By Stephen Ur –
Los Angeles became the second team in NFL history to win the Super Bowl at their home stadium – the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were first to do it the year prior. They will now be looking to become the first team to win back-to-back Super Bowls since the New England Patriots won Super Bowl XXXVIII and XXXIX in 2004 and 2005.
They have brought back almost all their pieces from their Super Bowl run, including signing star defensive tackle Aaron Donald to a three-year, $95 million deal back in June.
Three-time Defensive Player of the Year Donald recorded 84 combined tackles and 12.5 sacks in 2021 and brought the pressure on Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow to force a turnover on downs that clinched the Rams’ victory in Super Bowl LVI back in February.
Los Angeles has also extended the contracts of wide receiver and Super Bowl LVI MVP Cooper Kupp and quarterback Matthew Stafford, who they acquired in a trade with the Detroit Lions for 2016 #1 overall pick Jared Goff.
Kupp, who caught 145 passes for 1,947 yards and 16 touchdowns during the regular season, also caught eight passes for 92 yards and two touchdowns in the Super Bowl, including the game-winner with 1:26 remaining, signed a three-year, $48 million extension this offseason.
Stafford, the #1 overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, spent 12 seasons in Detroit, not winning a single playoff game. In his first season in Los Angeles, he threw for 4,886 yards and 41 touchdowns. He signed a four-year, $160 million deal with the Rams back in March.
The team also plans on extending the contracts of head coach Sean McVay, who led the team to Super Bowl LIII during the 2018 season, general manager Les Snead, although there have not been any updates on the details of either extension.
They have also added former Chicago Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson. Robinson caught just 38 passes for 410 yards and one touchdown in 2021, but he is expected to have a much bigger role with the Rams after the departure of Robert Woods, who signed with the Tennesee Titans, and Oddell Beckham, Jr potentially missing the first half of the 2022 season after tearing his ACL in the first quarter of the Super Bowl.
Speaking of Beckham, while the Rams want him back, it is uncertain at this time if he will return to the Rams after recovering from his ACL injury.
While the Rams have brought back key pieces from last season’s championship run, they’ve also lost a few pieces, as well. Offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell left the team to become the head coach of the Minnesota Vikings, Woods signed with the Titans, and left tackle Andrew Whitworth announced his retirement earlier this year.
It’s not easy to win a championship in any sport, let alone trying to repeat as champions. The Rams will look to do so this season, which begins on Opening Night, Sept. 8, as they host the Buffalo Bills at SoFi Stadium in Englewood, CA.