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6 teams I wish the Rams were playing next season

LA has some interesting games in 2021, but I wish we could have seen these matchups too

NFL: NOV 19 Chiefs at Rams ePhoto by Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Everyone has different games that they remember, for different reasons, and everybody has different reasons for why they think a game is either great or grating. Some people like shootouts, others hate the lack of defense. There could be a ton of reasons you remember a game or just one, and maybe your favorite game is one that nobody else even recalls happening, but everyone has some reason why they watch whatever it is they watch. In this case, we watch football.

And for me, there aren’t going to be many games in my lifetime that will be more memorable than the Rams’ 54-51 win over the Chiefs on Monday Night Football in 2018.

That season, the world watched as it was Patrick Mahomes — not Jared Goff — who fell an overtime shy of reaching the Super Bowl. The Rams fell to the Patriots and we were also robbed of an opportunity to see a championship rematch of the greatest regular season game of the decade. The two teams obviously haven’t met in the last two regular seasons and won’t be play against each other this year, but LA goes to Arrowhead at some point in 2022.

We will have to wait until next year — either in February or the fall — before that games happens again. The Rams have 14 unique opponents, meaning that there are 17 teams that they do not face. We got Matthew Stafford vs Jared Goff, a rematch of Rams-Bucs from last season, a revenge game against the Green Bay Packers, a chance to see Trevor Lawrence, and because of the 17th game, a late-season faceoff against the Ravens.

Despite there being literally trillions of possible directions the NFL could go with its schedule, there is virtually no flexibility with each team’s opponents: six games against your division, four games against a pre-determined division in your conference, four games against a division in the other conference, two games against teams in your conference that had the same place in the standings the previous season, and now one game against a non-conference opponent who you didn’t play last season and don’t play this year or next.

So these games were not even “possible” but I wish we could have seen them anyway:

Rams vs Chiefs

The Rams play the Raiders, Broncos, and Chargers in the preseason, but maybe the NFL didn’t want to burn through an opportunity to let the hype build for 2022’s game in Arrowhead. That’s guaranteed to be on a Monday night.

Kansas City revamped the offensive line and appears to be as dangerous as ever offensively, but Los Angeles has clearly taken a few extra steps forward on defense over the last year. Could it be another high-scoring affair or did the two head coaches learn from this game and how to avoid not only allowing touchdowns, but turning over the ball.

The Rams escaped their two giveaways thanks to five turnovers by the Chiefs.

Rams vs Chargers

Well, I’ve said it before but it bears repeating: Rams vs Chargers at SoFi Stadium is my Super Bowl pick. Whether it happens or not, this game will also probably be on Monday Night or Sunday Night when the two LA teams face off in 2022.

As noted, Staley vs Sean McVay is also a storyline, but one that will quietly be happening under the headlines anyway this season. Which LA team at SoFi Stadium will be more exciting, more successful, and more talked about? The Chargers have a lot going for them, if only they can get by the Chiefs.

Rams vs Browns

In 2019, the Browns hosted the Rams on Sunday Night Football and carried a 13-10 lead into the fourth quarter. Then LA quickly scored 10 points to take a touchdown-lead, but Goff threw an interception at 2:54 to give Baker Mayfield another opportunity to tie. Cleveland drove to the Rams 4 and had first-and-goal, but were held and John Johnson’s fourth down interception ended the game.

The Browns were pretty healthy that day and they still have Mayfield, Jarvis Landry, Odell Beckham, Nick Chubb, all guys who were active that night and LA held them to only 13 points. Interestingly, the Rams would only return Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods from their prominent “fantasy names” category, as Goff, Brandin Cooks, and Todd Gurley have all been replaced by now.

Rams vs Bills

Underrated because it was an early-season, early-day game, but last year’s Rams-Bills matchup was one of the best of the year probably. Maybe not in LA’s case because they ended up losing, but rare is the football contest where a team blows a 28-3 lead and then still gets the win.

Josh Allen is one year further into his career and he could go to the next level, taking his Buffalo teammates with him. Rams-Bills is a Super Bowl possibility that I’m sure many will predict.

Rams vs Falcons

Nobody is picking Atlanta to win the NFC South. Nobody. They went 4-12 last season and by all accounts are going to be forced to trade Julio Jones before Week 1 because of the lowered salary cap. What I see is a team that has a former MVP at quarterback, with the top offensive weapon in the 2021 NFL draft at tight end, a strong and talented offensive line, a new head coach who made Ryan Tannehill look like Matt Ryan, and a number one receiver who had 90 catches for 1,374 yards and nine touchdowns last season.

And they could still retain Julio Jones.

I expect the Falcons to be a top-five scoring offense, and new defensive coordinator Dean Pees has experience going to Super Bowls with both the Patriots and Ravens in that same role. Subtract Drew Brees from the division, turn Tom Brady into the age of 44, and count on Matt Rhule not forcing his Panthers to practice, and I’ll be the first person to say that Atlanta might win the NFC South.

I would find that game to be a lot more interesting than Rams-Bears, but certainly I think it benefits LA to face Chicago instead of the Falcons.

Rams vs Cowboys

A potential NFC playoff game?

The two teams faced in Week 1 on Sunday Night Football last season and the Rams came away with a close win. That would be one of the last games for Dak Prescott all year long. Now Dak is back and very little will be different around him on offense.

The big changes are on defense, where Dallas added Dan Quinn (a better coordinator than head coach) to call plays, signed linebacker/safety Keanu Neal, then spent a first, a second, and three third round picks on defense. That includes linebacker Micah Parson, cornerback Kelvin Joseph, and then in the fifth round, another linebacker in LSU’s Jabril Cox.

A Cowboys-Rams game would also draw all the headlines because it would mean longsnapper Jake McQuaide facing off against his old team.

Which teams do you wish the Rams were facing this year that they aren’t?

Poll

Which of these 6 games would be the most interesting to watch in 2021?

This poll is closed

  • 55%
    Rams vs Chiefs
    (287 votes)
  • 7%
    Rams vs Cowboys
    (39 votes)
  • 9%
    Rams vs Browns
    (49 votes)
  • 16%
    Rams vs Chargers
    (84 votes)
  • 9%
    Rams vs Bills
    (47 votes)
  • 1%
    Rams vs Falcons
    (7 votes)
513 votes total Vote Now