The Los Angeles Rams start their 2019 season with a cross-country trip to Carolina where they’ll take on the Carolina Panthers in Week 1. It’s been a short offseason, and a non-existent preseason, for the Rams’ starters. Will they be able to quickly knock off the rust, avoid plane drain, and take care of business in the season opener?
The Turf Show Times staff make their predictions...
go rams (@AndrewKulick)
Too talented to lose to the Panthers.
Prediction: Rams win, 23-10
Eddie Perez (@iAmEddieP_)
Rams gon’ beat the pussy out the Panthers. Those cats ain’t ready for the horns. McVay’s gonna have the offense firing on all cylinders. Bobby Trees, B Cooks, & the Coop Kupp are all gonna ball.
Prediction: Rams win, 44-10
Skye Sverdlin (@skyeattolah)
The Rams’ passing game is just enough to get past the Panthers as the Goff-to-Kupp connection is rekindled. Dante Fowler has success against LT Darryl Williams and Peters gets a pick. A tough game in the heat, but a win is a win.
Prediction: Rams win, 24-17
Elijah Kim (@Big_EZK)
The Rams won the NFC but were cursed with a cross country trip opener against another NFC foe in the Carolina Panthers. While QB Cam Newton is likely going to be a little hurt with his ankle, the offense has potential to be explosive with RB McCaffrey and emerging WR Curtis Samuel. It will be a great test for a defense that wants to improve against the run. The Panthers defense boasts LB Kuechly (who I played against in HS) which will try and stop the Rams offense lead by completely healthy (sarcasm) Gurley. Ultimately, the Rams offense scores enough points to bail out the defense that will struggle to contain the Panthers rushing attack.
Prediction: Rams win, 31-28
With all the “Super Bowl Slump” talk dominating the media this summer, the Rams need to start the season strong to quiet the skeptics. And with the Saints coming to the Rams home turf the following week, a game where the Rams may already feel they have something to prove, it’ll be easier to go in without the feeling of needing to stop a potential losing streak so early in the season.
Prediction: Rams win, 31-23
Trap game! East coast game plus preseason rust plus Christian McCaffrey spells… Rams win. Cam Newton is probably more banged up than the Panthers organization is letting on, and though I do expect McCaffrey to get loose against what I believe will continue to be a shaky LA run defense, he won’t be enough. Newton will be stymied by the Rams experienced, aggressive secondary and forced into mistakes with Aaron Donald threatening to engulf him on every play. Newly minted Rams QB Jared Goff will shake off the rust and lean on a healthy dose of Gurley runs and play-action pitch-and-catch with bionic man Cooper Kupp to doom the Panthers. Super Bowl hangover, meet White Claw.
Prediction: Rams win, 27-20
The Panthers seem to be playing the whole ‘we’re not worried’ act with Cam Newton’s ankle. But there’s a good chance they’ll be dropping a fat brick in their pants on the bus ride over to the stadium. Newton is probably not 100 percent or anywhere close to it and the Panthers are likely going to rely on a guy named Kyle, which is never a good sign. Name one person named Kyle who you would trust to do anything other than being a massive jackass on a jet ski. I’ll wait. The defense switched to a 3-4 and it probably won’t be in peak performance by Week One. Thankfully, they’ll be playing one of the best offenses in the league so no pressure.
Prediction: Rams win, 48-16
Sosa Kremenjas (@QBsMVP)
The Rams return nearly all of their offensive starters (sans two offensive lineman), and will field what looks to be an improved defense. The Panthers on the other hand have a relatively new offense, as well as a banged up quarterback in Cam Newton (foot injury). The last time these two clubs played each other was in 2016 when the Panthers came out victorious, 13-10. The Rams’ keys to the game: limit Christian McCaffrey, force Cam Newton into small gains by limiting his big play ability, and to remain the offense we all know they are.
Prediction: Rams win, 27-20
I have a feeling that the Panthers are going to be better than many fans think they will, and in this game I have visions (nightmares) of Bryce Hager attempting to chase Christian McCaffrey all over the field. Papa Wade makes a change an adjustment at halftime, pulling him off the field, opting to run a dime defense to counter it. This is where the legend of Taylor Rapp begins. The Rams shutdown the Panthers in the 2nd half, allowing the Rams to come from behind to take this one at the wire.
Prediction: Rams win, 27-24
The Carolina Panthers aren’t a pushover with their ferocious front seven and playing them in Charlotte is not the most ideal way to start off the season but that’s the way the cookie breaks in the milk. However, given QB Cam Newton’s sensitive ankle, he should be less mobile, allowing DE Aaron Donald to eat. I predict a low scoring game with a lot of defense.
Prediction: Rams win, 14-10
Sean Wilkinson (@Papa_Lurch)
The Rams are facing the dreaded 10 AM PST kickoff in Carolina for their week one matchup against the Panthers, but I don’t think that will effect Sean McVay’s team much.Cam Newton will be less than 100% and save for their front 7, the Panthers look outmatched in most other areas. Look for Aaron Donald to be a menace while Jared Goff and the Rams offense cruise.
Prediction: Rams win, 31-17
Prediction: Rams win, 34-24
Brandon Bate (@NoPlanB_)
I definitely don’t like the idea of having to fly across the country for the season opener, but the NFL didn’t ask me, so here we are. I don’t expect to see either team in midseason form, so simply put, the Rams early season form is - or should be - far better than that of the Panthers. Sounds like Cam Newton is a go for Week 1 but if he’s slowed even the slightest bit, it could be a long Sunday for Panthers.
Prediction: Rams win, 27-17
In the event you read the TST staff’s final 2019 predictions piece a few days ago, you’d already know that the TST team is taking the Rams in a clean sweep to start the year. A sluggish start? Maybe. But not enough for any staffer to consider picking the opponent in Week 1.