Scheduling conflict

 

Fans of "60 Minutes" and the Rams got good news last night. Upon seeing the Rams' 2009 schedule, you won't have to choose between watching the Rams or Andy Rooney since the Rams don't play on Sunday evening...or Monday evening for that matter. Oh well. It's tough to make the case for two-win teams NOT playing in a top five media market to get a prime time game...especially a team that found itself perpetually blacked out in the home market. 

A couple more thoughts on the schedule:

 

  • Opening on the road against a bitter division rival is a tall order for a team in rebuilding mode. Fortunately, the Seahawks are doing a little rebuilding of their own. The season opener should give us some insight into the effect the new coaches are having on this team, and it gives them a chance to immediately show us a renewed passion for football. 
  • Not only do the Rams start with three of four on the road, after opening in Seattle they travel to the other side of the country to play at Washington. Hello, jet lag. 
  • Right now, it looks like the roughest part of the schedule are weeks 13-16 when the Rams play at Chicago, at Tennessee, vs Houston, and at Arizona. Houston has made big strides and right now, on paper, they look like a decent team. If Seattle has a good team, that rough stretch could get even longer as the Rams play Arizona and the Seahawks in St. Louis in weeks 11 and 12. 

 

I can't look at the schedule right now and try to predict what's a win and what's not, and the first half doesn't really seem to be much easier than the second half.

The Rams matchups against the AFC South are split between the two halves of the season: Indy and Jacksonville in the first half and Tennessee and Houston in the second. That may not seem as rough as drawing the NFC East last season, but only one team in the AFC South, Jacksonville, finished below .500 and two teams, Indy and Tennessee made the playoffs. Chris Long, Ron Bartell and the Rams pass defense will be tested against the Colts and Texans, who had the 2nd and 10th best passing offenses.

The NFC North is only a slightly better matchup. Obviously, Chicago has made some big improvements during the offseason, but will Pace be healthy when the Rams face the Bears in week 13? The Rams offensive line will get a big test against the Vikings, who had a top five defense against both the pass and the run (accoridng to DVOA) and the second best sack rate of any team in the league.

The Rams reached historic lows for their run defense last season. How much improvement they've made will get a real test against Washington, New Orleans and Tennessee, each among the top ten rushing offenses last season.

The pass defense really has its work cut out for it. Besides the previously mentioned games with Indianapolis and Houston, they'll face Arizona and New Orleans' top ten passing attacks.

On the other side of the ball, the Rams don't get many breaks either. On top of Minnesota's run defense, Tennessee and Chicago ranked 5th and 6th against the run last year and Washington, who ranked 11th and held the Rams to 82 yards and no TDs on the ground, has upgraded significantly with the addition of Albert Haynesworth...which also means a very slight break against the Titans...maybe. Green Bay, Minnesota and Tennessee also feature top ten pass defenses from last year and Chicago, Indy and Washington ranked among the league top half in that category.

Road trips and games against two tough divisions aside, the schedule's not all bad, and certainly offers a better-led Rams team the chance to top their two-win season from 2008.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Turf Show Times

You must be a member of Turf Show Times to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Turf Show Times. You should read them.

Join Turf Show Times

You must be a member of Turf Show Times to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Turf Show Times. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker