The 2023 Rams schedule is tough, but there is light at the end of the tunnel

Los Angeles Rams Sean McVay
Los Angeles Rams Sean McVay / Ric Tapia/GettyImages

The LA Rams (6-6) are on a three-game winning streak, which is a very good thing. But if you look over the Rams' schedule, this is a team that has played some very good teams close. For that matter, the Rams have beaten some good teams this season. The Rams swept the Seattle Seahawks (6-6), and beaten the Indianapolis Colts (7-5) and the Cleveland Browns (7-5). Well, after looking over the LA Rams schedule so far, the Rams have beaten the teams that they should have beaten and played well against very good teams.

Of the Rams six victories this season, the Rams opponent's collective record has been 32 wins and 42 losses. Of the Rams six losses this season, the Rams opponents collective record has been 47 wins and 25 losses. Yes, it's safe to say that the LA Rams have had pretty tough trekking so far this season.

If not for the Arizona Cardinals (3-10) appearing twice on the Rams schedule, the LA Rams would have competed in 12 games so far this season against 12 NFL teams that are clearly in the hunt for a berth in the NFL Playoffs.

Relief is on its way.

The Rams could get hot at the right time

While the Rams face what me their toughest opponent so far in Week 14 by traveling to face the Baltimore Ravens, the Rams schedule softens considerably. Win or lose against the Ravens, the Rams next three opponents will likely be focused on the 2024 NFL Draft than trying to squeeze their way into the NFL Playoffs. Only the Rams season finale holds a playoff opponent in store. What do I mean?

Here are the Rams final five games:

  1. December 10 - @ Baltimore Ravens (9-3) - 10:00 am PT (FOX)
  2. December 17 - Washington Commanders (4-9) - 1:05 pm PT (CBS)
  3. December 21 - TNF New Orleans Saints (5-7) - 5:15 pm PT (Amazon Prime)
  4. December 31 - @ New York Giants (4-8) - 10:00 am PT (FOX)
  5. January 7 - @ San Francisco 49ers (9-3) - TBD

In theory, the final game at the San Francisco 49ers could be meaningless for the 49ers, and that could mean that they sit their starters to rest up for Round 1 of the NFC Wild Card Playoffs.

The cycle of life for the LA Rams

Considering the gauntlet of a season that the Rams have faced so far this season, it's rather conceivable to believe that the Rams could win four of their final five games. Uncanny? Not if you have tracked the LA Rams over the past 8 seasons. We made note of this pattern in January 2023. And guess what? The Rams are following the pattern this season as well.

Cycle I:
2016: 4-12
2017: 11-5, 0-1 NFL Playoffs
2018: 13-3, 2-1 NFL Playoffs, Lost in Super Bowl LIII to NE Patriots 13-3

Cycle II:
2019: 9-7
2020: 10-6 1-1 NFL Playoffs
2021: 12-5, 4-0 NFL Playoffs, Won in Super Bowl LVI over Cincinnati Bengals 23-20

Cycle III:
2022: 5-12
2023: 6-6 with five games remaining on the Rams' schedule
2024: TBD

Conceivably, the Rams could finish at 10-7 this season, which would get them back into the playoffs. Too soon? I don't think 12 games into the season is too soon to start the discussion about the likelihood of postseason competition. After all, the LA Rams were all but left for dead after losing their third consecutive game and limping into their Week 10 BYE. Since that break, the Rams have been nothing short of spectacular.

Win or lose in Week 14, the Rams could win four of their remaining five games. That is nothing to sneeze at. This is a team that underwent a huge recasting, and the 2023 rookie class has beaten all expectations. 2023 was never about tanking. Nor was 2023 ever about another Super Bowl. For the first time in Rams Head Coach Sean McVay's career, the 2023 season is about the journey.

And speaking for myself, man oh man, this is one helluva ride so far.