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Why isn’t anyone taking the under on the Los Angeles Rams in 2018?

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There’s something strange going on with respect to how people view the 2018 Los Angeles Rams and I’m not just talking about the fact that for the first time in a long Youth Andrew Whitworth Jersey , long, long time, people actually expect us to win.It’s how much they expect us to win. And how nearly unanimous that expectation is.In our final staff predictions for the 2018 season, every single one of us had the Rams winning games in the double digits. Even more, an overwhelming majority (biased though we are) had us winning at least 13 games. In nearly every season preview that included a win-loss projection, the Rams were coming up with 10 or 11 or 12 or 13 wins.So it’s not limited just to inside our bubble. Everyone is looking at 10+ wins.Which is very, very, very strange since the over/under that was coming out of Vegas and online bookmakers was right around 9.5 or 10 wins. Which means that there’s money backing up the under.There just aren’t any voices saying so.This was Rich Hammond just yesterday:Why did Hammond take any heat for an 11-win season? The obvious answer is that Rams fans are overwhelmingly excited by the prospects of the 2018 season. But it’s also clear that they’re being incited by a national referendum on the Rams that has avoided even the possibility of ending up with single-digit wins.Consider this piece from Sports Illustrated’s Max Meyer, the only piece I’ve seen from the offseason that seriously considered taking the under (which is exactly what he does at 9.5 wins).On the coaching changes that saw former Rams Offensive Coordinator Matt LaFleur take the same job title, albeit with broader responsibilities, with the Tennessee Titans while the Rams’ 2017 quarterbacks coach, Greg Olson, took a promotion to become the OC with the Oakland Raiders:On the offensive line and field position:And the competitive balance of the NFC:Now look, I’m not about to change my 12-4 prediction or anything like that. Obviously, this isn’t a season to be necessarily hesitant to support. The starting roster is stacked. Last season was a blessing.But I find it unusually strange not that fans and media are excited about the Rams’ 2018 season, but the near unanimity supporting the Rams this year.NFL seasons are Womens Rodger Saffold Jersey , as last year proved yet again as they tend to every year, weird. They’re unpredictable. There are Los Angeles Rams and Jacksonville Jaguars teams that take a jump forward. There are Green Bay Packers and Houston Texans teams that looked set up for success that were felled by injury. And there were Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants and Oakland Raiders teams that just fell below the bar for various reasons.Which is why I find it so odd that nearly everyone...nearly EVERYONE is backing the Rams to manage the process, to navigate the weirdness successfully.It’s heartening, sure. But it’s also piling on to those lofty expectations that have been building since February.Buckle the hell up, Rams fans... Von Miller might be the only one at Denver Broncos headquarters lamenting Khalil Mack's startling trade from the Oakland Raiders to the Chicago Bears."I mean, honestly, I was shocked," Miller said. "I always felt like Khalil and Aaron Donald were untradeable guys. J.J. Watt, I thought guys like that were untradeable. Then they traded him. A guy like Khalil, he only comes around once every lifetime. You want to keep guys like that."The Broncos' star linebacker said it's "going to be a little weird" Sunday not seeing his friend, whom he's trained with the last two summers, when the Raiders (0-1) visit Denver (1-0), where Mack once collected five sacks in a single half."He's talented," Broncos QB Case Keenum said, "but I'm pretty sure they're going to play 11 guys. They're not just going to put 10 out there without him."Raiders new/old coach Jon Gruden said he's been asked aplenty about the trade that sent shockwaves through the NFL and smiles across locker rooms across the AFC West."And rightfully so," Gruden said. "He's a great guy. He's a great player. It's unfortunate we don't have him. But we feel we did the right thing for this football team http://www.ramsfootballauthentics.com/tyler-higbee-jersey-authentic , for the future of the Raiders and for this building process."I know we've got to prove it. But so does he."Mack began doing just that Sunday night at Green Bay , fresh off signing a six-year, $141 million contract, $26.5 million more than Miller got in 2016 in the shadows of his Super Bowl 50 MVP performance.Hours after Miller wrecked Seattle's game plan by sacking Russell Wilson three times and snaring the ball out of power back Chris Carson's arms for a forced fumble and fumble recovery, Mack burst into the NFC North conversation with a pick-6 and a strip sack of backup QB DeShone Kizer in which he, too, snatched the ball from his opponent.Whereas Miller's showing led to a 27-24 Denver victory, Mack's dominant debut was rendered a footnote when Aaron Rodgers returned from a knee injury at halftime to lead the Packers back from a 20-point deficit for a 24-23 win.One night later, the Raiders lost 33-13 to the Rams, barely touching quarterback Jared Goff just over a week after trading their star pass rusher to the Bears for a package that included two first-round picks. Bruce Irvin had the only sack when Goff held the ball too long.Mack is still on the Raiders' minds.Quarterback Derek Carr said he misses his friendship more than his play on the field."We still text, and we still talk all the time, but not seeing him every day is weird," Carr said. "I think that was the hardest part."Other subplots as the Broncos seek their sixth straight 2-0 start:KING STINGBroncos punter Marquette King didn't want to talk about Gruden this week, but he made it clear he had hard feelings over his release from the Raiders this spring.He said he never had a chance to speak with Oakland's coach before getting jettisoned."I just saw him on car commercials and stuff," King said. "I get to see him two times a year."And that was certainly a factor in King's decision to come to Denver."I just wanted to find the best place that I thought I would fit," King said. "I think there is somewhat of a revenge factor in there http://www.ramsfootballauthentics.com/samson-ebukam-jersey-authentic , too."BRYANT BACKBroncos coach Vance Joseph said Martavis Bryant's re-signing with Oakland only adds to Denver's already stiff challenge Sunday."Absolutely. He's a guy that's a vertical threat. I faced him in Cincinnati when he was in Pittsburgh for six games. He caught a 98-yard touchdown on my secondary, so I won't ever forget that," Joseph said.PRESSURE POINTAfter trading Mack, there were questions about how the Raiders would generate a pass rush. The results weren't good in the opener as Oakland had one sack and four quarterback pressures against the Rams.The Raiders had more pressures in every game last year with Mack leading the defense.Gruden said playing better defense on first and second down will give Bruce Irvin and Arden Key more chances to get to the QB on third down."You have to get them on third-and-long when you can cut loose your blitzes and some of your great rushers," he said.HOUSE OF HORRORSGruden has had little success in Denver in his career, losing all five trips to the Mile High City. Gruden lost every year with Oakland from 1998-2001, and again with Tampa Bay in his final year as a coach there in 2008.In all, Gruden's teams are 1-9 against the Broncos, with the one win coming in Oakland in 2001. The Raiders won 38-28 on Nov. 5, 2001, behind three TD passes by Rich Gannon.He has fond memories of that lone victory over Denver."That was the greatest win of my career as the Raiders coach, beating the Broncos," Gruden said, "because I knew how far we'd come in just a few years."

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