It’s the moooost wonderfuuuul tiiiiiiime of the yeeeeaaaaaaar! Football is back, Los Angeles Rams’ fans! And they’ll take on their Week 1 opponent - the Oakland Raiders - in the late game on Monday Night Football.
Head coach Sean McVay opted to sit his starting offense for the entirety of the preseason, and the starting defense, prior to signing Aaron Donald, saw very minimal time. Could a well-rested Rams’ team blow the Raiders out of the water on Monday night? Or will the team show signs of rust in their season opener, making this one a battle to the very end?
The Turf Show Times’ staff make their predictions:
go rams (@AndrewKulick)
Too much talent on Rams to lose and must meet expectations.
Prediction: Rams win, 73-3
Monday Night Football. A team wondering wtf their head coach is doing vs. a team with a man with a plan. Aaron Donald is back. Brandin Cooks is ready to show why he belongs in the top tier of WR’s. A secondary ready to roll. I expect fireworks and a resounding win.
Prediction: Rams win, 35-14
Eddie Perez (@iAmEddieP_)
The Oaktown Raiders just traded away arguably one of today’s top three defensive players — not a good way to begin, especially when going up against HC Sean McVay & his electric offense.
There will be rust since the majority of the starters (with a few exceptions) didn’t log in any live exhibition snaps. I just don’t see old ass Jon Gruden winning, especially since our boy Jared Cook confirmed he made ‘em study McVay’s grandfather’s teams’ films.
Prediction: Rams win, 27-10
Michael Frank (@turfshowtimesmike)
Welp. Rams coming off being number 1 overall on offense. Signing top flight Free agents, trading for top flight players to boost the Defense. Raiders? Eh, not so much. Mack? Gone. This does not look well for the Raiders. Rams will make a statement early on offense. So, Ram fantasy owners, stand ready. Raiders will have to have a genius game plan to overcome the talent difference between them and the LAR. All the Rams must do is not to trip over their own shoe. Rams’ offense should dominate. Rams defense should dominate. The only factor, who starts out the game less rusty.
Prediction: Rams win, 35-13
Charlie Hiller (@charliehiller)
I could have seen this maybe going the other way about a week ago. But the trade of Khalil Mack, the release of Martavis Bryant, and the questionable trade for AJ McCarron seems to be ushering in a new dark ages for the Las Vegas Raiders of Oakland. Welcome to the Jon Gruden Era 2: Electric Boogaloo
Prediction: Rams win, 32-13
Tevin Broner (@T_Bron)
I don’t think think that the Raiders are a good team. It is a squad devoid of talent. What will help them is the fact that McVay learned from the Grudens and that the Rams offense has not played a snap in the preseason.
Prediction: Rams win, 21-10
Eric Nagel (@Eric_nagel)
Somewhere in the wilderness Jeff Fisher still takes credit for this team.
Prediction: Rams win, 27-10
Skye Sverdlin (@skyeattolah)
Any anxiety about the Rams being rusty goes out the window when the Rams start out strong, silencing the Black Hole with 17-0 first quarter advantage. The Raiders scrape back and trail only 17-13 early in the third when a Marcus Peters interception sets up an easy score for the Rams, which is followed by another scoring drive that culminates in a Todd Gurley touchdown. The Rams starters get to sit for the last eight minutes of play, while Legatron taps another couple nails into the coffin. Much of the fourth quarter television coverage is a montage of Rams players joking on the sideline and glum face painters who decided to stick around to watch their team get hammered.
Goff ends up going 19-25, for 246 yards and 2 TDs.
Prediction: Rams win, 37-13
Elijah Kim (@Big_EZK)
With all the dust settling from the top defenders of the free agency class finally inking monster level deals, Aaron Donald remains a Ram while Khalil Mack has been shipped out of Oakland to be a member of da Bears. In Jon Gruden’s return, the protégé takes on his master. This time, the young McBae will win, showing that the Rams will still be the team to beat in California. Look for Gurley, Goff, and the receiving corp to attack the soft Oakland Raiders defense.
Prediction: Rams win, 31-21
The Raiders gave up Khalil Mack. The Rams have Donald, Suh, Brockers, Talib, Peters, NRC, Johnson III, and Joyner. The Raiders do have some Possible offensive weapons in Cooper, Lynch, and Nelson, but I think they’ll mostly be held in check by the defense. Meanwhile the combo of JTG, Cooks, Kupp, and Woods is going to make life really difficult for the Raiders.
Prediction: Rams Win, 28-10
Could two teams be more diametrically opposed heading into Week 1? After a massive offseason haul that saw the Rams land Suh, Peters, Talib and Cooks, the Rams organization finally pulled up their collective britches and paid the man. Oakland? They paid an overrated coach, wasted a third-rounder on a headcase, brought in a one-legged Jordy Nelson and let their best player walk for lottery tickets. Rams might be rusty out of the gate, but it won’t matter, as the Raiders are simply outclassed on both sides of the ball.
Prediction: Rams Win, 31-10
Jon Gruden is going to trade Derek Carr as soon as another team offers him a ham sandwich this year, and two ham sandwiches next year. The Raiders gave away their best player and gave team control to a guy who won a Super Bowl with someone else’s team.
Donald and Suh are going to wreck everyone. There’s no need for an analysis here. Carr is going to be ripped in half like the guy in Jurassic Park 2 (the worst Jurassic Park).
Prediction: Rams win, 42-10
Sosa Kremenjas (@QBsMVP)
The Raiders are simply less talented than the Rams. Maybe the Rams wont start out firing right away, but I believe as they have a series or two to settle into the game and get their feet under them, their dominance will start to show. Expect the offense to have an absolute field day against the weak Raiders defense. I’d also expect lots of pressure defensively, and a flurry of turnovers.
Prediction: Rams win, 34-14
Talk all you want about Gruden vs McVay, this game will come down to pure talent, and the Rams simply have more of it. Now, I also expect the Rams offense to be a bit rusty, and as good as they were last year, they often bogged down and settled for field goals more often than not (A big part of why GZ led the league in scoring.) Let’s call it 23-17. Rams and be happy starting the season 1-0.
Prediction: Rams win, 23-17
Raiders are trash, but Rams will be rusty.
Prediction: Rams win, 38-0
Sean Wilkinson (@Papa_Lurch)
The Rams extended the best defender in football. The Raiders traded a damn good one instead. That tells you all you need to know about the direction of these two franchises.
Without Khalil Mack the Raiders won’t be able to muster much pressure against Jared Goff. Meanwhile, Derek Carr is going to be running for his life.
This is gonna be fun to watch.
Prediction: Rams win, 37-13
No nduja? Just add an extra glug of olive oil along with some red pepper flakes.
Prediction: Rams win, 26-10
Brandon Bate (@NoPlanB_)
Part of me expects to see the Rams take the field and win pretty handily, but show clear signs of rust — and not necessarily because McVay sat his starters for most (and all, in some cases) of the preseason. The other part can’t get beyond the Rams being the far superior team, and how this thing could get out of hand relatively early in the game. I’ll take what I think is a conservative score for Week 1, but if the Rams shook off that rust during practice this offseason, then 30 points could be far too low a prognostication.
Prediction: Rams win, 30-13
And there you have it. 18 out of 18 TST staffers are picking the Rams to win. Add up the scores, carry the two, divide by pi, and boom(!) average score is Rams - 34, Raiders - 11.