Anytime a team makes it to the Super Bowl, it should be considered a successful season. It’s all the more impressive when you consider the Rams were one of the most incompetent teams in the NFL not too long ago. But the players and coaches often don’t look at it that way because it is the goal of every NFL squad to not only make it to the title game but to win a Super Bowl ring. So it shouldn’t be surprising that Rams head coach Sean McVay regrets what he feels is a strategic mistake he made that cost his team the championship in Super Bowl LIII. Before we discuss what’s eating at McVay, let’s take a look at the Rams’ chances of making it back to the title game this season.
Can the Rams get back to the Super Bowl this season?
The big question is if the Rams will have another chance at a ring in Super Bowl LIV. Todd Gurley’s health will play a major role in whether that happens. If he is limited, they will be hurting at running back because last season’s backup, C.J. Anderson, left in free agency this offseason and Malcolm Brown is now the No. 2 on the depth chart.
One thing the Rams have going for them is QB Jared Goff, who threw for more than 4,600 yards and 32 touchdowns last season. The NFC West should be a little tougher than it was last season, with QB Kyler Murray in Arizona and QB Jimmy Garoppolo expected to come back from injury for the 49ers. The Seahawks, of course, still have QB Russell Wilson — who now has the richest contract in league history — but the Rams are still the best team in the division. They should win the NFC West, then they’ll have to get past teams like the Eagles, Cowboys,and Bears in the playoffs if they want to get back to the Super Bowl for a second straight season.
What Sean McVay will do differently if the Rams make the Super Bowl
Sean McVay is known for his ability to memorize plays that he calls, but he feels that he may have tried to commit too much to memory in preparation for facing the Patriots in Super Bowl LIII.
In an interview in Sports Illustrated’s The MMQB, McVay said that if he is fortunate to lead his team back to the big game, he would prepare less than he did this time. Because of the two weeks he had to prepare for the Patriots, he believes he didn’t feel the “urgency” to come up with a game plan, which led him to “watching so much film that you can almost water down your thought process.”
McVay watched all of the Patriots’ games from the 2018 season, including the playoffs, as well as their two previous Super Bowl appearances. With watching 20 games in such a short period of time, McVay says “you can watch so much film that you lose perspective.” McVay also says he wishes he let himself enjoy the Super Bowl experience more than he did. He says he “didn’t appreciate” the experience and kept himself “kind of isolated” in order to avoid distractions.
A star’s injury didn’t help the situation
Regardless of whether McVay prepared too much, the Rams were handicapped by an injury to Todd Gurley, their star running back. Gurley missed the Rams’ last two regular season games with a knee injury, which limited him to 20 runs total in their first two playoff games. He didn’t play much in the Super Bowl, either, with just 10 rushes. The Rams were initially downplaying the injury, but there were reports in the weeks following the Super Bowl that Gurley has arthritis in his left knee, and he may need to eventually undergo a dramatic stem-cell treatment to help repair the injury and get him back to 100% health.
Hard to argue with McVay’s methods
Aside from the disappointing showing in the Super Bowl, it’s hard to argue with the way Sean McVay does things. After all, his methods lead to results.
In his two seasons as a head coach, he has a 24-8 record, two playoff appearances, and two division titles. Once a laughingstock, Los Angeles has one of the best records and best offenses in the league with Sean McVay on the sidelines.