Minicamp is just around the corner and then we enter the true NFL offseason as we wait for Training Camp to begin. So what better time to break down the entire Rams 2019 season and predict the outcome?
Here is my way too early analysis of the Rams 2019 Season.
If you would like to listen to the season prediction on our podcast, click here!
Way Too Early Rams 2019 Game By Game Prediction
Week 1 – 9/18/19 – @ Carolina Panthers
The Panthers are a really interesting team going into the 2019 season. On paper, they have a really talented roster led by Cam Newton, Christian McCaffrey, and Luke Kuechly. However, they seem to underperform as of late, finishing last season 7-9. After starting 6-2 in 2018, Carolina went on a seven-game losing streak that knocked them out of the playoffs.
The Panthers hope to rebound this year but run into a very good Rams team that is extremely hungry after a tough Super Bowl loss. The Rams will be chomping at the bit to get back on the gridiron and the Panthers are the team in their crosshairs that will face the consequences. Being that this game is in Charlotte, it will be close, but the Rams leave town with a win.
Week 2 – 9/15/19 – Vs. New Orleans Saints
It’s tough to call a week 2 matchup the game of the year, but this is probably the game of the year, at least for the Saints and their fans. After an excruciating loss for the City of New Orleans in the NFC Championship game at the hands of the Rams, and some would say the Refs for a “Non-Pass Interference Call,” WhoDat Nation has certainly circled this game since the schedule was released as the one that they wanted the most.
The LA Coliseum will be rocking, and as is customary in Los Angeles, will be filled with Saints fans calling for blood. Both of these teams are Super Bowl contenders and this game will be more of a media frenzy than anything else, but the Saints have so much to prove and just plain want this game more than the Rams. They leave the City of Angels as victors.
Week 3 – 9/22/19 – @ Cleveland Browns
If you have listened to myself and The Coach on the Bleav in LA Football podcast, you know that we are both very high on the Cleveland Browns. On paper, the talent on the roster is unquestionable. However, Freddie Kitchens is a first-year head coach with only half a season of coordinator experience. Long term, I think promoting Kitchens to head coach should work out, but there will undoubtedly be growing pains in his first season.
The Rams have the experience, have a winning pedigree (Browns do not yet), and have the more seasoned coach in Sean McVay (as weird as that is to say), and so they have the upper hand and leave Cleveland with a win. I expect Jared Goff to have a big bounce-back game after the disappointment in week 2.
Week 4 – 9/29/19 – Vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Bruce Arians came out of retirement to fix the Buccaneers and Jameis Winston. Long term, I think he does this, but in 2019, the Rams are just flat out a better football team. Until Tampa Bay truly fixes the running game, the offensive line is no match for Aaron Donald and Company.
There is a little added interest after Ndamukong Suh signed with the Bucs, but the defense overall is no match for the firepower that the Rams have on offense.
Week 5 – 10/03/19 – @ Seattle Seahawks
The first divisional game of the season. The Rams always seem to play well against the Seahawks, beating them in both games in 2018. Seattle surprised a lot of people last season, myself included, earning a Wild Card spot in the playoffs. The Seahawks will be interesting again this year, but as long as Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson are at the helm, I’m not betting against them again. That being said, they do always start slow, pretty much every season, and I like the Rams in this game. LA improves its record to 4-1.
Week 6 – 10/13/19 – Vs. San Francisco 49ers
It seems like every year (recently at least) everyone buys into the 49ers, and every year they finish picking in the top five in the draft. While all those top draft picks should start reflecting wins, I still think they are a year or two away. Jimmy G is coming off of a season-ending injury, and his sample size is still too small for me to call him a franchise quarterback.
Even when he was healthy last season, he had a completion percentage under 60 and finished with five touchdowns to three interceptions. Division games are always tough, but Garoppolo will still be getting his legs under him in Week 6, literally. Another Los Angeles Rams victory.
Week 7 – 10/20/19 – @ Atlanta Falcons
The Atlanta Falcons haven’t seemed to have recovered from the heartbreak that occurred in Super Bowl LI. Well, 2019 may finally be the year. The roster is talented, Dan Quinn is a veteran capable coach, and Matt Ryan should be considered as one of the top QBs in the league. The Rams 4-game winning streak comes to an end at the dome in Atlanta. The pairing of Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley is too much for the Rams secondary to handle, and Ryan and Company defeat the former NFC Champs. This will be a very compelling playoff matchup if it is able to come to that.
Week 8 – 10/27/19 – Vs. Cincinnati Bengals (Game Played In London)
This game will more than likely be a blowout, in favor of the Rams. Former Rams QB Coach, Zac Taylor, faces his former team as the first-year head coach of the Bengals, and will certainly want to prove that he was worthy of being hired. However, the Rams simply have too much firepower on both sides of the ball. Rookie Tackle Jonah Williams will be the player to watch in this game, as the Rams will throw all rushing prowess after him and get after quarterback Andy Dalton. As the title suggests, these predictions are way too early, but I don’t see this game being particularly close. The Rams should run away with this one from the get-go.
Week 9 – BYE Week
Week 10 – 11/10/19 – @ Pittsburgh Steelers
The Pittsburgh Steelers should be a lot less dramatic in 2019, but there is no denying that they lost a lot of talent over the past couple of seasons. This will still be a very tough test for the Rams as they have to travel to Pittsburgh in November for what should be a cold game (Quarterback Jared Goff‘s struggles in the cold have been noted repeatedly). However, Goff will look to get this gorilla off his back, and the Rams are coming off the bye week. I expect Goff to have a very big game, like 350 yards big, and the defense will buckle things down as the Rams leave the Steel City with a W.
Week 11 – 11/17/19 – Vs. Chicago Bears
15-6. Jared Goff – 180 yards, 0 touchdowns. Todd Gurley – 28 yards, 0 touchdowns. Those numbers represent the score and stat line of an embarrassing loss the Rams suffered last season on Primetime at Soldier Field. The Rams seemed to abandon the run in this game completely as Goff threw the ball 44 times and had an abysmal 45.5 completion percentage and four interceptions. It was a bad game during an otherwise great season.
In this rematch in LA, I don’t think McVay will forget about his bread and butter, again. Gurley had a season-low 11 rushing attempts in the 2018 matchup but should be the focal point in the rematch. Not to mention, the Bears lost some quality players and coaches this offseason. Former Defensive Coordinator, Vic Fangio, is now the Head Coach of the Denver Broncos. The Defensive Backs coach, Ed Donatell, is also in Denver as the DC. Bryce Callahan also left the Bears for the Broncos. And Adrian Amos traded in his Bears helmet for a Cheesehead.
The Bears were the surprise team of 2018, but the Rams will be hungry for revenge and are overall the better team. Chalk it up as a win.
Week 12 – 11/25/19 – Vs. Baltimore Ravens
I’m still not sold on Lamar Jackson. By no means am I saying that he cannot play QB at the NFL level, the talent is definitely there, but I need to see more than an average of 13.25 completions per game, an average completion percentage of 57.2, and 163.88 yards per game. There is no denying the electricity that he brings to the field with his legs, but unless he can be more productive with his arm, it is only a matter of time until defenses can stifle him. The Rams will do just that.
Aaron Donald and Company take it upon themselves to completely shut Jackson down, and the offense does enough against a very good Ravens defense to get the victory.
Week 13 – 12/01/19 – @ Arizona Cardinals
From one electrifying QB to another. In week 13 the Rams get their first taste of Rookie quarterback Kyler Murray. The Cardinals are such an interesting team heading into the 2019 season, because they could potentially have a transformative year and completely turn things around, or completely fall off the track and become a runaway trainwreck. With the hiring of Kliff Kingsbury, they fully entrenched themselves in his offensive scheme and displayed this “all in” mentality during the draft.
Whether the formula works or not, the Rams are still the defending NFC champs and are the better team on both sides of the ball with a lot more experience. The Rams offense explodes in this one and Gurley runs wild.
Week 14 – 12/08/19 – Vs. Seattle Seahawks
I hit a lot of the points in my analysis of the first matchup, but the Rams swept the season series last year and I expect them to do it again this year. It will be a dog fight, like it always is, and will likely come down to the last possession. Russell Wilson is a special player and makes the Seahawks go, so I would not at all be surprised if I am wrong on this one, but the Rams always rise up for games against their division rival. They do it again in Week 14.
Week 15 – 12/15/19 – @ Dallas Cowboys
If you’ve noticed, there seems to be a theme to the Rams 2019 schedule, a lot of revenge games. LA faced Dallas in the divisional round of the 2018 Playoffs, and recently signed off the streets running back C.J. Anderson exploded for 123 yards and two touchdowns in a 30-22 victory for the Rams. A matchup in week 15, will be very important for both franchises, but the game is played in Dallas, and the Cowboys will have a little extra incentive.
It will be a hard-fought game where most of the work will be done in the trenches. If Aaron Donald and the rest of the defensive line can have their way with the Dallas offensive line this game may have a different outcome, but I think the emotion on the Dallas sideline and the advantage of playing at home gives the Cowboys the edge. Tough loss for a Rams team that had won six straight games.
Week 16 – TBD – @ San Francisco 49ers
The Rams are coming off a tough loss in Dallas and now have to travel up the coast to face division rival, San Francisco. I stated during the first matchup that I think the 49ers are still a year or two away, so at this point in the season they shouldn’t have much to play for other than pride. What’s more prideful than knocking a playoff team down a spot?
The Niners face a team in the Rams that are still licking their wounds after losing to Dallas and may be overlooking SF and towards the playoffs. The 49ers pull-off a shocking upset and hand the Rams their second loss in as many weeks.
Week 17 – 12/29/19 – Vs. Arizona Cardinals
The last thing that the Rams can afford is to slide into the playoffs with a three-game losing streak, regardless of if their seeding cannot be changed. The Cardinals will get the wrath of McVay as he deploys an all-out offensive assault as LA demolishes Arizona and employs some motivation and confidence into a Rams team heading to the playoffs for the 3rd straight year.
So there you have it, another successful regular season for the Los Angeles Rams. A 12-4 record will win them the NFC West Division for the third straight season and should put them in contention for one of the top playoff seedings in the NFC.