With the schedule for the 2023 NFL season now just hours away, the LA Rams will soon learn just how difficult of a gauntlet this year's trek will be. We already know that the LA Rams will face the schedule of a third-place team and that this team will face the powerhouse NFL Divisions from 2022 in the AFC North Division (38 wins, 29 losses, one game canceled) and the NFC East Division (43 wins, 23 losses, and two ties).
But the NFL is promoting an international presence now, and each year, the league earmarks several games to be hosted by International venues. This year, the NFL has identified five such games to be held overseas. And they are:
The NFL has been fairly aggressive so far in pushing their version of football t other countries. Keep in mind that while football in America is one of the most popular sports here, the most popular sport internationally is another brand of football, which we know as soccer.
The Rams play nine games on the road during the 2023 NFL season, and none are scheduled at an international destination. That translates into the LA Rams averaging playing at a distance of nearly 1500 miles for each of their nine road games. To make that more tangible, it is the equivalent of the LA Rams playing all their road games in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Perhaps an even more alarming factor this season is the fact that the Rams will transvers 34 time zones in those nine road games. For the Rams, each time zone travelled to an opponent's site is one hour of downtime (rest, practice, etc.) lost to prepare, while travelling from the East Coast equates to an additional hour of down time.
To neutralize travel time, lost time, and even time zone impacts, NFC West teams have explored arriving early to acclimate to the new time zone in time for game time. Sometimes, if the travel includes back to back games on the road, the team will simply remain in a hotel for a week to prepare for the game to avoid adding to the time zone turmoil.
Perhaps the NFL can implement a more aggressive approach to their scheduling of international games, and as a result can balance out some of the skewed travel miles that impact West Coast teams in the process. But for now, it's pack your bags. The LA Rams are on the road again.