LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Rams‘ featured non-NFC West games in 2017 will be against the AFC South, the only division that didn’t have a team with double-digit wins last year. Their first two games will be at home. Their last game will come against a popular pick to finish with the NFL’s worst record.
In between are several winnable games, too. But the Rams, under an entirely new coaching staff, still have a lot to figure out internally. Here’s an early, game-by-game look at how the 2017 season could shake out.
Week 1: Sunday, Sept. 10, vs. Indianapolis Colts, 4:05 p.m. ET
One thing is pretty clear about the Rams’ 2017 schedule: They’ll face a lot of good quarterbacks. The first will be Andrew Luck. But Luck is coming off shoulder surgery, and Rams quarterback Jared Goff will be facing a shaky secondary. He should get off on the right foot here. Record: 1-0
Week 2: Sunday, Sept. 17, vs. Washington Redskins, 4:25 p.m. ET
Former Redskins offensive coordinator Sean McVay left to become the Rams’ head coach, and soon thereafter, Washington’s top two receivers, DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon, signed with other teams. Now coach Jay Gruden has a transitioning offense on his hands. But it’s still better than the one McVay inherited. Record: 1-1
Week 3: Thursday, Sept. 21, at San Francisco 49ers, 8:25 p.m. ET
Last year, the 49ers embarrassed the Rams in a season-opening game on Monday Night Football. The 49ers won two games in 2016, and both came against the Rams, the last one on the strength of an impressive comeback at the Coliseum. The 49ers, now under Kyle Shanahan, will continue to be bad. The Rams should be better against them. Record: 2-1
Week 4: Sunday, Oct. 1, at Dallas Cowboys, 1 p.m. ET
This will be the Rams’ toughest test all season. Their defense should be pretty good, but new defensive coordinator and former Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips will have a hard time trying to contain QB Dak Prescott, RB Ezekiel Elliott, WR Dez Bryant and TE Jason Witten. On offense, the Rams don’t have anything close to the firepower to keep up. Record: 2-2
Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 8, vs. Seattle Seahawks, 4:05 p.m. ET
Hate on Jeff Fisher all you want, but for some reason, he seemed to have some weird magic touch when it came to beating the Seahawks. It’s unlikely McVay will have that same feel, simply because most coaches don’t. The Seahawks’ defense — perhaps rejuvenated by the return of safety Earl Thomas — will be a big early test for McVay’s developing offense. Record: 2-3
Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 15, at Jacksonville Jaguars, 4:05 p.m. ET
The Jaguars are no strangers to offseason spending. And this offseason was no different, as they splurged on three new defensive players: defensive end Calais Campbell, cornerback A.J. Bouye and safety Barry Church. At home, they’ll make life really difficult on Goff and his offense. Record: 2-4
Week 7: Sunday, Oct. 22, vs. Arizona Cardinals in London, 1 p.m. ET
The Cardinals have lost as much as the Jaguars gained on defense. Four…