Rams open season at home against Bills, and champs have NFL’s toughest schedule
It’s been nearly two decades since a team repeated as Super Bowl champion, the New England Patriots achieving the feat in the 2003 and 2004 seasons.
The NFL schedule-makers did not make it easy on the Super Bowl-champion Rams as they attempt to repeat.
The Rams open against the Buffalo Bills, a Super Bowl contender, Thursday night, Sept. 8, at SoFi Stadium.
The 17-game schedule also includes a midseason four-game stretch that features a trip to Tampa Bay, a home game against NFC West contender Arizona and road games at New Orleans and Kansas City. The season concludes with a road game at Seattle.
The Rams will play the San Francisco 49ers and Green Bay Packers on “Monday Night Football,” and the Chargers on “Sunday Night Football.”
The Rams play preseason games at SoFi Stadium against the Chargers and Houston Texans and a road game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Dates and times for those are to be determined.
A game-by-game look at the regular-season schedule which, according to last season’s records, is the most difficult in the league. The Rams are off Week 7, the Sunday being Oct. 23:
The Super Bowl-champion Rams will kick off the 2022 NFL season against the Buffalo Bills on Sept. 8 at SoFi Stadium. Five takeaways about the game.
Sept. 8: BUFFALO, 5:20 p.m., (Channel 4) — Nothing like a possible Super Bowl preview to start the season. The Bills gave linebacker Von Miller $51 million guaranteed to depart L.A. and put them over the top.
Sept. 18: ATLANTA, 1:05 p.m., (Channel 11) — The Falcons drafted quarterback Desmond Ridder in attempt to replace former NFL most valuable player Matt Ryan. Yeah, this is a rebuild.
Sept. 25: at Arizona, 1:25 p.m., (Channel 11) — Aaron Donald aiming to repeat last season, when he took over the game at State Farm Stadium and the COVID-ravaged Rams sent the Cardinals into a tailspin.
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Oct. 3: at San Francisco, 5:15 p.m., (ESPN) — Who would have guessed that quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo would still be with the 49ers — and receiver/running back/game wrecker Deebo Samuel would want out?
Oct. 9: DALLAS, 1:25 p.m., (Channel 11) — Quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott remain headliners. The Cowboys were 12-5 last season, but half their wins came against weak NFC teams.
Oct. 16: CAROLINA, 1:05 p.m., (Channel 11) — The last time Panthers punter Johnny Hekker and offensive lineman Austin Corbett were at SoFi Stadium they were celebrating a Super Bowl LVI victory with the Rams.
Oct. 30: SAN FRANCISCO, 1:25 p.m., (Channel 11) — The 49ers beat the Rams in last season’s finale but lost the NFC championship game. That won’t stop 49ers fans from taking over SoFi Stadium again.
Breaking down the NFL 2022 week-by-week schedule with times and television stations.
Nov. 6: at Tampa Bay, 1:25 p.m., (Channel 2) — The Rams’ win over the Bucs in playoffs sent Tom Brady into retirement — for weeks. Also caused a collector’s kerfuffle about his final touchdown pass that wasn’t.
Nov. 13: ARIZONA, 1:25 p.m., (Channel 11) — Kyler Murray dazzled in regular-season victory at SoFi Stadium. But what looked like a potential tipping point in the NFC West instead faded down the stretch.
Nov. 20: at New Orleans, 10 a.m., (Channel 11) — Rams played at Superdome in 2018 playoffs and won NFC title game. Perhaps they will consider reacquiring Nickell Robey-Coleman for this matchup.
Nov. 27: at Kansas City, 1:25 p.m., (Channel 11) — The last time Patrick Mahomes played against Rams, he passed for 478 yards and six touchdowns in an epic 54-51 defeat at Coliseum in 2018.
Dec. 4: SEATTLE, 1:05 p.m., (Channel 11) — Even with Russell Wilson, the Seahawks of late had no answer for Donald and the Rams’ pass rush. Drew Lock isn’t likely to change that.
Dec. 8: LAS VEGAS, 5:15 p.m., (Prime Video. local TV TBA) — Star receiver Davante Adams gives quarterback Derek Carr a long-awaited weapon to show he belongs among the league’s elite quarterbacks.
Dec. 19: at Green Bay, 5:15 p.m., (ESPN/Channel 7) — Let’s be honest: Rams got a break not having to go to Lambeau Field last postseason. Now they get to see Aaron Rodgers without Adams.
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Dec. 25: DENVER, 1:30 p.m., (Channel 2/Nickelodeon) — The Broncos think Wilson will lead them to Super Bowl a la Peyton Manning. Rams know Wilson’s strengths and weaknesses as well as anyone.
Jan. 1: at CHARGERS, 5:20 p.m., (Channel 4) — The Chargers took pages from the Rams’ offseason playbook and stocked the roster with new star players such as linebacker Khalil Mack.
Jan. 7 or 8: at Seattle, TBD, (TBD) — Six-time All-Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner returns to the stadium where he starred for 10 seasons before Seahawks cut him. Think he’ll be very motivated?
Creating that close-to-perfect NFL schedule takes as many as 4,000 computers and five people for a result that makes “everybody equally disappointed.”
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