The LA Rams are one game behind in the NFC West Division.
With Week 1 in the 2022-2023 NFL season finally in the books, it is time to examine where the four teams stand in the NFC West Division. Surprisingly, the Seattle Seahawks sit atop of the NFC West, 1-0, with their Monday Night Football 20-19 win over the Denver Broncos. Going into Week 2, the remaining NFC West teams sit at 0-1, including the LA Rams. With a tough Week 1 matchup, it is tough to judge where the Rams rank in the NFC West. Multiple questions need to be answered and hopefully, time can resolve many of the Rams’ issues.
Tough week one matchup
Not making any excuses here, but the Rams’ week one match against the Buffalo Bills had to be the toughest game on the schedule. The Rams’ defense did everything they could to slow down the Bills, but their offense did very little to put up points. The Bills exposed Matthew Stafford’s throwing elbow, showing that his elbow, although reported to be ok, clearly is not up to mid-season form. Stafford took seven sacks and was harrassed into three picks in the Rams’ 31-10 loss. There were many issues other than their veteran quarterback’s production that need to be addressed.
The Rams’ wide receivers, other than Cooper Kupp, struggled to get targeted throughout the whole game. With Stafford focusing on Kupp, and no ground attack to speak of, it’s no wonder why the Bills’ ferocious pass rush abused Stafford. It makes you think, is the Rams’ offensive line that bad or is Matthew Stafford too focused upon one or two targets?
With Cam Akers still not 100 percent, the Rams needed to lean on Darrell Henerson Jr to carry their running game. Unfortunately, his workload is typically limited to 12-15 carries per game. The Rams desperately need to improve their run game if they want any shot to compete for their division.
Don’t hit the panic button!
Listen, it is only the first week of football and there is still a long season left. All the issues that occured during week one could easily be fixed by week 2. When you have Sean McVay as a head coach, you know your offense will improve as the season goes on.
Looking at the other teams in the NFC West, there are no clear winners after week one. The Arizona Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers both had embarrassing losses, while the Seattle Seahawks shocked the whole NFL with their upset win.
The Cardinals picked up right where they left off last season and still can’t find a way to be competitive. It doesn’t help that your best wide receiver is out and your starting quarterback won’t mentally prepare for his opponents. As for the 49ers, their quarterback production needs a lot of work and Trey Lance didn’t look prepared for his week one match against the Chicago Bears. I truly believe Lance will improve over time and the 49ers will still compete for the division, being the only team that will be the Rams way.
The Seahawks are going to be a wildcard throughout the whole season. If they can get their quarterback Geno Smith to provide solid production, they can compete with any team in the league. The Seahawks are one of the youngest teams in the league, so inconsistency might occur throughout the year. But let’s face it. Their victory was more about a grudge match against former quarterback Russell Wilson as anything.
The Rams are still the favorite in the NFC West
After looking over all the NFC West teams after one week of football, the Rams are still the clear favorites to win their division. As of right now, the Rams might not be the best team in the NFC Conference, but they sure are the number one team in the NFC West.
Boasting veteran leadership on both sides of the ball, the Rams will figure out how to resolve their issues. Chemistry is a big part of football and it takes time for teams to build chemistry. It takes more than a few preseason games for a team to gel, especially when the Rams didn’t play any of their starters in the preseason. Look for the Rams to start picking up their firepower as weeks go on and take control of a weak NFC West division.