Week 1 - @ San Francisco 49ers (MNF): W
The rivalry didn't need fuel on the fire. It's gonna get it anyway.
This is gonna be a huge, huge game on the optics. The Rams' first regular season game since moving back to Los Angeles, a cross-Cali battle, NFC West revival on the line...
This is gonna be a hype one. And given the Rams are 2-2 in Week 1 games under Jeff Fisher with both of those wins coming against NFC West teams (the Arizona Cardinals in 2013 and the Seattle Seahawks a year ago), there's plenty of reason to think the Rams can head north and get their first win of the season.
Week 2 - vs. Seattle Seahawks: L
The Rams have started every season under Jeff Fisher 1-1.
Be real. It's gonna happen again.
Week 3 - @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers: L
They've also started every season under Jeff Fisher 1-2, soooooooooooooooooooooooooo yeah.
Week 4 - @ Arizona Cardinals: L
I already hate this and want to start over.
Week 5 - v. Buffalo Bills: W
This gets the Rams to 2-3 with a crucial duo ahead of the bye. The Rams' second home game is going to have the pressure not of a must-win, but whatever the level below that is. A really-really-really-need-to-win.
Week 6 - @ Detroit Lions: W
The Rams open up a two-game win streak and get to .500 heading to London.
Week 7 - v.* New York Giants: L
Sigh. As it stands now, this is a pivotal one. There's every reason to think the Rams will be 3-3, as they have been three of the four years under Fisher (the other year, they were 2-4). This, the first of three international home games for the Rams in the next three years as they try to expand their brand internationally, will be a telling benchmark.
Week 8 - BYE
Week 9 - v. Carolina Panthers: L
Cam Newton was too good in 2015. There's an argument to be made about a step back, but the Panthers were in the Super Bowl last year. That's hard to mock up a win against.
Week 10 - @ New York Jets: W
This one was tough to predict. The game's gonna be tough too. Jeff Fisher's Rams vs. Todd Bowles' Jets?
Week 11 - v. Miami Dolphins: W
Back to .500...again. Miami's one of the toughest teams to predict in 2016.
Still, with home field and Jeff Fisher's mid- to late-season push coming, this feels right.
Week 12 - @ New Orleans Saints: W
A winning record for the Rams after Thanksgiving? A new era, indeed.
Week 13 - @ New England Patriots: L
Aaaaaaand there it goes. Would any win be more surprising on this year's schedule?
Week 14 - v. Atlanta Falcons: L
This is my Fisherball Blue Light Special. At 6-6 following the Pats game, the Rams would be staring a playoff push in the face. With a home game and opportunity beckoning...we've seen windows like this before, and we've only seen one outcome.
Week 15 - @ Seattle Seahawks: L
It all falls down.
Week 16 - v. San Francisco 49ers: W
There's always a silver lining for Rams fans under Jeff Fisher. This year's? A sweep of the rival Niners.
Week 17 - v. Arizona Cardinals: L
The Rams get their first home game to end the season since 2011. If they've got something to play for? It's going to be nuts. If not? The question is how many fans will have been driven nuts by a fifth losing season in as many tries for Jeff Fisher, especially if he's granted a contract extension.
Final Record: 7-9
The Rams have finished with seven wins in three of the four seasons they've been coached by Jeff Fisher. In the other, they won one less.
Seven wins is the giant magnet above the Rams right now. It's a black hole. It's inescapable.
Many are pointing to a new home as reason alone for a different outcome. That ignores the 13 teams they'll be playing who haven't moved and have every reason to offer the same level of competition they have in recent years.
Adding to the struggle is the fact that the Rams are playing the third-hardest strength of schedule based on 2015 record.
The problems are the same the Rams have faced in recent years even as the personnel issues are magnified with outgoing talents that the team had been able to rely upon in years past. DE Chris Long, MLB James Laurinaitis, TE Jared Cook, CB Janoris Jenkins and FS Rodney McLeod are out. CB Coty Sensabaugh and DE Quinton Coples are in. And with today's monster trade to nab the #1 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Rams are without a bevy of picks to refill the open holes.
Could it be anything else than another seven-win season for another year of Fisherball regardless of where the Rams call home?