Hard to believe the NFL season has already hit October and progressed to Week 5. So far this season the offenses have gotten off to a slow start with low scoring games and poor quarterback play occurring across the league. With many games to watch on the Sunday slate, here’s a brief guide of why each game should matter to Rams fans and what to look out for.
The Rams themselves have an interesting matchup with the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, as the two NFC teams seem headed in opposite directions. The Cowboys have won three straight games behind quarterback Cooper Rush and they now have the sixth-best odds to win the NFC, according to DraftKings Sportsbook’s Super Bowl odds. Dallas is at +1000. The Rams are down to +750 despite being the reigning champions and they have the fifth-best odds in the NFC.
If the Cowboys win in Week 5, will L.A.’s Super Bowl odds be leapfrogged by Dallas? That seems probable. The Rams will fall even further if these teams bypass them in the standings too:
New York Giants vs Green Bay Packers (6:30 AM PST in London)
For the second straight week there is an early morning game taking place in London, this time putting the Giants against the Packers. The Giants look to build on early momentum sparked by the resurgence of star RB Saquon Barkley that has led to a surprising 3-1 record. The Packers look to continue a three-game win streak behind their two talented RBs Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon. There is potential playoff seeding on the line in this NFC matchup.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Buffalo Bills (10:00 PST)
The struggling Steelers turned to Kenny Pickett in Week 3 and have found themselves against a very difficult opponent for the young QBs first career NFL start. The Buffalo Bills will likely bring pressure and disguise coverages with their talented secondary early and often in this game. Two ex-Rams in EDGE Von Miller and G Rodger Saffold look to garner their fourth win of the young season.
Los Angeles Chargers @ Cleveland Browns (10:00 PST)
The Chargers have struggled on offense due to a rib injury to QB Justin Herbert and the multi-week absence of WR Keenan Allen. The Browns have somewhat surpassed expectations at 2-2 in a season where Jacoby Brissett is holding down the fort until Deshaun Watson returns from suspension. Look for ex-Ram TE Gerald Everett to continue with an increased target share. The Chargers also employ DT Sebastian Joseph-Day and RB Sony Michel.
Chicago Bears @ Minnesota Vikings (10:00 PST)
This NFC matchup involves two teams with different trajectories. The Bears are very much in a rebuild year with minimal talent on offense and a young quarterback in Justin Fields who has been inaccurate and ineffective as a passer. The Vikings, led by former Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell, are 3-1 and looking like a potential playoff opponent. As with many teams, their offense has struggled at times but is led by two stars in RB Dalvin Cook and WR Justin Jefferson. Ex-Rams in this game include potential trade target EDGE Robert Quinn and TE Johnny Mundt.
Detroit Lions @ New England Patriots (10:00 PST)
The Lions are a team closely linked to the Rams with Brad Holmes at GM and a roster including QB Jared Goff, WR Josh Reynolds, and DT Michael Brockers. They lead the NFL’s top offense through four weeks into Foxborough to face the Patriots and a third-string QB in rookie Bailey Zappe. Will Goff and the Lions offense continue their high output and will the Patriots be able to keep up with a rookie 4th rounder behind center?
Seattle Seahawks @ New Orleans Saints (10:00 PST)
Divisional rival Seahawks take on the Saints in New Orleans in an NFC showdown. Injuries to Jameis Winston have limited the Saints offense and Seattle has seen steady play from Geno Smith behind center. Ex-Ram Austin Blythe is starting at center for the Seahawks who are tied with the Rams, San Francisco 49ers, and Arizona Cardinals for 1st in the division.
Miami Dolphins @ New York Jets (10:00 PST)
Tua Tagavailoa will miss yet another game as the Dolphins take on the Jets in an AFC matchup. Look for the Dolphins to target their talented receivers early and pin their ears back in pursuit of young Jets QB Zach Wilson early in this game. The Jets have two former Rams on defense in DE John Franklin-Myers and S Lamarcus Joyner.
Atlanta Falcons @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (10:00 PST)
The Falcons gave the Rams a scare in Week 2 and have played competitive football most of the season. Tom Brady looks to rebound and has a prime chance against the Falcons defense. The only former Ram in this game is WR KhaDarel Hodge for the Falcons.
Tennessee Titans @ Washington Commanders (10:00 PST)
The Titans have rediscovered their identity on the back of a 114 yard rushing performance from Derrick Henry. They face a Commanders team struggling with poor defense and the tumultuous play of QB Carson Wentz. Ex-Ram Robert Woods leads the Titans in receiving with 13 catches on the season.
Houston Texans @ Jacksonville Jaguars (10:00 PST)
The Jaguars have been one of the surprise stories of the season so far with a record of 2-2 and a roster that has been competitive for the first time in several seasons under new HC Doug Pederson. They will face a struggling divisional rival in the Texans who look like a bottom three team in the league through four weeks. It’s an AFC matchup with minimal implications for the Rams outside of keeping tabs on an old friend in WR Brandin Cooks.
San Francisco 49ers @ Carolina Panthers (1:05 PST)
The 49ers earned their seventh straight regular season win against the Rams just this past Monday and get a cupcake matchup in the moribund Panthers led by Baker Mayfield. The 49ers look to take the division lead with a win in Charlotte behind the continued pass rushing of former Ram Samson Ebukam facing off against a player the Rams sorely miss in G Austin Corbett.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Arizona Cardinals (1:25 PST)
The division rival Cardinals are locked in the four-way tie for the NFC West and face a buzzsaw against the NFL’s only undefeated team. The Eagles have been juggernauts on offense behind the exciting play of QB Jalen Hurts. Rams fans should be keeping a close eye on this game in a tight divisional race.
Cincinnati Bengals @ Baltimore Ravens (SNF)
This game is my pick for the game of the week. The Ravens are far better than their 2-2 record and have seen MVP level play from Lamar Jackson. On the other side, the Bengals have been finding their way on offense and look to keep up with their WR tandem of Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins against former Ram Marcus Peters.
Las Vegas Raiders @ Kansas City Chiefs (MNF)
This AFC matchup involves the underachieving Raiders and their divisional rival Chiefs who have been playing high level football at 3-1. Mahomes again looks like the best quarterback in the NFL while Derek Carr has struggled mightily. Not much here to concern Rams fans until potentially far down the line.