It may have seemed completely unthinkable just a few years ago, but we are currently in the situation where there is not just one, but two NFL teams from Los Angeles who are making good their claims for Super Bowl glory.
It looks like both the Los Angeles Rams and the Los Angeles Chargers have come from nowhere to be real contenders. It’s been a long time since the legendary days in the 1980s where the Los Angeles Raiders and Los Angeles Rams gave football fans in the city plenty to celebrate. And whilst the city’s football revival is still far off being a true reality, there are real signs that the two new teams could be in with a chance.
A quick look at the bookies featured at bettingsports.com seems to suggest that many people think that one of the current NFL teams from Los Angeles could easily be the Super Bowl LIV champions. At the moment, only the New England Patriots, Kansas City Chiefs and New Orleans Saints are ahead of the Los Angeles teams in the betting odds, and it’s incredible to think how quickly this has come about.
Los Angeles famously went without a single NFL franchise team between the years of 1994 to 2016. This resulted in a fractured footballing community within the city, and given the pitiful attendances at the Los Angeles Chargers home games, it’s hard to see how quickly things could change.
But ever since the Rams and Chargers came back to Los Angeles in 2016 and 2017 respectively, it seems that there is newfound hunger for all things football in the City of Angels. This was largely helped by the fact that both the Rams and Chargers managed to prove the doubters wrong by making the play-offs in the 2018 season. Plus the fact that the Rams even went on to narrowly lose to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LIII has led many people to think that the Los Angeles footballing renaissance has well and truly begun.
What’s interesting is the fact that there’s plenty of investment taking place to ensure that Los Angeles is well equipped to deal with the revival of NFL football within the city. Both Los Angeles Rams and Chargers fans can look forward to sharing their new $5 billion stadium in Inglewood soon. But such expensive projects will hold little water unless the two teams make good on their newfound potential.
There’s plenty of excitement in the Los Angeles Rams camp with their young coach, Sean McVay, seeming to be able guide star players like Todd Gurley and Aaron Donald into performing at their very best. Being able to go from a 4-12 finish in 2016, to 13-3 and a Super Bowl appearance in 2018 is little short of miraculous, and hopes will be high that the Rams can repeat this impressive trajectory in the coming months.
Similarly, Anthony Lynn’s Los Angeles Chargers managed to prove many bookies completely wrong in the last NFL season. Whilst the Chargers were outplayed in their NFL Divisional Round match against the Patriots, they managed to play some quality football with a string of impressive wins over the likes of Baltimore Ravens, Denver Broncos and even a nail-biting close 29-28 victory over the formidable Kansas City Chiefs.
Obviously, there’s still plenty of room for growth in both of these teams. The Los Angeles Rams offensive game looked largely blunt when faced with the defensive excellence of the Patriots in the Super Bowl. In comparison, the Los Angeles Chargers will need to work on their consistency so that they can step up their game against the NFL’s bigger teams.
Much of the two team’s fortunes will rest on how they handle matters in the preseason months. In particular, its March’s free agent period that could give both sides plenty of opportunities to bolster their ranks.
The Los Angeles Rams defensive star, Ndamukong Suh, has made no secret about the fact that he is thinking of moving on, and even the linebacker, Dante Fowler, could also soon leave the side. As such McVay will have think about how best to plug these potential holes in the side.
Similarly, the Chargers will be hoping to re-sign stars like Adrian Phillips and Darius Philon to ensure that they continue their impressive run of form. But whatever happens, it’s sure to be a fascinating year of NFL football in Los Angeles when the season kicks off in September.