How accurate will early SOS projections for LA Rams be?

Los Angeles Rams v Los Angeles Chargers
Los Angeles Rams v Los Angeles Chargers / Katelyn Mulcahy/GettyImages

While the strength of schedule projections in May will not be accurate, they are a fair way to estimate how challenging the 2023 NFL season may prove to be. Right now, the LA Rams are not getting any favors from the NFL schedulers, as the 5-12 LA Rams must face the ninth most difficult schedule in the NFL during the 2023 NFL season. So now the question is, just how difficult of a season will these LA Rams need to endure in 2023?

While that seems to be a very simple and straightforward question, the answer is anything but simple or straightforward. While the NFL teams are the same, and their respective coaching staff is similar to last year's coaches, neither the Rams nor any of the 32 NFL teams will field the same roster. For the Rams, the changes may end up being quite dramatic.

The Rams will welcome back three defensive starters from 2022 in DL Aaron Donald, ILB Ernest Jones, and OLB Michael Hoecht. At least eight of the Rams veteran defensive starters are gone:

  1. DB Jalen Ramsey
  2. DB Troy Hill
  3. DB Nick Scott
  4. DB Taylor Rapp
  5. OLB Leonard Floyd
  6. ILB Bobby Wagner
  7. DL Greg Gaines
  8. DL A'Shawn Robinson.

While the Rams' initial starters on the offensive line are nearly intact, many of the players who had material offensive snaps in 2022 did not return. They include four offensive linemen, all the backup quarterbacks previously on the Rams roster, and one wide receiver. Turn and face the strange

Taking their places on the Rams roster are rookies. Drafted or undrafted, the Rams are onboarding 40 newcomers to the NFL, and that number may increase to 45 between now and the start of training camp. The most intriguing aspect of all these facts is that they all only deal with the LA Rams organization.

One of the challenges to the NFL 17 game schedule is that not all schedules are created equally. AFC South Division teams are projected to have relatively easy schedules now, because most of their teams did not finish last season with .500 or better records. The same can be said about NFC South Division teams, as none of their teams finished above .500. But if one of the AFC South teams gets hot and sweeps the division, is that an indication of just how good they have become? Or is it merely a sign that their rivals failed to improve?

The LA Rams compete in the NFC West Division, an NFL Division that has placed two or more teams into the NFL Playoffs in each of the past five seasons. With the exception of the Arizona Cardinals, the NFC West teams have had the same general manager and head coaches over that time.

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Will the LA Rams advance to the NFL Playoffs this year. Perhaps, but I wouldn't use that bar as the threshold for a successful season. In 2023, the greatest challenge for this team is learning how to compete, and ultimately win, together. That could take most of the 2023 NFL season to accomplish. But keep an eye on the 2024 NFL season.