The Los Angles Rams started this season like the team that made it to last year’s Super Bowl. It didn’t appear they had fallen to the Super Bowl Curse when they opened with wins over Carolina, New Orleans, and Cleveland. But now the Rams are riding a three-game losing streak, and visions of the Curse are popping up everywhere.
The Super Bowl Curse has hit a full one-third of the SB losers over the last 30 years. Lose the Super Bowl, the curse says, and the following season you won’t make the playoffs, or even play .500 ball. The Rams lost last season’s Super Bowl, begging the question, is the curse catching up with them?
The Super Bowl Curse
2015 Carolina Panthers (15-1) lost Super Bowl 24-10. 2016 record (6-10)
2006 Chicago Bears (13-3) lost Super Bowl 29-17. 2007 record (7-9)
2004 Philadelphia Eagles (13-3) lost Super Bowl 24-21. 2005 record (6-10)
2003 Carolina Panthers (11-5) lost Super Bowl 32-29. 2004 record (7-9)
2002 Oakland Raiders (11-5) lost Super Bowl 48-21. 2003 record (4-12)
2001 St. Louis Rams (14-2) lost Super Bowl 20-17. 2002 record (7-9)
2000 New York Giants (12-4) lost Super Bowl 34-7. 2001 record (7-9)
1998 Atlanta Falcons (14-2) lost Super Bowl 34-19. 1999 record (5-11)
1993 Buffalo Bills (12-4) lost Super Bowl 30-13. 1994 record (7-9)
1989 Denver Broncos (11-5) lost Super Bowl 55-10. 1990 record (5-11)
Who’s Next for the Rams?
The argument for and against the Los Angeles Rams collapsing this year rests on their schedule. Sitting at 3-3, Los Angeles should get healthy in the next two weeks with games against Atlanta (1-5), and Cincinnati (0-6). But the Rams opened as only a 3-point favorites over the Falcons this Sunday in Atlanta. If this is going to be a bounce-back game for LA, they’ll have to stop Atlanta QB, Matt Ryan, who has thrown for 300+ yards in all six games this season, including 356 yards and four touchdowns last Sunday against Arizona. Los Angeles will then have to rely on their own aerial fireworks to take down the Falcons. LA’s quarterback, Jared Goff, has been inconsistent this season, with both good and bad passing games.
After their bye week, the Rams face a tough schedule the rest of the way. This year, parity in the NFL is turning matchups against teams with weak records into trap games, Pittsburgh and Dallas being a prime examples.
Nov. 10 @ Pittsburgh Steelers (2-4)
Nov. 17 Chicago Bears (3-2)
Nov. 25 Baltimore Ravens [MNF] (4-2)
Dec. 1 @ Arizona Cardinals (2-3-1)
Dec. 8 Seattle Seahawks (5-1)
Dec. 15 @ Dallas Cowboys (3-3)
Dec. 22 @ San Francisco 49ers (5-0)
Dec. 29 Arizona Cardinals (2-3-1)
Playing for a Wild-Card Game
Assume the Rams cruise by Atlanta and Cincinnati over the next two weeks, and hit their bye week at 5-3. They will probably be hunting for a wild-card playoff spot, with Seattle (5-1) and San Francisco (5-0) ahead of them in the NFC West. Give Los Angeles wins in the two games against lowly Arizona, and that takes them to seven wins. They’ll need at least two, perhaps three more victories in November and December to make the playoffs, and at least an 8-8 season to avoid being added to the list of Super Bowl Curse victims.