Best and worst case scenario for 2022

Welcome to FanSided’s 2022 NFL preview! It’s time to look into our crystal football and take a glimpse at the Los Angeles Rams season prediction.

The LA Rams 2021 NFL season may have tested the team to the limits, but all’s well that ends well, right? Well, that’s how the fanbase felt after enduring the emotional roller coaster of the Rams’ 2021 NFL season. How wild of a ride was it? The team jumped out of the gates with a 7-1 record. Then, the team mysteriously fell into a mid-season slump to fall to 7-4. Then, just as unexplainable, the team surged to finish off the season with a 5-1 streak.

That success carried over into the NFL Playoffs, where the Rams won four consecutive games against outstanding competition.

The hope is that the Rams’ 2021 success will carry over to 2022.

Los Angeles Rams 2021 season in review

  • 12-5 record
  • 1st in NFC West
  • Won Super Bowl LVI

The Rams’ 2021 NFL season was a very dramatic experience, both for the organization and for the fanbase. The team faced an onslaught of repeated injuries to running backs, defensive backs, wide receivers, and edge rushers. But the LA Rams front office remained one step ahead of the roster shortages, either by trades, signing free agents, or working the NFL waiver wire.

The results were obvious as the team shook a mid-season losing streak, putting new additions OLB Von Miller, WR Odell Beckam Jr., and KR/PR Brandon Powell to work in helping their new team win consistently.

Los Angeles Rams 2022 NFL Draft class

  • Rd 3: Logan Bruss, OL/Wisconsin
  • Rd 4: Decobie Durant, DB/South Carolina St.
  • Rd 5: Kyren Williams, RB/Notre Dame
  • Rd 6: Quentin Lake, DB/UCLA
  • Rd 6: Derion Kendrick, DB/Georgia
  • Rd 7: Daniel Hardy, OLB/Montana State
  • Rd 7: Russ Yeast, DB/Kansas State
  • Rd 7: A.J. Arcuri, OL/Michigan State

The Rams have come to depend less heavily upon the NFL draft rookie class in terms of impact players, and more along the lines of improving the team’s roster depth. Of course, the team will not complain if there is the occasional diamond in the rough discovered in the team’s draft class, and there are indications that one or two players from the Rams’ rookie crop may not only compete for some playing time but may earn a significant rotational role for the team.

The Rams have not hesitated to redshirt rookies, and this year will be no different. But this roster is a bit better constructed than in the past. We know that by the time of this article that rookie offensive lineman Logan Bruss is out for the season. But undrafted rookie wide receiver Lance McCutcheon continues the streak of the Rams finding diamonds in the rough among their undrafted rookies.

Previewing Los Angeles Rams offense for the 2022 season

  • Key offseason additions:
    • Allen Robinson, WR
    • Kyren Williams, RB
  • Biggest X-Factor: QB Matthew Stafford’s health
  • Squeakiest Wheel: Rams entire running back group

The LA Rams will once again feature the sensational passing of veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford. Stafford is cut from the same bolt of cloth as some of the NFL’s legendary gunslingers: Brett Favre, Joe Namath, Dan Marino, and even Phillip Rivers. This year, the Rams believe that they have added key weapons to optimize that pass-first mentality. WR Allen Robinson is an ideal fit, as he excels at catching footballs in traffic. Matthew Stafford loves to throw into traffic.

But we know that the offense needs to do a better job of keeping defenses honest. To that end, the team is counting on the healthy return of veteran RB Cam Akers and the debut of rookie Kyren Williams to power the Rams’ ground attack. The Rams will need to commit to the run, as early indications are that the team needs more work to threaten defenses on the ground..

Previewing Rams defense for the 2022 season

  • Key offseason additions
    • Bobby Wagner, LB
    • Troy Hill, CB
  • Biggest X-Factor: Can Wagner rediscover his prime?
  • Squeakiest Wheel: Rams pass rush

The LA Rams may not be the jaw-dropping defense that some may expect, but the rule of thumb is winning, not shocking or headlining, and the Rams defense appears to be rather formidable on paper. This year, the Rams boast All-Pro talent on the defensive front in DL Aaron Donald, at the linebacker level in Bobby Wagner, and in the secondary in Jalen Ramsey. The defense is newly configured, but this starting 11 appears to reflect exactly what defensive coordinator Raheem Morris is looking for.

The Rams have a strong defensive line, solid linebacker depth, and a small army of talented defensive backs. Right now, the biggest question is whether the team can get to the quarterback. I think that one gets answered quickly, as the Rams pass rush appears quite healthy to open the 2022 NFL season.

Los Angeles Rams coaching staff overview

  • Head Coach: Sean McVay
  • Off. Coordinator: Liam Coen
  • Def. Coordinator: Raheem Morris

The LA Rams coaching staff is one of the worst-kept secrets in the NFL. It seems as though each season the team is scrambling to hire multiple coaches to fill the vacancies created by other NFL teams poaching from the Rams coaching staff.

It’s that rapid promotion to other NFL teams that seems to attract the best from among the young and hot coaching names in the NFL and NCAA coaching circles. The Rams lost offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell to the Minnesota Vikings as a head coach but filled the role with former QB coach Liam Coen, who was the offensive coordinator for the Kentucky Wildcats for one season.

The Rams’ positional coaches are a huge asset for the team, as they are depended upon to coach up undrafted and late-round rookie prospects into NFL rotational and starting players.

Los Angeles Rams Awards Watch for the 2022 season

The LA Rams historically have been a team driven by their best players, and the dynamics of how the Rams restock their roster allows them to feature some of the best NFL talent playing today. As such, the LA Rams will have several players up for formal recognition in 2022.

Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp, MVP

While it could be a matter of two players on the same team canceling out each other, both LA Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford and LA Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp could be in line for the MVP award this season.

For Stafford, the benchmark for consideration is to throw for over 5,000 yards, 45 touchdowns, and less than 15 interceptions. With a fairly impressive receiving corps and returning for his second season to the Rams offense, those are doable numbers.

For Kupp, the benchmark for consideration is to catch over 2,000 receiving yards. While that is a level that has never been accomplished in the NFL before, Kupp was well within sight of achieving that milestone and may have done so had he played all 17 games

Aaron Donald, DPOTY // Cooper Kupp, OPOTY

For the LA Rams, both Aaron Donald and Cooper Kupp certainly have to be considered in the running for the NFL Defensive Player of the Year and the NFL Offensive Player of the Year respectively.

Need justification? Just look at what AD and Kupp did last year, and then fast forward to this year.

Sean McVay, Coach of the Year

I really have no logical explanation for how LA Rams HC Sean McVay continues to rework the Rams roster, playbook, and strategy each season, but ends up getting ignored in the NFL Coach of the Year discussion.

He is one of the most effective NFL head coaches in the league. Not only is he successful, but he continues to generate NFL head coaching candidates from his coaching tree at an alarming rate. Not just promoting coaches to become head coaches of other teams, but to become successful head coaches of other teams.

Biggest game on Los Angeles Rams 2022 schedule

The biggest game on the 2022 schedule in terms of difficulty is the LA Rams playing on the road to face the Green Bay Packers. This will be the third consecutive season for the Rams to make the trek north to play a game in Green Bay in cold weather, and so far the Rams have not had much success.

The game is important on two fronts. Not only will the LA Rams face an NFC team with playoff aspirations this year, but the timing of the game, on a Week 15 Monday Night Football game after the Rams emerge from a Thursday Night Football game the previous week, will be the last mini-BYE the team will get unless they land the top-seeded NFC berth and the accompanying BYE that comes with it.

Los Angeles Rams season prediction: Best case scenario

The LA Rams are coming off a Super Bowl-winning season, so a best-case scenario would simply be a repeat Super Bowl LVII victory. But better than that, the Rams’ ultimate best-case scenario would be to sweep the NFC West, win all of their NFC games, and perhaps lose two games to AFC teams.

A BYE week would be a well-earned reward for the LA Rams after a tough grueling season, and the team would certainly appreciate a chance to rest up, heal up, and psyche up for the NFL playoffs. Surprisingly, the Rams may be strong enough to do that, particularly if the team discovers the ability to run with the football this season.

Los Angeles Rams season prediction: Worst-case scenario

Any worst-case scenario would involve season-ending injuries to any number of key LA Rams players. Right now, the Rams are most vulnerable to any prolonged injury to veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford, to All-Pro defensive lineman Aaron Donald, or to All-Pro defensive back Jalen Ramsey.

If Stafford falls to injury early and is out for the season, the Rams’ ability to continue their winning streak under head coach Sean McVay certainly is at risk of ending. Rams head coach Sean McVay has himself admitted to not knowing how well he could handle prolonged adversity. I fear that an unsuccessful season would not bode well for the organization’s long-term outlook.

Los Angeles Rams season prediction for 2022

  • 13-4 record
  • 1st place in NFC West
  • Win Super Bowl LVII

The LA Rams won Super Bowl LVI, but did so in spite of the team’s significant number of injuries throughout the course of the season. Hopefully, the wave of injuries that have impacted the LA Rams will subside this year, and the Rams will be able to finish the year and the postseason with nearly all of the players who begin this year.

The Rams passing offense is loaded for bear, as the Rams top three receivers of Cooper Kupp, Allen Robinson, and even Van Jefferson are all capable of putting up 1000+ yards. The Rams rushing offense believes that a committee of Cam Akers, Darrell Henderson Jr., and rookie Kyren Williams will do just enough to keep the chains moving.

The Rams have a strong defense this year, highlighted by the addition of ILB Bobby Wagner to the team, and the return of defensive back Troy Hill.

If the Rams stay healthy, they could be a strong contender to compete in, and win, Super Bowl LVII.

Read more from FanSided’s 2022 NFL Preview here. For more Los Angeles Rams coverage, check out Ramblin’ Fan

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