The 2022 season is officially at a close following the Kansas City Chiefs winning Super Bowl 57. However, that isn’t stopping pundits from already making predictions about 2023. That’s exactly what the MMQB’s Conor Orr did on Monday. Orr put together “32 fresh (for the most part) predictions for the upcoming season ... one for every team.”
For the Rams, Orr predicted that the team will try to “buttress themselves against a mass exodus at season’s end”. Here’s what he had to say,
“Aaron Donald, Matthew Stafford, Sean McVay … this was a wonderful experiment that yielded a Super Bowl trophy but is now coming to a close. While Stafford’s deal keeps him in Los Angeles for the foreseeable future, we don’t know what another year of physicality and grind will bring. Donald, too, has more incentive to walk away after this season, perhaps one in which he can cement himself as the greatest defensive tackle of all time. McVay, who has talked so frequently about burnout, will go explore life a bit before recharging his batteries.”
Following a 5-12 season that saw the Rams become arguably the worst defending Super Bowl champion ever, many have seemed to write them off. In the betting markets, the Rams are just +3500 to win the Super Bowl next season. This is below the New York Jets, Detroit Lions, Dallas Cowboys, and Denver Broncos.
Matthew Stafford’s MVP odds are worse than Kenny Pickett.
It’s pretty clear that analysts have come to the conclusion that the bets and trades that the Rams made are finally catching up to them and next year will be the end. However, there are a lot of signs that this won’t be the case.
When it comes to the Rams next season, a return back to the mean is much more likely. Of course it depends on how Les Snead and co. approach this season. With that said, the Rams were one of the most injured teams in the NFL in 2022. After starting 3-3, the Rams won just two games the rest of the year.
In five years, McVay had never had a losing record. To say that disaster strikes again and forces him, Stafford, and Donald all out seems a bit extreme. It’s very possible that the Rams bounce back after an offseason to regroup and end up back around nine or ten wins that’s become so common under McVay.
It’s only the beginning of the offseason, but my guess is that this won’t be the last of the “doom and gloom” analysis when it comes to the Rams until live football starts back up in August.