The L.A. Rams are Super Bowl or bust this year after trading for quarterback Matthew Stafford in the offseason, but is it enough to get over the hump?
No team has gone more all-in for the Lombardi Trophy over the last few seasons than the L.A. Rams. The Rams haven’t had a first-round draft pick since 2016 and barring a trade they won’t have another one until 2024, so it’s Super Bowl or bust for this team. The NFC West is going to be one of the toughest divisions in football, but with an upgrade at quarterback, L.A. has a solid shot to improve upon their 10-6 record from last year. Has Sean McVay finally found the quarterback to get the job done, in Matthew Stafford?
QB Matthew Stafford, WR DeSean Jackson.
Notable Draft Picks
WR Tutu Atwell, LB Ernest Jones, DT Bobby Brown, CB Robert Rochell, WR Jacob Harris.
Los Angeles Rams Acquisitions and Moves
The NFL quarterback carousel continued in the offseason with the Rams making the biggest splash and upgrading from Jared Goff to Stafford. It was a pretty incredible move from a team that traded up to draft Goff No. 1 overall in 2016. Now they’ve sent the 26-year-old former face of the franchise, who is just two years removed from a Super Bowl appearance, to Detroit for 33-year-old Stafford, who has never won a playoff game in his career. It’s a bold move from McVay and company. The Rams are heavily banking on Stafford thriving when he finally gets a good team and system in front of him.
The only other major veteran addition to the roster was the signing of DeSean Jackson. L.A. signed the wide receiver after his release from the Philadelphia Eagles and the move reunites him with McVay, his former offensive coordinator with Washington. Jackson is a relatively risk-free addition. He thrived under McVay in Washington, recording the second-highest (20.9) and fourth-highest (17.9) single season yards-per-reception averages of his career. Reconnecting with McVay and running routes for Stafford could lead to a resurgence in Jackson’s career.
The backbone of this team has been defence, so it will be interesting to see how L.A. handles the departure of defensive coordinator Brandon Staley, who took the head coaching gig with L.A.’s other team, the Chargers. Raheem Morris will step into the role after finishing last season as the interim head coach of the Atlanta Falcons. Morris is a veteran coach who has served as a head coach and defensive coordinator and won a Super Bowl as a defensive quality control coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2002.
The Rams’ defence took a hit with the losses of defensive tackle Michael Brockers, cornerback Troy Hill and safety John Johnson. David Long Jr. could be ready to replace Hill, although he struggled on the outside last season. Regardless, they’ll still have Jalen Ramsey and Darious Williams to shut down opposing receivers.
Los Angeles Rams 2021 NFL Schedule
All-in-all the Rams have to feel OK about their schedule. The Week 11 bye is ideal and they only play two games on the east coast and two games in central time. Those games have always been tough for west coast teams as their body clocks see it as a 10 a.m. start.
The divisional games will obviously be crucial and the regular season finale against the San Francisco 49ers could determine the NFC West winner.
Week 1: Sunday, Sept. 12 vs. Chicago Bears, 8:20 p.m
Week 2: Sunday, Sept. 19 @ Indianapolis Colts, 1 p.m.
Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 26 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 4:25 p.m.
Week 4: Sunday, Oct. 3 vs. Arizona Cardinals, 4:05 p.m.
Week 5: Thursday, Oct. 7 @ Seattle Seahawks, 8:20 p.m.
Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 17 @ New York Giants, 1 p.m.
Week 7: Sunday, Oct. 24 vs. Detroit Lions, 4:05 p.m.
Week 8: Sunday, Oct. 31 @ Houston Texans, 1 p.m.
Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 7 vs. Tennessee Titans, 8:20 p.m.
Week 10: Monday, Nov. 15 @ San Francisco 49ers, 8:15 p.m.
Week 11: BYE
Week 12: Sunday, Nov. 28 @ Green Bay Packers, 4:25 p.m.
Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 5 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, 4:25 p.m.
Week 14: Monday, Dec. 13 @ Arizona Cardinals, 8:15 p.m.
Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 19 vs. Seattle Seahawks, 4:25 p.m.
Week 16: Sunday Dec. 26 @ Minnesota Vikings, 1 p.m.
Week 17: Sunday, Jan. 2 @ Baltimore Ravens, 4:25 p.m.
Week 18: Sunday, Jan. 9 vs. San Francisco 49ers, 4:25 p.m.
Los Angeles Rams NFL Betting Odds
L.A. has the best shot at the postseason in the NFC West on the NFL futures odds at -189 to make the playoffs. Their win total is set at 10.5. The Over at +115 seems like a no-brainer for a team that should win 11, 12, or 13 games. The Rams are +195 to win the NFC West, nearly tied with the 49ers for the best odds. At +575, they have the third-best odds to win the NFC and they’re +1233 to win the Super Bowl.
Reigning Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald is a +387 favourite to win the award for the fourth time in his career. If you’re a bit of a risk-taker, I also wouldn’t rule out Ramsey at long +3195 odds.
Los Angeles Rams 2021 Season Prediction
This is a prove-it season for McVay and Stafford. McVay was touted as the best young offensive mind available when he took over as head coach in 2017 and now that he has one of the better quarterbacks in the game, it’s time for results. Stafford never had support in Detroit and this will be his last shot to prove he can win. These two will click and lead the Rams to a 12-5 record.