Given that the Rams are two years removed from a Super Bowl appearance, opening a new stadium, and are in the second-biggest TV market, it’s no surprise they’d get the maximum number of primetime games. Three of the matchups are JUICY while the other two have the potential to be good but they also have the potential to lack much football luster. Here are the rankings of the Rams primetime games.
5. Bears vs Rams (MNF)
For the third year in a row, the Rams and Bears square off, this time with the Bears coming to LA. The Bears are in a weird place especially at quarterback where Mitchell Trubisky is on the way out and Nick Foles is looming. Given that this game takes place in week 7 it’s highly likely that Foles is the starter. Jared Goff vs Foles is an okay matchup but hardly marquee.
The reason for this game, however, has little to do with that and more about getting the second-biggest TV market vs the third-biggest TV market, not because the league is trying to make Limp Trubiskit happen.
4. Pats vs Rams (TNF)
A year ago the ranking for this game would be a lot higher. Tom Brady is gone so the interest in this game drops considerably. That said, there is some early drama given that the Pats finally caught a break. The Pats will already be in town to take on the Chargers while the Rams are coming home from Arizona. Will that matter much-come game time? No, but it will be brought up A LOT.
The game does feature something for fans in the form of therapy. This Pats team is greatly diminished from the team that once again ripped the hearts out of fans. The Rams haven’t beaten the Pats this century and this is there best chance to do so. Sean McVay has a chance to silence the lambs and avenge the biggest failure of his young career. Sure, it’s on a much smaller scale but a win is a win. Plus it’s always great to see Bill Belichick lose.
3. Rams vs Bucs (MNF)
Finally, a game that is capital F, FUN. Before getting into the Brady of it all, it should be noted that last year’s matchup was more impactful than fans would remember. First of all, if the Rams had gotten any sort of coverage on the Bucs’ receivers and Goff hadn’t turned the ball over the Rams win and make the playoffs. Second, Shaq Barrett and the Bucs front seven exposed the Rams’ tattered offensive line to a profound degree, and third this game likely served as the genesis of the Jalen Ramsey trade because Jameis Winston killed the Rams while legally blind.
The Bucs offense is terrifying this year. They have Brady, current WWE 24/7 Champ Rob Gronkowski and receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. The Bucs also invested a lot of resources to keep Brady upright, as they should.
The defense brings Barrett back and while they still have questions to answer, this could be a high-scoring affair. The reason this isn’t ranked in the top two is that there’s a slightly-higher than Lloyd Christmas chance Brady falls off this year. That might sound like heresy but the golden boy is 43 and Father Time is undefeated. If a drop off does happen then the matchup is a lot less sexy.
2. Cowboys vs Rams (SNF)
Now here is a matchup with some FIREWORKS. The Rams open up SoFi against America’s team (who embarrassed them last year) because Stan Kroenke owed Jerry Jones for making SoFi possible in the first place.
The Cowboys’ offense has more STAR POWER than the cast of “Ocean’s 11” with Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, Ezekiel Elliott, and CeeDee Lamb. This could be a super-duper fun game. The Rams’ offense gets a Cowboys secondary that has more potential than proven talent and a front seven featuring DeMarcus Lawrence and Gerald McCoy.
The only reason it’s ranking is not number one is because it’s a week one matchup and that often means both teams aren’t totally on point yet. This will likely be more pronounced given the strange COVID infused off-season.
1. Rams vs 49ers (SNF)
To quote the great Stefon, this game has everything, coaching rivalries, explosive offenses, maligned QBs, fast defenses, and Al Michaels. Sean McVay controlled the rivalry with coach Kyle Shanahan for the first two years only for Shanahan to aggressively take it over last year. Both coaches are the wave of the future and both crashed in the Super Bowl.
This will be another high profile chapter in a rivalry between two guys who rose to prominence despite working for Dan Snyder and Jay Gruden. Jared Goff faces his Northern Cali counterpart in Jimmy Garoppolo who people also aren’t sure is actually good or a beneficiary of having a next-level offensive coach and who will never truly get credit for leading their team to victory.
Both teams can score at will and this is a chance for McVay to show how much he learned from Kyle’s hydra-style rushing attack.
Both defenses have some speed, yes the 49ers more so but the Rams will be much quicker than last year. The stakes are high because this is a week 6 matchup and will matter a great deal in terms of playoff seeding. Sure, there’s a chance that the 49ers experience a Super Bowl slump of their own, but if not, this will be the best primetime match up the Rams have in 2020.
It’s exciting to talk about a real football schedule and at the moment it’s wise to be bullish on the Rams delivering the type of exciting football they delivered in 2018. It’s possible these rankings change given how the off-season doesn’t always line up with the regular season. No matter what, it’s just great to have football back…hopefully.
Which Primetime game are you most looking forward to?