The NFL 2021 season saw the Los Angeles Rams lift the Super Bowl after a 23-20 win over the Cincinnati Bengals at the SoFi Stadium in California.
It was the team’s second Super Bowl, and their first since arriving in Los Angeles. Sean McVay led the team as head coach, creating an all-action offense which shined throughout the season.
Cooper Kupp took the MVP title with the wide receiver being one of the best players in the league last season. He gave quarterback Matthew Stafford plenty of opportunities to stretch the field and attack opposition defenses.
To begin the defense of their title, the LA Rams will host the Buffalo Bills and NFL week 1 odds have this as a very close game indeed. The Rams have made changes to their roster from last season, but still have most of last season’s stars, while the Bills are looking to mount a competitive season aiming once again for the Super Bowl as well.
They have a number of players who can light up the league once again and some of those to watch are listed below.
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The 29-year-old Wide Receiver was last season NFL Offensive Player of the Year as well as Super Bowl MVP.
He became the first player to win the triple crown since 2005, by leading the NFL in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns. He made 145 receptions, 1,947 receiving yards and 16 receiving touchdowns, which made his catches and yards both the second highest in NFL history.
Steve Smith was the last player to do this, for the Carolina Panthers in 2005. Before him, only two other players have achieved this honour, Jerry Rice for the San Francisco 49ers in 1990 and Sterling Sharpe for the Green Bay Packers in 1992.
He won’t be expected to match last season’s totals, but once again Kupp will be a key part of the Rams’ offense. He will undoubtably be one of the most productive players in the league once again should he stay healthy.
Stafford joined the Rams after 11 years with the Detroit Lions and finally got his Super Bowl ring. He had been a strong quarterback across the league throughout his career as the 34-year-old had only managed to reach the post-season three times with the Lions.
With the weapons around him, Stafford knows he can enjoy the later stages of his career in a dynamic offense. Last season he threw for 4,886 yards which was the third highest in the league, while also throwing from 41 touchdowns, the second best in the league behind Tom Brady.
Stafford will likely be high on the list of passing yards and touchdowns once again. Knowing that he has Cooper Kupp running routes, as well as new additions to the side, he will surely be in the top five of both once again.
One of those new arrivals is Allen Robinson from the Chicago Bears. The wide receiver will replace Robert Woods who left for the Tennessee Titans in the off season.
Drafter by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2014, he moved to the Bears in 2018 and has now joined a side who have the realistic expectations of competing at the top level.
Last season the Bears were once again struggling and won just six games, losing 11. Robinson managed 38 receptions for 410 yards and just one touchdown.
He has impressed in training in LA and looks set to be a big part of the offense which often sees a lot of passing yards each week. A lot of attention is rightly placed on Kupp from opposition defenses, so this could be a big year for Robinson to put up his highest numbers to date.
The running back was drafter with the 52nd pick in 2020 from Florida State and will be looking to step up to the starter’s role ahead of Darrell Henderson.
Akers made just five rushing attempts in the regular season of 2021 but that shot up to 67 in the postseason. He has shown the abilities McVay is looking for in his running back and has the opportunity this season to make the position his.
While there are so many passing options for Stafford, having Akers perform gives variety to the offense and will be important in the longevity of the offense throughout the season.
He will not be relied upon as heavily as other running backs across the league, but he will have the chance to ensure the Rams keep hold of the ball and work their way up the field.
There is so much for Rams fans to be excited about once again going into the new season. Their new additions look to have been settling in well during training camps and the defense of the Super Bowl could be a real possibility.
McVay knows that it’s a difficult title to defend and will need to do all he can to keep this side dominating in games and putting up big numbers once again.