Thursday, July 25, 2013

A Long Walk Home: St Louis Rams Season Preview

2012 Record: 7-8-1

2012 Rankings

Total Offense: 23
Passing Offense: 18
Rushing Offense: 19
Scoring Offense: 25

Total Defense: 14
Passing Defense: 15
Rushing Defense: 15
Scoring Defense: 14


The 2013 Rams won't be the same old Rams that everyone has been accustomed to seeing the last decade. Gone is workhorse back Steven Jackson with no clear replacement. The Rams will likely take a Running Back-by-committee approach with Daryl Richardson, Isaiah Pead and Zac Stacy. St Louis finally added an offensive weapon for Sam Bradford in West Virginia star Tavon Austin. The Rams receiving corps was inconsistent last season, and Austin provides the electricity to take it to the house any time he touches the ball. The addition of former first overall pick Jake Long at LT gives the Rams some stability up front and is a drastic improvement on Bradford's blind side.


The Rams were a middle-of-the-pack defense last year that is looking to make the jump into the elite. They are loaded with talent at all three levels with bookend pass rushers Chris Long and Robert Quinn that both recorded double-digit sacks last year. They might have one of the best 4-3 linebacking units in the league with James Laurinitis anchoring the middle and rookie Alec Ogletree stepping in next to him. The biggest question mark is at safety, but their corners (Courtland Finnegan and Janoris Jenkins) are good enough to make things hard on opposing receivers.


Jeff Fisher has done a heck of a job turning this team around. Through a series of trades, they parlayed the #2 overall pick last year (the RGIII pick) into 7 players: Michael Brokers, Jenkins, Pead, Rokevious Watkins, Ogletree, Stedman Bailey, and Stacy. That's quite the haul and almost all of them could contribute significantly this season.


If they didn't play in the NFC West, the Rams might be talked about as having one of the best defenses in the league heading into this season. However, since division rivals Seattle and San Francisco are absolutely loaded on the defensive side of the ball, no one is talking about St. Louis. This team will go as far as their offense will carry them, but there are too many question marks at the skill positions for this team to make the playoffs this year. 8-8

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