What did LA Rams learn from Super Bowl LVI for next SB win?

Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /
5 of 8
LA Rams News
Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /

LA Rams Injuries/depth

The LA Rams roster proved that it had enough depth to win games throughout the 2021 NFL season and that confidence carried over into the NFL Playoffs. But the reality is that the team avoided utter disaster on several occasions, sometimes due to sheer blind luck, and that is not sufficient grounds to base the 2022 NFL season upon. Injuries tested the team’s depth at several critical positions. Like what, for instance?

The LA Rams tight ends, wide receivers, and running backs were all positions that were running nearly on empty at some point in the 2021 NFL season. The Rams seemed to struggle mightily after losing tight-end Johnny Mundt for the season. The team’s running attack struggled for nearly half the season until the offense discovered that it could run well with RB Sony Michel in the backfield running behind backup center Coleman Shelton. And the Rams wide receivers were all but down to Cooper Kupp in the Super Bowl as a legitimate target.

Not all Rams reserves were ready

While the Rams did get some surprising production out of tight-end Brycen Hopkins (four out of four for 47 yards), the rest of the young receivers did not produce much. Van Jefferson and Ben Skowronek combined for six receptions out of 13 targets for 35 yards.  Compare that to Van Jefferson’s performance against the Green Bay Packers in the previous year’s playoffs: six of seven for 46 yards and a touchdown. The Rams’ depth on offense seemed to unravel in the playoffs.

That is not to say that the LA Rams defense was immune to a shallow depth at some key positions. The team divested from two inside linebackers, forcing the team to go with less than ideal players when starting rookie ILB Ernest Jones was injured. The team also seemed to have difficulty in filling the wide range of absences in the secondary that developed throughout the season.

The team will certainly need to shore up the depth chart in the off-season. But perhaps more than just adding bodies, the team needs to have a clear depth chart that has at least one meaningful and capable player of stepping up in the unfortunate event that a player falls to injury. The team was lucky in 2021. Don’t look for luck to repeat in 2022.