Was last season really a small sample of how dominant the Los Angeles Rams can be?
The Rams were a playoff contender before the arrival of Matthew Stafford, plus before Jalen Ramsey came along. But now, many wonder if the Rams will take a step back from their Super Bowl 56 run or perhaps be even better than that 12-5 team from last season.
One NFL analyst weighed in with his bold predictions for each NFC West team for 2022 on Friday, August 12 — and answered if the 2022 Rams may be even better than the ’21 version.
What Analyst Predicted
Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus wrote this down for the Rams: They may be better than the one that captured the Vince Lombardi Trophy and cited three primary reasons.
First reason: Who is behind center for the second season in a row.
“Matthew Stafford‘s addition to the Rams changed the potential output of the entire team,” Monson wrote. “His ceiling and capabilities are so much higher than Jared Goff‘s that it allowed head coach Sean McVay to unleash the full scope of the offense, and when that happened, huge numbers ensued.”
Now comes the second reason: The newcomer who already dazzled Ram fans at Crawford Field in UC Irvine during training camp with his big plays that’s expected to trek inside SoFi Stadium and other NFL venues this fall.
“Allen Robinson II joins the team to replace Robert Woods, pairing with a capable quarterback for the first time in his entire football career, including college,” Monson said. “Robinson and Cooper Kupp have supreme potential, and the rest of the unit has had a year to get comfortable with what they can do.”
Monson then ended his point with this prediction.
“This Rams team may be better than the one that won the Super Bowl,” he said.
But that’s not all. He believes another Ram is due for a breakout, plus rejuvenated, year.
How Bobby Wagner Will Dominate in the ‘Rams House’
Monson is a believer that the Rams and the NFL will see a more refreshed version of Bobby Wagner this season now that he’s in the “Rams House.”
“The talent level around Bobby Wagner in Seattle had been deteriorating for years, leaving him as the last remnant of a formerly great defense,” Monson wrote. “Wagner has been one of the best linebackers of his generation, possessing elite ability to read the game even if he might not be physically what he once was.”
But it’s not just the fact that Wagner will have Aaron Donald in front of him, Leonard Floyd next to him and fast-riser Ernest Jones opposite of him that points to a career boost. Monson added one area where Wagner can thrive on the Rams’ defense.
“The Rams’ defense coaches linebackers to be unusually passive in reacting to play action, and eliminating those missteps really helps them out in coverage. Wagner earned a 71.8 overall PFF grade last season but could easily bounce back to a level over 85.0 and push for an All-Pro spot in a better environment,” Monson said.
Speaking of Donald, Monson predicts that “A.D” will double the pressure output of any Rams defender.
“Aaron Donald is the best pass rusher in the NFL at any position. He routinely leads the league in total pressures as an interior lineman or comes very close to doing so. Last season, Donald tallied 86 total pressures, the second-best PFF pass-rushing grade in the league and a top five pass-rush win rate despite experiencing more double teams than most pass rushers. Leonard Floyd managed 58 pressures last season but just a 72.4 pass-rushing grade. An elite year from Donald could see him double his best teammate’s production,” Monson said.
Monson is an ardent believer in this version of the Rams. He’s the latest to deliver his bold predictions, as Heavy on Rams delivered these five bold picks for this season.