Tomorrow night, the NFL will release the full schedule for the 2017 NFL Regular Season. In advance of the release and how it lays out the schedule for the Los Angeles Rams, NFL Media’s Elliot Harrison includes one of the Rams’ games in his 17 “must-see matchups” on the 2017 calendar:
Philadelphia Eagles at Los Angeles Rams
What? You're not feeling Eagles at Rams? Alright, I get it -- Philly probably will finish third in the NFC East, while the Rams might hang around the cellar of their division. Yet, this game is intriguing because it will be the first time we see Carson Wentz and Jared Goff go up against one another. In fact, we rarely see two quarterbacks drafted first and second overall play each other early in their respective careers. Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston went at it right off the bat. Seriously -- it was their first pro game. And it was a blowout. While league observers are excited about Wentz and Dak Prescott having many meetings to come in the NFC East, everyone seems to have blown off Goff. Let's see what the guy can do in his first full season as a starter.
There’s not going to be a swell of national hype behind the Rams this year. They’re coming off of a 4-12 season propelled by the NFL’s worst offense now handed off to a first-time head coach who happens to be the youngest head coach in NFL history who lacks a first-round pick to catapult his remodeling of the roster. Might as well get used to it now.
That being said, Harrison’s reasoning for getting behind this game is entirely fair. A battle between the #1 and #2 overall selections in the 2016 NFL Draft probably would have carried more marquee punch last season, but alas. Plus, Goff might not have even started the game thanks to former Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher’s decision to groom Goff from the bench through the first nine games before taking over the starting gig to lead the Rams to a 0-7 record down the stretch. That obviously takes a ton of air out of the Goff v. Wentz balloon.
Still, a 2017 matchup offers a useful barometer to gauge the progress of both franchises and both quarterbacks. The Eagles are coming off of a 7-9 season with Head Coach Doug Pederson prepping for his second season at the helm. With the 14th overall pick and three total in the first 99 selections of the draft, they’ll have a trio of picks before Day 3 to work into their depth chart. The Rams’ Day 2 pair will certainly punctuate the class they build next weekend, so maximizing roster development will be key for Rams Head Coach Sean McVay and Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips.
As it stands, it might be the best the Rams have to offer the NFL landscape in terms of watchability until the seeds of the McVay era have been planted, fed and begin showing signs of life.
Here are the Rams’ opponents for 2017:
Los Angeles Rams 2017 Regular Season Opponents
|Washington Redskins||Dallas Cowboys|
|Philadelphia Eagles||Tennessee Titans|
|Houston Texans||New York Giants|
|Indianapolis Colts||Jacksonville Jaguars|
|New Orleans Saints||Minnesota Vikings|
|Arizona Cardinals*||Arizona Cardinals|
|Seattle Seahawks||Seattle Seahawks|
|San Francisco 49ers||San Francisco 49ers|
* - Team made the playoffs in 2016