After a short stint at home, the Los Angeles Rams (8-0) are back on the road in Week 9 — heading east to take on the NFC South leading New Orleans Saints (6-1), in what is looking to be their toughest match of the year.
The Rams have been a very good road team since Sean McVay has taken over as head coach, but winning in front of a raucous crowd in the Superdome won’t come easy.
Do the Rams have what it takes to make it nine straight and remain undefeated on the year? The Turf Show Times staff make their predictions...
Is the Saints offense better than the Rams? No
Is this Saints defense better than the Rams? Absolutely No
Is the Saints special teams better than the Rams? Absolutely No
Is the Dome any different than playing at home in the Coliseum before a hostile crowd? No
The answers to these questions speaks volumes in the lack of faith any TST staffer has if they’re picking the Saints against in the best team in the NFL.
Rams will crush New Orleans and finally silence the non-believers.
Prediction: Rams win, 45-23
Charlie Hiller (@charliehiller)
This is the game of the year for the NFC. For the most part, we all thought the NFC had about 6 teams that could reasonably win the conference. 8 weeks into the season and now it feels like it’s bound to be the Rams or the Saints playing in February. And what’s more fun than watching two offensive powerhouses playing against defenses that are totally liable to disappear! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a 60-point over under before. I’d probably take the over anyway
Prediction: Rams win, 37-34
Eddie Perez (@iAmEddieP_)
Rams are facing off against another elite QB this week in the form of Drew Brees. Brees also happens to have one of the brightest young receivers as well in Michael Thomas (no, not OUR Mike Thomas, the better one) and RB extraordinaire Alvin Kamara. It will be a tough task for the Rams defense to contain all of those weapons.
I chose the Rams to fall last week, and I emerged wrong. Cool. Prove me wrong again, Rams. I’ll pick Drew Brees & the Saints.
Prediction: Saints win, 31-28
Eric Nagel (@Eric_nagel)
Let’s keep it rolling! Either that or we lose. Which is less ideal than winning.
Prediction: Rams win, 30-27
Skye Sverdlin (@skyeattolah)
I can definitely see our inconsistent corner play being an issue in the Superdome, and the Saints giving the Rams their first bad week of the season in a high scoring affair. On the other hand, it seems like shootouts often don’t fully live up to expectations and perhaps the Rams will control pace with Todd Gurley this week. I also think that Wade’s been saving some ways to generate pressure via the blitz for this one. Who knows, but...
Prediction: Rams win, 27-26
Kristian Ramirez (@KristianRamirez)
I originally was going to stick to my original prediction that this would be the first L for the Rams. But with the news that The Rams are gaining a new pass rusher and the Saints are losing one to injury, it might be enough to give the Rams the edge. Really, I just don’t want the undefeated streak to end.
Prediction: Rams win, 33-30
After narrowly beating the Green Bay Packers, the road game to New Orleans is a godsend right now. The Rams need a little road trip to clear their heads and get back to rolling people. What better place to get your mind right than Nawlins? The birthplace of Mardi Gras and peeing in the street (one of those is right). The Saints have the No. 1 rushing defense and allow the lowest YPG (74.1) and YPC (3.2), so Gurley could be a more active contributor to the passing game. Goff will face another tough test against an improving Saints pass-D and new Saint Eli Apple. The Rams will need their starters to play their best game on Sunday.
Which means depth guys like Johny Kelly and Justin Davis can get absolutely wrecked on Bourbon Street. Get some gourmet hot dogs, hurricanes in those massive QT travel mugs and have a ball.
Prediction: Rams win, 33-30
Elijah Kim (@Big_EZK)
The Rams head to New Orleans to face Drew Brees and the Saints potent offense. While the Rams are all-in, evident further by adding pass-rusher EDGE Dante Fowler giving the Rams a multitude of first round pass rushers (Aaron Donald, Michael Brockers, Ndamukong Suh, and now Fowler), the Saints are no joke with their explosive offensive weapons like Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas and their improving defense lead by a strong Ohio State secondary featuring Vonn Bell, Marshon Lattimore, and now Eli Apple.
Ultimately, the home field advantage proves to be the difference and “Dome Sweet Dome” prevails for Who Dat nation. The Saints win a very close shootout.
Prediction: Saints win, 38-35
Michael Frank (@turfshowtimesmike)
What stands out is that the Vikings put up 450 yards of offense on the Saints on the road. Rams survived the trap game vs. Denver, beat the Powerhouse (yes, powerhouse) Aaron Rodgers and the Packers fresh off the bye, so I can see the Rams back in full force to win. The momentum is with the Rams. The Saints are an extremely dangerous team but have the worst pass defense in the NFL. Saints are at home, but the Rams will be on turf too.
Prediction: Rams win, 38-31
Brennan Smith (@BrennanJSmith)
I predicted a few weeks ago that this would be the Rams’ first loss of the season and I won’t deviate from that now. Drew Brees passed for only 120 yards last week, but New Orleans found other ways to win with turnovers. New Orleans seems to be getting hot at the right time and the Rams will be stretched to defend Michael Thomas, Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram. I envision Thomas burning an over aggressive Marcus Peters and Kamara slipping out of the backfield for a few big gains. Potentially having Cooper Kupp back will be a boost offensively and Todd Gurley should have another big performance, but the Saints at home will edge LA and hand the Rams their first loss.
Prediction: Saints win, 42-35
Sosa Kremenjas (@QBsMVP)
This is going to be a showdown of two great teams. Obviously this game will have major playoff implications down the road in the NFC, so regardless of how early it is in the season, it’ll be extremely important. The Rams need to do everything they can to limit Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas defensively, though I do think their offense will be able to carry them by scoring a bunch against a vulnerable Saints defense.
Prediction: Rams win, 38-35
The Rams are 11-1 on the road in the Sean McVay era, with their lone loss at the hands of a team with an outstanding defense (something the Saints do not have.) Combine that with Cooper Kupp’s return (we hope) and the fact that there is nobody in the NFL that I want to see embarrassed at home more than I do Sean Payton, I’m taking the Rams in a laugher.
Prediction: Rams win, 48-17
Sean Wilkinson (@Papa_Lurch)
The Rams have their second tough game in a row this week against the Saints. While the Saints defense has zero chance to slow down the Rams, that Drew Brees guy is pretty good too. The Rams defense has struggled allowing big plays this year and Brees is likely to exploit that at every opportunity.
I expect another high scoring affair, but I think the Rams come out on top in another exciting game.
Prediction: Rams win, 41-31
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Prediction: Saints win, 34-30
Brandon Bate (@NoPlanB_)
Unless I see a pretty drastic improvement in play from the Philadelphia Eagles, this may be the only loss I predict for the Rams all year. I had originally pegged them for four losses back in September (though I’ve yet to pick against them through Week 8), but they certainly look like a 14(+) win team.
It’s a road game in front of a rowdy crowd. The Saints are going to put up a lot of points. And honestly, it’s just difficult for me to pick the Rams to win 16. Might come down to a late 4th quarter field goal, but I’m taking the Saints in a close one.
Wouldn’t shock me in the slightest if the Rams pull this out. And if they do, you can probably expect me to predict their next loss in Week 17, when Sean Mannion & Co. take the field.
Prediction: Saints win, 38-35