When you go all in at a poker table, sometimes it’s out of desperation.
The Rams weren’t completely hopeless as a franchise, but it was pretty obvious that they were a quarterback short after watching their playoff loss last season to the Green Bay Packers.
The Rams front office acknowledged a simple fact: the time is now.
A franchise that already had made their claim of being an aggressive team traded multiple first-round picks to acquire Matthew Stafford from the Detroit Lions.
Stafford had the numbers, but didn’t have the hardware. Many of the pundits wondered if it was a trade worth making.
Of course it was.
The Rams do not win the Super Bowl without Matthew Stafford, it’s as simple as that.
Throughout the postseason, Stafford made throws that his predecessor Jared Goff simply could not.
Stafford delivered when the Rams were up against the wall following a Tom Brady comeback. He delivered when his team was down ten in the second half against the Niners in the NFC Title Game.
On the final Rams drive of the game in Super Bowl LVI, he was up to the challenge, and it sure helped that he had the best receiver in the sport on his side.
Stafford and the Rams trailed late and a lot was working against them. They did not have the services of a top-notch running game and Odell Beckham, Jr. was lost to a knee injury.
Stafford had one guy he could count on: Cooper Kupp. Kupp made every big play down the stretch, including the game-winning touchdown grab.
But the all-in approach of the Rams wasn’t just on the offensive side of the ball. Defensively, they added Von Miller and Jalen Ramsey, knowing they already had a team with one of the best defensive players of all time.
Sure enough, with the game on the line it was future Hall-of-Famer Aaron Donald who disrupted two Bengals plays, sealing the Super Bowl win.
It was appropriate that for a Super Bowl in the City of Stars, the biggest players on the Rams shined the brightest.
An all-in strategy has the opportunity to blow up in your face or be a smashing success. The Rams hit the jackpot and will now live forever in NFL history.
You can listen to my podcast “New York, New York” every Sunday, Tuesday & Thursday on The Ringer Podcast Network on Spotify & Apple Podcasts.