Training camp is in high gear, but today the Rams get a much deserved day off. So far injuries have been minimal, with the usual hamstring and cramping incidents however Ron Bartell suffered a minor ankle sprain yesterday. It isn't believed to be anything serious.
With the break in activities I thought I would put together a small piece on the first half of the Rams schedule. Let's be honest, it's beyond brutal. Eagles at our place, at the Giants, at the Superbowl champs, Baltimore... OH the pain.
But, if the Rams want to be the best, you have to beat the best. Let's face it, when you compare the Rams of old, it's easy to say it looks like a brutal schedule however, no one can argue that the Rams haven't improved through the draft and free agency.
With that said, after the jump let's look at the first 7 games of the NFL season (8 weeks in).
NOTE: There is a poll I'd like everyone to take at the end.
Week 1: Eagles at the Rams
This one will be a very tough game. We're all familiar with all the free agency moves the Eagles have made this year as they know the time is short to get that Lombardi trophy. The Rams will need to play absolutely perfect football to even have a chance in this one. Even if a major injury occurs for the Eagles, they are like.. stacked in depth. This is a team everyone is crowning already, and while I say it's extremely premature, let's be honest... they will be a damn good football team this year.
Week 2: Rams at the Giants (Monday Night)
OK this one will also be tough. The Giants have been relatively quiet on the free agency front and there are still questions surrounding Osi, but still, they are no push overs. And on a Monday night, at home? This one will be tough... but make no mistake about it, i'd give anything to see the Rams pull this one out... which is doable.. at least more doable than the Eagles game.
Week 3: Ravens at the Rams
OK here we go. Coming off a short week, Ray Lewis comes to town. Once again, not an easy game. As a matter of fact, i'm worried about this one. The Ravens are a tough defensive team, but they do have some questions on offense. I think the question here will be, can we score enough points against this stout defense? We do have a shot in this one, but still, very,very tough game.
Week 4: Redskins at the Rams
Finally, a game that is extremely winnable. If the Rams lose this game it would be nothing short of disappointment. This is a must win game for the Rams. Good teams win games they are supposed to win, and this qualifies as such. That coupled with at home, should spell an easy win for the Rams.
Week 5: Bye
Week 6: Rams at the Packers
OK here we go again. The Superbowl champions are next on the agenda, at their home field. The scheduling gods did us no favors by slapping this on the schedule. The good news? It's October 16th, not December (same holds true for the Giants game in September). This would be a major upset if the Rams pull it off. The Packers come in basically intact. If the Rams (god forbid) are 1-4 at this point, I can see the line 14 points in this one.
Week 7: Rams at the Cowboys
The Rams get no break as they head to Texas for this match up. The Cowboys will be beatable here. They are a good football team but the Rams could very well win this game even though the media will portray it as a major upset. I for one am not impressed with the Cowboys and believe we should win this game.
Week 8: Saints at the Rams
Two words. Tough game. The Saints are still a very good football team, particularly on offense. Even though this will be tough, this could be an all out shootout as the Rams will have 7 games with McDaniel's system under their belt. Not to mention, the defense should be improved as well. Winnable? I can't say no.
All in all, the first half of the season appears to be extremely tough but I like it that way. There are so many question marks right now that it's hard to say just how the season will pan out however, even with major improvement many of these games will still be extremely tough.
Oh and BTW, Peyton Hillis and company (AT Cleveland) would be the next game after the Saints. That one will be no easy game either.
How do you think the Rams will fare through the first half of the season?