While the dust has barely settled on the LA Rams’ second-ever Super Bowl triumph last spring, it’s clear that Sean McVay’s side is already enduring one of the worst-ever sporting hangovers in history.
That’s right; last week’s 16-point hammering in Kansas left the Rams facing their worst start since 2011 (3-8), while LA look set to complete the worst defense of the Super Bowl in living memory.
Of course, as you can see at the betting sites presented at https://www.betting.us/sites/ are now offering extended odds on the LA Rams retaining their Super Bowl crown. In fact, you’ll find their average price of winning soaring across all online sports betting sites, but what has gone wrong, and can LA produce a miracle to salvage their season?
The Decline of the Rams – 288 Days of Struggle
The defeat against the Kansas City Chiefs was something of a nadir for the Rams, while this also represented the first time a defending Super Bowl champion has been an underdog of 14 points or more.
There were very few positives for McVay, apart from some stout red zone defending and resistance, with the Kansas City Chiefs dominant in every department as they extended their own season record to an impressive 9-2.
But what has gone wrong in the 288 days since the LA Rams won the Super Bowl? Well, the side’s best players and star performers from last year have all either suffered a loss of form or injury, with wide receiver Cooper Kupp having failed to hit the heights he achieved last time out.
However, he has still been a relatively consistent performer for the Rams, so the news that he has been sidelined for the rest of the season with a high ankle sprain is potentially devastating.
Interestingly, a Los Angeles-based collective has teamed up with the Rams to create a tribute to Kupp in honor of The Big Game, including the distribution of limited edition cups to promote sustainability.
Influential quarterback Matthew Stafford has also been laid low with injuries for much of the campaign, in the form of two concussions and a neck injury that saw him benched recently.
Elsewhere, running backs Cam Akers and the recently released Darrell Henderson have both experience on and off-field issues, while between them, they’ve averaged just four and 3.3 yards per carry respectively since the beginning of the campaign.
Both are also underperforming their ‘expected yards gained’ stats by a combined total of 84, highlighting why the team has struggled so manfully in the offense.
Free agent Allan Robinson has also been a huge disappointment, with the wide receiver recording 33 receptions, 339 yards, and just a 63% catch rate in his 10 appearances so far.
He has managed just three touchdowns too, which is poor given his pedigree and $30 million guaranteed contract. However, even he has now succumbed to injury, as he’ll miss the remainder of the campaign to undergo foot surgery.
So, the Rams are now both low on confidence and numbers as they look to save their campaign and Super Bowl defense, while the chances of them retaining their crown appear slimmer than ever (according to both pundits and a broad selection of betting sites USA).
Are There Any Reasons for Optimism?
The good news for the Rams is that their defense has been relatively competent, particularly with new signing Bobby Wagner performing consistently and putting up a respectable 90 tackles to date.
However, last season’s rock Aaron Donald simply doesn’t look the same commanding influence as previously (despite him putting up similar numbers from a statistical perspective), while linebacker Leonard Floyd simply isn’t providing enough support or end product.
The Rams’ secondary is led by Jalen Ramsey, of course, but besides him, the side simply doesn’t have another big player who can step up and provide leadership when they need it the most.
Arguably, LA is also suffering due to its questionable draft picks, with the side having a deserved track record for either not using their picks or valuing them fully.
This can leave them high and dry with regards to talented offensive and defensive rookies, with their pursuit of instant success and desire to reclaim their Super Bowl crown arguably leaving them in the wake of their rivals.
So, Can the Rams Reclaim Their Super Bowl Crown?
The Rams have only ever won two Super Bowl crowns, while they started this campaign looking to become the first side to retain the title since the 2003/04 season.
Interestingly, only eight teams have previously won consecutive Super Bowls, with the Patriots who won for the first time in 2002.
Clearly, this task is hard enough by itself, but it’s even more difficult if your best players don’t perform, you suffer frequent injuries and your draft picks don’t perform. These factors have all impacted the Rams this season, contributing to a dreadful start that has seen them hit rock bottom.
Remember, a record of 3-8 at this stage represents the worst-ever start to the defense of a Super Bowl, while no team in living memory has reached the promised land from such a precarious position in November.
Make no mistake; it will take a miracle for the Rams to retain the crown, and it seems likely they’ll be dethroned sooner rather than later. Other teams at online US sportsbooks have far better odds for this year’s Super Bowl, so you’ll have plenty of options.