Now that the Rams have moved from St. Louis to Los Angeles, many fans are hoping that the Rams can rise above the mediocrity that has surrounded the team recently. In the four years since Jeff Fisher has taken over as head coach, they have won seven games three times.
Doing so this season could be extremely tough however as according to Aaron Schatz of ESPN.com (Insider) the Rams have the fourth-toughest schedule in the NFL according to this season’s DVOA projections. Schatz notes that their tough games are relatively spread out, but they also lose a home game this year:
The Rams don’t have a particularly tough three-game stretch because things are spaced out. They end the season in Weeks 13-17 with games at New England, at Seattle (on a short week!), and against Arizona at home, but in between they get to face Atlanta at home in Week 14 and San Francisco at home in Week 16. The Rams also get only seven games at their new Los Angeles home this season, and they’ll have to fly from Detroit in Week 6 to London to face the Giants in Week 7.
Playing in the NFC West automatically makes a schedule tougher (the 49ers are at the top of this list), as that means four games against two NFC favorites in the Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals. But they aren’t helped by having to take on the AFC East which means dates with the New England Patriots, New York Jets, and Buffalo Bills.
The Rams also have to take on the NFC South which means a matchup with the defending NFC Champion Carolina Panthers.
As Schatz pointed out, the Rams are helped by the fact that their toughest games are relatively spread out, but that lack of an extra home game hurts them. If the Rams are going to get over the playoff hump this season, they will have to earn it.