The LA Rams caught five primetime games in their 2020 schedule, not at all a bad return for a team that went 9-7 and failed to make the playoffs the year before. But the Rams are opening the extravagant SoFi Stadium next season and have retained some of the NFL’s biggest stars in Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey, so it is not surprising to see them get shown favoritism by the league.
However, they weren’t feeling that favoritism when it came to their Week 14 game against the New England Patriots. Allegedly.
The Rams travel to face the Arizona Cardinals on Dec. 6, then must do a four-day turnaround to host the Patriots on Thursday Night Football that week. The Patriots won’t have to travel far, or at all, to get that same four-day turnaround: New England is playing in SoFi Stadium that Sunday to play the LA Chargers. Essentially, the Patriots have two games in SoFi Stadium in five days, whereas the Rams will have spent a few days in Arizona prior to returning home for the game.
According to Greg Bedard of the Boston Sports Journal, the Rams are “a little irritated” by this scheduling.
Heard the Rams are a little irritated they're away before the Thursday night game vs. Patriots, while New England plays in the Rams' stadium. Patriots will be in their hotel by 6 PT. Rams will be landing around that time. pic.twitter.com/4aTrsznBEW— Greg A. Bedard (@GregABedard) May 8, 2020
Is it even a huge advantage though?
Here’s what Jacob Camenker of NBC Sports Boston thinks:
All that said, this qualm is not only very minor, but it’s not one that’s guaranteed to help the Patriots. They are going to be logging a lot of miles in 2020 with road trips scheduled to play in Seattle, Kansas City, Houston, and Los Angeles and it made sense for the league to schedule their L.A. road games back to back. Otherwise, the Patriots would have to fly cross-country to Los Angeles twice.
Besides, it’s not like that stretch of the schedule will be kind on the Patriots anyway. They’ll be playing the two games in L.A. before a pit stop at home and then a trip down to take on the Miami Dolphins in a place that they have historically struggled.
But there’s also one more factor to consider: Whether the Rams, Patriots, or any other NFL team will be allowed to play football games in California at all this year. That’s an irritation for another day and another discussion.