Will the LA Rams be a surprise team in this season’s Super Bowl?
One of the most respected pro football writers in the nation Peter King of Sports Illustrated made a shocking pick for his mid-season predictions. King is picking the Los Angeles Rams to take on the New England Patriots in this seasons Super Bowl.
At 6-2 with the second best record in the National Football Conference (NFC), the Rams have made a startling turnaround after a disastrous 4-12 season that lead to coach Jeff Fisher being fired, first pick in the draft and franchise quarterback Jared Goff being declared a bust, and pundits questioning the NFL in Los Angeles.
A mere year later the Rams are seemingly the darlings of the NFL. First-year coach Sean McVay, a wunderkind at 31, has led the turnaround using his offensive schemes to transform the team. In just nine months the Rams have gone from the worst scoring offense at 14 points per game to the best in the NFL at 32.9 points per game.
McVay has also awoken the talent in Goff. The Rams put a lot of pressure on Goff to immediately turn around the franchise. The Rams have yet to make the playoffs since 2003, and Goff was expected to turn that around.
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Perhaps overwhelmed or due to the inept offensive scheme used by Fisher, last year was awful for Goff. Without offensive weapons, or an offensive line Goff never had a chance as rookie. Never comfortable in the Rams system Goff started as a backup, when pressed into action due to terrible offensive results Goff was terrible.
In seven starts, Goff went 0-7 completing 54 percent of his passes while throwing for five touchdowns and throwing seven interceptions. Goff was practically left unprotected absorbing 26 sacks averaging almost four a game.
The Rams recognized Goff needed help and traded for Sammy Watkins, signed Robert Woods, and drafted Cooper Kupp — all wide receivers. But where the real improvement has been made has been is in making sure Goff is protected.
In just eight games this year Goff has been sacked 10 times roughly once a game, with more freedom to run the offense he’s already surpassed his numbers from last year. Goff has thrown for 2,030 yards while throwing 13 touchdowns and has thrown just four interceptions. Goff is now the unquestioned leader of the team, he is finally in a comfortable place in the offense and the results are bearing out.
The Rams remaining schedule is fraught with challenges, they will face their division rival the Seattle Seahawks on the road and have a showdown with the current 8-1 Philadelphia Eagles looming at the Coliseum.
If the team can meet those challenges then perhaps Peter King’s prediction will turnout and we may see the Rams in the Super Bowl this season.