It has been nearly two decades since an NFL team brought home Lombardi Trophies in consecutive years. That’s the task that awaits the Los Angeles Rams in 2022.
The 2021 NFL season is over, meaning the league has now crowned 102 champions. The latest team to hoist the Lombardi Trophy is the Los Angeles Rams – led by quarterback Matthew Stafford, game MVP Cooper Kupp and a defense that tied a Super Bowl record with seven sacks.
The club’s 23-20 come-from-behind victory over the spunky Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium gave the well-traveled franchise its fourth league championship and its second Super Bowl title.
Now what to do for an encore? Winning back-to-back Lombardi Trophies is obviously easier said than done. It happened once in the mid-1960s (Green Bay Packers), three times in the 1970s (Miami Dolphins and twice by the Pittsburgh Steelers), only once in the ’80s (San Francisco 49ers), and twice in the 1990s (Dallas Cowboys and Denver Broncos).
The last time it occurred was the only time it has happened this century. That would be the 2003 and ’04 New England Patriots, who captured Super Bowls XXXVIII and XXXIX.
So now that’s the task facing general manager Les Snead, head coach Sean McVay, and the organization. Perhaps the first concern is whether the Rams can keep the core of their team intact? It’s worth noting that entering 2021, the then-reigning Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers brought back all 22 starters from their 31-9 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV.
When it was all said and done, Bruce Arians’ team finished 13-4, tied for the best record in the league. But after a playoff win over the Eagles, the Bucs were defeated at home by the Rams in the divisional round.
Via Spotrac, the Rams have some work to do to get under the $208.2 million salary cap by March 16. Will they re-sign potential free agents such as linebacker Von Miller, wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (who tore his ACL in the Super Bowl), running back Sony Michel, and center Brian Allen? There’s a lot of work to be done if McVay and company are to make it two straight Super Bowl titles.