After much speculation, the Los Angeles Rams officially have their schedule for the 2022 campaign. This upcoming season is expected to be yet another exciting year for the Rams, who will face added pressures that come with being the defending champs. LA will host the Thursday night season opener September 8 against the Buffalo Bills at SoFi Stadium.
That matchup will pit two Super Bowl LVII favorites against each other right off the bat. State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona is home of next year’s Big Game. Will the Rams be there? First, they’ll need to win their most important games of 2022. Here are seven to watch for with the season fast approaching:
Week 1: vs Buffalo Bills (Thurs 9/8)
Now this is the way to start off a new NFL season with a bang. Josh Allen has grown into one of the brightest stars in the sport. Allen didn’t put up the numbers of his breakout 2020 campaign, but he still finished eighth in passing with 4,407 yards while throwing 36 touchdowns. Both teams know how to put on a show by putting the ball in the hands of their wideouts.
Only two teams targeted the WR position over 70% of the time on their pass attempts in 2021:— Fantasy Footballers (@TheFFBallers) May 7, 2022
1. LA Rams (72%)
2. Buffalo Bills (71%) pic.twitter.com/OC6E3BCiFT
It’s not just the powerhouse offenses that will be in the spotlight. Last season, Buffalo had the league’s top-ranked defense last season, allowing just 272.8 yards a game. They’re poised to be even better after poaching future Hall of Famer Von Miller from LA and signing him to a monster deal.
Los Angeles last played Buffalo during the 2020 season where they lost 35-32 in an odd game. At one point, the Bills led 28-3 halfway through the third quarter. The Rams clawed back from a 25-point deficit to eventually lead 32-28 before Allen bailed out his team from becoming the next Falcons meme with a three-yard touchdown pass with 15 seconds left. Let’s just pray this matchup will have a far different outcome.
Week 9: at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Sun 11/6)
If you excuse me, I’d like to take a trip down memory lane for a moment:
9️⃣ TO 1️⃣0️⃣ TO SET UP THE WIN! pic.twitter.com/1hrjkOa4lQ— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) January 23, 2022
Glorious and I don’t know about anyone else but that sure got the ol’ blood pumping. Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp seemingly had their way with Tampa’s defense last season. The Bucs, thanks to Tom Brady’s retirement from retirement, are the Rams biggest threat in the NFC.
Since Brady flocked to South Florida, LA has won every meeting. None of them have come easy, just look at the 27-3 near-meltdown the Rams almost had in the Divisional Round. Tampa Bay has one of the deepest rosters in the sport and they will do everything possible to send TB12 out on top. If anyone is going to derail the Rams’ repeat hopes, it’ll be the Bucs.
Week 12: at Kansas City Chiefs (Sun 12/27)
In 2018, the Chiefs and Rams played a 54-51 instant classic on Monday Night Football. Both teams combined for 105 points and 1,001 total yards. It was the third-highest scoring game ever and marked the first time in NFL history that both teams topped 50 points.
That points extravaganza ranks among the greatest games in history and might never happen again. Maybe I shouldn’t say never but nevertheless, a matchup between these two powerhouses is going to light up the scoreboard.
Patrick Mahomes is still well, Patrick Mahomes, even if he no longer has the Cheetah at his disposal. That’s one less headache for Raheem Morris to plan for but Andy Reid always finds a way. Kansas City has hosted the last four AFC Championships so this will be one of the most brutal games on LA’s slate.
Week 14: vs Las Vegas Raiders (Thurs 12/8)
After years of being pushed around in the West, the Raiders decided to shoot their shot. Signing Chandler Jones and making a trade for Davante Adams was the way to do it. Adams, routinely ranked as one of the best wideouts in the league by Jalen Ramsey reunites with his college signal caller to make some sweet music once more. I’m sorry but I stopped listening after knowing we’re about to get Adams vs. Ramsey for another season.
Realistically, Las Vegas is probably at least the third-best team in their division but I give them props for not lying down to die following all the drama they suffered through last season. Derek Carr is a great leader and this Raiders team will keep things interesting all year long.
Week 15: at Green Bay Packers (Mon 12/19)
Since the Packers traded Adams, they should be easier to beat right? RIGHT?! The last couple meetings against Green Bay haven’t gone well but maybe things will change this time around. Aaron Rodgers has one of the weakest supporting casts of his career. Seriously, who is their number one receiver? Randall Cobb? Aaron Jones? Perhaps Rodgers will just bomb Hail Marys to himself instead.
The Packers’ strength this season will be their defense. Matthew Stafford will probably not tear through this unit like swiss cheese as he had in year’s past so I’m predicting this will be a low-scoring affair.
Week 16: vs Denver Broncos (Sun 12/25)
Spike that eggnog with Bud Light and throw some wings in the oven because this Christmas will be an absolute treat. The Broncos traded for a familiar foe at quarterback in Russell Wilson so their time spent in QB purgatory should be over until he retires.
There are plenty of enticing options for Wilson to throw the ball to. Third-year receiver Jerry Jeudy should benefit quite a bit from the vet’s arrival. The Broncos also have Courtland Sutton, Tim Patrick and K.J. Hamler who could be the Mile High City’s version of Tyler Lockett. Russ will be cooking plenty through the air now that he’s no longer handcuffed by a dinosaur at head coach.
Pat Surtain and Justin Simmons lead a stellar defense that should be among the NFL’s elite. Their signings of Randy Gregory (LOL Cowboys) and D.J. Jones will be necessary in the arms race going on in the AFC West. Will these moves pay off for Denver? Too early to tell but Russell Wilson will always be an attractive draw for fans.
Week 17: at Los Angeles Chargers (Sun 1/1)
Let the Battle for LA commence! I think in the week leading up to the game, the Rams should make a bet that if they beat their little brother at SoFi, the Chargers have to move back to San Diego. It’s only fitting.
The Chargers boast one of the most exciting QBs in the league in Justin Herbert. Old friend Brandon Staley is a heavy favorite to win NFL Coach of the Year if he can remember not to call a timeout and just embrace the tie. Other LA’s defense should be much-improved after a weak showing in 2021. Their additions of J.C. Jackson, Sebastian Joseph-Day and somebody named Khalil Mack will pair nicely with Joey Bosa and company. Expect the Chargers to be a force in the AFC this season.
Which game are you the most excited for?