The Los Angeles Rams entered the 2022 NFL season as the defending Super Bowl champions. After defeating the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20 in Super Bowl LVI, the Rams also became the 20th team to hoist the Lombardi Trophy since the NFL realigned in 2002.
The Athletic’s Austin Mock and Mike Sando recently ranked these 20 Super Bowl winners from best to worst. Mock and Sando used the following model:
To produce a ranking fairly, we compared every team’s metrics to its peers’ metrics in that specific season. Metrics were then adjusted onto the same scale to “level” the playing field. From there, the teams’ metrics were leveraged to project points for (xPF) and points against (xPA) when facing an average NFL team. We then derived a projected margin of victory (xMOV) and a projected win percentage (xWIN) against an average team.
Using that model, the 2021 Rams came in 13th out of the 20 teams. About the Rams, Mock and Sando said,
“This Sean McVay-era Rams Super Bowl team ranks 83rd since 2002, while the 2018 team featuring prime Todd Gurley ranks 29 spots higher at No. 54, despite having lost the Super Bowl to New England. The reason: That 2018 team was the best Rams team on offense since 2002, according to the model. The 2021 team was better on defense, but not enough to overcome the gap.
In this model, the Rams ranked 13th in projected wins, 13th in margin of victory, 14th in points for, and fifth in points against.
Right behind the Rams were the 2018 New England Patriots at 15th. That Patriots team beat the Rams 13-3 in Super Bowl LIII. The Rams were also behind the 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers who ranked 12th and the eighth ranked 2010 Green Bay Packers. Both of those teams were six seeds that got hot going into the playoffs. The 2020 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who the Rams beat with Jared Goff under center, came in at number five. The Nick Foles-led Philadelphia Eagles also came in ahead of the Rams at number nine.
The number 13 ranking may seem a little low. However, this is also where the Rams rank among these teams in DVOA for their respective seasons. Last season, the Rams had a 21.6 percent overall DVOA which ranks tied for 13th in the group of Super Bowl winners.
The Rams were a team that got hot at the right time heading into the postseason. After a “no-win November”, the Rams only lost one game the rest of the way in Week 18 to the San Francisco 49ers. Matthew Stafford had one of the best runs for a quarterback in the postseason and the rest is history!