After a trip to London in Week 7, and a bye last week, the Los Angeles Rams head home in Week 9 to host the Carolina Panthers. Both teams boast losing records, making this a pivotal game if either hope to earn a playoff berth.
The Rams have had a week to prepare for the last place team in the NFC South. Can they break a three-game losing streak at home this Sunday?
The Turf Show Times’ staff have their predictions...
The Rams will try to get to Cam early, but ultimately the Panthers' OL will do a good job against the Rams' front 7. Luke Keuchly will be a menace and limit the middle of the field. The X-factor will again be the run game, and I don't see the Rams getting traction once again.
Prediction: Panthers win, 28-20
Cam Newton and Panthers running game will prove to be the difference while Keenum and the Rams offense come out of the bye week a bit sluggish against an improving Panthers defense.
Prediction: Panthers win, 26-13
Cam Newton is a cyborg and the Rams don't have the bodies in their back seven to stop Newton from making big throws. On offense, the Rams are going to have a tough time running the ball and protecting Case Keenum. There aren't many positive signs for the Rams in this one other than them having had a bye week. P
Prediction: Panthers win, 27-13
At home - and well rested - the Los Angeles Rams are in an interesting position as they face the Carolina Panthers. After a troubling start to their season, Carolina found some ground to stand on last week when they dismantled another struggling team: The Arizona Cardinals. For the Rams, it's going to be all about a fast start; breaking out on the scoreboard first. The underachieving Rams defense has to finally show up. With a gun-shy Cam Newton worrying about every hit he takes, Los Angeles has to keep him off balance so he questions the wisdom of trying to run the ball. I can see a few extra personal fouls being called on the Rams if they so much as nudge Newton after he gets rid of the ball...
Prediction: Rams win, 24-13
Elijah Kim (@TST_Eli)
The Rams come off a bye week after losing three straight. While the Panthers roll into Los Angeles with a 2-5 record, most would agree that the Panthers are the better overall team, led by Cam Newton. As many fans wait for the Jared Goff era to begin, the Panthers are seemingly getting "back on track" on the defensive side of the ball, finally having a decent, turnover-filled game against the Arizona Cardinals. Look for the Panthers to lean on Cam Newton to lead the Panthers to a big victory as the Rams continue on their way to another 7-9 season, or worse.
Prediction: Panthers win, 28-17
Mike Dietrich (@dvond)
The Rams have had 2 weeks to put in more HB dives to nowhere, more 3-yard passes on 3rd and 10, and of course, more Fisher discipline. But they are healthy and the Panthers offensive line is banged up. I do not expect Cam to get special treatment due to the Fisher connection with the rules committee. Greg Z hits a 60 yarder to win.
Prediction: Rams win, 13-10
Rams and Panthers has “typical Rams” written all over it. Most likely going to play arguably their best game of the year as for some reason teams that everyone expects them to lose to and do so convincingly, they tend to up their game a few levels. Coming off of their bye and the most healthy they've been in about 5 weeks, the Rams will likely have all their starters. CB Trumaine Johnson is their biggest question mark. And it's rumored he has a legit shot at suiting up. Going against what might he the worst secondary in the NFL, if not bottom five for sure, the Rams could see a lot of success in the pass game, regardless of who is starting. Stopping the Panthers high scoring, ball moving, offense will be a different challenge however. Believe it or not, this game is more evenly matches than any might have suspected coming into the year.
Prediction: Rams win, 28-24
After an enjoyable week where the Rams didn’t lose, it’s time to get back into the swing of things by hosting the defending NFC Champs. I know the Panthers are 2-5, but they still have several things the Rams do not. Outstanding Linebackers and a franchise QB. Since the Rams are sticking with Case Keenum and decided to leave their Shane Falco holding a clipboard, I’m going to lean towards a tight Panthers victory here.
Prediction: Panthers win, 17-16
Sean Wilkinson (@Papa_Lurch)
The Panthers are clearly struggling with a Super Bowl hangover, but the Rams are still the Rams. Until they show me otherwise, I'm going to have a difficult time picking them against a team of this caliber - even if they're struggling.
Prediction: Panthers win, 27-13
The world, somebody wrote, is the place we prove real by dying in it.
Prediction: Panthers win, 28-10
Brandon Bate (@NoPlanB_)
For a week I’ve been lead to believe the Rams are heading into the the “easiest” three game stretch of their season. And for that exact reason, I foresee a let-down.
The Rams beat the teams they (typically) shouldn’t, and play down to the competition when they should win.
I certainly hope I’m wrong here, because - despite their losing record - they’re in the thick of things in the NFC West at the midway point of the year.
Prediction: Panthers win, 27-20