2021 Team Analysis & Schedule
The Los Angeles Rams were first established in 1936, and they are entering their 84th season. The Rams have moved numerous times throughout their history, but they re-established in Los Angeles before the 2016 season.
Los Angeles entered the 2019 regular season with plenty of optimism after reaching the Super Bowl Odds in 2018. Things didn’t go well for the Rams last season, and they will be looking for a huge bounce-back season in 2020.
Even though the Rams had a disappointing 2019 season, they will still be featured in primetime several times this season. Los Angeles plays in the very tough NFC West Division, so making the playoffs won’t be an easy task.
Los Angeles Rams 2021 Schedule
|Week 1||Sept. 12||at Chicago Bears|
|Week 2||Sept. 19||at Indianapolis Colts|
|Week 3||Sept. 26||at Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|Week 4||Oct. 3||at Arizona Cardinals|
|Week 5||Oct. 7||at Seattle Seahawks|
|Week 6||Oct. 17||at New York Giants|
|Week 7||Oct. 24||at Detroit Lions|
|Week 8||Oct. 31||at Houston Texans|
|Week 9||Nov. 7||at Tennessee Titans|
|Week 10||Nov. 15||at San Francisco 49ers|
|Week 11||Nov. 21||Bye Week|
|Week 12||Nov. 28||at Green Bay Packers|
|Week 13||Dec. 5||at Jacksonville Jaguars|
|Week 14||Dec. 13||at Arizona Cardinals|
|Week 15||Dec. 19||at Seattle Seahawks|
|Week 16||Dec. 26||at Minnesota Vikings|
|Week 17||Jan. 2||at Baltimore Ravens|
|Week 18||Jan. 9||at San Francisco 49ers|
The Rams are in one of the toughest divisions in the NFL with all four teams looking to make a playoff push. That is never a comfortable spot, even with a team that boasts a win-now roster that expects to win every single game. The NFC West will be rough, but their overlapping divisional matchups should lighten the load just a bit. The Rams will play the NFC North and the AFC South. While these divisions are no cakewalk, they present more than winnable games, particularly in the bottom half of those divisions.
Los Angeles Rams News & Pick
The Rams enter the season relying on recent roster moves that have clearly elevated the star power of the team, headlined by the Matthew Stafford trade during the offseason. The Rams acquired a veteran signal caller with a higher floor and ceiling than Jared Goff, but they did pay the price. The Rams gave up two first-round picks and a third-rounder along with Goff to get Stafford. This means either Goff was seen as a liability or they viewed Stafford as a massive upgrade. Either way, this trade alone tells us two things about this team heading into the regular season. They expect to be better and they are fully in on making a run at a championship.We should expect this team to be aggressive when it comes to roster moves, which is always nice if we are betting on success.
The Rams did suffer a major setback when Cam Akers ruptured his Achilles last week in training, but they are insistent that they are not pursuing another running back at this time. Darrell Henderson is assumed to be the starter now and they have a couple of young backups that will be asked to step up if they don’t add more depth.
Los Angeles Rams Key Players
Stafford is definitely aging, but in recent years this has become almost a non-issue for elite QBs. The goal for Stafford is to make an impact on what could be the most talented roster he has ever played on as well as the best offensive scheme he has ever played in. All signs point to Stafford having a career year if he can get comfortable in the offense and find a favorite target. QB/wide receiver chemistry and trust is important and one thing to watch is to see who Stafford gravitates to if anyone.
Donald is still one of the biggest defensive stars in football and should look to continue his career dominance going into his age 30 season. Aging is a common theme with this team and Donald is no exception, but he hasn’t shown many signs of slowing down. I expect Donald to be a monster yet again coming off four straight seasons of double-digit sacks.
Cooper Kupp is one of the most underrated receivers in the NFL. He is a fluent route runner with a great understanding of where to be on the field at all times. Kupp is great at sitting down in a hole or beating a defender off the line on quick routes. Kupp rebounded from his injury well and I expect him to be at full strength heading into the season.
Stafford will likely find a guy to lean on early in the season and my bet is on Kupp to be the guy. Kupp is great at helping the QB and making things easy and his in-game knowledge should allow Stafford to trust him early and often.
Los Angeles Rams New Additions
Outside of Stafford, the biggest additions for the Rams came from signing wide receiver DeSean Jackson and in the NFL draft. The Rams were without their first-round pick, which meant wide receiver Tutu Atwell was their first selection and someone they’d like to contribute early, even though he is notably small by NFL standards. The Rams also signed four draft picks — defensive end Earnest Brown, running back Jake Funk, wide receiver Ben Skowronek and linebacker Chris Garrett.
Los Angeles Rams Key Subtractions
While it is not quite a subtraction from the roster, losing Akers was probably the biggest blow to this team in the offseason. They also lost veterans John Johnson, Michael Brockers, Samson Ebukam, Gerald Everett, Troy Hill, Morgan Fox, Josh Reynolds and Malcolm Brown. These are all players that are expected to contribute to an NFL roster every game this season, but none of which move the needle too much individually. The Rams will be hunting for a replacement for John Johnson, but the emergence of safety Jordan Fuller as a late-round pick in 2020 should help lighten the blow.
Let’s look at the NFC West odds when putting this division in context. The Rams are the second favorites to win the division at +200, just behind the San Francisco 49ers (+175). The le Seattle Seahawks are at +250 and the Arizona Cardinals are +500. For reference, there are no divisions where the third-best odds are better than the Seahawks. The NFC West also has the highest total wins expected in the division as a whole.
When it comes down to who wins this division, I really don’t want to bet on any team. The Rams close the season with the Cardinals, Seahawks, Vikings, Ravens, and Rams. That is three divisional opponents and two teams expected to be over .500. I expect this to be a dogfight until the end and this is easily the most fun division to watch with the high-powered offenses and coaching battles that exist.
Los Angeles Rams Defense
In 2020, the Rams led the NFL in opponents yards per play against and it wasn’t even that close. It did not lead them to be the best scoring defense in the NFL, but that is simply due to the pace of play of the Rams vs. Baltimore, the team that did lead the league. The Rams were among the best overall defenses last season and they look to build on that. There are some questions about the secondary, particularly at safety, but this doesn’t mean to expect significant regression. Expect a top five-caliber defense once again.
Los Angeles Rams Offense
The offense should be fun to watch, especially early in the season when we are evaluating just how good it will run. We’ve all heard the stories about just how much head coach Sean McVay helped Goff in-game. Now that we should see a more experienced and trustworthy QB under center, will this allow McVay to expand his offense? We don’t know if the Rams thought Goff was too reliant on the scheme and staff to help him, or if they truly believed he was limiting parts of the playbook and, inherently, the entire offense. If it is the latter, Los Angeles could pop as a top-five team in the NFL very, very quickly.
Los Angeles Rams FAQs
What is the Los Angeles Rams' all-time record?
Who owns the Los Angeles Rams?
How many Super Bowls have the Los Angeles Rams won?
1 (1999) – the team was based in St. Louis at the time
Who is the quarterback for the Los Angeles Rams?