With the 2013 season comes great expectations of building on the accomplishments of last season, only furthered by what is widely considered one of the best draft classes in the league. With this in mind, and based on my knowledge of the current roster and what I think they are really capable of doing this year, I thought I'd take a shot at predicting the outcome of the 2013 St. Louis Rams season.
I think this game will only further the expectations of the coming season, and by that I mean I think the Rams make a statement opening up at home. The Cardinals will still have a learning curve with their new QB under center, as well as their new running back core that will likely be led by Mendenhall. While Jonathan Cooper will provide an immediate plug in what was arguably the worst offensive line in the league last year, there is very little a guard will be able to do about Long and Quinn. Rams show glimpses of what the offense is capable of in week 1.
On paper, this has the making of a very interesting football game. I believe the Rams have the personnel to handle the constant threats on offense Atlanta will bring to the table, now including Steven Jackson (sniffle, sniffle). Defensively, Atlanta never really turned any heads last year, but the additions they made to their defensive line and their secondary should prove to fix some immediate needs. The Rams should hang in the game for a while, but ultimately I think Atlanta's powerhouse offense will make some plays late to take home the W.
Reeling from a week 2 loss, I feel like the Rams will come back in a big way in week 3. They match up pretty well across the board. The toughest questions to answer to me will be Dez Bryant and Demarco Murray (assuming he hasn’t pulled something by this point). Since it’s the Cowboys, their defense will likely be vulnerable and Tony Romo will likely spend a decent amount of the game on his behind. A road game in Dallas is no gimme, but I think the Rams pull out a win here.
VS. San Francisco
Ah, yes. The matchup that both teams look forward to all offseason. I’m really hoping this will be another thriller, perhaps with a bit more offense than the last one. While I’d like to think the Rams will play up to the magnitude of the game and spank the niners, I’m going to have to be realistic here. In my opinion, they are the best team in the NFL with seemingly no holes at a single position. That being said, analysts were saying the same things about these games last year and the Rams still gave the niners fits. Hoping for the best, but I’m going to listen to my head over my heart on this one.
This game should give St. Louis the chance to really come together as a team and show the league what they are capable of when firing on all cylinders. Sure, easy enough against Jacksonville right? Maybe not. If MJD is still healthy at this point in the season, he will surely get his touches and most likely find pay dirt. Sure enough, this will be Blackmon’s first game back from his suspension, so take that for what it is. Either way, I think the Rams win comfortably and show some offense that hasn’t been seen for years.
This is definitely one of the more interesting games of the season. Houston really wasn’t playing well by the end of last season and had many questions emerge on defense that they couldn’t fully address in the draft or free agency. Nevertheless, they’ll get their points on offense, although, if I’m going to trust anyone to combat the Houston’s zone blocking scheme it’s going to be Jeff Fisher. Though I’m picking this as a loss, if I were to pick one upset game for the Rams this season it would be this one.
It becomes difficult to pick the Rams in road games given they were fairly poor in them last year. This could be due to the youth of the team and the inexperience, so another year could give them a boost for 2013. Carolina presents an interesting matchup that will be tough to predict based simply on nobody knowing what kind of Cam Newton we’ll see in his junior season. Their defense is greatly improved and just came off a very solid draft that addressed the d-line issues. I’m going with the Rams in a close one.
Could we see a sophomore slump out of Russell Wilson? God I hope so. Even so, the Rams gave him fits in both games last year, and I saw very little during the Seattle offseason to suggest we won’t do it again, at least as it applies to the pass rush. Maybe I stand alone on this, but I’m just not so sure the Seahawks are as good as advertised. Sure, they’re an up and coming team with a high ceiling. But 6/1 odds to win it all? Give me a break. I’ll take the Rams at home on prime time!
The Rams may have one of the toughest schedules in the NFL, but by no means does that mean there aren’t some very winnable games on there. The Titans look like they’ll give Locker one more year to prove himself, and if you ask me, I just don’t think he has what it takes. I also don’t think Chris Johnson stands a chance against our defense, which with the addition of Ogletree should be greatly improved against the run. Worst case scenario, Fitzpatrick has won the job by this point, which as we saw last year shouldn’t be a big deal at all. Rams win comfortably.
Another very interesting game that should prove to be a great matchup. Here’s hoping for another sophomore slump! Andrew Luck certainly lived up to expectations in terms of touchdowns, but he also turned the ball over a pretty healthy amount. I’ll look for the Rams to exploit this and make some plays on defense to win this game. Hopefully the offense will feel comfortable playing on turf, even if it is away from home. I really do see this game as a tossup on paper, but for the sake of not being such a homer, I guess I’ll have to take Indy.
Now I don’t know about the rest of TST, but boy, do I hate the Bears. I hate Jay Cutler. I hated Brian Urlacher. I hated them for stealing Lovie Smith. I hate their fan base. I hate them. Period. Anyway, back to business. While I do hate the Bears as I took a brief section to note, I really do believe that the Rams will beat them at home. The Bears will likely be in a transitional period with a new coach and losing a presence like Urlacher is not something easy for a team to adjust to, even if it is toward the middle of the season. Rams win. Bears lose. Win-win for me.
@ San Francisco
I’ve already spent some time talking about the niners, so I’ll be brief. I didn’t pick us at home, so it’d seem a bit odd to pick us on the road. Sorry folks. Here’s hoping I’m wrong on both accounts.
I just refuse to believe Arizona will be better this year. Rams win.
VS. New Orleans
I’m having trouble deciding how good the Saints will be this year. They’ll surely be full of confidence having their coach back, not to mention the offensive genius Sean Peyton is. Even so, their defense will surely be in a transitional period with several young pieces in play. I believe Rob Ryan is a wonderful d-coordinator, and I feel like I was one of the few people on TST that was excited when we ‘hired’ him. I still trust you Fish. We’ve always played the Saints tough. I’ll do it. I’ll go out on a limb and do it. Rams win.
VS. Tampa Bay
This was probably the most fun game to watch for the Rams last year. The offense was clicking, the defense was fierce, capitalizing on turnovers and looking as good as we all know they can be. It’s starting to become tough to figure Josh Freeman out, but I still think he is a functional QB to say the least. The addition of Revis should be fun, but there’s only so much the guy can do. I think Tampa improves this year, but not as much as I feel the Rams will improve, and throwing a home game on top of that is a recipe for victory.
Does anybody ever win at CenturyLink?....I mean seriously, does anyone ever win at CenturyLink?
Now, if my math is correct that puts us at 10-6 for the season with a strong possibility of a playoff appearance. Looking at many of my picks, I feel like I was pretty conservative, giving us 2 losses against the niners, a team we played very well against last year as well as losses to teams I feel we are very capable of beating, like Indy and Atlanta. I feel like 10-6 will put this team right on schedule, continuing to build on the success of last season, and hopefully leading to more wins for years to come. Thanks for reading and Go Rams.