UNITED STATES—Six weeks into the 2021 NFL schedule and already, competition is proving to be fierce as the early Playoff picture begins to take shape. This is the first campaign to feature a 17-game season and with much to play for, both of the Los Angeles franchises are hopeful of painting their path towards being part of the postseason Playoff picture.
Nevertheless, there are contrasting fortunes and some interesting challenges to face, not least because of a stark difference in form amongst competing teams, between the NFC and AFC conferences. The Rams have positioned themselves amongst the top five teams in the overall NFL standings, while the Chargers are also still within the top ten, although the two Angelino franchises will have their work cut out if postseason ambitions are to be realized.
Given that Super Bowl LVI will be hosted at the SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, both teams have an added incentive to reach the NFL Championship game. Potentially, this makes the 2021 NFL season even more exciting for the two franchises, especially if they can both make the Playoffs.
Los Angeles Rams
Under the leadership of head coach Sean McVay over the last five seasons, the Los Angeles Rams have posted winning records in all but his debut 2016 campaign. This includes a memorable run to Super Bowl LIII in 2018, only for the team to ultimately fall short against the New England Patriots. However, early numbers would suggest 2021 could be an exciting year for the franchise, having made a strong start.
While their 38-11 demolition of the New York Giants looked easy on paper for the Rams, head coach McVay was quite stark with his own analysis of the game. “It’s not good enough,” he told the Los Angeles Times, adding he was “not pleased with it” in terms of the overall performance. In truth, the Rams were slow to get going against one of the worst sides in the NFL, trailing 3-0 at the end of the first quarter before finding their rhythm.
Tight defensive work proved an important springboard for the Rams, although the coaching team believes room for improvement is needed in offense, especially in the midst of a schedule against theoretically much weaker teams. They have a great opportunity to cement their place in the playoffs picture, although greater effectiveness is needed getting points on the board in games.
Los Angeles Chargers
Since returning to Los Angeles from San Diego, the Chargers franchise has been largely disappointing, which ultimately cost Anthony Lynn his post as head coach, following a record of three losing seasons out of four. The appointment of Brandon Staley was aimed at bringing about a change of direction, although the 2021 campaign could prove to be a bumpy ride once more, largely due to the team struggling to find the consistency they need.
“…we learned a lot from this game and we're going to be better for sure”
— Los Angeles Chargers (@chargers) October 18, 2021
The Chargers were on the back of a good run heading into Week 6. They had posted an impressive 4-1 record and looked in great shape, especially on the back of battling wins against the Kansas City Chiefs, the Las Vegas Raiders and the Cleveland Browns. Then everything fell apart against the Baltimore Ravens, with the Chargers left battered and bruised following a crushing 6-34 defeat at the M&T Bank Stadium.
“The competition in the first six weeks has given us a really accurate look of where we can go as a team,” assured Staley, who remains quietly confident, despite his team having been ripped apart by the Ravens. He feels that after such a difficult and challenging schedule to begin the 2021 NFL regular season, coming away with a 4-2 record isn’t so bad, positive the Chargers will build on the four wins and learn from the two defeats.
Can Either Team Go All The Way?
While both the Rams and the Chargers have posted winning starts, there’s a long way to go before fans of either team can think about getting the confetti ready. Likewise, while both of the Los Angeles franchises are currently sitting pretty, firmly in the hunt for Playoff spots within the early AFC and NFC standings, plenty of work lies ahead. Still, both the Rams and the Chargers are considered amongst the top ten NFL teams, looking at Super Bowl futures.
According to the latest Super Bowl winner markets, the Rams are valued anywhere from +800 to +1000 with leading sportsbooks, while the Chargers are priced from +1400 to +1700 odds to lift the Vince Lombardi Trophy. This is why comparing odds is always worthwhile, therefore checking reviews for the online best betting sites with SBO makes good sense, before backing which of the Los Angeles franchises could go all the way.
SBO provides a constantly updated list of all the top betting sites, ranking each based on the value of their odds and promotions, along with focusing on other key elements. These include rating sportsbooks for the quality of their mobile apps, while providing honest appraisals for consistency, value and transparency. NFL betting picks are also published, which hopefully means that looking ahead, both the Chargers and the Rams will feature in Playoff tips this year.