Rams look to return to Super Bowl
The Los Angeles Rams had a fantastic 2018 campaign and capped it off with a trip to the Super Bowl, where they lost to the New England Patriots. Is Los Angeles a strong bet to make back-to-back Super Bowl appearances?
Oddsmakers have listed Los Angeles as the favorites to win the NFC next season at a +365 line. The Saints have the next-best odds at +410, while the Philadelphia Eagles are at +660 and the Chicago Bears at +700. As for the AFC, the New England Patriots are favored to return to the Super Bowl at a line of +310. A full list can be found at our NFL Futures Page.
The Rams took a huge step forward in 2018 as they finished with a 13-3 record and won a couple playoff games before falling 13-3 to New England in the Super Bowl. While the Rams struggled offensively in the Super Bowl and at other various times late in the season, when everything was clicking it was a beauty to watch. Quarterback Jared Goff began to live up to the hype of a former No. 1 overall draft pick as he completed 64.9 percent of his passes for 4.688 yards plus 32 touchdowns against 12 interceptions. Running back Todd Gurley was severely limited late in the season by a knee injury, but he rushed for 1,251 yards on 256 carries with 17 touchdowns while catching 59 passes for 580 yards and an additional four scores. The Rams were deep at receiver with Robert Woods (86 catches, 1,219 yards, six TDs) and Brandin Cooks (80 receptions, 1,204 yards, five TDs) leading the way. Los Angeles can also expect the return of Cooper Kupp from a knee injury as he registered 40 catches for 566 yards and six TDs in eight games before getting hurt.
Defensively, the Rams struggled at times to live up to expectations but also came through in many of the biggest moments such as the NFC Championship Game where it downed host New Orleans 26-23 in overtime and followed that up with a great performance in the Super Bowl. Linebacker Cory Littleton helped lead the way with 125 tackles, nine TFL, four sacks and three interceptions. Safety John Johnson III accounted for 119 tackles, 11 passes defensed and four interceptions. But the most important factor was Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald as he racked up 20.5 sacks from defensive tackle to go with 59 total tackles with 30 going for a loss.
The Rams didn't have as splashy of an offseason as 2018 but did sign a pair of veterans in linebacker Clay Matthews and safety Eric Weddle to help on the defensive side of the ball. Dante Fowler Jr. was inked to be a pass-rushing presence, while Blake Bortles was signed to be a backup quarterback. The losses in free agency were arguably bigger in safety Lamarcus Joyner, offensive guard Rodger Saffold and defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. C.J. Anderson was also a big presence in the backfield after Gurley was injured, but the Rams opted not to re-sign him.
Even with the losses, LA should be set up for success next season and could very possibly be playing in the Super Bowl once again next February.