Making it to the Super Bowl is something every NFL player aspires to. Last season, the Los Angeles Rams were able to earn a trip to the big game. However, they just couldn’t do what everyone hopes to do when they do make it there—win.
As they and the rest of the NFL approach the new season, the Rams will be looking to get back to the big game and win it this time. But along with battling their opponent week in and week out, they will have another fight to overcome—the dreaded ‘Super Bowl hangover.’
Losing a game that you have wanted to play in your entire life and know you may never get a chance to play in again is tough to handle—hence, the let-down teams suffer, or hangover, the year after losing in the Super Bowl.
So, is that the fate that is in store for the Rams this season?
Oddsmakers do not seem to think so since the Rams are favored to win their division (-182), are tied with the Saints for shortest odds to win the NFC (+450), and have the third shortest odds to win the Super Bowl (+900; odds via DraftKings).
Some would say the ‘hangover’ isn’t actually a thing. Of the last ten Super Bowls, only one loser (Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50) failed to make the playoffs the following season. However, in the ten Super Bowls before them, seven losers failed to make the playoffs the year after.
In each case, there was probably a precipitating factor that led to their downfall other than just losing the Super Bowl the year before. Players retire, some leave via free agency or get traded, coaching changes, star players get older and skills deteriorate, injuries—there are all sorts of things that could happen.
They lost a few guys off the defense and offensive line, but if anything may result in the Rams having a down season, it will be the health of running back Todd Gurley. After playing little and contributing almost nothing during the postseason, it was announced in March that Gurley had arthritis in his left knee.
Until we see him play this season, there is no telling what Gurley is going to be able to do or how much of a workload he can handle. To take some of the pressure off, they drafted Darrell Henderson. But the former Memphis back is more of a home run hitter and not an every-down back.
With the losses on the offensive line, there is no telling what sort of lanes Gurley and Henderson will have to work with or how good Goff’s protection is going to be in the passing game.
Does this mean the Rams could fall victim to the dreaded ‘Super Bowl hangover?’ Absolutely not. But it does mean the 2019 Rams are a different team—and they aren’t nearly as good as the 2018 version. Take them to win the division, but don’t expect them to make it far in the postseason.