Monday, August 8, 2011

2011 Season Preview: St Louis Rams

2010 Record: 7-9

2010 Rankings:
Total Offense - 26
Passing Offense - 21
Rushing Offense - 25
Scoring Offense - 26
Total Defense - 19
Pass Defense - 19
Rush Defense - 17
Scoring Defense - 12


The fact that the Rams offense ranked in the 20s in every major statistical category and the team still had the opportunity to win the division and have a home playoff game going into the last week of the season speaks volumes about just how bad the NFC West was last season. To help give last year's first overall pick Sam Bradford some more weapons in the passing game, the Rams went out in free agency and brought in WR Mike Sims-Walker from Jacksonville and RB Jerious Norwood from Atlanta. They also signed guard Harvey Dahl (formerly of Atlanta to help up front). They also added weapons by drafting Lance Kendricks (TE-Wisconsin) and Austin Pettis (WR-Boise St). Rams weren't that far from winning the division last year and should contend again this year, especially if Steven Jackson can stay healthy for the whole season. Jackson has put up 6-straight 100-yard rushing seasons despite only playing a full season twice in that span. As a sleeper, watch out for WR Danny Amondela who new OC Josh McDaniels might employ in a Wes Welker slot receiver type role.


The Rams took some big steps to improving their defense this offseason by drafting former North Carolina DE Robert Quinn in the first round of the draft and safety Quintin Mikell in free agency. Mikell was a good pickup who will aid the Rams run defense. He's not afraid to stick his nose in the pile, finishing 28th amongst defensive backs in tackles last year. The Rams defense was better in 2010 than in 2009, and should be even better in 2011. Their corners are still somewhat of a question mark, but luckily they play in the worst division in football. The Rams pass rush should be even better with Quinn this year than it was last year, when they finished 7th in the league with 43 sacks. 


The Rams play in the worst division in football and came a quarter away from winning the division last year. They had more injured receivers last year than Albert Pujols home runs, which didn't serve rookie QB Sam Bradford very well. With a healthy receiving corps and a stable of running backs to help take some of the weight off Steven Jackson, the Rams should be the favorites to win the NFC West, even if it's with an 8-8 record.

If the Rams were a Beer, they would be:

Michelob Ultra

There's nothing really spectacular about Michelob Ultra, but when you compare it to the other slate of beers that Anheuser-Busch make, I suppose it would be best of the bunch. Similarly, the Rams aren't really anything spectacular at the moment, but when you compare them with the other teams in their division, well, they most certainly have an even-odds shot at coming out on top.

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