The NFL season has already progressed to Week 6 and the Los Angeles Rams have begun to fall behind in the NFC. As I said last week, the season continues to display sloppy offensive performances and a majority of teams that are still trying to find identities. Here’s how the Sunday slate will shake out and what to watch for as a Rams fan.
The rival 49ers travel to Atlanta to face the Falcons who have been somewhat of a tough out for most opponents they face. Rams fans should be watching closely for a potential upset to occur and drop the 49ers back a game and even out the NFC West playing field. Former Rams to watch: KhaDarel Hodge went 3 for 33 last week at WR for the Falcons and Samson Ebukam has recorded 3.5 sacks on the season so far for the 49ers.
The Patriots head to Cleveland and face a Browns team that has been a berserker on the ground and inconsistent through the air. The Patriots young QB Mac Jones is questionable with a high ankle sprain for another week and is up in the air for Sunday. There isn’t much here for Rams fans to watch out for with two AFC teams without any notable ex-Rams on the field.
The New York Jets have surprised in recent weeks and Zach Wilson returned at QB to secure a clutch win in the prior week. On the other hand, the Packers struggled last week in London and have looked out of sorts on offense without Davante Adams. As always, Rams fans should be keeping an eye on the Packers who always seem to be a potential postseason player in the NFC. Former Rams to watch: DE John-Franklin Myers and S Lamarcus Joyner of the Jets.
The Jaguars have been hot and cold this season and look to get back on the winning track against the disappointing Colts in Indy. It’s an AFC matchup that won't hold much water with Rams fans and neither team is looking like a Super Bowl contender thus far. Former Rams to watch: S Rodney McLeod of the Colts.
The Vikings are on a 3-game winning streak and look to carry momentum into Miami against a Dolphins team that will be without Tua Tagovailoa and possibly backup Teddy Bridgewater. The Vikings are looking like an NFC playoff contender and a team the Rams could potentially face down the line. Former Rams to watch: TE Johnny Mundt of the Vikings.
New Orleans will welcome the Bengals in a matchup of two 2-3 squads. The Bengals are coming off a tough loss to the Ravens and the Saints have struggled on offense without Jameis Winston who may miss another week. There won’t be any notable ex-Rams on the field for this one.
Can the Giants continue their miracle season and win yet another game? The Ravens and star QB Lamar Jackson could prove to be too much. Jackson is playing MVP caliber ball though five weeks but will again be without WR Rashod Bateman. The Rams should be watching the Giants from afar as a potential NFC opponent come playoff time. Former Rams to watch: CB Marcus Peters of the Ravens.
The Buccaneers head into Pittsburg with the ageless wonder Tom Brady once again playing high level football. QB Kenny Pickett of the Steelers looked like a gunslinger last week and brought a spark to the Steelers offense despite some crushing turnovers. The Buccaneers are always a team to watch for the Rams as a potential playoff matchup and they will look to improve to a cool 4-2 on the season.
Of all the games this week, Rams fans should be most concerned with this NFC West clash of two teams currently tied with the Rams at 2-3. Can Geno Smith continue his quality play? Will the Cardinals find a way to improve a defense that has struggled to stop opposing offenses? Coming into the season, I expected the Rams to be a cut above both of these teams. Through five weeks, all three teams look far closer than expected. Former Rams to watch: C Austin Blythe of the Seahawks.
This game has to be the most obvious game the week pick of all time as a rematch of the playoff game this past January. Once again, both teams look like juggernauts at 4-1. Josh Allen against Patrick Mahomes in a battle of MVP candidates. Both teams have improved on defense as well. Will we be treated to an offensive shootout? Or will this be a surprisingly defensive game? Former Rams to watch: G Rodger Saffold and EDGE Von Miller of the Bills.
The 4-1 Cowboys will clash with the 5-0 Eagles in a NFC clash that should have Rams fans on full alert. The Cowboys are winning games almost strictly off the back of their feisty defense and the Eagles have seen high level play from QB Jalen Hurts on the ground and through the air. Former Rams to watch: EDGE Dante Fowler Jr of the Cowboys.
Football fans are once again forced to watch the dreadful Broncos offense on primetime as they travel to SoFi Stadium to clash with Justin Herbert and the Chargers. It’s an AFC matchup that won't affect the Rams unless either team reaches the Super Bowl but the crosstown rival Chargers are looking more like the team to watch in LA this season. Former Rams to watch: TE Gerald Everett, DT Sebastian Joseph-Day, and RB Sony Michel of the Chargers.