The LA Rams did not participate in Super Bowl LVIII. But that does not mean that there are not plenty of lessons to draw from in that game, and that can and should be applied to the team in 2024 to ensure that they are that much more competitive.
The game that pitted the San Francisco 49ers against the Kansas City Chiefs was as good as advertised and was a thrilling back-and-forth battle that blew past regulation play to require overtime to finally settle which team had earned the right to lay claim to the Lombardi Trophy. And even now, after the game, some are still questioning how the Chiefs managed to pull out that crazy victory in overtime.
Well, that is a topic for another time.
For now, let's focus on the lessons that the LA Rams must learn and the strategies that the team must adopt to ensure success in 2024. There was certainly plenty to watch, and learn in this one. Games at the level of an NFL Championship are truly decided by how well an NFL team truly prepares. Any weakness, and mental mistake, any single play can be the margin of victory.
And that game of inches reputation that is the NFL truly has been reinforced. Inches played a huge role in a game that witnessed the 49ers jump out to a 10-point lead, the Chiefs come back to put up a three-point lead, and the score to end as a tie after four quarters of regulation play.
This was by no means an error-free game. Both teams turned the football over twice. Neither team's offense was particularly effective. The 49ers offense was just three of 12 on third down. The Chiefs struggled in the red zone, scoring just twice in six attempts. Nearly half of the 49ers offensive yards was thanks to RB Christian McCaffrey, who rushed 22 times for 80 yards, but caught eight of eight passes for another 80 yards and a touchdown.
In the end, it was the 49ers vulnerability to mobile quarterbacks that proved to be their downfall again. Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes not only passed 34 of 46 times for 333 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, but he rushed nine times for 66 yards, many occasions on critical down and distance plays that resulted in first downs.
So what can the Rams organization take away from watching Super Bowl LVIII? We have three lessons that the team must learn: