Detroit.
Matthew Stafford and the Los Angeles Rams are going to the Super Bowl.— Pride of Detroit (@PrideOfDetroit) January 31, 2022
Green Bay Packers - Justis Mosqueda, Acme Packing Company
I expect the Rams to win it all. I really hope this upcoming game is a big moment for not only Matthew Stafford but also that defensive line. In my opinion, Stafford was the best progression passer in the pocket this season whenever he was healthy. It’s a great story in itself. Aaron Donald getting a ring to cement himself as one of the most dominant linemen ever is just as big of a story to me, though. With Donald, Von Miller and Leonard Floyd ready to tee off against that right side of the Bengals’ offensive line, I’m hoping there’s going to be some credit shared with the defensive side of the ball this Super Bowl.
Houston Texans - Battle Red Blog
The Rams have impressed all season, and the beating they put on the Texans has not been forgotten. The Rams’ offense is one of the most explosive in the league, and their defense boasts more top-end talent than any other organization right now. I’d love to see Matthew Stafford break through on the biggest stage as well.
But in terms of a rooting interest, I’m backing the Bengals. As a fan of a similarly woebegone franchise, I hope Cincinnati can erase decades of futility and bring home a Lombardi Trophy.
Indianapolis Colts - Brett Mock, Stampede Blue
When the Rams added Matthew Stafford, I expected they would be an NFC front-runner. When they faced the Colts early in the season, I was encouraged to be in a position to win the game. It took this Rams team a little longer to figure things out than I might have imagined but it’s no surprise they’re hosting the Super Bowl.
I preface this by saying I don’t think it’s going to happen but let’s stop the “colts don’t have a 1st rd pick so they can’t trade for a QB” talk. Rams had no 1st rd pick last year and traded for Stafford. Rams threw in Goff. Colts can throw in Wentz. Possible not probable— chicagocolt (@ChicagoColt) February 8, 2022
Jacksonville Jaguars - Ryan Day, Big Cat Country
I’m genuinely happy for Jalen Ramsey. You might not hear that from every Jaguars fan, but I don’t mind seeing him have success or go to the Super Bowl. He gave us some good years and even better memories — especially during that historic 2017 run. His transition to Los Angeles seems to have gone pretty flawlessly, in terms of how he’s played on the field. He hasn’t had very many times where I’ve been watching and he’s just blown it. Miscommunications (and the eventual temper that comes with it) but that’s a small price to pay for an elite level cornerback who can match up against wide receiver in the NFL.
All that said, sorry, but Joe Burrow gets all my love in the Super Bowl. He’s playing his ass off, man. And he’s super fun to watch. I think he’s lifting the Lombardi Trophy when it’s all said and done.
Conspiracy theory, not sure if it's out there:— Tom Downey (@WhatGoingDowney) December 21, 2020
Part of the Jaguars-Rams trade for Jalen Ramsey was for the Rams to lose to the Jets to help Jacksonville get Trevor Lawrence
Kansas City Chiefs - Pete Sweeney, Arrowhead Pride
Heading into the 2021 NFL season, I predicted the Los Angeles Rams to win the NFC, so the outcome here isn’t all that surprising to me. I have always thought the fact that Sean McVay coached a Jared Goff-led team to a Super Bowl is a vastly under-talked-about feat, and I knew when they went out and got Matt Stafford, it would be the key to LA getting back to the big game. I’ll be honest. I was a little skeptical when the Rams opted to bring Odell Beckham Jr. in, but especially given the Robert Woods injury, it is seeming more and more like the NFL personnel decision of the year. The Rams have the offense, defense and special teams to win a Super Bowl. It’s all happening at the right time, and that’s why they are rightly favored to bring a championship to Southern California.
Las Vegas Raiders - Bill Williamson, Silver and Black Pride
The 2021 Rams were a reminder to all sports teams that the potential of going “all in.” In a sports world, where so many franchise tank for financial and draft-pick reasons, the Rams showed that trying to win pays off. Hats off to them.
L.A. Chargers - Michael Peterson, Bolts from the Blue
As good as the Rams looked at times this season, there were moments where they really played down to the level of their competition. At times, Matthew Stafford didn’t look like the answer as he struggled with quite a few multiple-interception games against some of the stronger opponents on their schedule. At others, the offense and defense would both show up at the same time and make them look like THE team to beat in the NFL. I mean, the star power alone on this team is insane and to be quite honest, a Super Bowl is arguably the standard for a roster built like theirs.
At the end of the day, I didn’t believe they’d make it here due to their inconsistencies, but boy did they show the rest of the NFL that when they’re cooking, it’s with gas. I think I’ll be rooting for the Rams come game time as they have too many players who are truly deserving of a Super Bowl, such as Stafford, Aaron Donald, Jalen Ramsey, Cooper Kupp, and Odell Beckham Jr. I guess if a team is going to win the big one, it might as well be a team from Los Angeles.
L.A. Rams - Kenneth Arthur, Turf Show Times
I hold a high opinion of the Rams, especially Aaron Donald. This article is too long. Go Rams.
Miami Dolphins - Kevin Nogle, The Phinsider
I think the Rams, coming into the 2021 season were, on paper, a team that could be Super Bow contenders. They clearly had the defense that they needed to be able to get there, but the questions were all about the offense. Adding Matthew Stafford was a brilliant move and it solidified the team’s potential Super Bowl run into an actual Super Bowl run. This seems like exactly where they were supposed to be. They were built to win now and now the are winning. Personally, I am happy to see Stafford in the Super Bowl. I liked watching him play in Detroit and thought that he did not get a fair assessment of his talent with the Lions. Now, on the biggest stage, he can show that he really is a good quarterback.
For the second straight year, a team gets to stay home to play in the Super Bowl. Rams looking to win like Bucs last year.— The Phinsider (@thephinsider) January 31, 2022
Minnesota Vikings - Christopher Gates, Daily Norseman
I don’t know if I’m cheering for or against the Rams (or the Bengals) in this one, to be honest. But I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t hoping at least a little bit for Stafford to finally get his. That guy took a lot of butt-kickings courtesy of the Vikings over the years with some severely undermanned Lions teams. The Vikings even set their single-game record for sacks at Stafford’s expense back in 2018, when they took him down 10 times. He’s shed a lot of his reputation this season by getting the Rams to the Super Bowl, and it certainly wouldn’t make me sad to see him holding up the Lombardi Trophy in a couple of weeks.
Soon-to-be Vikings HC Kevin O'Connell conveyed a firm belief in Kirk Cousins during the interview process, I'm told. He's high on him. The front office must decide on Cousins' future due to his $45M cap hit, but many coaches interviewing for job liked Cousins, O'Connell included— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) February 7, 2022
New England Patriots Bernd Buchnasser, Pats Pulpit
“Oh look, they traded for Matthew Stafford. Oh look, they traded for Von Miller. Oh look, they traded for Odell Beckham Jr. Oh look, they …” You get the idea. I’m probably not the only one in this here story to notice the Rams’ aggressiveness throughout the offseason and beyond. That “draft picks be damned, let’s win a title!” mentality could come back to haunt them at one point down the line, but now is not the time to think about that. Now is the time to enjoy the ride if you’re a Rams fan, or one of their players or coaches.
Among them are a few former Patriots as well, which is obviously interesting from my perspective writing about the team. Kevin O’Connell and Zac Robinson obviously come to mind, but one that does stand out due to his recent ties with the organization is Sony Michel. Michel’s career could come full circle on Super Bowl Sunday: as a rookie in 2018, he was instrumental in helping New England win a championship — coincidentally against these very L.A. Rams. Michel scored the game’s only touchdown; now he will have a chance to win his second ring as a member of the opponent that day.
While most Patriots fans probably do not have a clear rooting interest for the game against Cincinnati, I would believe that they are happy Michel is getting another chance to win a title. I certainly know that I am.
The fifth and sixth round picks the Rams are sending to the Patriots for Michel are interesting, per source w knowledge. If the Rams get a fourth-round comp pick (John Johnson), the Patriots get that and the Rams get their fifth and sixth-rounders back.— Jourdan Rodrigue (@JourdanRodrigue) August 25, 2021
New Orleans Saints - Chris Dunnels, Canal Street Chronicles
Matthew Stafford seems like a genuinely decent dude who was the victim of a poor franchise around him, and he deserves a Super Bowl. Odell Beckham, Jr. is an LSU legend, and many Saints fans would similarly be happy seeing OBJ get a ring. That being said, you’d be hard-pressed to find a Saints fan cheering for the Rams in this year’s Super Bowl. The LSU ties to Cincinnati (Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase) and the former Saints on the team who are still well thought of (meaning Trey Hendrickson and Vonn Bell, as opposed to Eli Apple), make rooting for the Bengals a no-brainer. Old Timer Saints fans still remember the days that Rams used to be division rivals with the Saints in the old NFC West, so that surely doesn’t help either. #WhoDey
New York Giants - Ed Valentine, Big Blue View
All I will says is Giants fans are not going to enjoy watching Odell Beckham Jr. play in a Super Bowl.
New York Jets - John Butchko, Gang Green Nation
I’ve always admired Matthew Stafford. The issues in Detroit were never his fault so it has been fun to watch him succeed on a team that could support his talents.
Philadelphia Eagles - Brandon Lee Gowton, Bleeding Green Nation
I’m definitely not rooting for the Rams. I’ve just never been a big Sean McVay guy. He’s obviously had a lot of success and he’s a great game planner or whatever but the dude is a total coward who turtles up in big moments. I have a tough time reconciling the hype machine that heralds him as a “genius” while I see him often play not to lose instead of going all out to win. I especially think it’s silly how much praise he gets while Doug Pederson — who gave the Eagles an edge by being super aggressive — barely gets credit by contrast for, you know, actually winning a Super Bowl. Not all Eagles fans are as hung up on that dynamic as I am but a majority of them will be rooting for the Bengals. They’re just a more likeable team anyway. Then again, I’m not really the biggest Zac Taylor guy either. But Joe Burrow being cool AF and Cincy being underdogs overrides that for me. I have a fear that the Rams will win and spite me but I’m hoping I’m wrong about that.
Pittsburgh Steelers - Jeff Hartman, Behind the Steel Curtain
The Los Angeles Rams are a team that, in my opinion, went for broke in the 2021 season. They traded a lot of future draft capital to bring in players like Matthew Stafford and Von Miller, but it has paid off. Many fans want to bemoan an organization for “selling the farm” to win, but if they win it all, isn’t it worth it? If the Rams are able to beat the Bengals in the Super Bowl, they will have gotten the job done. As for rooting interest, I am rooting for the Rams in the big game, not just because the Bengals are a division rival, but I always love to see new names and faces winning it all. Matthew Stafford is deserving of success, and there is that whole Bengals being a division rival thing. So, in that regard, go Rams on Feb. 13.
#Rams head coach Sean McVay called #Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin not only one of the best leaders in football, but in all of sports. High praise. Wish more people understood how great and valuable Tomlin is.— Josh Carney (@ByJoshCarney) February 8, 2022
San Francisco 49ers - Kyle Posey, Niners Nation
(Just kidding about the “A-B-C” thing, Kyle!)
I picked the Rams to make the Super Bowl before the season so this was expected. There were times when they didn’t look like a team that would make it far in the playoffs during the season, but their stars showed out when it mattered. Between Aaron Donald, Cooper Kupp, Jalen Ramsey, Matthew Stafford, Von Miller, and Odell Beckham, the Rams were too much to handle for the NFC. That’s unlikely to change in the Super Bowl.
Kudos to Los Angeles for “doing is their way” as they took plenty of flack for “going all in” on this season with the in-season additions of Miller and Beckham. Traditional thinking is that you use your draft picks and that’s how you build your team. The Rams said to hell with these picks and went out and got proven, established players. For thinking outside of the box, I commend them. I’ll always root for Ramsey and Beckham.
I think the Rams beat the Bengals in the Super Bowl comfortably. Cincy won’t be able to block Donald and company while their defense will be lucky to hold Stafford under 28 points.
Seattle Seahawks - Mookie Alexander, Field Gulls
I picked the 2021 Rams to win the division (and I picked 12-5 on the nose) and reach the NFC Championship Game, so they did both and then some. It may be easy to label this group as a superteam because of all the star power and the big trades, and it’s fair to a degree, but I think what’s lost in the shuffle is their own player development and scouting.
Cooper Kupp (to me, the undisputed OPOY) was a 3rd round pick, Tyler Higbee went in the 4th, Jordan Fuller was taken in the 6th, Greg Gaines in the 4th, Travin Howard in the 7th, you get the deal. It’s clear that Les Snead and the front office believed the players they’d already drafted, such that they could afford to give up all of those high draft picks to get established upper-end talent in Matthew Stafford, Jalen Ramsey, and Von Miller in order to win now.
My thoughts on Sean McVay as a head coach got lowered a bit with some of his poor game management this postseason. I still think he has a tendency to outsmart himself as a playcaller but I can’t knock the success he’s had and the offensive system he’s developed. Dude is that good. And I’m tired of losing to him.
As a Seahawks fan, if Marshawn Lynch rolls with the Bengals, so do I!!!— Sports ON Tap Seattle (@SONTSeattle) February 7, 2022
Fuck the Rams. pic.twitter.com/MhryAEGFfG
Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Gil Arcia, Bucs Nation
It felt almost instantly for me when the Rams brought in Matt Stafford that the rest of the NFC would have to watch out. Factoring Stafford in to an already stout roster and coaching staff was a recipe for success without question in my opinion. If you look at the Bucs matchups against them not just in Week 3 but in the Divisional Round, Los Angeles could have easily put up a 40-spot on them. The Bucs had no business being on the same field with the Rams. I envisioned them reaching the NFC Championship at the start of the year but against Tampa Bay. Just like I didn’t hesitate picking against the Rams when they played the Buccaneers twice this season, I won’t hesitate to pick against them in the Super Bowl. The Los Angeles Rams will be Super Bowl LVI Champions.
Tennessee Titans - Jimmy Morris, Music City Miracles
I did expect the 2021 Rams to be exactly where they are. They went all in on the Matthew Stafford trade and it paid off big time for them. I will be rooting for the Rams in the game because as an Alabama fan and a Titans’ fan I can’t cheer for Joe Burrow!
Washington Commanders - Scott Jennings, Hogs Haven
The Rams will forever be connected to Washington because of one spectacularly disastrous trade that saw one team go all in, and one team try to build to dominate using the picks they received. GM Les Snead failed miserably with the bounty of high picks they received in the RGIII trade, and the team has been the poster child of going all in recently. They are now the team who doesn’t have 1st round picks for years to come, but they are also in the Super Bowl for the 2nd time in 4 years.
The big change recently has been the arrival of Sean McVay, another connection to Washington’s past. He was the wonderboy that every local reporter talked about as a future genius head coach. When he started interviewing for a head coaching job I didn’t think it would happen. Smart young man, but it was too soon. Now he started the trend and the league continues to look for the next McVay.
I personally wouldn’t mind seeing Sean McVay win a Super Bowl on his 2nd try, because I know it would annoy Commanders owner Dan Snyder that another former coach is a huge success. Matthew Stafford is another guy that’s easy to root for in the big game. But I can’t stand Les Snead, so I have to say Go Bengals next Sunday.