The Los Angeles Rams cannot lose Super Bowl LVI. Fate and football facts will not allow it.
Nothing against those plucky Bengals from Middle America, but the Rams truly are coastal elites. Los Angeles has better players, better coaches, better weather, better uniforms, better plastic surgeons and a better stadium.
Oddly enough, SoFi Stadium will be designated as the Bengals’ home field on Sunday. That makes about as much sense as betting you could find a parking space for less than $250.Fortunately, most of the 115 million Americans will just park in front of their TVs on Sunday.
Here are the top five reasons why they’ll see the Rams hoist the Lombardi Trophy.
5. Jalen Ramsey
If you’re wondering why the Jacksonville Jaguars are a joke, a big reason was they traded their disgruntled cornerback to the Rams in 2019 for two first-round draft picks and a fourth rounder.
Those picks (K’Lavon Chaisson, Travis Etienne and Jordan Smith) have done squat. Meanwhile, Ramsey’s been worth about five first-rounders to the Rams.
Like fellow FSU product Deion Sanders, Ramsey can personally take the opponent’s best receiver out of the game. The Bengals have good ones in Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins, and a great one in Ja’Marr Chase. Whoever Ramsey covers (primarily Chase) will fall off Joe Burrow’s radar screen.
Cincinnati’s striped helmets are sweet, but the Rams’ helmets are iconic. L.A. was the first NFL team to have a logo on their helmets. Halfback Fred Gehrke, who worked as a commercial artist in the offseason, painted ram horns on the leather helmets in 1948.
No other NFL nickname lends itself so perfectly to headgear. Within a decade, almost every team had a logo on their helmets. None have ever topped the horns that circle around the sides of L.A.’s helmets.
3. Matthew Stafford
For years he was labeled the QB equivalent of a fake cowboy — all hat, not cattle. The No. 1 draft pick in 2009 was the fastest QB in NFL history to pass for 20,000, 30,000 and 40,000 yards.
After losing the 2019 Super Bowl 13-3, the Rams knew they needed an upgrade at quarterback. They sprang Stafford from his Detroit prison, and he’s shown he’s no fake cowboy. Now Stafford’s about to round up the biggest prize of all.
2. The Rams' Pass Rush
Cincinnati’s offensive line has allowed 51 sacks, and that doesn’t count the nine Kansas City had in the playoffs. The Bengals have survived — so far.
They haven’t seen anything like the Rams’ defensive front. Aaron Donald is a perennial all-world tackle, and edge rushers Leonard Floyd and Von Miller are beasts. Miller is looking more and more like the player who was the MVP in Super Bowl 50.
If Burrow can continue his Houdini routine against the Rams’ rush, he’ll be worthy of all the mythmaking.
1. It’s L.A.
As galling as it is to heartlanders, the City of Angels has a well-deserved air of self-absorbed superiority. It attracts (or buys) the biggest stars. LeBron James, Max Scherzer, the Great Gretzky and The Rock never would have signed up to perform in Cincinnati.
After a couple of decades in St. Louis, the Rams returned to their ancestral home in 2016. They’ve built their team the L.A. Way, by assembling high-priced stars to play on a $5 billion football stage.
SoFi Stadium will host the city’s first Super Bowl in 29 years. Unlike the Lakers, Dodgers, Kings, Angels, Sparks, Ducks, the Los Angeles Rams have never won a championship.
Now the stars have aligned, and the Super Bowl will give L.A. another reason to love itself.
David Whitley is The Gainesville Sun's sports columnist. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. And follow him on Twitter: @DavidEWhitley
This article originally appeared on The Gainesville Sun: Top 5 reasons the LA Rams should win Super Bowl 2022