The Los Angeles Rams are back to being healthy (for the most part) but until they surge in the regular season, the team is still down and Jared Goff and the Lions are the talk of the NFL. The Rams won the first revenge game between the two parties in 2021, 28-19, and proceeded to win a Super Bowl without Goff. However as 2023 comes into view, Goff is coming off a 9-8 year, nearly making the playoffs while Sean McVay is still smarting from a 5-12 performance in 2022.
With the comparisons flipped at the moment, it would be a supremely interesting time for a rematch between the two powers as seemingly both are set to put on good football in 2023. Will the two square off this season?
Alas, the two teams aren’t guaranteed a showdown this year in the regular season. However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. It just means that both teams will need to perform well and get some luck in January. With both teams in the NFC, it could be a race for seeding that becomes the next competition between the two parties.
What Jared Goff and Matthew Stafford need to do, beyond simply making the playoffs
Assuming Jared Goff gets his first playoff appearance since leaving the Rams, he’ll either need to get an immediate playoff game against Los Angeles or both teams will need to win at least one playoff game. Alternatively, one team could win a top seed while the other sneaks in as a late wild card to get an early matchup.
Both teams could also be the true best and second-best teams in the conference by getting to the NFC Championship.
For Jared Goff to get to the conference championship game, he’ll need to do the heavy lifting in getting his playoff experience-lacking squad through the first or first two games of the playoffs. He’ll be facing Patrick Mahomes in the regular season, so there’s a good chance he’ll also need to get a quick rebound after starting 0-1, which would be difficult territory for the team with such a history of losing early in bunches. Starting 0-2 or 0-3 strongly damages or even kills the chances of making the postseason from a historical standpoint, as is well documented.
As for the Rams, they’ll need to rebound immediately to their NFC-leading ways and slot in as a top seed to get the best shot at Jared Goff, since high seeds play lower ones in the playoffs. Meaning, they’ll need to win the NFC West over the 49ers, Seahawks, and Cardinals and also finish near the top of the entire conference, although avoiding the first seed would be ideal as getting more games in January maximizes their chances of a game against Goff.
Of course, it goes without saying that the franchise should not prioritize scoping out a Jared Goff path over a Super Bowl path. Sure, if it works out that way, then the storylines with write themselves, but the priority should and most definitely is a Super Bowl.