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Heading into the 2022 NFL season, the Rams appear to have the toughest schedule of any NFL team.

by Gary Boutwell – LA Rams News | @RamsFansForum | LA Rams Fans.com

According to the NFL strength of schedule put together by NBC Sports, for the 2022 NFL season, the Rams have the toughest schedule followed by the Cardinals with the second toughest and the Bengals with the third.

If you would like to see how others calculate the NFL strength of schedule, Sports Betting Dime has a different method that ranks the Rams with the third toughest schedule. Regardless of the method, for the 2022 NFL season, of the 17 games on the Rams’ schedule, 10 of those games will be against opponents who made the playoffs in 2021.

The 2022 NFL season is still a few months away and much could change during the next three months, but for now, it appears the rosters are pretty well set so we can take a stab at what we know now in terms of personnel and coaching changes.

Week 1: Bills @ Rams – September 8

Right out of the gate, the Rams will be facing one of the most talented teams in the NFL. Many people are predicting the Bills / Rams matchup will be a preview of Super Bowl LVII in Glendale, Arizona. With free-agent signings and the 2022 NFL draft, Buffalo has made some major changes to their defensive line. It’s going to take a little time to see if those changes are going to make a difference for the Bills in 2022. It will also be interesting to see how much if any impact Von Miller has in this game. The explosive Bills’ offense led by Josh Allen will be one of the more challenging games on the Rams’ 2022 schedule. With the Rams resting their starters in the preseason, I believe they will come out a bit flat, falling behind… rallying late, and come up a bit short. Get Tickets

Prediction: Loss

Record: 0-1

Week 2: Falcons @ Rams – September 18

The trade of Matt Ryan to the Indianapolis Colts completely changes the dynamics for a team that won seven games a season ago. Even before the trade, outside of Kyle Pitts, there was little offensive talent on the Falcons’ roster. Defensively, Atlanta yielded 27 points per game in 2021. This team has not made enough significant roster upgrades to make much of a difference heading into the 2022 season. The Falcons are going to be at the bottom of their division and will be lucky to win more than four games.

I expect the Rams to win this home game without too much effort. Could be over by halftime…

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Prediction: Win

Record: 1-1

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Week 3: Rams @ Cardinals – September 25

The Rams seem to match up very well against the Cardinals. Last season, with the Rams down several starters due to COVID they were able to pull off a 30-23 win on the road against the Cards. This year, wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins will be suspended for the first six games and with the very public and somewhat disruptive demands from Kyler Murray, it seems this team has taken a step back. Under Kliff Kingsbury the Cardinals seem to get off to hot starts and then collapse down the stretch. This year, given the tough schedule they are up against and all the uncertainty, this team is poised for a step backward. The Rams will dominate this game and win rather easily.

Prediction: Win

Record: 2-1

Week 4: Rams @ 49ers – October 3

Has McVay and Co. finally overcome Shanahans’ dominance over the Rams’? During the McVay era, the Rams went 3-1 over the 49ers in his first two seasons, since that time Shanahan and the 49ers won six straight finally losing to the Rams in last year’s NFC championship game. All indications are Trey Lance will be the starting quarterback, though it’s not clear how ready he is. Recent reports have claimed the organization has been ‘continually underwhelmed’ by his development or lack thereof. All-Pro Deebo Samuel will remain on the roster, though it’s unclear how much of a distraction he’ll be. This team will be pretty good, though it’s still not clear how many off-field issues coach Kyle Shanahan and GM John Lynch will have to manage, especially if QB Jimmy Garoppolo remains in the background. Regardless of who plays in this game, I think the Rams will begin a new winning streak against the 49ers and while this will be a close, very physical game, I predict the Rams will win a close one.

Prediction: Win

Record: 3-1

Week 5: Cowboys @ Rams – October 9

The Cowboys are one team I struggle to figure out. Clearly, they have a talented roster led by Dak Prescott, but over the last few years, in the weak NFC East, they seem to underperform. During this offseason, they haven’t made enough splashes to change my perception. With the Rams off to a nice 3-1 start and coming off a road win against a division rival, I think the Rams will come out a bit flat and the Cowboys will present more of a challenge than anticipated. Still, the Rams will rally late and win this one… perhaps with a late field goal. Get Tickets

Prediction: Win

Record: 4-1

Week 6: Panthers @ Rams – October 16

The Panthers have improved the areas that were problem spots last season, namely the offensive line and quarterback. They are getting their biggest offensive weapon back in Christian McCaffrey, plus their top pick in the 2021 draft, Jaycee Horn. In 2021, Carolina was 3-0 with Horn and McCaffrey in the lineup, and Sam Darnold still believes he can be one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL. If they can run the ball well and not force the passing game, this team will have a chance to have a few successful drives. Even with those drives, against the Rams defense, Sam Donald will make some glaring mistakes and the Rams will take full advantage of those miscues heading into the bye week. Get Tickets

Prediction: Win

Record: 5-1

Week 7: Bye Week

Week 8: 49ers @ Rams – October 30

After beating the 49ers on the road in week 4, the 49ers will attempt to employ the same game-plan that had them holding a 6-0 record against the Rams over the past few seasons. However, the Rams in turn will scheme for the Niners the same way they played them in last year’s NFC Championship Game, the result will be a very physical game with the Rams stuffing their run game and forcing Trey Lance into some errant throws. On paper, the Rams clearly have more talent on both sides of the ball, eventually, talent takes over and this will be one of those games.

Prediction: Win

Record: 6-1

Week 9: Rams @ Bucs – November 6

Will father time ever catch up with Tom Brady? I believe it will and this will be the season. With Rob Gronkowski’s future still undecided, and a new head coach at the helm, the Bucs are going to have some hurdles to overcome. Let’s not forget the Rams dominated the Bucs on the road last year before getting a bit lazy in the second half allowing the Bucs to rally. The Rams have won every meeting since Brady signed with the Bucs and I don’t see that changing.

Prediction: Win

Record: 7-1

Week 10: Cardinals @ Rams – November 6

The Cardinals still have plenty of talent on the offensive side of the ball. The Cardinals lost Christian Kirk to free agency and AJ Green will be turning 34 next month. However, with the return of DeAndre Hopkins, the signing of Marquise Brown, and the expected growth of second-year player Rondale Moore, this team still has the firepower to put up big numbers. Unlike the NFL 2021 season, the Cards won’t be off to a hot start and will be very eager for a win against a tough divisional rival. For the Rams, coming off a nice road win against the Bucs, this game will be a letdown. One of those games that Stafford doesn’t seem right and with the Cards creating a few turnovers, I predict the second home loss of the season for the Rams. Get Tickets

Prediction: Loss

Record: 7-2

Week 11: Rams @ Saints – November 20

The Saints have spent the offseason improving an already solid cast of talent. All indications Jameis Winston is on track to return from a torn ACL, and they signed a very capable backup QB in Andy Dalton. Winston seems to have overcome the ‘turnover machine’ label that has followed him most of his career. Last year before his injury, Winston was having his best start to a season, tossing 14 touchdowns to just three picks. He’ll now have Jarvis Landry, a healthy Michael Thomas, and rookie Chris Olave to make him even better. With the addition of Tyrann Mathieu to their already physical defense, this is going to be a very tough environment for the Rams, and I jot this game down as the Rams’ second loss in a row.

Prediction: Loss

Record: 7-3

Week 12: Rams @ at Chiefs – November 27

Three losses in a row for the Rams? Seems to be a point in every season the Rams hit the skids. This year will be no different. Kansas City has hosted the last four AFC Championship games and the talent hasn’t dropped off that much to make a difference. Mahomes no longer has Tyreek Hill but he’s still got Travis Kelce and a wicked side-arm to make plays. The last time these teams faced off was in 2018 when the Rams prevailed in the wild 54-51 shootout. This game won’t be anything like that high-scoring affair but the scorekeeper will earn his pay and both teams will put up major points. Prediction.. third loss in a row for the Rams and for die-hard fans, just like last year, many will be screaming for Raheem Morris’s head… until next week.

Prediction: Loss

Record: 7-4

Week 13: Seahawks @ Rams – December 4

The Seahawks seem to be in full rebuild mode. With the trade of Russell Wilson and the loss of Bobby Wagner to the Rams, this is going to be a very different and far less talented Seattle team. Geno Smith and Drew Lock simply aren’t the same caliber players as Wilson is and they haven’t done anything to shore up their porous offensive line. Coming back to Sofi, after a three-game skid, I look for the Rams to bounce back and bounce back big. Aaron Donald & company will have a dominating defensive performance and the offense will be firing on all cylinders. This game will be a blowout loss for the Hawks….Yeah!!! Get Tickets

Prediction: Win

Record: 8-4

Week 14: Rams @ Raiders – December 8

Much like the NFC West of the past few years, the AFC West seems to be lining up as one of the toughest divisions in the NFL. With the addition of Davante Adams and Chandler Jones, the ever dysfunctional Raiders seem to be putting forth a solid effort to right the ship. Still, on this Thursday night game, I think the Raiders will focus too much on the Rams receiver corps and this is the game the Rams get their running game clicking. Rams win sending the Raiders to the basement of the AFC West.

Prediction: Win

Record: 9-4

Week 15: Rams @ Packers – December 19

Much like Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers has been fairly healthy over his career. At 38, and with the loss of Davante Adams, this year is not going to be quite as smooth for Rodgers. Playing in the weak NFC North, the Packer’s record has been somewhat padded over the past few years. Traveling in December to play at Lambeau Field is always tough, but coming off a Thursday night game the previous week, the Rams will be well-rested and up for the task. Much like last week, the running game and outstanding defensive effort will lead the Rams to a solid victory.

Prediction: Win

Record: 10-4

Week 16: Broncos @ Rams – December 25

With the trade of Russell Wilson to the Broncos, the Rams welcome an old division foe back to Sofi on Christmas day. This will be a nationally televised game and for Rams fans, the Rams will not disappoint. Aaron Donald has sacked Russell Wilson 12 times in his career and according to PPF, the Broncos’ offensive line ranks 19th in the NFL…. not much better than Wilson’s former Seahawk team. Denver may have a few more playmakers than Wilsons’ former team, and their defense is pretty solid, but not enough to compete with the elite of the NFL. This is the stage where the Rams’ defense really begins to gel and this will showcase to the nation why the Rams are still the crown jewel of the league. Get Tickets

Prediction: Win

Record: 11-4

Week 17: Rams @ Chargers (Sofi) – January 1

I still haven’t gotten used to calling this a road game for the Rams. The Chargers are one of the teams I predict will rise to the top this year, in fact, at this point of the season, I have them atop of the tough AFC West. Justin Herbert is an elite talent, Mike Williams and Keenan Allen are solid receivers and with the addition of Gerald Everett, the offense should put up some significant points. The only question for the chargers is on the defensive side of the ball. Brandon Staley has a good defensive mind, but without the talent, it going to be tough to go toe-to-toe with the Rams. I predict this game is going to be a high-scoring contest with the Rams kicking off the New Year by driving for the last score and winning by a field goal. Get Tickets

Prediction: Win

Record: 12-4

Week 18: Rams @ Seahawks – January 8

In this final week of the season, with the Rams having locked up the division, the Rams play most of their starters in the first half, build a nice lead then, rest the starters in the second half. The running game will be the story of this game, just in time for a playoff run.

Prediction: Win

Final Record: 13-4

With a tough schedule and wins over some very talented teams, the Rams will be primed for another deep playoff run.

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