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The LA Rams are coming off a surprisingly successful 2017 campaign. They went 11-5, won their division, and their offense went from worst in the league to best. Todd Gurley was a dark horse for the MVP award, Jared Goff showed major improvements, and Sean McVay showed why he was so highly praised in the offseason.
Coming into 2018, the Rams made a number of high-profile additions. They added Ndamukong Suh to the lineup with DPOY Aaron Donald, and two star cornerbacks in Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters. They did lose Trumaine Johnson, but their additions should more than compensate for that. On offense, they replaced Sammy Watkins with Brandin Cooks in what should be an upgrade for the receiving corps.
All in all, it looks like the best offense in football added another star receiver while the defense got substantially better with two stud corners and former All-Pro defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh. They did lose linebackers, but that shouldn’t hurt too much when Suh and Donald are up front. It should be incredibly hard to both run and throw on this team, and pressure should come quickly and often. Teams will have to dedicate an enormous amount of resources to blocking both Suh and Donald that someone should be able to get home. That plus the star-filled backfield should allow the Rams to generate lots of pressure and hopefully turnovers.
However, we should temper expectations for this team somewhat. They are relatively young on offense, and it’s possible both Gurley and Goff regress a bit after last year’s performances. They also play in a competitive division, with the 49ers and Cardinals seemingly on the rise and the Seahawks never out of contention. The reasons to believe in the Rams are encouraging though, and with Sean McVay and Wade Phillips leading their respective sides of the ball, this should be a very strong team in a deep NFC.