The “How stable is the foundation?” group of teams
The nightmare season in Denver is finally over…right?
After as rough of a season as any Broncos fan could have imagined, there’s hope for 2023. Out is Nathaniel Hackett, in is Sean Payton who’s making it clear he’s in charge. The defense was one of the best in the NFL last year and should continue to be playoff caliber, the season will come down to whether Payton can get embattled quarterback Russell Wilson back to his Seattle Seahawks level of play.
I trust Payton, but the Broncos’ training camp has not had the smoothest start, and I wonder how much Denver can improve in such a tough division. If Russ can’t cook again, this team could have a very similar result as in 2022.
Los Angeles Rams
While the Broncos stole most of the negative headlines in 2022, no team disappointed more than the defending Super Bowl champs. The bill finally came due for the Rams, as injuries and malcontent finally collided with the lack of funds and draft picks to give this team a fighting chance.
The Rams have up everything to put arguably one of the most talented cores together in 2021, with Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp, Aaron Donald, Jalen Ramsey, and Von Miller all teamed up. The goal was achieved, but now two years later, they’re paying the price. Ramsey is a Dolphin, Miller is a Bill, and the remaining trio all dealt with either age, injuries, or both last season.
Can Donald, Stafford, and Kupp all come back and play at MVP levels? Sure, but if they don’t, the depth behind them is not good enough to win 7 games in the NFL, let alone be a contender. If one of those guys goes down, we could see a much more aggressive “tank” in Los Angeles, especially now that they finally own their first-round draft pick for 2024.
Don’t be shocked to see the Rams look completely different a year from now, but with a shiny new QB to lead them into the next era.