The Los Angeles Rams haven’t even played their week one game yet and they are already in position to tie the division lead with the Seattle Seahawks. The Arizona Cardinals lost a heart-breaker on Sunday night versus the New England Patriots which featured a rare miss from a normally very clutch kicker in Chandler Catanzaro.
Before you jump too far ahead and get excited, no team is ever guaranteed a win in the National Football League. The Rams are favorites to win this game and should win but there is a unique history with the 49ers. The last three coaches that coached their first game for the 49ers as a head coach and not an interim each won their first game. Mike Singletary who is now with the Rams as a defensive assistant won his first game against the Cardinals in 2009, Jim Harbaugh’s Niners crushed the Seahawks in 2011 and believe it or not, Jim Tomsula’s squad beat the NFC North Champion Minnesota Vikings convincingly last season. Will Chip Kelly (who makes his 49ers coaching debut tonight) continue the streak?
I’m not one to get all up in arms over these kinds of stats but history does tend to repeat itself. For tonight lets hope it doesn’t because the Rams would be setting themselves up at a 1-0 record going to Los Angeles for their first home game in L.A. since 1994. That game would be against the rival Seahawks with both teams sitting at 1-0 to start the year. This is a game if the Rams won they would all of the sudden be sitting in first place of the NFC West.
That’s not a big deal though right? It’s just two games! Well, think about this. The Rams don’t have an absolute nightmare match-up anytime soon like they do later in the year in New England. The Rams realistically could beat all these teams after Seattle they take on Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the road, Cardinals on the road, Buffalo Bills in L.A., Detroit Lions on the road and the New York Giants in London. I’m not guaranteeing the Rams to go 7-0 into the bye week but I am saying the Rams are capable of beating any of these teams. They beat the Cardinals in Arizona last year due to Todd Gurley’s breakout starting debut, they rocked the Buccaneers on Thursday Night Football, they beat the Bills last time in Buffalo with a worse roster, they took care of the Lions at home last year. Really the only team the Rams historically lose against are the Giants who have won the last six meetings vs. the Rams and haven’t lost to them since 2001. However, it is worth mentioning Head coach Jeff Fisher is 5-2 versus the Giants.
The question is this: Can the Rams win the NFC West?
Now that is too premature to answer but I think if they put up a good showing tonight and win convincingly on the road, take care of business at home versus the Seahawks and beat the Bucs on the road. Then that week four matchup versus the Cardinals could be one of the biggest games of the year! Right now the stage is set for the Rams they can do the impossible but they need to take care of business early in the season and kick their rival foes while they are down. Lets just hope the Rams don’t come out as flat as they did two years ago against the Vikings.