For the previous two years, the Rams and Bucs have been working like they’re LeBron James they usually simply bought to L.A. Whereas the Bucs signed their big-name QB, the Rams took out one other mortgage on their future, buying and selling fairly a bit for Matthew Stafford.
Whether or not it’s an outdated quarterback who has to fall off ultimately, or a future with out draft capital, these franchises are nearing the tip of their runs as presently constructed. Tom Brady has been in win-now mode for a decade, and now the Bucs are, too. The Rams have adopted an identical strategy as proprietor Stan Kroenke miraculously discovered his checkbook in the course of the staff’s relocation from St. Louis.
They’ve taken swings on gifted but problematic huge receivers — Odell Beckham Jr. appears to be understanding whereas Antonio Brown walked out. They’ve signed defensive gamers to giant, in all probability irresponsible offers — Aaron Donald and Shaq Barrett bought luggage of dough. And each try to fill within the roster deficiencies with huge, damaged down names — Eric Weddle got here out of retirement to play 19 snaps for L.A. in opposition to Arizona, and the Bucs’ Richard Sherman is now relegated to a glorified coach after accidents ended his on-field season.
You may inform how closely groups try to win now by what number of ring chasers they signal. (*Cough* Lakers *cough* Nets *cough*) Ndamukong Suh even went from ring chaser with L.A. to ring winner in Tampa. The Rams entrance workplace and coach Sean McVay traded for ring chaser Stafford solely to win a Tremendous Bowl, one thing they couldn’t do with Jared Goff once they met Brady whereas he was nonetheless in New England. Von Miller has a hoop, so he’s technically not a hoop chaser, however I’m on the level that if you happen to’re scurrying from buffet to buffet like an insatiable child, you’re a hoop chaser.
Brady’s lone purpose in life is to play so long as doable, and he’ll signal any participant and make use of any coach to assist him obtain soccer immortality irrespective of the blood oath. If he was pressured to select between Brown and Alex Guerrero, his head would implode. When was the final time he ate regular individuals meals? 2011?
Talking of many years, every time this hedonistic strategy catches as much as these franchises, how lengthy earlier than they’re good once more? The Rams and Bucs met within the NFC Championship Sport in 1980 and 2000, so if historical past tells us something, we gained’t see one other Bucs-Rams playoff sport till about 2040.
This postseason has felt like a little bit of a throwback to the Nineteen Nineties/early 2000s with essential video games between the 49ers and Cowboys, the 49ers and Packers, the Chiefs and Payments, and now this sport. Although there was solely the one matchup in 2000, something the Best Present on Turf did throughout their Tremendous Bowl run stands out as a result of it was so spontaneous and entertaining.
That Bucs’ core — Warren Sapp, Derrick Brooks, John Lynch, and so on. — who misplaced to St. Louis ultimately went on to win a hoop of their very own, however just like the Rams, the franchise had a tough time replicating the success as soon as these championship gamers moved on. Who is aware of what the expiration date is on the present set of stars for every staff, however you’d say most are at the least midway by means of their NFL careers if not additional alongside.
The win in any respect prices methodology labored for the Broncos and Peyton Manning, it labored for the Bucs and Brady, the Rams try to make it work with Stafford, and it seems to be like we may even see extra groups strive it as they line as much as attempt to sway Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers, plying them with gifted huge receivers, presents of carte blanche, and playoff-ready defenses.
Latching onto the final vestiges of an awesome quarterback’s profession is smart, however I’m unsure if Stafford counts as nice. Nevertheless, if the Rams do handle to win a title with him, it solely offers groups extra incentive to take comparable probabilities on gifted guys mired in a foul scenario who is probably not nice. Brady and Manning are the best-case eventualities for the sort of transfer, however Brett Favre and Phillip Rivers are what it seems to be like when it goes improper.
These groups didn’t do what L.A. did to achieve Rivers and Favre, so certainly one of these gambles hasn’t blown up a franchise but, but it surely may sooner or later. There’s part of me — the NFL fandom lobe of my mind that’s completely empty for the reason that Rams left St. Louis — that wishes to see certainly one of these franchises go increase a la the Hindenberg.
May Stafford rifle a few early interceptions and lay waste to McVay and the Rams’ recklessly plotted plans? Abso-fucking-lutely. Nothing would make me happier than to see Kroenke’s spending spree be all for naught. I imply, I’d be equally elated to see Brady finish a postseason with just a few damaged iPads and a pouty face, too, however they already bought a hoop out of it.
Regardless, I don’t know who I wish to lose extra, however I do know that certainly one of these win-now groups goes to lose now and can be ripe for the post-LeBron tailspin Cleveland and Miami know all too effectively, and that provides me pleasure.