Schedule Breakdown: An early look at the Rams 2019 slate – therams.com


(2018 record, finish in standings.) All times Pacific

Week 1: at Carolina Panthers (7-9, 2nd place NFC South) | 10:00 a.m.

All-time record: 8-13 | Last matchup: Panthers won 13-10 in Nov. 2016

The Rams’ season opener will feature two of the league’s top rushers in 2018. Running backs Todd Gurley and Christian McCaffrey finished No. 3 and No. 6 in rushing yards a season ago, respectively.

All-time record: 41-33 | Last matchup: Rams won 26-23 in Jan. 2019

Action against the NFC South will continue as the Rams meet the Saints for the fifth time in four seasons in Week 2. The club is 2-1 against the Saints under McVay, most recently topping quarterback Drew Brees and Co. in overtime in the NFC Championship game in the Superdome.

Quarterback Jared Goff completed 25 passes for 297 yards and a touchdown in the game. Wide receiver Brandin Cooks has posted at least 100 yards receiving in his last two outings against his former team.

Week 3: at Cleveland Browns (7-8-1, 3rd place AFC North) | 5:20 p.m. | Sunday Night Football

All-time record: 12-11 | Last matchup: Rams won 24-6 in Oct. 2015

The Rams will head to Northeast Ohio for primetime to face the Browns for the first time since then-rookie running back Todd Gurley picked up 163 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns in Week 7 of the 2015 season. Week 3 should yield some must-watch action between two of the league’s top rising clubs with their respective young talent and offensive minds in McVay and head coach Freddie Kitchens.

All-time record: 16-8 | Last matchup: Rams won 37-32 in Sept. 2016

Former Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians is 5-5 against the Rams, but is winless in two chances against the McVay-led Rams. Quarterback Jameis Winston is also heading into a critical fifth professional season, where his performance in a game against a team like Los Angeles could go a long way to determining his future.

Week 5: at Seattle Seahawks (10-6, 2nd place NFC West) | 5:20 p.m. | Thursday Night Football

All-time record: 19-23 | Last matchup: Rams won 36-31 in Nov. 2018

Los Angeles will take on their fellow playoff qualifier from the NFC West on the road at CenturyLink Field in Week 5, marking the club’s second primetime game of the season. Running back Todd Gurley will look for another big showing in the Emerald City in 2019. The star back tacked up 113 yards of offense, along with three rushing touchdowns in the 33-31 win last season.

All-time record: 67-69-3 | Last matchup: Rams won 48-32 in Dec. 2018

The Rams completed their sweep of the NFC West at home against the 49ers in Los Angeles in Week 17 of last season and can make it two in a row at home against the up-state rivals in 2019. The 49ers should look quite a bit different in year three under head coach Kyle Shanahan. The Niners will pick second in next week’s NFL Draft and expect to have quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo back from injury in time for the 2019 campaign.

Week 7: at Atlanta Falcons (7-9, 2nd place NFC South) | 10:00 a.m.

All-time record: 47-30-2 | Last matchup: Falcons won 26-13 in Jan. 2018

The Falcons finished short of the postseason for the first time in three seasons in 2018, struggling most heavily on the defensive side of the ball. A Rams win in 2019 could warm hearts in L.A. on two fronts, considering the Falcons bounced the Rams from the postseason in the teams’ Wild Card round meeting in 2018, and McVay’s group fell short of a world title in their last visit to ATL.

All-time record: 15-8 | Last matchup: Bengals won 31-7 in Nov. 2015

The Rams will get the AFC North’s fourth-place finisher in a home game away from home Week 8. The London meeting will feature veteran left tackle Andrew Whitworth up against his former club for the first time, as well as Bengals head coach Zac Taylor against his former staff in year one in Cincinnati.

Week 9: Bye

Week 10: at Pittsburgh Steelers (9-6-1, 2nd place AFC North) | 1:25 p.m.

All-time record: 15-9-2 | Last matchup: Steelers won 12-6 in Sept. 2015

Week 10 will serve as a homecoming for defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who is a Pittsburgh native and attended the University of Pittsburgh. Coming off the bye, Donald will do his part in stopping running back James Conner, a fellow Pitt grad who rose to the ranks amidst running back Le’Veon Bell’s contract negotiations a season ago.

All-time record: 36-54-3 | Last matchup: Bears won 15-6 in Dec. 2018

The Rams will get another shot at the NFC North Champion Chicago Bears on Sunday Night Football in 2019 — but this time around it’ll be far from the December conditions of Soldier Field. The game should feature a few of intriguing matchups between young quarterbacks Goff and Mitchell Trubisky, playmakers in running backs Todd Gurley and Tarik Cohen, and a two of the league’s must-see pass rushers in defensive tackle Aaron Donald and outside linebacker Khalil Mack.

All-time record: 2-4 | Last matchup: Ravens won 16-13 in Nov. 2015

Primetime action will continue in Week 12’s home game, which should be a special occasion for safety Eric Weddle up against his former club. The veteran defensive back spent the previous three seasons in Baltimore — each of which ended in Pro Bowl honors.

Week 13: at Arizona Cardinals (3-14, 4th place NFC West) | 1:05 p.m.

All-time record: 43-38-2 | Last matchup: Rams won 38-9 in Dec. 2018

The Rams will have the chance to make it five wins in a row against the Cardinals in Arizona in Week 13. The Rams have had recent success on the road against the Cardinals, winning their last four in the desert. The teams’ first 2019 meeting sets the stage for McVay to face off against personal friend and first-time NFL head coach Kliff Kingsbury, in what could amount to a much-anticipated matchup for years to come in the West.

All-time record: 19-23 | Last matchup: Rams won 36-31 in Nov. 2018

The Rams squeaked by at home against the Seahawks in 2018 thanks to a few huge defensive plays, despite the unit’s failure to stop the run. L.A.’s defense allowed 273 yards on the ground last time around, so an improved effort against Seattle’s rushers on Sunday night could mean another L for head coach Pete Carroll back in the Coliseum.

Week 15: at Dallas Cowboys (10-6, 1st place NFC East) | 1:25 p.m.

All-time record: 17-17 | Last matchup: Rams won 30-22 in Jan. 2019

McVay and the Rams have the chance to improve to 3-0 against the Cowboys since the 2017 season when they travel to Dallas for a matchup against the defending NFC East champs Week 15. The Rams slammed the door shut on running back Ezekiel Elliott in the Divisional round back in January, allowing just 47 yards on the ground from the league’s top back.

Week 16: at San Francisco 49ers (4-12, 3rd place NFC West) | TBD

All-time record: 67-69-3 | Last matchup: Rams won 48-32 in Dec. 2018

The Rams face the possibility of playing on Saturday or Sunday as a scheduling ‘flex’ option for Week 16 — to be determined in Week 8. McVay will have the chance to grab a third win at San Francisco in three seasons leading the Rams. If the Niners plan to halt the home skid against the L.A., slowing defensive tackle Aaron Donald might be first on the list. The 2018 AP Defensive Player of the Year logged 4.0 sacks, five quarterback hits, six tackles for loss, and nine total tackles at Levi’s Stadium in 2018.

All-time record: 43-38-2 | Last matchup: Rams won 38-9 in Dec. 2018

The Rams will close out their season at home in the Coliseum against Kingsbury’s Cardinals. Coordinator Wade Phillips’ defense shut out the Cardinals 34-0 in Los Angeles a season ago, in one of the defense’s top performances of the season.

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