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Rams have 9th-hardest strength of schedule in 2023

LA had toughest schedule following their Super Bowl win

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams had the toughest schedule in the league following their Super Bowl win last February. Injuries and inconsistent play hampered them all season long, leading the defending champs to fall from grace with a dismal 5-12 record.

It won’t be easy for the Rams to return to dominance, especially considering their 2023 strength of schedule ranks in the top-10 yet again.

In all honesty, strength of schedule in the NFL is usually pretty meaningless. All 32 teams across the league are tough outs, even if their record doesn’t always reflect it. To go along with that, preseason expectations don’t always come true. Shocking I know. If they did, the Rams would be back in the NFC Championship to take on fellow preseason darling, Tampa Bay. One can dream of LA sending Tom Brady into retirement once more.

Generally if a team can win double digit games, chances are they’re either really good, or they’re the Minnesota Vikings. There is nothing easy about the Rams schedule in ‘23 which will only make their Hollywood redemption arc that much more compelling.

The NFC West won’t be a cakewalk but when has it ever been? San Francisco will be favored to win the division again. Seattle has plenty of young talent looking to take the next step. Unless Arizona hires Sean Payton, they shouldn’t be expected to do much.

Aside from the brutal divisional bouts, LA has tough home dates with the Eagles, Saints and Steelers. On the road, they’ll have to get past playoff teams in the Cowboys, Giants, Ravens and Bengals. (That Super Bowl rematch should be spectacular by the way.) Counting the playoffs, the Rams will also have to travel to Green Bay for the third-consecutive year.

Anything can change before the next season kicks off. There’s still an entire offseason with free agency and the draft to go. Realistic expectations for LA should be at least 9-10 if they can fend off the injury bug. Hopefully next year, the Rams will prove that 2022 was an off year and not a sign of darker times ahead for the organization.