As the newly-crowned NFC champion Los Angeles Rams begin to make preparations for Super Bowl LIII down in Atlanta, could the upstart Cleveland Browns be the next version of them?
One may find it unfathomable that a team that posted the second ever winless season would even remotely have any similarities to a team that is 60 minutes away from hoisting a Lombardi, but if you’re a true football savant–like the Transformers–there is more than meets the eye when it comes to the similarities between the two franchises.
While not many in the present-say Millennial generation would know that both teams played in Cleveland at one point, with the Rams being founded in 1936, and the Browns coming into the NFL in 1946, the year the Rams decided to take their talents to the West Coast.
Both franchises boast a storied history with some of the greatest players ever enshrined down the road in Canton and both have always played a tough and menacing style of football that has helped define who they are.
Fast forward to the present and–seemingly fitting–are mirror images of each other. Both the Browns and Rams have franchise cornerstones on defense in Myles Garrett and Aaron Donald.
Both teams have young and talented playmakers in the secondary in the form of Cleveland-area products in Aqib Talib and Denzel Ward. Both the Rams and Browns have Georgia Bulldogs as their featured tailback in Todd Gurley and Nick Chubb.
Even both franchises have top overall picks as the face of their franchises in Jared Goff and Baker Mayfield.
Even both teams had newly hired New York Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams running the defense, as Williams did in 2012–and again from 2014-16–and most recently with the Browns from 2017-18 as both defensive coordinator and interim head coach.
Both the Rams and Browns run a wide open form of the modern-day spread passing game thanks to offensive-minded coaches in Sean McVay and newly-hired head coach Freddie Kitchens.
Clearly, both teams are built so similarly, once can look at the Rams and see the Browns following the exact same blueprint. And one can look at the Browns and see how they’ve mirrored their one-time Cleveland rival.
Built on defense, explosive offenses with two marquee quarterbacks in Goff and Mayfield.
If you’re a Browns fan, next season can’t come soon enough for when the Rams return to Cleveland, as fans will get a good and up close look at where their own team may become.