The next five teams LA will face (they play the San Francisco 49ers in Week 4 and Week 7) all lost their season opener. Sure, Week 1 might not be the best indication of what will unfold over the remainder of the season, but it’s our first look at some of these teams since January 2022.
Here’s a takeaway from the first game for each of the Rams’ next five opponents:
Week 2 - vs. Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons offense was impressive
Sure, Marcus Mariota threw for only 215 yards in his Falcons debut, but he also added another 72 yards and a touchdown with his legs. This was in addition to the 120 yards and a touchdown Cordarrelle Patterson accumulated on 22 carries (5.5 avg).
Rookie Drake London looks ready to contribute right away - and he snagged five receptions for 74 yards. His longest catch was for 31 yards.
Last year’s fourth overall pick and TE/WR hybrid Kyle Pitts was notably absent, though he often faced star corner Marshon Lattimore. If Atlanta can involve all of their weapons on offense, this team could be a tough out in 2022.
Week 3 - at Arizona Cardinals
Kyler Murray and the passing game was anemic at best
Perhaps the team that looked the worst in the first week of the regular season was the Cardinals - who lost to the Kansas City Chiefs 44-21. Arizona scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to narrow the margin of defeat, though the outcome was already decided.
The Cardinal’s passing game was anemic without both DeAndre Hopkins (6-game suspension) and Rondale Moore (hamstring injury). Murray threw for only 193 yards, and Arizona’s leading receiver was Greg Dortch - an undrafted free agent in 2019 that has bounced around the league for the last four seasons. He had a stint with the Rams between 2019 and 2020.
It cost Arizona a first round draft choice in order to acquire Marquise “Hollywood” Brown this offseason. He logged only 43 yards on 4 catches with a garbage time touchdown.
Is Rondale Moore this important to the Cardinals offense, or will the team hope to tread water until Hopkins returns in Week 7?
Week 4 - at San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers showed us all outcomes are possible in the Trey Lance era
There will be weeks that Trey Lance and the 49ers take down some of the best teams in football. There will also be weeks they lose to teams that are in contention for the top overall draft pick next year - and that’s what happened this weekend versus the Chicago Bears.
The Bears are a team as deep in their rebuild as anyone. They’ve tore their roster down to the studs in hopes of shedding salary cap and gearing up towards the future.
Yes - the torrential downpour in Chicago made it almost impossible to judge Lance’s passing performance, but the talent around him his head and shoulders better than that around Justin Fields. With his running ability, you could also make an argument that Lance was better equipped for this game than a lot of traditional pocket passers.
Ultimately this game proves the vast range of outcomes that is possible for the 49ers in 2022. This time they were on the low end of the spectrum.
Week 5 - vs. Dallas Cowboys
Rams will face reserve QB Cooper Rush
Dak Prescott will have surgery to repair a thumb injury he suffered Sunday night against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Per Todd Archer ESPN, Prescott will be sidelined for six to eight weeks and is not respected to return until late October at the earliest.
Dak Prescott is expected to have surgery Monday on a right thumb injury and miss 6-8 weeks, according to multiple sources. He will meet with the team’s hand specialist on Monday, but sources said he will have a pin and plate inserted to stabilize the joint.— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) September 12, 2022
Cooper Rush is the next man up at quarterback for Dallas, and he completed 7 of 13 passes for 64 yards in relief of Prescott. With the Cowboys’ limited receiving options, it’ll be tough for Rush to keep the team in contention.
Week 6 - vs. Carolina Panthers
Baker Mayfield was less than stellar in Panthers debut
Everything set up perfectly for Baker Mayfield to steal a victory from his former team, the Cleveland Browns, in Carolina’s season opener - he set up Eddie Pineriro for a field goal that took the lead to complete what seemed like the game winning drive. But the Browns ended up converted a 58-yard field goal with just eight seconds on the clock, spoiling Mayfield’s plans of playing spoiler.
The former number one overall draft pick was not spectacular in his game, though he is still fairly new to the Panthers’ roster. It’s fair to expect improvement as the season goes on, but completing 16 of 27 passes (59%) for 235 yards, 1 TD, and 1 interception won’t get the job done most weeks - especially against a team like the Rams that can put up points in a hurry.