A trip to London is no longer on the itinerary for the 2013 St. Louis Rams. It’s a good thing, considering that they were pummeled over there by the New England Patriots in 2012, but the young ball club will spend half of its post-bye schedule in the Pacific time zone.
That’s all three of their remaining road games from Week 12 to Week 17.
Such are the consequences of playing in the NFC West.
A couple of those intra-division road contests—Week 12 at the San Francisco 49ers and Week 17 at the Seattle Seahawks—will go a long way in determining St. Louis’ 2013 success. A late-season home matchup with the New Orleans Saints and a couple of early visits to playoff teams can also be fine indicators of the Rams’ maturity.
Plenty of things will change between now and Week 1. There will be injuries, cuts and signings we don’t yet know about. The following five games are ranked by a few relatively stable factors: location (home vs. road), anticipated strength of opponent and how close to the playoffs that the matchup is.
Four are road meetings, four are against 2012 playoff teams and three take place after the Rams’ Week 11 bye.