The NFL announced its schedule on Thursday with the Los Angeles Rams playing five primetime games, including opening up on Sunday Night at So-Fi Stadium against the Dallas Cowboys. Here at Downtown Rams, myself Blaine Grisak, Jake Ellenbogen, and Holden Cantor went through game by game for our way-too-early predictions. The results are below.
Week 1 – Vs. Dallas (SNF)
It’s going to be really hard to pick the Dallas Cowboys in the opening week of the season especially in the first game played at the new Rams stadium. I think the Rams and Cowboys are headed for one exciting Sunday Night Football game. New defensive personnel changes on both sides, I don’t expect either to be in sync to start the season but I do expect both offenses to come out firing.
Jared Goff and the Rams offense was finding their stride at the end of the last season and I think while Todd Gurley is no longer on the roster, they might be able to build off of that. The addition of Van Jefferson and Cam Akers to the offense, followed by an enhanced role for Darrell Henderson and a healthy Rob Havenstein leads me to believe the Rams eek one out in a shootout at home.
Prediction: Win, 34-28
The Rams and Cowboys have played some classics over the past few seasons. The Rams won in McVay’s opening year and came out on top in 2018’s playoff matchup before losing big last season. The Cowboys have gotten better on both sides of the ball, notably signing a new head coach and drafting a steal in Cee Dee Lamb. This could be a shootout, but I have to pick Dallas.
Prediction: Loss, 38-33
I bounced back and forth on this game several times. The Rams got dominated on every single aspect of our previous matchup with Dallas last season. The Cowboys also had a fantastic offseason with probably the best draft in the league a few weeks ago. However, I believe McVay will have the guys fired up and ready to go to get our first ever win in SoFi stadium.
Prediction: Win, 31-28
Week 2 – @ PHI
This is truly a golden opportunity for the Rams to go cross-country and beat a team like the Eagles on the road. I still think this one is going to be tough. The Eagles simply have had their Rams number in the Sean McVay era and while the Rams made all sorts of changes to their defense, the Eagles kept things the same for the most part aside from a few key roster additions and subtractions.
It’s an early game in the season, I think the Rams are certainly capable of winning it but that 10:00 AM start time on the east coast could play a role. I’ll take Philly here in another close game as the Rams struggle to stop Carson Wentz and the Eagles in the fourth quarter.
Prediction: Loss, 23-20
McVay has yet to come out on top against Doug Pederson in his head coaching tenure. Both teams have gone through some major roster changes. However, it’s hard to see the Rams falling to 0-2. The Rams have played well on the road in McVay’s tenure and get the win against the Eagles
Prediction: Win, 27-23
Playing in one of the most hostile environments in week 2, this is a game where I can see Goff struggling while probably throwing a pick to former Ram Nickell Robey-Coleman seems inevitable. Doug Pederson and the Eagles also just seem to have the Rams number the past few years.
Prediction: Loss, 28-14
Week 3 – @ BUF
I watched the Rams the last time they played the Bills in Buffalo. I watched as Sam Bradford led the Rams down the field and into the end zone for a game-winning drive in December. Luckily for the Rams now and Jared Goff, we aren’t playing December Buffalo football. The Bills host the Rams in late September and the weather is going to be a huge non-factor in this one for the Bills. Buffalo is used to the cold weather which makes them a serious home-field favorite later in the season. However, since this is in September and the Rams are coming off a tough three-point loss to the Eagles, I’ll take the Rams.
I imagine the Rams will make use of the fact they stay on the east coast back to back weeks and use it to their advantage. Sean McDermott’s defense is fierce but at the end of the day I think Goff makes a few more plays than Josh Allen to win the Rams their second game of the season.
Prediction: Win, 28-17
The Bills are one of the best-coached teams in the NFL. On top of that, Buffalo is a difficult place to play. I just think the Bills are more talented and will be able to out-physical the Rams. If this was in Los Angeles, I might take the Rams, but in Buffalo, I have to go with the Bills in a low-scoring affair.
Prediction: Loss, 20-13
Playing in Buffalo early on in the year is probably one of the best things that could’ve happened for Goff and the Rams. I see this game playing out similar to our game vs. Chicago last season with a 17-7 win and the Rams defense having one of the best performances of the year.
Prediction: Win, 17-7
Week 4 – Vs. NYG
The last time the Rams played the Giants it was at Metlife and I watched them in person demolish New York 51-17. I don’t think it’s fair to predict that kind of game but I really don’t think the Giants are that great of a football team even still. This is also week four so the Rams have had some time to sync up their defense and their offense should be looking real smooth at this point in time.
I think this the first true blowout of the season on the Rams schedule at it comes in a win.
Prediction: Win, 33-7
The Rams get an opportunity here to bounce back and split the first four games. The Rams are clearly the more talented team and the last time these two teams played, it wasn’t really close. I don’t expect as big of a blowout, but the Rams should come out on top.
Prediction: Win, 30-16Holden:
I can’t wait to watch this game after the last time we beat them 51-17. Giants are still in a similar position as they were in 2017 as I can see this being a similar type outcome with the Rams dominating in every phase of the game. Our run defense will be much better; stack the box and stop Saquon, we will be just fine.
Prediction: Win, 38-10
Week 5 – @ WSH
This is a golden opportunity for the Rams. While they do come back to the east coast, they are now 3-1 heading into a matchup against the Redskins. I expect Dwayne Haskins to find his stride and become a solid NFL starting quarterback in his first true year as a starter but I really don’t see the Redskins winning this game. I don’t see a blowout on the road and the presence of Chase Young is a worry but I definitely see the Rams fourth victory coming in this contest.
Prediction: Win, 31-17
McVay goes up against his old team in Washington for the first time in his Rams career. The Redskins, while better, still have a ways to go before they’ll be able to seriously compete. The Rams should win this one handily.
Prediction: Win, 34-13
With McVay and Kevin O’Connell going up against their former team, I can see them having the perfect game plan going into this matchup and will know exactly how to attack this Jack Del Rio led defense. I could see the Rams struggling a little bit with Chase Young but not enough to affect the outcome.
Prediction: Win, 27-13
Week 6 – @ SF (SNF)
Alas, the Rams have another date with the 49ers on primetime. Last year, they lost at home in a game that was never truly out of their grasp and they lost a game in which they dominated the first three quarters and blew it in the end on the road. I think this game will be a great barometer of where the Rams are in 2020. I think the Rams are capable of stealing a win but I don’t think I’m going to predict that.
Being a 4-1 football team at this point in the season is a success but their second loss of the season comes up here after the Rams late comeback bid falls short.
Prediction: Loss, 27-20
A second game on Sunday Night Football for the Rams and this one comes against their division rivals, the 49ers. Despite losing the Super Bowl, on paper, the 49ers still have one of the most talented rosters in the NFL. I expect the Rams to split with the 49ers this season, but winning division games on the road aren’t easy.
Prediction: Loss, 23-13
With the first divisional matchup of 2020, Rams head to San Francisco and they’re still very much a great team. I really would love to see them bounce back from the heartbreak of last season to where it felt like it was the Rams game the entire time, but I just don’t see it happening here. Our defense will get tested here and bounce back next week vs Chicago at home.
Prediction: Loss 28-20
Week 7 – vs. Chicago (MNF)
I think Chicago is in for a dreadful season but to put them on Monday Night Football is just plain cruel. I think this is another blowout for the Rams as the defense should be potentially clicking at this point. The Bears still have a defense but their offense is dreadful and the defense took a step back when they switched from Vic Fangio’s scheme to Chuck Pagano’s.
I think the Rams have this game wrapped up early before the half and never look back. Foles, Trubisky or whoever plays quarterback is not going to want to face this Rams defense in their seventh week of being a unit.
Prediction: Win, 38-10
The Rams will play the Bears in primetime for a third straight season and the first time on Monday Night Football. The two teams have split the last two meetings with the Rams coming out on top last year, 17-7. If this game was in Chicago, I may lean the Bears, but in Los Angeles on primetime, I see another 20-7 type game.
Prediction: Win, 20-7
Going back to last season The Rams seemed to dominate the Bears in every aspect of the game, even though the score was close, I do not think it was indicative of the type of performance the Rams had on display that night. I expect the same type of performance this season unless Nick Foles comes in and goes on another magic run.
Prediction: Win, 21-7
Week 8 – @ MIA
I think this game has blowout potential if it was in Los Angeles. However, since it’s in Miami that could be different. Tua Tagovailoa will have been through seven weeks in his first NFL season, the young offensive line will have been able to gel a bit and Miami could look the best they are going to look all season at this point. Still though, not a big believer in Miami and I do think the Rams roll to a comfortable win, maybe not blowout but a comfortable win nonetheless.
Prediction: Win, 30-20
This has the potential to be your typical trap game. The Dolphins just picked in the top-5, but that was a two win roster that won five games. Brian Flores did a great coaching job and if losing coaches could win Coach of the Year, he would have been in the running. The Rams will need to come into this game focused.
Prediction: Win 30-27
The Dolphins will be a much better team this season; However, I believe they will still have their struggles and Rams will win this matchup by 14+ points. Jared Goff loves playing in good weather, this is a game where I think he will go off for 4 touchdowns. I have nothing but respect for coach Flores though and hope they can accomplish great things in 2020.
Prediction: Win, 28-9
Week 9 – BYE
Week 10 – vs SEA
The Rams are notorious under Sean McVay in coming off a bye flat. I’m not sure why but I don’t see that trend ending in 2020 as the Rams fall to the Seahawks in a very important division battle. The Rams fall in a game they look out of sync and lethargic in and Seattle rolls to a huge win over their NFC West rivals.
Prediction: Loss, 22-13
The Rams will have two weeks to prepare for the Seahawks and McVay’s record with an extra week to prepare is pretty good. Not only that, but Seattle will also be coming to Los Angeles. The Rams seem to play their best against the Seahawks and I don’t expect that to change.
Prediction: Win, 24-23
The Seahawks still have yet to go out and get a big acquisition for the offensive line; Damien Lewis was a great addition but I still don’t believe it’ll be enough help for Russell Wilson. Rams will have a sack party in this one as Terrell Lewis will introduce himself to Wilson for the first time and Aaron Donald will continue to do Aaron Donald things.
Prediction: Win 20-14
Week 11 – @ TB (MNF)
The Rams get the new-look Buccaneers on Primetime on the road and the QB? Tom Brady. What could go wrong? I think the Rams defense by this time is up for the occasion and I think the Rams offense is as well. Tom Brady and the Bucs are likely going to be one of the NFC’s best but I don’t think they will be invincible.
Rams take down Brady in the final minutes with a defensive turnover to seal the game. Brandon Staley’s crew is starting to feel it.
Prediction: Win 28-24
A fourth primetime game for the Rams and they get Tom Brady and the Buccaneers on the road on Monday Night Football. This could be a classic shootout, but Tampa Bay at home won’t be an easy beat and could be one of the better teams in the NFL this season. That’s a defense that’s improved and Brady won’t turn the ball over 30 times.
Prediction: Loss, 44-38
The Rams flat out struggled with the Tampa Bay offense last year which was led by Jameis Winston tearing apart our defense. Tom Brady and his new weapons will most likely do the same thing here in this one. I see this being similar to the famous Rams vs. Chiefs game and Rams will not end up on the right side of it.
Prediction: Loss 44-41
Week 12 – Vs. SF
A tough 49ers team is vying for a number one seed in the NFC with only one playoff bye now available. The Rams stand in their way in a home game but unfortunately, I don’t have them beating San Fran coming off a short week.
Prediction: Loss, 21-14
The Rams came within a last-second field goal from beating the 49ers in Los Angeles last season. This year’s game will be a different story and the Rams avenge their loss from earlier in the year.
Prediction: Win, 23-20
Coming off the loss to Tampa Bay, the defense will be rejuvenated and ready to go at home vs San Francisco where the Rams stun the 49er offense in a low scoring battle that puts the league on notice the Rams are still just as good.
Week 13 – @ ARI
I’m not about to sleep on Arizona in this game. I think they will be fighting around that .500 or better mark at this point in the season. The Rams come into this game having just lost their third straight division content and aren’t about to fall to 0-4 in the division.
In Arizona, the Rams get it done and Sean McVay stays undefeated against the Cardinals.
Prediction: Win, 33-20
Sean McVay has never lost to the Cardinals in his career with the Rams and I think that changes this year. Arizona is much improved after trading for DeAndre Hopkins and will be better on the offensive line and on defense. This team is still a year away probably, but the Cardinals aren’t going to roll over like they have in years past.
Prediction: Loss, 27-24
The Arizona Cardinals got a whole lot better this offseason by adding in my opinion the best wide receiver in the National Football League. They also had a very good draft but failed to acknowledge some key areas where they still lacked at last season. I am not buying the hype on them, I believe they will finish out 7-9 or 8-8 and the Rams will still have their number this year.
Prediction: Win, 31-21
Week 14 – vs. NE (TNF)
It’s a rematch of the Super Bowl as the completely different Rams team plays a completely different Patriots team. The one constant that matters as much as anything? Jared Goff. Goff outduels Jarrett Stidham after Stidham’s surprisingly solid rookie season. McVay beats Belichick in the rematch.
Prediction: Win, 20-17
The Rams play the Patriots for the first time since the Super Bowl loss and Tom Brady is no longer under center. However, New England should not be taken lightly. That’s still a championship-caliber defense. The Rams lost last season to a good Steelers team that didn’t have the quarterback play. I see the Rams winning a close game.
Prediction: Win, 16-13
This was a tough one to think about granted the Rams previous history with Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots. I know the narrative around the NFL is the Patriots will be tanking but Belichick is too good of a coach for that to happen. Patriots’ defense is going to get into the Rams head again and ultimately come out victorious.
Prediction: Loss, 21-14
Week 15 – vs. NYJ
This is another blowout in the making I think. The Jets did a nice job of building up their roster but I don’t think with the Rams riding high off a win over the Patriots on primetime and a few extra days to prepare that they have much of a shot at losing this one at home.
Goff and the Rams roll to a blowout win that has people starting to wonder if Jared Goff is back for good to his pre-Super Bowl self.
Prediction: Win, 42-18
The Jets to start off the final four games of the season sets up nicely for the Rams if they are to make a playoff run. This is a team that has been a dumpster fire and didn’t get a whole lot better in the offseason. The Rams should get a win and grab some momentum heading into the final quarter of the schedule.
Prediction: Win, 34-13
I expect this game to be a whole lot more entertaining than the last time we played the New York Jets. The Jets had a pretty good draft and I believe this will exceed expectations this season. I do believe the Rams match up well against them though, Ramsey is going to be on probably Denzel Mims? They’re going to have to rely on the ground game to beat the Rams and that will not be enough for them to get it done.
Prediction: Win, 27-17
Week 16 – @ SEA
Ah, the finale in Seattle…It’s almost back. Week 16 is late enough for me. Seattle is desperately trying to fight their way into the playoffs out of a tough NFC crowd. The Rams are sitting here with a 10-4 record and a lot of critics that have been silenced in the meantime. However, the Rams also are 1-3 in the division to this point.
In what turns out to be quite the thriller in Seattle, the Rams rally behind a dual-backfield in Akers, Henderson and run all over the Seattle defense to secure a win.
Prediction: Win, 31-28
The Seahawks on the road are never easy let alone late in the season. I don’t expect this one to be either. Seattle may not look like the best team on paper, but with Russell Wilson, they are a team to be reckoned with. Seattle comes out on top.
Prediction: Loss, 28-27
It seems that besides last season, Rams always end up playing in Seattle around week 16 or 17. This will be a tough matchup as it always is out there, a few calls will go their way and the Rams drop this one in a heartbreak.
Prediction: Loss, 38-34
Week 17 – vs ARI
The Rams are now 2-3 in the division and have another tough matchup in a rematch versus the Cardinals. McVay puts his undefeated streak on the line in this one and the Cardinals who are trying to finish their non-playoff season strong, get the W on the road to cap the year. The Rams won this game last year to cap off their non-playoff season and this time the Cardinals do the same.
This loss is a shame for the Rams because they lost but 11 wins will be enough to get them into the playoffs not to mention with two losses to San Francisco they didn’t have a shot of winning the division anyway.
This game against the Cardinals is a perfect way to finish the season and hopefully close out with a win at home. These two teams played in Week 17 last season with the Rams winning and I expect this one to go the same way.
Prediction: Win, 28-20
This matchup vs Arizona is a great one for the Rams to have as the final week in the 2020 season. Goff and the Rams offense always seem to finish out the last game of the regular season strong as I see this one being no different. Rams win this with a sweep of Arizona and clinch a playoff spot heading into January.
Prediction: Win, 24-21