III: Rams must find a Top 10 kicker
The Rams front office invested next to nothing in special teams for the 2023 NFL season. In a year that was earmarked as a season for development, growth, and rebuilding, that may have made some sense. After all, special teams play is the final flourish and window-dressing required to convert a competitive team into a Super Bowl Champion. Curiously, the team was ahead of schedule in 2023, a rapid pace that forced the spotlight on special teams play that was not very special.
While I was content to see what Rams re-signed kicker Tanner Brown might offer the team in his second attempt, the performance of Super Bowl kicks has made me retreat on that comfort level. Both the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs benefitted from field goals made from incredible distances. Had either Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker or 49ers kicker Jake Moody failed to make those field goals, the game would never have gone into overtime.
An NFL Championship is often won or lost on the strength of a kicker. Just look at how well Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker performed this season:
The LA Rams rifled through four different kickers in 2023, but not one kicker performed anywhere close to the proficiency of Butker.
If the Rams intend to compete in a Super Bowl game, let alone win one, the team has got to land a Top-10 kicker for the 2024 NFL season. That may take the shape of a veteran, a rookie, or poaching a kicker from an alternate football league like the CFL/XFL/USFL. But the front office must prioritize landing a kicker who has the strength to make 50+ yard field goals, and who has some respectable accuracy.