Week 1 - v. Dallas Cowboys
As I said in the schedule release, this one’s thick with narratives.
It’s the first game of the preseason for the 2017 Los Angeles Rams, but the second for the Dallas Cowboys who open the NFL preseason slate with the Hall of Fame Game against the Rams’ NFC West-mate Arizona Cardinals on August 3. You’ve got the Stan Kroenke-Jerry Jones connection, one strengthened by the work between the two to relocate the Rams to Los Angeles. You’ve got the follow up to the fight in training camp from 2015. You’ve got a bit of a battle for SoCal going on with the Rams at home for training camp, the Cowboys holding theirs in Oxnard and the Los Angeles Chargers headed toward their first season in LA (don’t talk to me about 1960). You’ve got the Rams in their first action under new Head Coach Sean McVay coming off of their 4-12 record and 32nd-ranked offense up against the Cowboys who rode their rookie darlings in 2016 NFC Offensive Rookie of the Year QB Dak Prescott (who obviously beat out his peer in Rams QB Jared Goff, the #1 overall pick of the 2016 NFL Draft) and RB Ezekiel Elliott to a 13-3 season and a disappointing playoff loss. And of course it will be our first look at the Rams’ haul from the 2017 NFL Draft.
I think I will watch this.
Week 2 - @ Oakland Raiders
It’s a California relocation battle.
With the Raiders playing out their time in Oakland before moving to Las Vegas in a couple of years, this is the first game to be played at the Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum (so named as of eight days ago) since NFL owners approved the move.
I am sure the crowd will behave very calmly and there will be no incidents of misconduct from that very calm fan base. https://t.co/qud75uaaAv— TurfShowTimes (@TurfShowTimes) April 10, 2017
It could possibly be the first look at QB Derek Carr since breaking his leg on Christmas Eve last season.
Week 3 - v. Los Angeles Chargers
National TV! The Battle for LA! Things!
Week 4 - @ Green Bay Packers
As always, the final games of the preseason are about roster selection. At this point, the Rams will be playing with a 75-man roster needing to get to a 53-man roster just days after this. So this one will be less about Goff v. Aaron Rodgers and the other headliners as much as it will be about culling the pack.
Obviously without having put together the full 90-man roster at this point thanks largely to the inbound 2017 NFL Draft class still TBD (and the undrafted free agents to come along with it), it’s tough to know what kind of matchup we’re even talking about here.
What game are you looking forward to most? Any matchups you’re interested in? Which guys that barely made the 53-man roster in 2016 are looking at big matchups in these games?