The schedule makers did not give the St. Louis Rams any breaks this season. Head coach Jeff Fisher gets to take on the AFC East and the NFC North in his first season of trying to steer the ship off the rocks for the Rams. He may have a little help from two of the Rams' high profile free agents. Kendall Langford, a former Dolphin, and Scott Wells, a long-time Packer, know those divisions very well.
And how did those two players fair last season against their former division rivals? Let's take a look.
For this, I'm just going to look at the 2011 season, where, ideally, things are a little more in line with what we'll see on the field this year.
Starting with Scott Wells ...
The idea for this first came to mind writing about the Lions and their recent troubles. Wells faced off against Ndamukong Suh several times in his career, sometimes directly and sometimes as members of opposing lines.
Using the numbers from Pro Football Focus, we can see Wells played a strong game against the Lions.
Week 3: Wells scored a 1.8 against the Bears that week, blocking well for the run and the pass.
Week 16: Wells scored a 0.8, getting low marks in pass protection for allowing a pressure and a hit.
Week 12: This was the stomping game from Suh. Wells scored a 1.0 that week, grading slightly below the line on the run.
Week 17: This was one of Wells' better games, scoring a 2.3. He drew a slight negative as a pass blocker for allowing a pressure, but was a stellar 2.4 in run blocking.
Week 7: He got a 3.5 this week, including a 2.4 grade in run blocking.
Week 10: This was his second-worst game of the regular season with a -1.9. He was fine in pass blocking, but got a poor -3.1 against the run.
All in all, it's pretty encouraging. Of course, playing in front of Aaron Rodgers certainly helps anyone's case. We'll dig a little deeper into the numbers as the season approaches and the matchups get clearer.
I'll take a look at Langford versus the AFC East in a later post.