Our NFL handicapper, Mark Lathrop, continues his look at the schedules of the NFC West. For the Los Angeles Rams, it not only breaks out as a bad schedule with early East Coast starts, but with stiff division competitions as well.
The Los Angeles Rams will try to improve on their dead last ranking in yards gained in 2016, as Jared Goff gets his second year under center with the team. Goff only played in seven games last season and struggled mightily to the tune of a 63.6 QB rating after coming into the starting position in November. And that QBR is benefitted by a lot of garbage time stats in a 21-49 loss to the New Orleans Saints – his only performance above an 81.3 QBR. Bottom line is that with Goff under center, this team has a long way to go to start competing in the NFC West. Let’s take a look at how the schedule breaks out for the Rams.
As a new west coast team, I’m paying attention to the starts at 10AM on the east coast for the Rams. 10M PST road dates against Dallas, New York Giants, Minnesota, and Tennessee all look like sure losses to me in this schedule. Luckily, the Rams start their first two games at home against some teams that have their own issues, the Colts and Rams. A 1-1 start is not out of the question here, but then a tough road schedule and home dates against Arizona and Seattle likely has the Rams going into their Week 8 bye at 2-5.
It doesn’t get any easier for the Rams in Weeks 9-11, as a home date with Houston is sandwiched between 10 AM road starts against the Giants and Minnesota. Houston’s defense will likely neutralize any home field advantage the Rams have, and I’m calling it as 2-8 after Week 11.
They get New Orleans at home in Week 12, and after the 49-21 beat down last year I don’t think this one is close either. A home date against Philadelphia is between two road NFC West games at Arizona and Seattle. Not feeling good about any of those with Goff under center so 2-12 they sit. The Rams finish up the season on the road at 10 AM at Tennessee and at home versus San Francisco. Who knows who will be the quarterback of any of those teams at this point, so I‘m calling for a split of those last two weeks of useless games.Los Angeles Rams Season Prediction: 3-13, Super Bowl Odds +15000