In five days, the 2022 NFL season begins with the Rams hosting the Bills. Before the game begins, the Rams will celebrate their first L.A.-based Super Bowl win.
“I think it’s great to unveil the banner,” coach Sean McVay told reporters on Friday. “We’ve moved on. I think I’ll always have great reverence for that team, but this is about 2022, being ready to roll at 5:21 [p.m.] when this thing kicks off at SoFi [Stadium] on the 8th. That’s exclusively where my focus and concentration is.”
That’s the only attitude the Rams can have, if they want to climb out of what the late Dennis Green called the Valley of 0-0 and win another Super Bowl. It’s not easy in today’s NFL; otherwise, it wouldn’t be nearly 20 years since the last time it happened, when the 2003-04 Patriots pulled it off.
“It feels like it was a long time ago,” McVay said of the team’s narrow victory over the Bengals in Super Bowl LVI. “It’s one that I’ll always cherish, but I think if you live in the past you’re going to get exposed in the present so we’re not going to do that. Our guys are totally focused on being present, being right here right now and doing everything in our power to prepare ourselves to be at our best on the 8th.”
The problem for the Rams is that, every week, their opponents will have that same attitude and approach. The Rams, as the defending champs always are, will be the ultimate measuring stick for each opponent. The best news for the Rams is that they aren’t in the AFC, which has a cluster of great teams. The NFC, as the season begins, doesn’t.
That can and likely will change, as the season unfolds. One thing that won’t change is that everyone who plays the Rams will bring their A-plus game, with laser focus and preparation and effort, so that they can say they beat the team that began the season by hanging a banner far better than “AFC Finalist.”