Los Angeles Rams was desperate for a change. That change came in the form of trade, Jared Goff in exchange for Matthew Stafford.
Change at Quarterback May Be Spark Rams Need
Since a 13-3 regular season and a run to playing in the Super Bowl in 2018, the Los Angeles Rams offense has taken a step back each of the last two years. During that magical 2018 campaign, the Rams scored 527 points (33 points per game) which ranked 2nd in the entire league. During a 9-7 season in 2019 (missed playoffs), the offense took a big hit and scored just 24.6 points per game — 11th in the league — before down to 23.5 ppg last season (22nd in league).
With an elite defense that was tops in the league, Los Angeles was desperate for a change. That change came in the form of a blockbuster trade in the offseason that sent Jared Goff to Detroit in exchange for gunslinger Matthew Stafford.
A change of scenery could be what was needed for both talented quarterbacks.
According to BetUS — one of the top sportsbooks at Online Betting Sports — the over/under wins for the Rams is set at 10.5. Bettors taking the over have odds at -105, while odds on the under are -125.
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Can Stafford Take the Next Step?
It’s no secret Stafford did not win nearly as much in Detroit as Goff won with the Rams. But Stafford never had an elite defense to help him out. With the weight of going out and winning every game with his rocket of a right arm lifted from his shoulders, Stafford could have a rebirth in Los Angeles.
Other Key Players
Stafford will have plenty of options in the passing game in LA. Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods combined for 182 receptions and 1,900 yards last season to go along with nine touchdowns. Veteran WR DeSean Jackson, second-year WR Van Jefferson and 2021 second-round draft pick Tutu Atwell will also compete to give the Rams some depth at WR.
Tyler looks to improve on his 44 receptions and 521 yards from last season at the tight end position, while Darrell Henderson will be the featured back after Cam Akers was lost for the season with a torn Achilles.
Can Defense Continue Elite Status?
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers lit up the No. 1 overall defense last season in the playoffs. But that should only serve as motivation for Aaron Donald, Jalen Ramsey, and company this season. Leonard Floyd had a nice bounce-back season last year after underperforming in Chicago.
Key Season Matchups
Los Angeles opens the season with a favorable home matchup against the Chicago Bears. According to MyBookie, the Rams open as a 7-point favorite over the Bears with -115 odds to cover. Bettors taking Los Angeles on the Moneyline have low odds at -360.
From NFL Week 1, the Rams head to Indianapolis where Carson Wentz’s status is still up in the air for the Colts.
The following week, Los Angeles welcomes Tom Brady and the defending Super Bowl champs to LA.
NFL Week 7 will be a fun week as LA plays host to former QB Jared Goff and the Lions.
In NFL Week 9, the Rams host Tennessee and travel to Green Bay in NFL Week 12 for a rematch of last season’s divisional round.
The last non-divisional matchup pits the Rams traveling to Baltimore.
The NFC West may be the most competitive division in the league. According to Betonline — another one of the top sportsbooks at Online Betting Sports — San Francisco holds a slight edge to win the West at +195 odds over the Rams at +205. Seattle has Betting Odds of +275 while Arizona’s odds are at +475.
For those bettors wanting to box together with the top two teams in the division, odds are +190 for the 49ers and Rams to finish first and second (any order) in the West. Selecting the exact order with the 49ers 1st and Rams 2nd would be +425, while swapping the two teams would be +450.
Bovada also has the Rams’ odds of winning the NFC at +600, clinching the No. 1 seed in AFC at +500, and securing a Wildcard berth at +200.
A change of scenery and an elite defense should prove to be the perfect prescription for Stafford. The 33-year old will not be expected to throw for 400 yards every game just to have a chance to win. The loss of Akers in the backfield hurts, but with a stout defense and plenty of other talents on offense, the Rams should be in a good position to hit the win total and compete for the NFC West title.
2021-22 Season Record: 12-5, 1st NFC West