Rams reporter Lindsey Thiry predicts a 12-4 season.
Sept. 8: at Carolina, Win
Sept. 15: vs. New Orleans, Win
Sept. 22: at Cleveland, Loss
Sept. 29: vs. Buccaneers, Win
Oct. 3: at Seattle, Loss
Oct. 13: vs. San Francisco, Win
Oct. 20: at Atlanta, Win
Oct. 27: vs. Cincinnati, Win
Nov. 10: at Pittsburgh, Loss
Nov. 17: vs. Chicago, Win
Nov. 25: vs. Baltimore, Win
Dec. 1: at Arizona, Win
Dec. 8: vs. Seattle, Win
Dec. 15: at Dallas, Loss
Dec. 21 or 22: at San Francisco, Win
Dec. 29: vs. Arizona, Win
Strength of schedule: T-27, .423
The defending NFC champions, who swept their division last season, will play a first-place schedule and also take on teams from the NFC South in 2019. The Rams start with a tough five-game stretch that includes opening on the East Coast for the first time since 2012 as they take on the Panthers. The Rams will spend nearly a month on the road with a three-game span that includes games in Atlanta, London (against the Bengals), followed with a bye week and then Pittsburgh. When they return home, they will be met with a gauntlet that includes the defending NFC North champion Bears and defending AFC North champion Ravens, a trip to AT&T Stadium to play the reigning NFC East champion Cowboys, and four division contests.
For a second consecutive season, the Rams are scheduled to play five games in prime time, the most allowed on an initial schedule by the NFL. In Week 3, they will get a rowdy crowd in Cleveland against Baker Mayfield and Odell Beckham Jr., who the Rams were once rumored to have interest in. In Week 5, they must play a Thursday night game against Russell Wilson, the highest-paid player in the NFL, at CenturyLink Field in Seattle. In Week 11 and 12, the Rams will play under the L.A. Memorial Coliseum lights against the Bears and Ravens, on Sunday Night Football and Monday Night Football, respectively. Then they get another prime-time matchup against the Seahawks on Sunday Night Football in Week 14. Last season, the Rams finished 3-2 in prime time.
The Rams will log more than 16,500 miles in a span of four weeks when they play the Falcons in Atlanta, where they will likely stay for a week following the game before flying to London to face former assistant Zac Taylor, now the head coach of the Bengals. The Rams will return to L.A. for a bye, only to fly again to the Eastern time zone to play the Steelers. The four-week span is reminiscent of a stretch in 2017, when the Rams played at Jacksonville, then continued on to London before they returned home for a bye week, after which they flew to New York to face the Giants. The Rams went 3-0 in that stretch, and several coaches and players credited the seemingly monthlong journey, which included a weeklong stay at a resort in Ponte Vedra, Florida, before flying to London, for building team camaraderie that helped carry them to their first division title since 2003.