An offseason of turmoil and changes for the Los Angeles Rams all comes to an end this Saturday, August 12. SoFi Stadium will host the Rams, and their roommates, the San Diego Chargers in Week 1 of the 2023 NFL preseason. The game kicks off at 6 p.m. PST.
But it’s not the first time the Rams and Chargers have shared a roof. Back in 1960, when the AFL broke onto the scene, they cohabitated in L.A.’s Memorial Coliseum before the Chargers bolted for San Diego. While it is fairly common for NFL teams to share facilities with college programs, the only other long term NFL housemate situation is the 12+ year relationship between the New York Giants and Jets in MetLife Stadium.
A stadium is not the only things the two teams have shared, the Bolts hired away L.A. Defensive Coordinator Brandon Staley to be their head coach after the 2020 season. 11 players have worn both the Rams royal and Chargers powder blues. Strangely enough, Staley did not poach any of L.A. coaches when he hopped down the 405.
While the Bolts possess a fine contingent of offensive weapons, finished 10-7 last year, and made the playoffs, the offense bogged down at times. They could be one-dimensional, relying on star quarterback Justin Herbert. They finished as a top passing team, but at the bottom of run game rankings. They brought in new offensive coordinator, Kellen Moore, who designs his offense around plays and not around a system. Moore’s doing a bit of everything approach had the Dallas Cowboys, his previous team, ranked as a Top 5 scoring unit in his four seasons.
None of the Chargers top playmakers are expected to see action and it should be a very vanilla flavor of the new offense, but seeing how the young Rams defense handles it should be must-see TV. We may also get quarterback rematch of last years FBS National Championship Game between L.A.’s Stetson Bennett and the Bolts Max Duggan.
GM Les Snead and HC Sean McVay have both said the approach to preseason games will be different. The Rams young roster when combined with unsettled position battles and team storylines that need to be answered, might create a scenario where veterans and youngsters actually have to battle for reps.
While there are plenty of interesting individual position battles to enjoy, how the Rams units matchup deserves an eye. On offense, the offensive line and tight ends should have a bold new look, the wideouts now have to create separation in 2.5 seconds, Zach Evans needs to show some run game juice or fall behind special team aspirant Ronnie Rivers, and finally there actually a battle for QB#2.
Across the line of scrimmage, the are just many possible options across the front, but to really breakout, someone has show he can be salty against the run and get after the passer, the six undrafted linebackers have much to gain with good play, although special teams will have to be considered as well and we get our first look at the young fire-pissing secondary.
All hyperbole aside, not really, this may the most important preseason game of the McVay era and here’s how to watch.
How to follow the game
Date: Saturday August 12
Kickoff: 6 p.m PST
Location: SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Ca.
Watch it live: Nationally on CBS and NFL Network. Locally on KABC7
Live stream: A host of streaming services including LA Rams Mobile App, NFL+, ESPN+, fuboTV, DirecTV Stream, Hulu Live TV, Sling TV, and You Tube TV
Listen: ESPNLA 710 AM, KWKW 1330 AM
Current betting odds @ DraftKings Sportsbook
Line: Rams -3 -108 / Chargers +3 -112
Over/under total: 33 Rams -108 / Chargers -112
Money line: Rams -148 / Chargers +124