I just wanted to breakdown last year (as much as I hate to) and analyze just how "bad" we really were. Before anyone hops in, I am keeping all statistics at bay, and analyzing simply by final scores, and injury impacts, and RB performance.
I am also wiping away the first 4 weeks, the end of the Linehan era because we all know how hard our guys played for him, and respected him. Not a lot...
Starting in week 6 after the bye... i'm not sure which weeks Jackson was injured.. .I believe after Dallas for 6 weeks... feel free to chime in.
WEEK 6: Win 19-17 @Washington (Jackson Leading Rusher)
WEEK 7: Win 34-14 Vs. Dallas (Jackson Leading Rusher)
------- Jackson Hurt? ------------
WEEK 8: Loss 16-23 @New England (Pittman Leading Rusher)
WEEK 9: Loss 13-34 Vs. Arizona (Bulger Leading Rusher... YES no typo)
WEEK 10: Loss @Jets 3-47 (Darby Leading Rusher)
WEEK 11: Loss @San Francisco 16-35 (Pittman Leading Rusher)
WEEK 12: Loss Vs. Chicago 3-27 (Darby Leading Rusher)
WEEK 13: Loss Vs. Miami 3-27 (Darby Leading Rusher)
------ Jackson Return? ------------
WEEK 14: Loss @Arizona 10-34 (Jackson Leading Rusher)
WEEK 15: Loss Vs. Seattle 20-23 (Jackson Leading Rusher)
WEEK 16: Loss Vs. San Francisco 16-17 (Jackson Leading Rusher)
WEEK 17: Loss @Atlanta 27-31 (JacksonLeading Rusher)
From what I see above, the Rams could have won 5 more game sthan they did quite easily... and yes I'm counting the New England game because they really played well in that one, even when Jacksonless.
So all said, the Rams "could" have been 7-9 if only 1 play were different in those games.
Another thing you'll notice above, is when Jackson is back, and is the leading rusher, the Rams either win, or can compete for a win.
If the Rams can successfully run the ball, stay healthy, and keep getting the aggressive defensive plays (winning turnover battles) who is to say where we can go.
Call me optimistic, hopeful, or whatever... but I think it can be done... a complete turnaround...
LET'S GO RAMS!!!