Did the Rams already miss their Super Bowl window?

Sean McVay, Los Angeles Rams. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)
Sean McVay, Los Angeles Rams. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images) /

After missing the playoffs last year and not getting it done in Atlanta two years ago, have the Los Angeles Rams missed their Super Bowl window?

Did the Los Angeles Rams already miss their Super Bowl window?

The Rams narrowly missed the NFC playoffs in 2019 after having won the NFC West in back-to-back years in 2017 and ’18. With a brilliant offensive mind at head coach in Sean McVay, the Rams became relevant in the NFL for the first time since “The Greatest Show on Turf” days back when they were known as the St. Louis Rams.

But last year was different for all the wrong reasons. After not scoring a single touchdown in Super Bowl LIII against  the New England Patriots, the Rams’ high-octane offense faltered. Former All-Pro running back Todd Gurley was not the same player he was coming out of Georgia. Quarterback Jared Goff got paid and didn’t play up to the level of his salary in 2019.

It’s not like the Rams are devoid of talent. They were the fist team out of the NFC playoffs only a season ago. However, the players are starting to get both older and more expensive. This offseason, NFL teams weren’t looking for the next McVay like they were entering 2019. The Rams head coach took a step back and so did the defense.

With all these things stacking up internally, you can say the Rams’ Super Bowl window is closing, but it might already be completely closed shut if you really think about it. Here’s why:

Goff is fine as a starting quarterback, but he’s perhaps the third-best quarterback in his own division. Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks is infinitely better. Jimmy Garoppolo led the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl and Kyler Murray was named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in his first season with the Arizona Cardinals. Goff feels painfully limited when compared to them.

If you have best quarterback in your own division, you’re almost always a Super Bowl contender, unless the rest of your team is poorly managed. Should you have the second-best quarterback in your own division, you’re always a dark-horse contender, but need a few things to go right for your team. But if you have the third or fourth-best quarterback in your own division, that’s not great.

Next: NFL Power Rankings: 30 Most Dominant Teams Ever

Ultimately, the Rams’ Super Bowl window was more definite than we initially realized. It was opening in 2017, wide open in ’18 and started to close in ’19. Though we’ve seen crazier things in the NFL happen before, we’re probably not going to see the Rams play in a Super Bowl any time soon. Maybe when Goff is in his early 30s, but the Rams can’t feel great about that.