The Los Angeles Rams will open their regular season in hostile territory, though the travel wasn't nearly as bad as it was in years past. The Rams now travel from Los Angeles, so it's not far to face their NFC West rivals, the San Francisco 49ers.
When the two teams meet under the bright lights of Monday Night Football, one player who won't be in action is rookie first overall pick Jared Goff. The Rams believe Goff can be their franchise quarterback of the future, but reports suggest Goff hasn't picked up the offense as quickly as the team hoped.
As a result, Goff isn't even the backup to starter Case Keenum, nor is he the emergency third quarterback behind backup Sean Mannion. Goff instead will be in street clothes while punter Johnny Hekker serves as the emergency signal caller should the first two go down.
It's a massive disappointment for Goff, especially considering that every first overall pick at quarterback in recent years has been ready to start in Week 1 of the regular season. Carson Wentz, the player selected right after Goff, will be starting for the Philadelphia Eagles, while fourth-round pick Dak Prescott is being counted on by the Dallas Cowboys in the wake of another back injury for Tony Romo.
So Keenum will start for the Rams, and if that wasn't clue enough that we're not in for a high-level quarterback duel, here's the reminder that the 49ers have Blaine Gabbert starting at quarterback.
Gabbert, who replaced Colin Kaepernick when he was performing poorly last season, beat Kaepernick in a quarterback battle in the preseason. Of course, it wasn't much of a battle because Kaepernick missed the first two preseason games with injury and by then, Gabbert was well ahead.
Neither quarterback has looked particularly impressive. Gabbert seems to be more stable, and with running back Carlos Hyde carrying the ball, Gabbert should at least keep the offense on the field for extended drives without turning the ball over constantly. Or maybe he can't do that, and Monday's game will be just as ugly as most figure it will be.
If the battle between Keenum and Gabbert doesn't excite you, the battle between Hyde and Todd Gurley should actually be noteworthy on the offensive side of the ball.
On defense, there is also some intrigue. The 49ers have some talent on that side, with NaVorro Bowman leading the way on defense. Head coach Chip Kelly enjoys two former Oregon first-round picks on the defensive line as well, and we're waiting to see if the pairing of Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner can create some havoc in the NFL.
For the Rams, there is some intrigue but also a lot of concerns. The starting middle linebacker has never played the position before, the weakside linebacker is a converted safety and the strongside linebacker ... well, doesn't quite exist?
Alec Ogletree is the middle linebacker, and he has at least found success elsewhere in the NFL. Mark Barron is the weakside linebacker and the team plans to use a combination of defensive backs "in those areas that a linebacker plays," according to defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.
Monday's game is the second of two special Week 1 Monday Night Football matchups. It's the latter match and is set to begin at 10:20 p.m. ET on ESPN. A live stream will be available on WatchESPN as well.
How to watch Rams vs. 49ers on Monday
Time: 10:20 p.m. ET
Location: Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara, Calif.
Announcers: Chris Berman, Steve Young
Online Streaming: WatchESPN