Each Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from July 12 through Sept. 2, we will take a look at the projected win totals for each team in the NFL, running one division per week for eight weeks.
NOTE: All over/under win totals are provided by Caesars Sportsbook.
LOS ANGELES RAMS
2021 record: 12-5; defeated Arizona in wild-card round, 34-11; defeated Tampa Bay in divisional round, 30-27; defeated San Francisco in NFC championship, 20-17; defeated Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI, 23-20
2022 bye week: 7
Most impactful additions: LB Bobby Wagner, WR Allen Robinson
Most impactful departures: LB Von Miller, WR Odell Beckham (although he could return), WR Robert Woods, OT Andrew Whitworth, DB Darious Williams
Easiest part(s) of schedule: There are no real long stretches – or even back-to-back games where the Rams could let their guard down. The book says this is the toughest schedule in the NFL, and isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be after winning the Super Bowl?
That being said, there certainly are games the Rams should be big favorites, including Atlanta in Week 2 (home), Carolina in Week 6 (home), both Seattle games and potentially both Arizona games.
Toughest part(s) of schedule: If you’re going to have the toughest schedule in the league, at least these Rams got one that is balanced. Just like there are not easy stretches, there really are no long runs that could spell losing streaks.
Opening against Buffalo is tough, but it’s at home and it’s followed by Atlanta. A Monday night game at San Francisco is followed by another road game at Dallas, but that is followed by Carolina and a bye week.
After going to New Orleans and Kansas City, the Rams will host Seattle and Las Vegas.
Caesars over/under win total (as of Aug. 17): 10.5 – Over -110 / Under -110; Odds to win Super Bowl LVII at +1200
Book it: OVER. First off, this simply is a no play because of this schedule and the unknowns with the loss of Whitworth, Miller and who knows with OBJ.
Clearly, Matthew Stafford fit right in and took the next step in his career, just as we thought he would last season. We loved this team’s odds to win the Super Bowl heading into 2021, and they’re almost exactly the same this August. (And the division is much easier, as Seattle and Arizona should be worse.)
However, question marks remain in the run game with Cam Akers, who hopes to be fully recovered from an Achilles injury, and Darrell Henderson had his own problems at the end of 2021. Rookie Kyren Williams (fifth round) also is recovering from a broken foot he suffered in OTAs.
Cooper Kupp clearly was the best receiver in the league during the Super Bowl run, but will he have enough help with Allen Robinson and potentially OBJ in late September or early October? Van Jefferson is having lingering knee issues.
On defense, they were in the middle of the pack, and most impactful defensive lineman in the NFL, Aaron Donald, is getting a bit long in the tooth at age 31. The big deal the Rams made in the offseason was for Bobby Wagner, and he is 32. This team has a solid secondary, but they also have injury issues back there.
Last question: Is Sean McVay’s heart in it after rumors swirled of his retirement?
Again, not a total I will mess with, nor will I touch any other numbers for this team. No spoiler alerts, but there’s a team in this division I like much better. (You’re pretty smart, though, so you can probably figure out who.) That being said, the Rams are still pretty darned good, and I can’t bet against them either.
Projected finish: 11-6
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