Predicting the Rams’ 2021 regular-season schedule

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We’ve known who the Los Angeles Rams will face this season for a few months. On Wednesday night, we’ll find out when they’ll face each of their 14 opponents as the 2021 regular-season schedule will be released by the NFL.

It’s a 17-game slate this year after the league expanded the regular season, with each team still only getting one bye. On the Rams’ schedule are the reigning Super Bowl champion Buccaneers, the team that knocked Los Angeles out of the playoffs last year (Packers) and a Ravens team that embarrassed the Rams at the Coliseum in 2019.

Not to mention, Matthew Stafford and Jared Goff will each face their former teams when the Rams and Lions square off at SoFi Stadium. So needless to say, there’s no lack of intriguing matchups on the Rams’ slate.

Ahead of the official release Wednesday night, we attempted to predict how the Rams’ schedule will be structured, laying out one potential scenario for their 18-week season. Teams can now play as many as seven prime-time games, and in our prediction, we have the Rams playing six, as noted by asterisks.

Week 1: vs. 49ers*

Week 2: at Vikings

Week 3: at Texans

Week 4: vs. Bears

Week 5: vs. Seahawks*

Week 6: at Cardinals

Week 7: vs. Titans

Week 8: Bye

Week 9: at Giants

Week 10: at Ravens*

Week 11: vs. Jaguars

Week 12: at Packers*

Week 13: vs. Buccaneers

Week 14: vs. Lions*

Week 15: at 49ers

Week 16: at Colts

Week 17: vs. Cardinals*

Week 18: at Seahawks

The Rams opening the season on the road against the Packers would certainly make a ton of sense after the two met in the divisional round of last year’s playoffs. But it’s unlikely the NFL will risk putting the Packers in prime time for Week 1 with all the uncertainty surrounding Aaron Rodgers’ future.

So we went with Rams-49ers at SoFi Stadium to open the season in prime time. Two division rivals squaring off in the first game where fans are allowed inside SoFi Stadium, with rookie Trey Lance potentially starting against Stafford, the Rams’ new quarterback.

The Rams also get prime-time games against the Seahawks, Ravens, Packers, Lions and Cardinals, as they’re expected to be one of the biggest draws in the league thanks to Stafford’s arrival and their star power with Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey. The Lions aren’t expected to be very good so they might not get even one prime-time game, but if they do, the Rams would be the most obvious choice due to the Stafford-Goff connection.

Coming out of a Week 8 bye, the Rams would face the Giants and Ravens on the road, which would allow them to stay on the East Coast between those games rather than having to fly back home for a few days before heading back out east.

Closing out the season against teams such as the Packers, Buccaneers, 49ers, Colts, Cardinals and Seahawks would be brutal for Los Angeles, but outside of the Texans, Jaguars and Lions, the Rams have very few “easy” matchups.

List

Early projection of Rams' 53-man roster following 2021 NFL draft