Updated: Jun 25, 2021
With a new quarterback brought in by trade this offseason, Matthew Stafford is now being handed the keys to the LA Rams high-powered offense. After being drafted by the Lions in 2009, Detroit is all Stafford has ever known, and with that came plenty of losing and many uncompetitive seasons. With a complete change of scenery, many believe that the 12- year vet will have much success with the new supply of talent and weapons that now surround him. In 2020 Stafford threw for 4,084 yards with 26 touchdowns and, despite battling through injuries for a good portion of the season, still managed to play in all 16 games. Although it came at an expensive price, I still believe that Stafford is a significant upgrade from Jared Goff who had some good seasons in Los Angeles, including leading them to Super Bowl LIII, but clearly wasn’t what the Rams needed at the position. The trade included giving up Goff, both their 2022 and 2023 first-round picks and their 2021 third-round pick, which turned out to be Ifeati Melifonwu, a cornerback out of Syracuse.
There is no question that the backbone of the Rams team and the main reason for their sustained success is their defense. They rank among the top of the league in almost all major categories, including 1st in total yards per game (281.9), 1st in passing yards allowed per game (190.7), 2nd in sacks (53), and 2nd in points per game allowed (19.3). Although stacking up all of these impressive numbers last year as a whole, it will be interesting to see how the team adjusts to a new system and coach after losing their defensive coordinator Brandon Staley to the other side of town with the Chargers. The man they chose to replace Staley was former Falcons interim head coach last season Raheem Morris. Morris led Atlanta to a 4-7 record after taking over for Dan Quinn in week 6. The job ahead of him in Los Angeles seems to be one of the easier ones around the league, considering his unit is highlighted by stars like Aaron Donald, Jalen Ramsey, and Leonard Floyd.
The Rams 2021 schedule this upcoming year consists of 8 games against 2020 playoff teams. With the addition of the 18th week to the NFL season, this year adds the week 17 matchup at Baltimore to the Rams' already difficult schedule. Looking at the Rams schedule, I personally think that there are about 5-6 games here that are against teams that they should beat, such as the Bears, Texans, Giants, Lions, Vikings, and the 49ers twice. I think Los Angeles will go 3-3 within their division, considering they have to play the Seahawks and Cardinals twice each, who are both legit playoff contenders. Their schedule also consists of playing both the AFC South and NFC North divisions. Although playing these two divisions includes games against 4 playoff teams, I still think that they will go 6-2, only losing at Indianapolis and Green Bay in weeks 2 and 12. Remaining on their schedule, they have the Buccaneers, Giants, and Ravens. The Rams are one of the most talented teams in the NFC. Unfortunately, they are in a division that will probably have three playoff teams. The schedule is a difficult one. Indianapolis, Tennessee, and Baltimore are all playoff teams they play from the AFC. Tampa Bay, Chicago, and Green Bay from the NFC. Needing 11 wins to cash this bet seems a little steep, 11-6 wouldn't surprise me but play it safe and take the under.
Los Angeles Rams under 10-.