St. Louis Los Angeles Rams will be getting a lot of attention in the coming years with the events they're set to be part of.
The first is being selected as this year's team for HBO's Hard Knocks series. The show will follow the Rams as they figure out how to balance their move to Los Angeles next year while also getting prepared for the 2016 NFL season.
This obviously means the Cincinnati Bengals will not be featured in the show again this year after hosting it twice previously.
But there was probably no better team for Hard Knocks this year than the Rams. The storylines and intrigue with this team are very high as they get set for a move from St. Louis to Los Angeles. All of this, combined with nine straight losing seasons has put a lot of pressure on this team to perform big this year.
The Rams also feature one of the league’s most electrifying running backs in Todd Gurley, who rushed for 1,106 yards and 10 touchdowns in just 13 games last season as a rookie. The Rams also sport a loaded front seven that features All-Pro tackle Aaron Donald.
Perhaps doing well in 2016 applies to no one more than head coach Jeff Fisher. Four straight losing seasons under Fisher has put him firmly on the hot seat this season, and it's hard to see him being part of the team next year without winning at least eight games after going 7-8-1, 7-9 6-10 and 7-9 in his four years with the Rams.
But that's not all the team is involved in. ESPN's Adam Schefter reports the Rams will play a game in China in 2018.
Not only are Rams doing this summer's Hard Knocks, they also are expected to play a regular-season game in 2018 in China.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 23, 2016
The good news there is the NFL schedule rotation doesn't have the Bengals playing at Los Angeles until the 2019 season, so there will be no China trip for Cincinnati in 2018.
Teams potentially facing Rams in China in 2018: Green Bay, Minnesota, Kansas City, San Diego, Seattle, Arizona, #49ers & TBD NFC East team.— Matt Barrows (@mattbarrows) March 23, 2016
A game in Germany could come soon as well. Albert Breer of NFL Network reports the NFL is looking at the 2017 regular season as a possibility. Germany was previously considered a possibility for the 2016 season, but the NFL decided to only hold international games in Mexico City and London this year. Expansion to other markets has been a goal for the NFL.
This year, the NFL will stage three games in London and one in Mexico. The London matchups will feature Washington vs Cincinnati and Indianapolis vs Jacksonville at Wembley Stadium. The New York Giants will also face the Rams at Twickenham Stadium, a rugby stadium being used by the NFL for the first time, with the Rams as host.
Needless to say, it's clear the NFL's goal of expanding its product around the world is happening more and more as the years roll on.