The NFL is a league rooted in parity, which is completely by design. Because of this reality, teams who are successful one year find it very difficult to replicate it the year after, and especially for an extended number of seasons -- Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots notwithstanding. For a team like the Los Angeles Rams, who tasted success en route to being disappointed in Super Bowl LIII by, you guessed it, the Patriots, it's all about returning to the promised land to get their hands on their first Lombardi trophy in more than 20 years. To do so, they'll need to bounce back from a 9-7 finish that saw them miss the playoffs entirely in 2019, and without All-Pro running back Todd Gurley, whom they released this offseason.

Both of those variables apply a lot of pressure to quarterback Jared Goff to step up big after signing his monstrous contract extension last offseason, and for head coach Sean McVay to regain some of the luster he lost as teams seemed to figure him out a bit after having not been able to do so the year prior. They'll both have their hands full in the NFC West though, because the San Francisco 49ers are attempting to stave off the same Super Bowl hangover the Rams are still climbing out of, the Seattle Seahawks are most definitely locked and reloaded, and the Arizona Cardinals are no longer the butt of anyone's jokes.

An unforgiving schedule doesn't help the Rams' chances, but they can make waves if they remain focused. The question is, will those waves be big enough to again change the landscape of the NFL in their favor? 

Let's take a look.

(Over/under win totals for every opponent courtesy of William Hill Sports Book)

Check out SportsLine's 2020 Rams betting guide here.

Week 1 vs. Cowboys

Line: Cowboys -2.5
Opponent win total:
O/U 9.5

Prediction: There will be a ton of hype fueling this matchup, and for lots of reasons on both sides of the field. For the Rams, it's about making sure they deliver a win in the inaugural game at SoFi Stadium, and in a battle with a team they've recently become adversaries with. The Rams and Cowboys have had some intense battles as of late, and this will likely be no different, but the latter might have too much offensive firepower for the former to shut down in this one. After all, Jalen Ramsey can't be everywhere at the same time.

Projected record: 0-1

Week 2 at Eagles

Line: Eagles -4 
Opponent win total: 
O/U 9.5

Prediction: It's a brutal start to the year for Los Angeles, which has to leave home immediately after Week 1 to head east and face the Eagles, who are going to scratch and claw to keep pace with the rival Cowboys in the NFC East. That puts the Rams in the precarious position of also trying to put down the Eagles in Philly, and that's no easy task. It's the 2016 draftmates -- Carson Wentz and Jared Goff -- facing off for the third time in their careers. Goff is 0-2 thus far, and about to be 0-3 when he sees the Eagles defensive line. 

Projected record: 0-2

Week 3 at Bills

Opponent win total: O/U 9.0

Prediction: Things don't get any easier in late September, as the warm weather-loving Rams travel north to square off against the Bills. Luckily for L.A., the winter weather of Upstate New York will not have kicked in just yet (it hopes), so that advantage will be lessened for Buffalo. Things could still get dicey if they don't contain Josh Allen, because he can do damage on the ground and in the air, and he has a new weapon in Stefon Diggs. Diggs combines with Beasley to be a headache for secondaries, and that's exactly what they'll be for the Rams.

Projected record: 0-3

Week 4 vs. Giants

Opponent win total: O/U 6.5

Prediction: By now, most people are probably ruling out the Rams as contenders, but that would be a mistake. Yes, the record might be 0-3 at this point, but they were also up against a gauntlet to start the year. That gauntlet presumably ends when they return home to face the Giants, who appear to have work to do if they want to contend with the Eagles and Cowboys in the NFC East. An angry Rams team who refuses to open SoFi with an 0-2 record sends the Giants reeling.

Projected record: 1-3

Week 5 at Redskins

Opponent win total: O/U 5.5

Prediction: Four NFC East teams in the first five weeks is what Los Angeles is up against, but only two of them are truly capable of putting a hurting on the Rams. The Redskins are not one of the aforementioned duo, instead predicted to again be the worst team in the division. Dwayne Haskins doesn't have enough starts under his belt to avoid being rattled by Aaron Donald, and he's shown he'll make youthful errors if pressured. Two takeaways gives the Rams' offense a chance to bully the uneven Washington secondary -- as long as they can keep Goff upright against a lethal defensive line.

Projected record: 2-3

Week 6 at 49ers

Opponent win total: O/U 10.5

Prediction: I know what you're saying at this point, and it has something to do with the fact the Rams' only wins have come against teams who might be subpar. Well, here's their next big test, and it is a doozy. The 49ers are looking to bounce back after coughing up a victory in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LIV, and a large part of that will be again taking the NFC West. They will find out what the Rams did a year prior though, in that it's much easier said than done. The Rams stun the 49ers in Santa Clara to get to .500, and send a message in the process.

Projected record: 3-3

Week 7 vs. Bears

Opponent win total: O/U 8.0

Prediction: Here's the first chance since they were 0-0 for McVay's bunch to climb above the .500 mark, and they'll host the Bears with the goal of making it happen. Maybe Chicago has things ironed out at quarterback by the time Week 7 rolls around, and maybe not, but the fact that's a question going into the season gives the Rams an edge in this contest. For whether it's Nick Foles or Mitchell Trubisky, at this point in their careers, neither is showing they can go on the road against a top team and steal one. Rams jump all over them in this game and never look back.

Projected record: 4-3

Week 8 at Dolphins

Opponent win total: O/U 6.0

Prediction: It's a good thing they went on a four-game win streak, because heading to Miami will not be a picnic. The new-look Dolphins are slated to be an absolute handful on both sides of the ball, to the point they're already predicted to be contenders for the AFC East crown. A healthy Tua Tagovailoa has weapons and is one himself, while the defense is absolutely stacked with shutdown talent. This isn't a game McVay will want to see film on later, but will need to if he's to learn what inevitably went wrong.

Projected record: 4-4

Week 10 vs. Seahawks

Opponent win total: O/U 9.5

Prediction: The bye in Week 9 gives the Rams a chance to figure out why they're at .500 and two weeks to prepare for their nemesis, the Seattle Seahawks. McVay desperately needs to begin asserting his team's value in the NFC West, and they can't afford to let the Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson chin check them at SoFi. With so much time to prepare and McVay having shown he can go toe-to-toe with Carroll, it's not difficult to predict a victory here for the Rams, even if it does end up being by one to three points.

Projected record: 5-4

Week 11 at Buccaneers

Opponent win total: O/U 9.5

Prediction: Tom Brady. That's it. That's the ... nvm. At this point in the season, it might take more than just a name on a jersey to scare opposing teams. For while the legendary quarterback does upgrade the Bucs over Jameis Winston, he's also coming off of an unimpressive season and isn't getting any younger. He's also not any more mobile than he ever was, and could be on a platter for Donald and the Rams pass rush. Getting to Brady is paramount in this game, and it still feels like the Bucs offensive line has a hole or two in it.

Projected record: 6-4

Week 12 vs. 49ers

Opponent win total: O/U 10.5

Prediction: Is there anything better in the NFL than a revenge game? That's a rhetorical question, because the answer is a resounding 'no.' In the realm of jockeying for position within a division, every head-to-head clash counts as much as two games from opponents outside the division. And with the 49ers having been upset on their own field a few weeks prior, they'll be thirsty to avenge themselves at SoFi, and likely will, because sweeping such a talented group is exceedingly difficult.

Projected record: 6-5

Week 13 at Cardinals

Opponent win total: O/U 7.0

Prediction: On paper, the NFC West is one of the toughest in the NFL, and that's also in part to the upgrades that were done in Arizona this offseason. Rookie of the Year Kyler Murray is carrying a higher level of swagger going into 2020, future Hall of Fame wideout Larry Fitzgerald is still in uniform and, by the way, they traded for some guy named DeAndre Hopkins -- maybe you've heard of him. The mobility and downfield talent of Murray combines with perennial Pro Bowl receivers to make for a long day for the Rams defense, which will find it exhausting to chase a roadrunner around the desert.

Projected record: 6-6

Week 14 vs. Patriots

Opponent win total: O/U 9.0

Prediction: Back at the dreaded .500 mark, it's time to again start stringing together wins if they want a chance at the division crown, or a wild card berth -- at minimum. Welcoming the Patriots without Brady certainly helps, but Bill Belichick didn't leave New England, and so you can guess this won't be an easy fight. If Jarrett Stidham isn't what Belichick thinks he is, however, the Rams could absolutely tee off and force him into some big stage errors that lead to the Rams cutting short this losing streak.

Projected record: 7-6

Week 15 vs. Jets

Opponent win total: O/U 6.5

Prediction: And when you need to string together some wins, going against the Jets is always going to have oddsmakers betting in your favor, mostly because New York continues to feel in utter disarray going into 2020. Will Jamal Adams be on the field for them this season, or won't he? Will someone step up and actually fill Robby Anderson's shoes, or won't they? Will Sam Darnold take another step forward, or ... you get the point. Rams take this one at home and not a moment too soon, because they have two division games barreling down the pike to finish the season.

Projected record: 8-6

Week 16 at Seahawks

Opponent win total: O/U 9.5

Prediction: Yet another revenge game, and yet another that will likely not go in the Rams' favor. They took care of business in Week 10 and protected their home field from the invading Seahawks, but now must travel to the Pacific Northwest in an attempt to sweep a team viewed as a Super Bowl contender. Odds are this series goes down to the wire but ultimately ends in a split, with the Seahawks washing out the win the Rams landed earlier in the year.

Projected record: 8-7

Week 17 vs. Cardinals

Opponent win total: O/U 7.0

Prediction: By now you're sensing a theme here, and it's one I don't see reality disproving. That would be the fact each of the NFC West matchups for the Rams have ended in a 1-1 tie, and this game will be no different. Murray and Co. had their way with Los Angeles in the first bout, but now it's back to SoFi for some McVay-fueled vengeance. At this point, and with their playoff hopes likely on the line, the Rams know they can't afford to lose the season finale -- which would bookend the year the same way they began it. That being the case, they'll dig deep to contain the Cardinals offense this time around, and figure out how to contain Chandler Jones, although the latter might also require some prayer.

Projected record: 9-7