Won and 0! LA Rams open SoFi Stadium with a win over the Dallas Cowboys

Lucy Rendler-Kaplan
LA Rams Reporter

By Lucy Rendler-Kaplan //@LucyRK78

Quarterback Jared Goff is overrated. He gets paid too much. The Rams are a poorly managed team. LA will fall in 2020.

These are just a handful of comments that have surrounded the Los Angeles Rams since last season. Is it warranted? The last time LA faced Dallas, they allowed the Cowboys to run all over them. However, in the home opener this past Sunday, the Cowboys faced a much different Rams team.

Will this silence the haters? Winning a home opener in a brand-new stadium with no fans against the heavily favored team?

The key to opening with a win depended on whether or not the Rams would be able to hold running back Ezekiel Elliott. Last season, he ran all over LA, but there’s a new sheriff commanding Dallas – the pass rush happy new head coach, Mike McCarthy. I smile as I write this – if you’ve read my Green Bay Packers articles over the years, I don’t hide the fact that I would’ve liked to see him move on eons ago.

LA’s rookies came to play Sunday. Getting the start at wide receiver, Van Jefferson set up a turning point play with just two minutes left in the first half, allowing kicker Samuel Sloman to make a 31-yard field goal extending the Rams’ lead 13-7. He also was in the top three targets favored by Goff.

The standout rookie, to me, was safety Jordan Fuller. Not only did he record five solo tackles and three assists, but he also made a game-changing play when he stopped Cowboys rookie wide receiver, CeeDee Lamb, just one yard short of the line to gain on 4th and 3 from the Rams’ own 11.

New kicker Sloman fared ok. While he missed the early 29-yard field goal, he ended the game making his other two field goal attempts and went 2 for 2 on his extra-point attempts. I imagine that donking your first shot in your first pro-start would be hard to overcome mentally, so I DO give him credit for the way he came back from that. I still would like a stronger kicker in place, though.

Los Angeles is favored for a Week 2 win over the Philadelphia Eagles.

 

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The NFC West starts strong in Week 1

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior NFL Reporter
NFC West/AFC West

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

The 2020 NFL season kicked off with a bang on Thursday night, and the fireworks just kept coming as the season continued on Sunday.

The NFC West had three of their four teams come out with a win, including a surprise win in a divisional game.

While we all agree that some teams will start out slowly due to the lack of preseason games, this was not the case for the NFC West.

Each team looked in regular-season form, with maybe just a few hiccups here and there. It leads one to believe that this will be a division to watch.

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Big games, Bright Lights: NFC West Week 1 Preview

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior NFL Reporter
NFC West/AFC West

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

I’ve written before how the NFC West is considered one of, if not the most competitive divisions in football. The first week of the 2020 season should highlight why so many see it that way.

A divisional matchup, a game against an NFC favorite, and a mentor/mentee coaching battle, early games, late games, primetime games…Week 1 has a lot going on for all four teams. And in this division, one that could be decided by a very small margin, every game counts. Let’s take a look around Week 1 in the NFC West.

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NFC West 2020 Preview

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior NFL Reporter
NFC West/AFC West

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

Most agree this is the toughest division in football. It has produced the NFC Champion 4 out of the last 7 seasons, and many think that with the expanded playoffs, the NFC West could end up with three teams in the postseason.

Going into the 2020 season, this is also one of the hardest divisions to predict. You have the growth of a second-year QB and massive offseason additions in Arizona. There are the questions surrounding a Super Bowl hangover, and a growing list of injuries in San Francisco.

The Los Angeles Rams dropped off in 2019 after their Super Bowl loss, but are looking to rebound strong. And then there is the Seattle Seahawks with their elite QB and break out wide receiver, but that defense was seriously questionable.

What can we expect from all of this? Let’s take a look.

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OTFB Fan Forum: Good, bad, and a little weird. The 2020 Offseason.

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior NFL Reporter
NFC West/AFC West

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

In this edition of the OTFB Fan Forum, I decided to have everyone take a look at this odd offseason. The all-virtual, Zoom edition of an offseason.

Since free agents weren’t allowed into any facilities, it made signing them more difficult for teams. Rookies weren’t allowed anywhere near the rest of the team until training camp. It was a little weird. I was curious about how our forum members thought their team faired. Did they improve? Get worse by losing important pieces? Did they make any moves at all?

Or, seeing as the circumstances were, well… unusual, did they just hang on?

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Fan Forum: Quarterbacks and all that money. Are they worth it?

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior NFL Reporter
NFC West/AFC West

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

NFL quarterbacks are always a hot topic. Overrated. Underrated. Overpaid. Underpaid. Elite. Not Elite. Top five lists. Quarterbacks are often the cause of a lot of arguments and constant comparisons to fans.

With Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott signing his tag, and nowhere near a new contract, and Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes scheduled to break the bank with his new contract, I decided to ask the fan forum how they felt about quarterbacks. Is their favorite team’s QB worth it? Do they feel quarterbacks are overhyped or undervalued? Here is how a few of them felt.

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A tough NFC West got even stronger in the Draft

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior NFL Reporter
NFC West/AFC West

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

The NFC West is a battleground. In order to win it, you have to beat some of the best in the league in just your divisional games. The 2020 NFL Draft made one of the best divisions even better.

While all four teams got great grades on their drafts, a few players really stood out as fantastic picks. And while there weren’t a lot of holes in this division, each answered a few questions that surrounded their teams.

Let’s take a look at their picks and which draftees should stand out in a division full of stars.

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The NFC West: Round 1 of the 2020 NFL Draft

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior NFL Reporter
NFC West/AFC West

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

What a year it was for the NFC West. They had two teams reach the playoffs, one reaching the Super Bowl. It has long been considered one of the best divisions in the league, and 2020 is looking to be a strong year for all four teams.

However, we all know that teams always have needs. Teams always NEED the draft.

A few teams lost quite a few players to free agency and will need the draft to fill obvious positions of need, others just need to add depth to an already solid team. Here is a recap of who the NFC West teams took in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

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Los Angeles Rams vs San Francisco 49ers: Week 16 preview

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior NFL Reporter
NFC West / AFC West

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

I know there has been a lot of talk about a certain NFC West divisional matchup in week 17, but this week’s game between the Los Angeles Rams and the San Francisco 49ers has high stakes too.

The Rams are not just fighting for the (very slim) chance of making the playoffs, but also to gain back some respect after their ugly loss to the Dallas Cowboys.

The 49ers are looking to rebound from last week’s loss against the Atlanta Falcons and looking to not give up ground to the Seattle Seahawks in the fight for the NFC West.

With both teams needing this win badly, this divisional battle could turn into one of the best games of the week. Or it could be a blowout. To be honest, it’s hard to predict.

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The bright future of the NFC West quarterbacks

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior NFL Reporter
NFC West / AFC West

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

Lets just put this out there before we even begin. The NFC West is one of, if not THE best division in football. In fact, I can’t think of a single division that is as competitive top to bottom as the NFCW.

Yes, I realize that that the Arizona Cardinals have had a bit of a slump as of late, but if we try to peer into the future just a bit, the West could steal the name “Black and Blue Division” from the NFC North. A lot of this success, past, present and probable future, is due to the quarterbacks. Let’s take a look at the four signal-callers, and why they will be leading their teams for years to come.

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