Super Bowl LVI: The Los Angeles Rams’ Road To The Super Bowl

Super Bowl LVI: The Los Angeles Rams’ Road To The Super Bowl
Sat 12th February 2022

In 2019’s Super Bowl LIII, the Los Angeles Rams faced off against the New England Patriots in a game that didn’t exactly amuse the masses. The Rams lost a slow-burning 3-13 match against the Pats, as coach Sean McVey’s esteemed offense didn’t look ready for the big moment. 

Fast forward three years and the team now looks confident, composed, and ready to celebrate. For the second straight year, a Super Bowl team will play at their home field. Last season the Tampa Bay Buccaneers played at Raymond James Stadium, with a minimal crowd due to COVID. One year later, the Los Angeles Rams will play in their state-of-the-art SoFi Stadium, and this time it’ll be packed to the brim. 

The Rams have wheeled and dealed to get themselves here over the past couple of years. Draft picks have been dealt, to get star players including cornerback Jalen Ramsey and their current quarterback Matthew Stafford. After a decade-plus with the Detroit Lions, Stafford headed west to a Los Angeles team where he could finally play to his full potential after years with an often abysmal Lions franchise. 

Stafford didn’t disappoint, as he threw nearly 5,000 yards and 41 touchdowns on the year. He also found a new favorite target as wide receiver Cooper Kupp, went on to win Offensive Player of the Year thanks to his nearly 2,000 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns. 

Kupp has been a great receiver in recent years, but this season he skyrocketed to stardom. In addition to Kupp, the Rams were also able to obtain star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. at midseason, taking their already impressive offense to new extremes. 

As much as people love to marvel over this team’s offensive stars, they also have plenty of star power on defense. We already mentioned Ramsey, who leads a mean secondary, but most teams fear the Rams’ front seven which is led by Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald, who is a sack machine (his 12.5 sacks this season were considered a down year). 

Much like the addition of Beckham to the offense, the defense also scored a big acquisition in the season, as they added 8x Pro Bowler Von Miller to their defensive unit. This defense terrorizes quarterbacks and run games, as they were tied for sixth in the NFL with nearly three sacks per game. 

Both sides of the ball have future Hall-of-Famers and a lot of guys who will want to add a ring to their resume before their career is all said and done. Will they be able to make that happen this week, on the biggest stage of all?

Through the first half of the season, the Los Angeles Rams were trailing the Arizona Cardinals for the NFC West lead. After three straight losses to start November, the Rams were looking like they’d have to settle for a wild-card position. But, then things shifted: the Rams won five straight and the Cardinals fell into a free fall. 

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When the two teams met in Week 17 the Rams were victorious winning 30-23. Even a week 18 loss to the San Francisco 49ers didn’t matter, as the Cardinals fell to the Seattle Seahawks, making the Rams NFC West Champions. In the first round of the playoffs, the Rams continued the Cardinals misery, bullying them to a 34-11 win in front of their Los Angeles faithful. 

In the divisional round of the playoffs the Rams had quite the task, as they faced off against Tom Brady and the defending Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Rams got off to a hot start as they were up 20-3 at halftime. But then Tom Brady did Tom Brady things and tied the game in the fourth quarter.

But a new Matthew Stafford was unfazed, as he got the Rams in field goal range and breakout kicker Matt Gay hit it home to lead them to an NFC Conference Championship berth against division rivals the San Francisco 49ers. 

The Rams had struggled against the Niners during the regular season, losing both matchups against the Northern California franchise. Luckily, for the Rams, the third time was the charm as they were able to outlast San Francisco’s balanced squad to win 20-17 and play the Super Bowl on their turf. 

After a stale performance in Super Bowl LIII, this Rams team will want redemption. They have the talent on both sides of the ball to bring (or should I say keep) the Lombardi Trophy home. They can’t overlook this young Bengals team, as they’ve shown no intimidation this postseason despite playing a very rigorous schedule. Still, it would be pretty poetic for a team full of stars, playing for a city with so much starpower, to win this big game in the shadows of Hollywood.

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Michael is an avid follower of America's "Big Four" major sports, and a massive fan of European soccer. He may be a die-hard Seattle sports fan, but he's also one of their biggest critics—so there never has to be any fear over "biased picks." Michael makes sure to watch all games with a meticulous eye, so he can offer the highest quality picks and analysis for all readers.