Three lessons the Denver Broncos should learn from the Los Angeles Rams

Jan 9, 2022; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Rams outside linebacker Von Miller (40) works against San Francisco 49ers guard Tom Compton (66) in the second half at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams are making their grand return to the Super Bowl four seasons after their devastating loss in 2018.

There are many reasons that the Rams are just one game away from being the 2022 Super Bowl champions. It’s undeniable that this team is leaps and bounds more talented than they were in their last Super Bowl appearance.

While their competitors, the Cincinnati Bengals, built their stacked roster via the draft, the Rams took the opposite approach by trading away picks in return for superstars. They don’t have a first-round pick until 2024, at the earliest.

Here are three lessons the Broncos should take away from the Rams.

1. The Right Veteran Quarterbacks Work

The last time the Broncos followed this formula, they won a Super Bowl. However, since Peyton Manning’s retirement, the Broncos have tried to mimic that formula twice with Joe Flacco and Case Keenum. Neither lasted more than a season. 

In the 2021 offseason, the Rams said goodbye to previous first-round pick Jared Goff and hello to 12-year veteran Matthew Stafford.  

On top of Goff, the Rams also sent the Detroit Lions two first-round and one third-round pick.  

First-time Broncos’ general manager, George Paton, did throw his hat in the race for Stafford. However, he was not that invested, having reportedly only offered the Lions a first-round pick in return for Stafford and a second-rounder. 

It’s no secret that Denver tried to go all-in on Aaron Rodgers last year right around the time of the draft. The Rams’ Super Bowl run should push them to go all-in in that direction.

2. The Value of Superstars

Broncos Country was in mourning when it was announced that the Broncos were trading Von Miller to the Rams. On the other hand, it was a time of celebration for Los Angeles fans.

In this postseason alone, Miller already has two sacks, including a strip-sack, and a 91.0 Pro Football Focus grade, the highest of any defensive player.     

What pulls the Rams apart from other teams is that Miller is far from the only superstar they’ve acquired on this roster over the past few years. In 2019, they traded for Jalen Ramsey from the Jacksonville Jaguars. On November 11, 2021, they signed Odell Beckham Jr. after he was released from the Cleveland Browns midseason. Combine that with the perfectly drafted Cooper Kupp and Aaron Donald, who have become household names themselves, and it was a recipe for guaranteed success.

Meanwhile, the Broncos failed to have even one player named to the Pro Bowl roster this season for the first time in 41 years. The good news is that they have plenty of cap space and draft capital to get after some big names for themselves.

3. Offensive Minded Coaching

Before the most recent hire of Nathaniel Hackett, the Broncos had back-to-back defensive-minded head coaches. The belief has been for a while that “defense wins championships.” That’s how they won Super Bowl 50.

However, they haven’t been able to replicate this recipe since. Despite the Broncos finishing with the third overall defense in 2021, they also finished with a losing record for the 5th consecutive season.  

It’s widely accepted that the Rams’ head coach Sean McVay is an offensive mastermind. He helped Goff lead the team to the Super Bowl, the below-average quarterback. McVay also helped scheme Stafford to his most productive season in a decade.

The good news is that it seems like the Broncos have already learned this lesson. The original rumors were that the Cowboys’ defensive coordinator, Dan Quinn, was the initial frontrunner. However, the Hackett hire proves Denver is ready to move in a new direction.

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