The Los Angeles Rams are the best team in the NFL. They have an infallible coach with a literally perfect memory; a quarterback drafted 1st overall and therefore a guaranteed winner; a generational talent at running back and also Todd Gurley. It would take a coach of Fisher-ian incompetence to miss the playoffs with this team.
Fortunately, the Rams have a 3-point plan for Super Bowl success. I’m going to break it down here and hope the Seahawks ditch Pete Carroll-saurus’ Rosetta Stone-ass gameplans in order to actually be in the running for the NFC West title.
Point 1: Give a shitload of money to A) players at positions of little value and B) overachieving players of mediocre talent
Not many running backs in the league can do what Todd Gurley does. That’s because most running backs aren’t set to make $13 million dollars guaranteed next year while averaging a career-low in touches and yards per touch. Fortunately for the Rams, not only have they guaranteed him $13 million dollars next year, his total cap hit will be nearly $18 million dollars. You may be thinking “spending money on a declining player sounds bad…”
Well guess what, idiot. Running backs don’t matter.
Therefore, money spent on running backs doesn’t count (except against the salary cap). So no matter how much they pay Gurley or his successor (the Rams traded up to draft Darrell Henderson in the third round and he currently has been on the field for 11% of their offensive snaps and is averaging 3.8 yards per carry), it doesn’t actually matter. If it did matter, it would probably portend issues for their cap space going forward.
However, even if the Rams do have a “problem” with “cap space” in the “immediate future,” they can overcome that by having a franchise quarterback. And with Jared Goff, they have just the guy. Tall? Check. White? Check. Handsome in a Ryan-Gosling-but-confused-when-defenses-move-with-less-than-15-seconds-on-the-play-clock way? Check.
Jared Goff put up world-beating numbers in 2017 and 2018, and if there is anything I know about football, its that two great years with perfect pass protection, flawless injury luck and a new scheme from a first overall draft pick is enough to warrant MVP consideration for the next decade regardless of subsequent performance.
With his MVP contention confirmed for the foreseeable future, the Rams signed Goff to a five-year extension for 165 million dollars. Over 30 million a year might seem like a steep price, but when layabouts like Russell Wilson are making 35 despite being a third-round draft pick, its a steal.
Speaking of stealing, Goff would like to formally ask defenders to stop strip-sacking him because it hurts and also stealing is wrong and they should give the ball back.
Point 2: Trade tons of draft capital for good players on relatively short term deals
Six years after the Rams received approximately three thousand first-round picks from Washington in order to draft RGIII, they thought they could emulate Washington’s subsequent success by doing the same thing for not only a F R A N C H I S E quarterback but also literally any player who is kinda good. Lets review:
2016: The Rams trade 1.15, 2.43, 2.45, 3.76 and 2017’s first and third-round picks (ended up being 1.5 and 3.100) for 1.1 and some late-round flotsam.
2017: The Rams had already traded 1.5 from the Jared Goff trade.
2018: The Rams trade 1.23 for Brandin Cooks who has one year left on his contract (don’t worry they subsequently extended him for 90 million dollars). They also traded a 4.125 and a 2019 second-rounder for Marcus Peters, and then a 2019 third and 2020 fifth for Dante Fowler.
2019: While trading back out of the first round this year, the Rams’ native second (2.63) was gone in the Peters trade. Not to be denied, Les Snead (French for “The Snead”) traded their first-rounders from 2020 and 2021 for 1.5 seasons of Jalen Ramsey. Ramsey has thrived on his new team with a whopping zero interceptions since being acquired.
By eschewing day one of the draft (for those of you counting along at home, the Rams will have one native first-rounder in the five drafts from 2017-2021), The Snead has ensured that his team will be filled to the brim with players other teams were willing to move on from and who need new contracts in 2020. This plan will work flawlessly as long as these players hit their 90th percentile projection and frankly, I can’t see any reason why not to expect that.
Point 3: Lead the league’s second-best offense to the Super Bowl and score exactly one (1) field goal while Bill Belichick gives the rest of the league a blueprint to blunt your attack by simply moving the defenders around after the helmet mic shuts off
This part may sound “bad” but actually it is good. By creating a super efficient offense that is solved with One Simple Trick, McVay has created a scenario where his team is no longer one of the most feared units in the league. Now, he can work on his ultimate masterpiece offense that definitely will not be stopped by making his quarterback read the defense. How hard can it be if Brian Schottenheimer can create the 4th best offense (per DVOA) in the league with a 3rd-rounder at quarterback?