With sports finally starting to be reintroduced into society, Last Word on Pro Football is breaking down the schedules of all 32 NFL teams. This series will consist of the most difficult (1-8) and easiest (9-16) games among each team’s 16-game slate. The focus for this article is the easiest games on the 2020 Los Angeles Rams schedule.
Los Angeles Rams Easiest Games in 2020
9. Week 2: at Philadelphia Eagles
This is by far the hardest of the easiest games for Los Angeles. Injuries and lack of wide receiver depth cursed the Eagles in 2019. Carson Wentz played his first full season since 2016 and had a solid year even though he was throwing to less than optimal receivers. Cue 2020 and the Eagles have loaded up. They added three rookie receiver including Jalen Reagor in the draft and acquired Marquise Goodwin. Now PFF ranks the Philadelphia pass catching crew as the 14th-best in the NFL. The Eagles defense was serviceable last year and brings back the majority of the squad. A healthy Wentz and restocked offense could spell trouble for the Rams especially the week after what will almost certainly be a tough game against Dallas in Week One.
10. Week 14: vs New England Patriots
It is not difficult to imagine a steep decline from the New England Patriots. Jarrett Stidham has a long road ahead of him to prove he can be a competent replacement for the great Tom Brady. That being said, Bill Belichick is still the coach and as long as he is it is foolish to discount the Patriots. The Rams got lucky with scheduling here. No one wants to play in the snow in Foxborough, especially if the Patriots are still in the playoffs race. Hosting this in temperate Los Angeles definitely works in favors of the Rams. Don’t be surprised if Los Angeles takes advantage of a weakened New England squad and finally get their Super Bowl LIII revenge.
11. Week 7: vs Chicago Bears
The 2019 Chicago Bears were one of the NFL’s most lopsided teams. An elite defense headlined by Khalil Mack, Kyle Fuller, and Eddie Jackson held opposing teams to only 18.6 points per game. On the other side of the ball, an underwhelming quarterback and receiving corps held the Bears back. There will be quarterback controversy this season with Nick Foles and Mitch Trubisky battling it out for the starting role. Matt Nagy showed how good of a coach he can be in 2018, but the organization has work to do with its offensive roster before it can contend again. The Los Angeles defense should be more than up to the task of taking on the underpowered Bears offense.
12. Week 17: vs Arizona Cardinals
Of the teams receiving the most hype this off-season the Arizona Cardinals might rank right behind the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Some of the hype is deserved. The Cardinals had a good draft and added a number of defensive players to what was the second worst passing defense in the league in 2019. Plus, the addition of DeAndre Hopkins gives them a true number one receiver to replace the aging Larry Fitzgerald. Despite this, LA has had Arizona’s number for years, winning eight of the last ten matchups. Aaron Donald won’t be as effective against a mobile quarterback like Kyler Murray. LA’s front seven will need to contain Kenyan Drake. The secondary will have to battle Hopkins. The Cardinals look to be much improved in 2020 but this is winnable game in SoFi Stadium.
13. Week 8: at Miami Dolphins
Like the Cardinals, the Miami Dolphins made some splashes in free agency and the draft. The 2020 Dolphins have emerged from an almost complete rebuild looking much stronger. Byron Jones and Xavien Howard should be a good match against Cooper Kupp and the Rams’ receiving corps. The Dolphins’ addition of Matt Breida should hopefully help what was the worst rushing offense in the league last season. The Rams are also searching for the next answer at running back after releasing Todd Gurley. The second year with Brian Flores at the helm will be better than 2019, but the experience of Sean McVay and the Los Angeles roster should help them come out on top.
14. Week 4: at New York Giants
The Giants are a confusing team going into 2020. Depending on who you speak to, Daniel Jones is either the next MVP or a complete scrub. In all likelihood, neither is true. If he cuts back on turnovers Jones has the potential to be a serviceable quarterback. Saquon Barkley took the NFL by storm his rookie season but an ankle injury prevented him from reaching the same levels in 2019. The great mystery will by how Joe Judge will perform as a head coach. It wouldn’t be surprising if the Giants improve but probably not enough to overcome the Rams in 2020.
15. Week 15: vs New York Jets
The AFC East has been dominated by the Patriots for so long that it’s odd to even think of another champion from that division. But don’t look at the Jets. They did some work in the off-season to improve their offensive line by adding Mekhi Becton, George Fant, Connor McGovern, and Greg Van Roten. Sam Darnold has shown flashes the past two years that might point to a promising future but coaching is currently holding this team back from making a jump.
16. Week 5: at Washington Redskins
It seems fairly clear that the Washington Redskins will be the easiest opponent of 2020. Ron Rivera was a good defensively-minded coach for the Carolina Panthers and should not be taken lightly. However, the first year with a new team, even for experienced coaches, can often be rough. Add in the uncertainty at quarterback that still exists in Washington. The jury is still out on whether or not Dwayne Haskins can prove himself to be the franchise guy that the Redskins desperately need. Even after the off-season additions, the roster for Washington is underwhelming. The Rams offense should not have a problem against this leaky secondary. Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey alone should be more than enough to handle this Redskins offense.