It’s only been two years, but it feels like a lifetime ago when the Los Angeles Rams beat the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI to hoist the trophy in their SoFi Stadium home.
The Rams caught lightning in a bottle toward the latter half of the 2022 season as they overcome a winless November to win the NFC West. Los Angeles’ path to the Super Bowl wasn’t easy as they had to overcome worthy opponents in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and San Francisco 49ers, but the team came together to play their best football of the year.
Matthew Stafford looked every bit like the quarterback the Rams were hoping they would get when they landed him in a blockbuster deal the previous offseason, but it was the defense that really shined during the playoffs. Los Angeles had Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey patrolling the field, but the addition of Von Miller really took the defense to an entirely different level.
Perhaps coincidentally, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes named the three star players as the hardest ones he’s faced so far in the NFL via Complex Sports:
Patrick Mahomes lists the three hardest players he's played against in the NFL while playing Rapid Fire 👀 pic.twitter.com/guQVjqB5ZJ
— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) June 12, 2023
Mahomes is by far and way the best quarterback in the league, but certain defensive players can still give him trouble. The former Rams trio have some of the best at their respective positions, and they make for worthy foes for opposing signal callers like Mahomes.
Donald is the lone star remaining from that Super Bowl run as Ramsey and Miller are both in the AFC with the Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills, respectively. While Mahomes doesn’t play Donald and the Rams this season, he will see Ramsey and Miller during the 2023 season.
Fans can’t help but wonder if the 2022 campaign would’ve turned out differently had the front office been able to retain Miller. It’s a fun thought experiment, but the Rams have to focus on the upcoming season and rebuilding the foundation for the franchise going forward.
Ernest Jones expects to be blitzing more in 2023
Outside of Donald, Los Angeles doesn’t have much in terms of pass rushing talent. The outside linebacker situation is bare after the team let go of Leonard Floyd, so Raheem Morris will need to get creative when it comes to generating pressure.
One way is to have Ernest Jones blitz more, a strategy he expects to see Morris call a lot more often in 2023.