“Super Bowl Storylines”
Sunday is coming…things to consider going towards Sunday.
They got here from different blueprints.
The Rams, the best money can buy, auctioned their entire future off to get to play Sunday and it worked out. No one knows what the future will look like at 8pm on Sunday, for the Rams do not have a 1st round pick till 2027 because of all their trades.
Virtually all of their skill players on offense, aside from homegrown WR-Cooper Kupp came in trades or thru free agency:
..Matthew Stafford-Detroit-cost them #1-1 picks plus Jared Goff
..Andrew Whitworth left the Bengals as a free agent
..Austin Corbett was a free agent from Cleveland..
..Sony Michel came in a deal with New England
There are only 6-of their own draft picks starting on offense.
On defense, 7-starters came from somewhere else..DT-Aaron Donald, maybe the best in his position in the NFL, is one of their own, but few others are.
..Von Miller came from the Broncos for a 2-3
..Jalen Ramsey cost them #1-1 in a trade with Jacksonville
..A’Shawn Roberts was a former Lion
..Leoanrd Floyd was imported from the Bears
..Troy Reeder was a street free agent
..Deonte Deayon was a free agent
Cincinnati got here by virtue of the NFL draft. Alot of losing season culminated in a lot of high picks, from the #1’s like Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase and Jonah Williams to a #2 like Joe Mixon, and the find of #5 pick K-Evan McPherson. This is a very unique mix..
On offense there are just two from the outside starting, and probably their weakest links at important positions
..Ike Prince..waiver wire pickup
..Quinn Spain..street free agent.
On defense they plugged in a few more from other teams:
..DE-Trey Hendrickson came as a big money free agent from Saints
..S-Von Bell was cut by the Saints
..CB-Eli Apple was a failed hi pick with the Giants
..CB-Mike Hilton was an ex Steeler among other teams
..DT-DJ Reader was cut by Houston
..DT-BJ Hill was a waiver wire castoff
Of their top 22-players, 14-are their own draft choices.
The Rams bought their way to the party, but take nothing away from them to unlock the mystery of how to use Odell Beckham or to solve the big play-big mistake issues with Matthew Stafford.
The Bengals grew it on the farm, but deserve credit beyond the success of Joe Burrow and that pass happy offense, for the defensive staff has found a way to do it with young street free agents, castoffs, waiver wire guys, and make it fit. Somehow that defense is the reason Kansas City was taken out of the playoffs in the AFC title game.
A key intangible, aside from the midseason knee injury to the Rams WR-Robert Woods, virtually no catastrophic injuries to either roster.
Then the coaches, the anointed one in Sean McVay, high paid with accolades from the minute he was hired. Zach Taylor, nearly fired after two lousy seasons (6-25-1), a most unlikely candidate to be coaching a game this weekend.
Interesting too the owners, The globally rich Stan Kroenke, who spent his own money to build So Fi Stadium, and spent enormous amount of cap space to get name players. And then there is Bengals owner Mike Brown, a history of cheapness, hardly ever doing anything in free agency. He’s the only owner without an indoor practice facility in the league.
Interesting how you build a winner.
Now we see who wins on Sunday