The Los Angeles Rams had a turbulent fall from grace in the 2022 NFL season.
It started from the season opener against the Buffalo Bills and lasted for the entirety of the campaign.
Not only were opposing teams bringing their “A” game against the defending Super Bowl champs, the Rams had some issues of their own which never got resolved.
Still, it was a bit of a surprise to those betting on NFL and NFL fans that Los Angeles struggled as badly as they did.
Matthew Stafford’s Health
One of the reasons why the Rams fell off as sharply as they did was the health of Stafford. He wasn’t able to maintain the level of durability that he displayed during the Super Bowl season, as he was shut down before the conclusion of the season with a spinal cord contusion. There was some chatter that the veteran quarterback would consider retiring, but that discourse was nipped in the bud shortly after it started.
Still, Los Angeles is banking on Stafford to play the majority of the games at high efficiency. The organization decided not to bring in an established quarterback this offseason in case something should happen to their starter. It will be interesting to see if the front office’s gamble works out.
An Improved Running Game
The Rams gave fans a plethora of memories during the championship run, but it is generally forgotten how the rushing attack factored into their success. Their drop-off from 2021 to 2022 was steep, as the team could not keep defenses honest on the ground.
This is going to be an enormous season for Cam Akers, who has struggled with injury and inconsistency throughout his career. At one point last season, Los Angeles sat him out, thinking they would trade him, but that never materialized.
He’ll have a short leash and will need to produce from the get-go if the Rams are going to remain confident in his abilities.
Production Opposite Of Kupp
Cooper Kupp has blossomed into one of the best receivers in the NFL. Despite his perceived lack of athleticism, his precise route running and flexibility at the top of the route make him one of the most difficult players to cover in the league.
Stafford has certainly taken advantage of Kupp’s ability to get open seemingly on every passing down, and it’s one of the reasons why the Rams are primed for a bounceback in 2023. However, carrying the team every week would be a lot to ask of Kupp, which is why the Rams hope they can rely on a number two receiver much more than they did last year.
Los Angeles brought in Allen Robinson ahead of the 2022 campaign, but he did not prove to be a good fit with the team. The Rams declined to bring Odell Beckham Jr. back after he suffered his second career ACL tear. Van Jefferson is the player to watch, as he’s been a favorite of the organization for several years.