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Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Tame Rams may be the worst team in the NFL

Problems set to intensify in LA

The Los Angeles Rams have plenty to think about
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While for some teams the season is about launching themselves into the quest for Super Bowl glory, for others priorities have to be more modest and the race to avoid being the worst team in the league is usually hotly contested.

A price of 14-1 is available for any team to fail to win any of their 16 regular-season matches, something that has only been 'achieved' once in a full-length campaign - Detroit gained that notoriety in 2008 - and plenty of observers believe the New York Jets have a great chance of joining the club this year.

Admittedly, the signs do not look good. The Jets have allowed plenty of experienced hands leave the building, even though they will be led by 38-year-old quarterback Josh McCown, and it is a big ask for the youngsters to hit the ground running, which has left many to say that they could tank this season and grab a quarterback with the number one pick in next year's draft.

However, while it would be difficult for them to reach the five victories they posted last season, they might still not be the worst team in the league.

Chicago and San Francisco are fancied by many to struggle, but the value could lie with the Los Angeles Rams.

It is difficult to see where the Rams are going after they bet the farm on last year's number-one pick Jared Goff and the former California quarterback has just not looked up to it.

Their defence cannot be relied upon to do it all on their own and their two meetings with NFC West rivals San Francisco will be key if they are not to finish bottom.

Apart from those matches, the only game where it could be argued they may be something close to favourites is a Week Six trip to Jacksonville. They could be in for a tough ride and look good value to finish bottom of the pile.

That distinction went to Cleveland last year, who claimed a solitary win in a Week 16 success over the Chargers, but the Browns could be set for better things this term.

It may be a bit daunting for rookie DeShone Kizer to take over as quarterback but, frankly, he couldn't be a lot worse than some of his recent predecessors and should be helped by a strong offensive line, which should also allow running back Isaiah Crowell to flourish.

With divisional rivals Baltimore and Cincinnati perhaps not being as intimidating as they have been in the past and matches against the Chargers, Chicago, Jacksonville and the Jets, Hue Jackson's team can win at least five games. They clocked up an unbeaten 4-0 pre-season record with top pick Myles Garrett looking a major weapon in their defence.

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One team who may fall short of their tally is Arizona, where veteran quarterback Carson Palmer may be on the wane and where a lot of faith is being placed on a few top players including running back David Johnson and seasoned wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald.

With four divisional games against the Rams and 49ers, they shouldn't slump but the rest of the schedule looks tricky and they may not be able to claim a winning record after last year's 7-8-1 campaign.

Prices are available for each team to reach the playoffs, ranging from the 1-14 New England to 25-1 New York Jets, and there could be some value in supporting Tampa Bay to extend their season.

The Buccaneers are a team who are on the up and talented quarterback Jameis Winston has plenty of weapons at his disposal.

The defence is pretty strong too and even if they fall short of pipping Atlanta to the NFC South title, they have a great chance of doing enough to earn a wildcard spot.

LA Rams to have worst record
1pt 12-1 Paddy Power
Cleveland over 4.5 wins
2pts 5-6 Sky Bet
Arizona under 8.5 wins
2pts Evs Coral, Ladbrokes
Tampa Bay to make the playoffs
1pt 13-8 Coral, Ladbrokes

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They bet the farm on last year's number-one pick Jared Goff and the former California quarterback has just not looked up to it
E.W. Terms
Sky bet