Season Prediction for 2011

Taking a page from what Yahoo!'s Dr. Saturday blog is doing for college football season, I'm predicting the Rams season using terms that they are using.

Week 1 vs Philadelphia:  Toss-up (lean: win)

Week 2 @ New York Giants: Toss-up (lean: loss)

Week 3 vs Baltimore: Toss-up

Week 4 vs Redskins: Likely win

Week 6 @ Green Bay: Certain loss

Week 7 @ Dallas: Toss-up (lean: loss)

Week 8 vs New Orleans: Toss-up

Week 9 @Arizona: Likely win

Week 10 @Cleveland: Likely win

Week 11 vs Seattle: Certain win

Week 12 vs Arizona: Certain win

Week 13 @San Francisco: Likely win

Week 14 @Seattle: Toss-up (lean: loss)

Week 15 vs Cincinnati: Certain win

Week 16 @ Pittsburgh: Likely loss

Week 17 vs San Francisco: Body bag


Best case scenario: 13-3, top seed in the NFC.  Basically, the McDaniels offense works perfectly, Sam has a breakout year, Mike Sims-Walker is the new Brandon Lloyd, and Steven Jackson wins the MVP because of his new and more experienced yet young o-line and an improved pass game that keeps defenses from keying in on him.  The defense is lights out thanks to a never-ending pass-rush and a strong secondary to go with improved linebackers.

Worst case scenario: 7-9, probably win NFC West but maybe we don't.  The team doesn't really fit well with the McDaniels offense as no receiver emerges as a real no. 1, Steven has a pretty good year thanks to Harvey Dahl but Sam has a little bit of a sophomore slump and struggles early against good competition.  Robbins and Hall were one-year wonders as opposed to the wonders of the ageless variety.  The pass-rush isn't quite as good as last year as Quinn struggles to adapt after a year off football, and only Long improves from last year.  Meet the new OLBs, same as the old OLBs, and the secondary is good but the safety position called Not Quintin Mikell is exploited a lot.

Most likely scenario (my prediction): 11-5 (losses to NYG, GB, Dallas, NO, Pittsburgh), win NFC West but probably the 3 or 4-seed in the NFC playoffs.  I definitely wouldn't be surprised to see us lose more games, especially to divisional rivals.  Bradford is better than last year, the offense takes a big step forward from last season, nobody becomes Bradon Lloyd but our receiving corps plays very well this year, the young tight ends play well, the red zone offense is solid, and Steven has a good year like 2009 or 2006.  He's also a good receiving threat.  Defensively, Hall and Robbins aren't as good as last year but they aren't old wash-ups either.  Put them with Long and Quinn as well as the new DTs Bannan and Muir, and the pass-rush is very good.  The new OLBs aren't great, but they're better, and Laurinaitis continues to improve.  The secondary is solid, and Bartell and Fletcher are both shutdown corners.  The nickelback is a position of weakness, as is the safety opposite Mikell, but overall the team is very good.


What's everybody else predicting?  Any games that you see differently than I?

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