The Los Angeles Rams Week 15 matchup with the Green Bay Packers is the first time fans will see the team after quarterback Baker Mayfield’s incredible short-notice comeback vs. the Las Vegas Raiders. So, ahead of the Rams-Packers game, let’s make some bold Rams Week 15 predictions.
Last Thursday, Baker Mayfield was a Rams quarterback for a grand total of 52 hours before he led his new team to a 17-16 victory over the Raiders after falling down 16-3 early in the second half. Now the question becomes, was that performance a one-off aberration? Or did Sean McVay and the Rams finally find a young QB who they can build around?
On the other side, the questions about an old QB vs. a new QB are similar. However, as much as the Packers maybe should start the transition to Jordan Love at 5-8 on the season, it will be Aaron Rodgers at the controls in Week 15 vs. the Rams.
Neither of these teams is going to the playoffs this season, but the Week 15 Rams-Packers matchup will be informative about both franchises’ futures. The team that looks better on Sunday may have the leg up on getting back into contention in the near future, while the team that loses, may face a long road back to relevance. With that in mind, here are a few bold Rams Week 15 predictions.
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3. The Rams defense will flex its muscles vs. the Packers offense
While the Rams haven’t been good as a team this season, and the offense has looked horrific at times, the defense has quietly had a solid campaign. The unit is 16th in scoring (296), 10th in yards allowed (4,297), and fourth in rushing yards allowed (1,325).
The LA unit will be without Aaron Donald on Monday night, but the Rams D isn’t a one-man operation. The bones of last year’s Super Bowl D are still there, and even without the star defensive tackle, the D can still give Rodgers fits.
Last week’s performance by Baker Mayfield has energized the entire Rams franchise, and the carryover from that will continue in the Rams Week 15 game. The group may not be heading to the playoffs, but if they do have the QB of the future now, this week could be the first step back to relevance.
Look for the Rams defense to fly around Monday night and take advantage of Rodgers being a statue in the pocket these days. The bold Rams Week 15 prediction here is that the Rams D gets at least two sacks and a turnover against Rodgers and holds the Packers to under 24 points.
2. Baker Mayfield will again look like a legit QB with Sean McVay
What Baker Mayfield and Sean McVay accomplished last Thursday was truly incredible. A quarterback with 52 hours on a team has no business playing in a game, let alone winning one with an impressive comeback.
However, McVay and Mayfield were uniquely suited to meet this challenge. McVay is an offensive genius who has perfect recall of every play he’s ever called. Being able to explain the plays to Mayfield in his headset in a way the QB would easily understand is something McVay is built for.
As for Mayfield, he was a No. 1 overall pick, so his talent and football IQ are high. Also, he played for Kevin Stefanski in Cleveland, who comes from the same Mike Shanahan coaching tree as McVay does. That means that Mayfield was relatively familiar with McVay’s offensive concepts before even picking up the playbook.
Now, the Rams-Packers game is the real test. Was Week 14 simply a perfect storm of the two coming together? Or is McVay also the perfect coach to save Mayfield’s career? The bold Rams Week 15 prediction is that it’s the latter, and Mayfield has another good game.
1. Rams 24, Packers 23
Heading into last week, the Rams and Packers were both bad teams. The Packers got some action in Week 13, with Jordan Love coming in and performing well, but they didn’t capitalize on that momentum. Instead, they put Aaron Rodgers right back in, and despite getting a win vs. the Bears, there is no new excitement now around the team.
The Rams signed Baker Mayfield, and now there is a real buzz around the franchise. The future looked bleak just a few weeks ago with an aging Matthew Stafford as the QB, and no draft picks to help things move forward.
However, if Mayfield can become a No. 1 pick-level signal caller, there is hope in LA. That’s why the final Rams Week 15 prediction is the Rams win another with their new QB, and the future starts to look brighter in sunny Southern California.