By Sam Scanlon ’19
As week one has concluded for the 2018-2019 NFL season, Super Bowl LIII predictions are a popular topic of discussion. My prediction: the Los Angeles Rams.
The defending NFC West Champions enter this season coming off an 11-5 record in their 2017 campaign, but have added several key players to this year’s roster that complement their current playmakers.
The Rams boast the reigning NFL Offensive Player of the Year in running back Todd Gurley. Gurley finished the season with 1,305 rushing yards while leading the NFL in yards from scrimmage with 2,093 and touchdowns at 19. His ability to find the end zone and create positive yardage gives the Rams the edge they will need to hoist the Lombardi Trophy come February.
Leading the offense, however, is 2016 first overall pick, Jared Goff. The 6’4” 222 pound quarterback had an excellent sophomore season as he threw 3,804 yards and 28 touchdowns. Goff is emerging as one of the NFL’s top quarterbacks, which is imperative for a Super Bowl contender. Look for Goff to exceed last year’s numbers and lead his team to Atlanta for Super Bowl LIII.
A huge reason Goff is expected to have another successful year is because of his speedy and talented receiving core. Brandin Cooks was an exceptional offseason acquisition for the Rams as he gives Goff more depth at wide receiver. Cooks is a deep threat receiver who has an unbelievable ability to create separation for big time plays. He excelled last season in New England and played a large role in getting them to the Super Bowl.
Along with the Offensive Player of the Year in Gurley, Aaron Donald, the Rams’ top pass rusher, was named Defensive Player of the Year. He is one of the most dynamic players in all of football as he finished last season with 11 sacks and five forced fumbles.
To compliment Donald’s ferociousness up front, the Rams acquired Ndamukong Suh, who is perhaps one of the most aggressive defensive linemen in the NFL. The two of them will certainly wreak havoc on opposing offenses all season.
Finally, as if the Rams had any holes in their roster, they have added two of the NFL’s top defensive backs: Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib in their lineup. With quarterbacks already fearing the defensive line, this Los Angeles secondary is going to make quarterbacking a nightmare for opposing teams.
With all key components of their roster seemingly filled with top players, the Rams are bound to make quite the run this season. Do not be surprised when this talented group is crowned Super Bowl LIII Champions.