The NFL season began on Thursday with a dramatic duel between quarterbacks Tom Brady and Dak Prescott. The Los Angeles Rams begin their season on Sunday night with a primetime matchup against the Chicago Bears. Opening the new SoFi Stadium in style, Los Angeles will welcome new quarterback Matthew Stafford to town in hopes of revitalizing their offense. With a full 17-game schedule ahead, let’s take a look at each game and the likeliest result for each matchup.
Week 1: Chicago Bears at L.A. Rams
L.A. has a clear advantage here. Offensively, the Rams have superior weapons and defensively the Rams at minimum can match the Bears. With the best defensive player on the planet in Aaron Donald, quarterback Andy Dalton will be scrambling for his life all evening. Rams win.
Week 2: L.A. Rams at Indianapolis Colts
The Colts have a lot of unanswered questions. Carson Wentz appears to have made a miraculous recovery from his preseason injury, but the flow of their offense will not be there immediately. With a stacked backfield of Jonathan Taylor, Marlon Mack and Naheim Hines, Wentz will have plenty of backup but the Rams defense should be able to handle Indianapolis. Rams win.
Week 3: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at L.A. Rams
This will be L.A.’s first loss. Even when they lose the turnover, time of possession and penalty battles, Tampa Bay still wins. The Rams will struggle to keep up with the high powered Bucs offense and defense in their first loss of the season. Bucs win.
Week 4: Arizona Cardinals at L.A. Rams
Any time the NFC West plays each other, the games are close and hard-fought. Kyler Murray matches up well against the speedy L.A. defense, but the home crowd at SoFi Stadium will still be rowdy in their new venue and the Stafford-McVay duo will outplay and outcoach Murray and Kliff Kingsbury. Rams Win.
Week 5: L.A. Rams at Seattle Seahawks
Speaking of rowdy, the Rams travel to Seattle to face Russell Wilson and their 12th man in Week 5. After a hard-fought win in Week 4, the Rams will fall in a close, defensive game on the road. Seahawks win.
Week 6: L.A. Rams at New York Giants
Stafford and the Rams will have an easy go in the Big Apple. Until Saquon Barkley and the Giants prove they can win the big game against winning teams. L.A. is the easy pick here. Rams win.
Week 7: Detroit Lions at L.A. Rams
Jared Goff returns home to face the Rams, and it will not be an enjoyable homecoming for the young quarterback. Stafford and McVay will prove why they are the more successful duo and the Lions will return home with their tail between their legs. Rams win.
Week 8: L.A. Rams at Houston Texans
Continuing on their relatively easy streak, the Rams travel to Houston to face a torn-up Texans team that is riddled with drama and odd roster choices. Stafford might even be the player of the week for Week 8. Rams win.
Week 9: Tennessee Titans at L.A. Rams
After a nice three-game winning streak, Derrick Henry rolls into town and breaks that streak. The only team that can commit to the run more than McVay is Mike Vrabel and the Titans. Halfway through the season, Donald and the defense are set up for a difficult task at hand, even at home. Titans win.
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Week 10: L.A. Rams at San Francisco 49ers
Although the 49ers match up very well with the Rams, I like L.A. in this game. Coming off a tough game against the Titans, L.A. will not want to drop two in a row. With more overall offensive firepower on the Rams’ side, the 49ers will fall in a heartbreaking loss at home. Rams win.
Week 12: L.A. Rams at Green Bay Packers
The Rams offense is significantly improved from the 2020 NFC Divisional Round team against Green Bay. Even with their improvement, the Packers are the better team. Green Bay is no stranger to beating Stafford, and the McVay coaching tree will show just how talented it is with Matt LaFleur coming out on top. Packers win.
Week 13: Jacksonville Jaguars at L.A. Rams
Trevor Lawrence comes to town to immerse himself in the true L.A. experience. Lawrence is quite the talented prospect, but the Jaguars are not a talented enough unit yet to take down the likes of Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey. Rams win.
Week 14: L.A. Rams at Arizona Cardinals
After winning at home in L.A., Arizona returns the favor in Week 14 with a win. Kyler Murray learns from their Week 4 matchup and Arizona keeps their potential playoff hopes alive later in the season. DeAndre Hopkins versus Jalen Ramsey is always going to be the matchup of the week when they line up against one another. Cardinals win.
Week 15: Seattle Seahawks at L.A. Rams
Back-to-back division matchups? McVay is not worried. Seattle comes to town and Aaron Donald will enjoy the still balmy L.A. weather in a defensive rout of the Seahawks right before Christmas. Rams win.
Week 16: L.A. Rams at Minnesota Vikings
High on the Christmas spirit, L.A. waltzes into Minnesota and takes down Kirk Cousins and the Vikings in an easy matchup before a difficult final two weeks of the NFL season. Rams win.
Week 17: L.A. Rams at Baltimore Ravens
Following the injuries to J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards, the Ravens will have to morph into an entirely different football team. Lamar Jackson may put up Madden-type numbers during the 2021 season, and he will for sure give L.A. a run for their money in Week 17. Still, the Rams speedy defense can keep up and Stafford can outscore the Ravens with ease. Rams win.
Week 18: San Francisco 49ers at L.A. Rams
With a playoff spot on the line, Matthew Stafford brings some old 2012 magic out to take down the Kyle Shanahan 49ers to round out the regular season. Rams win.
With 12 wins, the Rams narrowly win the NFC West with the Seahawks and 49ers both taking Wild Card spots. Ultimately, the Rams do not match up well against the NFC’s two best teams, Tampa Bay and Green Bay. However, Los Angeles will compete consistently throughout the season and be worth every single penny of entertainment SoFi Stadium provides.