The season has arrived and the Rams finally get to unleash their new roster. Some are anxious to Tavon Austin, some Sam Bradford, some Jared Cook, but me I am simply anxious to see some Ram football. But if I had to pick anything in particular, it would be Brian Schottenheimer's play calling and how creative he will. But any-who not here for that. Finally going to go over the Rams entire schedule. From top to bottom making a prediction for every game with a sample size analysis.
In all honesty there is no team that scares me more on the schedule than Arizona. This is a genuinely good football team that continues to get overlooked. That is how teams ultimately end up surprising the NFL. I believe if the Cardinals were in a different division like the the AFC south or something, they could be favorites to win. The biggest question mark for this team is the running back position. You really have no clue what you have there. Mendalhall hasn't been Mendenhall for two years. I like Carson Palmer in Bruce Arians system, look for him to have one of his better years this year. But the thing that is most scary is that defense. They are damn good and do not get enough respect. I said way back in my "Mock Draft" series that I believe Tyrann Mathieu would be the steal of the draft because I believed he would be a third round pick. My feelings have not changed. This guy is the definition of impact player. Then you have Patrick Peterson and you have to just stop and scratch your head. The front seven is so talented they can give our front seven a run for its money. And there special teams are amazing. And can't forget Larry Fitzgerald. This team is exceptionally good.
The Rams on the other hand still have the upper hand. While Arizona made some nice improvements to their offensive line they weren't exactly home runs. With the exception of drafting Johnathon Cooper, who has a broken leg, they didn't bring in a Jake Long type of player. And with the running back position being an issue they will rely heavily on the pass. The more drop backs the more our D-Line can get after them. While I don't expect any more 9 sack performances, I believe 5 is achievable. This game will come down to the who can run the ball best and special teams. I give the edge to St. Louis.
Final: Arizona 17, St. Louis 34
HEEEEEYYYY JACK!!! Remember this?!?!?
I believe this will be an interesting game. Forget the headlines, "St. Louis will face its all time leader rusher!", and blah blah blah. Yes I am sure emotions will be running high. But let's remember something this is a team game, and its bigger than one person. And as a team, Atlanta sucked vs the run last year. And they were not that hot vs the pass either. Hence, why their first two draft picks were spent on corner, and they scoured the free agent pool looking for pass rushers. The defense is an issue in the dirty south. On offense, well I am not even going to go there. One of the best in the league. When they get clicking and doesn't take long, the fireworks go off, and everyone just enjoys the show.
St. Louis will get after Matt Ryan though. He is a lead footed QB who can't avoid pressure, which is why they focus on keep him a stout and sterdy O-Line. Also I am expecting a field day when it comes to racking up yards for the Rams. Expect Tavon Austin and Chris Givens to destroy this defense. Cook will not be as much of a factor because William Moore will be all over him, and he happens to be a top 5 NFL safety. Also I am looking forward to some big runs. While Atlanta attempted to fix the pass defense, they did very little to sure up the run defense. Rams win a surprise thriller.
Final: St Louis 34, Atlanta 31
This is where I am expecting the Rams to run into a headache. Tony Romo is going to have a field day in this game. The Cowboys have a lot of weapons, and unlike Matt Ryan, Romo can give himself as much time as he needs. He is a dangerous quarterback. And the Rams struggle with running QB's who don't run by design. When we expect the run, we are good. But when the run is improvisational, there are big gains. Our pass rush is so aggressive when tend to give guys like Romo, who are viewed as pocket passers, big games on the ground. We have done it with Romo and Aaron Rogers none stop over the last 4 seasons. With all those weapons when Romo decides to run around but not cross the LOS, the inexperience at safety will show. The rams will also struggle to run the ball in this game. The pass will not come easy either as we will be facing a corner duo that is very underrated and did not get the respect they deserved last year. Dallas takes this one.
Final: St. Louis 10, Dallas 24
This game going to be full of energy. The all time record between these two teams is 62-62-3. The last six meetings, the winner has won by 8 or less points 4 times, one was a tie, while the sixth game was a 26-0 blow out. And you have to know that it bothers the hell out of the niners that they are being picked to win the Super Bowl by so many people, yet win the game are picked so many times you see the season series being split with a team only some are picking to even make the wild card. It's like a slap in the face to them that that team happens to be their biggest rival. All this talk about form the media that never showed the two teams any sort of real attention for the last 10 years, is about the rival in this division being between the Seahawks and 49ers. B.S., ask any fan, blogger, or local media outlet for either team and they will say this game.
The niners are going to come out on fire in this game. Expect explosive plays left and right. And Frank Gore will have his usual success vs us. With all the fiery emotions expect plenty of penalties as well. And its because of the penalties that even with the explosive plays set to take place, this will be a defensive struggle. It will come down to who's defense will fold first. I have to tell you I don't like our odds. Because running the ball will not be an option in this game. Against a team this physical you have to have power, and I have noticed D. Rich looks a little bigger, so I looked it up and he gained 10 lbs in the off-season and is now up to 206, but that is still not his game. We have two rookies who will play that game, but at the end of the day they are rookies. I have the 49ers, coming and giving us an early season home loss.
Final San Fransisco 21, St. Louis 10
Random thought; can you imagine how hype this game would be if this was the team Steven Jackson signed with instead?
This should be a statement game. This years Jaguars should be the worst team the Rams have faced in years. After coming off a disappointing loss to the 49ers, you should see the team fired up. Jeff Fisher seems to be good at reigniting the fire under his team before things spiral out of control. I don't even know where to start with this team. Let's just put it this was I expect the offense to steam roll their defense. And our defense to come away with 3 interceptions, and 6 sacks. Rams win easy, Tavon, Givens, and Cook each have at least 80 yds.
Final Jaguars 6, St. Louis 38
I was there for this fight, sitting in the front row, and let me tell you, it tickled the hell out of me HAHAHAHA.
This game will be one of the toughest. Its like facing the 49ers defense and the Falcons offense. This team can be so explosive. We really have to be on our A game in this one. Stopping Arian Foster will be the number one issue. I expect Alec Olgetree's assignment for this game is stay in his hip pocket. Because while he is an extremely dangerous runner, he is just as scary as a receiver. It will also be nice to see Cortland Finnegan match up against his old pal Andre Johnson. I think the best match-up will be between Janoris Jenkins and Deandre Hopkins. Hopkins is the real deal and will make Jenks work his ass. It won't be an easy day at the office that's for sure. On the other side of the ball J.J. Watt is going to kick the shit out of Roger Saffold and Harvey Dahl, excuse my french. I hate to say it, but I don't think they stand a chance against this young man. For starters there is no stopping him, you can only slow him down. To do that you need an extremely strong O-Lineman, with quick feet. Dahl is strong but not quick footed, Saffold is quick footed, but not extremely strong. Throw in Brian Cushing coming down and blitzing randomly and the pass rush is going to get out of hand. This has the potential to be a game where the first three quarters is a knock down, slug it out, dog fight, defensive battle. But the fourth things will finally start to break open. The Rams lose a close one.
Final St. Louis 20, Houston 24
This game is real simple, stop Cam Newton win the game. Cam has shown in the pass if you get him on the ground a few times early that you will get into his head. And when he starts sobbing he is not he same QB. I believe Luke Kuechly will have done enough by seasons end to be considered the best LB in the game after only two seasons. The guy is that good. But the rest of that defense is in shambles. Kuechly single handedly will make it hard to run the ball, and he probably will take Cook out the game. But after that its a wide open playing field for our offense. They have made some good upgrades on the D-Line so I exepct a pretty decent pass rush, but ultimately I don't think it will be enough. Rams win in convincing fashion.
Final St. Louis 27, Carolina 14
The Rams return to Monday night fight football.
I believe the Seahawks have the best defense in football. Literally not one single whole. Nothing even remotely close to a whole. And their depth is ridiculous. I also believe of the 3 rookie QB's and one sophomore (Luck, RGIII, Wilson, Kaepernick) Wilson was the best and most impressive of the bunch. He gets no respect because he is 5'10". If he were 6'4" the media would be all over this young man. He is phenomenal. If Seattle ever decided to get more balanced and allow this kid to throw more, he would terrorize the league. I have followed him closely since he was at NC State, he is the real deal. Houston was one of the toughest match-ups, well this is the toughest match-up. This is the type of game where mistake free football is mandatory. For both squads. I believe special teams will play a large factor in this game, as starting field position will be the key. Seattle pulls it out at the end though.
Final Seattle 27, St. Louis 20
I wonder how Jeff Fisher really feels about this game. Has to be on edge, and as excited as can be. You don't have THAT type of history with a franchise, YOU helped build remind you, and it be "just another game". I call B.S. Finnegan, William Hayes, Jared Cook, and Will Witherspoon get to see some old familiar faces and friends as well. To bad the other team is not that good anymore. Jake Locker will struggle against this defense as he has never shown well against good press corners. Chris Johnson ran for 2000 yards and has progressively regressed each season since. If you still call him CJ2K, slap yourself. The defense is stuck in limbo. I expect us to run the ball down their throats. 200 rushing yards sounds about right and 450 total yards for the game. Rams win the Fisher family reunion.
Final Tennessee 10, St. Louis 30
OK, I hate to be so blunt, but this game won't even be close. We're going to kick their ass!!! The Colts are terribly overrated this year and it will show. Yes Andrew Luck threw for 4500 yards, but he also threw the ball 627 times and the majority of those throws were 15+ yards. It was a vertical offense. He had a 54% completion rate. Stop acting as if he was the second coming people!!! Do I believe he is the real deal, YES. Luck is going to be damn good. But the Colts played an extremely easy schedule and were winning games on the final drive. If the Rams had their schedule last year we go 13-3. They have a crappy defense and no run game. And their number two receiver is Darrius Hayward-Bey, need I continue. We will have four interceptions this game, mark my words. Rams win put a drastic beat down on the colts.
Final St. Louis 41, Indianapolis 20
Chicago was not a bad team last year, and they sure as hell won't be this year. The defense will still be a top unit and the offense might be more explosive. This should be a very explosive and physical game for both teams. The X-factor/Non X-factor of this game will be Jay Cutler. Will we see the wily veteran who can and will make all the throws, or the over confident moron that forces throws. I am betting on the the moron. History shows as the season goes the more cocky Cutler gets and thinks he can throw whatever pass he wants. Expect about 3 interceptions for us and 2 for them. Also the D-Line will be coming after Cutler, 4 sacks! Rams win what will turn out to be a very good game and nail bitter.
Final Chicago 20, St. Louis 23
Whats that you ask? Will I be at this game, UHHHH, Yea!! Already got my plane ticket and seats. And will be the loudest one at THEIR stadium.
Simply put the Rams will be pissed and on fire. Also they will be in a tight race for one of the final 3 playoff spots by this time. Its December, the most meaningful football of the season is being played. And the best part is now that it is later in the season this young team will not be so young anymore. They will be 11 games seasoned, meaning the offense will have gelled a lot more. This won't be the same team they were earlier in the season. This time will be faster and more explosive. This is the game where we get a sneak preview of a seasons worth of of awesomeness that we will get next year. The Rams will travel across the country go to candle stick park, and put a whooping on the 49ers.
Final St. Louis 31, San Fransisco 13
Remember that fear of the Cardinals I mentioned. Well this is the game when we all see why. Even though this is not the same team we were to start the season and we are now 12 games seasoned. We are still young at heart, and after a convincing win vs possible super bowl contenders and our biggest rival and arguably the biggest rivalry in football (up there with the Ravens and Steelers), the ego's are running high. And we are over confident and forget Arizona can be just as good as anybody. We let them get an early lead and are never able to catch them. Just another growing pain that comes with being young.
Final St. Louis 17, Arizona 27
Oh when the Saints, go marching in. Oh when the Saints go marching innnnn.... the Rams are in trouble. Look I know what we did against them two years ago. But that was two years ago and they were not as pissed off and motivated as they will be this season. The Saints are actually my dark horse candidate to make it to the Super Bowl. Pissing off this Saints team is like standing toe to toe with Zeus and saying F*** your lightening bolts. Bad move. Drew Brees and Sean Peyton will annihilate anyone that is not a Super Bowl contender this year. And sad to say we fall in that category. Saints are going to kick us while we are down in this one.
Final New Orleans 41, St. Louis 20
This will be a very very good game. This Buccaneer defense is going to be scary and is a candidate to be end the season the number one unit in the NFL. They are going to win at least 4 games for their offense. This will be a tough game for Bradford, and we may have to turn to the run game for a real shot of success, because there are no real wholes in the pass game but a few minor ones, that can be exploited for major gains, in the run defense. Luckily for us their offense is not as good as their defense. The focus should be stop Doug Martin. And let the rest play itself out. This will be another game where special teams play a major role. I am expecting a closer game than most. Rams win the fourth quarter thanks to Sam Bradford's two touchdown passes, ultimately giving them the victory.
Final Tampa Bay 17, St. Louis 26
This is the game where a lot of Sam Bradford haters, become Sam Bradford lovers. He steps up to the plate and challenges the "Legion of Boom", and succeeds. Now when I say this I am not showing favoritism with my support of Bradford. I honestly believe this happens. Bradford is a smart quarterback. And he is tougher than he gets credit for. I believe he wants the ball in his hands the entire game this time after the Seahawks defense gave him fits in game one, and I think he will get what he wants. And he will learn from his mistakes and play one of the better games of his young career. Sam Bradford WILL have 350+ yds in this game 3 td's no interceptions, completing 64% of passes. Maybe not pinpoint on those numbers, but somewhere in the neighborhood. By this time the Rams offense will have an extremely good feel for each other and the playbook and schemes. They will have faced a lot of growing pains with one of the tougher schedules in football. But most importantly they all, especially Bradford will have matured and learned a lot. In the land of the sixth man where no outsiders are allowed to win, the Rams win a must win in order to get a Wild card birth.
Final St. Louis 30, Seattle 16
Rams Finish the Season 10-6 (3-3), and earn a wildcard birth. All off-season I have been saying 8-8, 9-7, but I really like the talent and competitiveness of this team. Expect them to steal a game or two they probably should not have gotten. This should be a very exciting and nerve wrecking season, full of plenty of highs and lows.