clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

St. Louis Rams: The 8 Game Storm Begins...

New, comments
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Gulp... In Philadelphia today, the St. Louis Rams begin one of the most daunting eight game stretches I've ever seen. To think the high-flying Chip Kelly led Eagles may be the easiest foe of the eight makes my stomach gurgle, and I may have even muttered a "Gleasle... Dammit!" The following seven games feature two games against the San Francisco 49ers, with Seattle and Kansas City - arguably one of the hottest teams in the NFL right now - sandwiched in-between. After this little gauntlet, the Rams steam toward games with Denver, Arizona, and San Diego.

Today's game with the Eagles marks the beginning of a trial for a very young Rams team. The opening kickoff will be a gavel sounding, and judgement will begin on just how far the Rams have come since the arrival of Jeff Fisher & Co. Every draft pick, free agent acquisition, and play called will fall under the microscope powering fan opinion. Objections will be heard, and Ram fans will enter heated debates on topics ranging from the future of Sam Bradford, to their team's possible move unless a stadium deal can be reached...

The thing about being an NFL fan, is the myriad of emotions which flows through us as we watch and root for our favorite teams. Travails of player - which happen far from us - are felt like hammer blows. Those faint of heart will flee to the shadows, waiting for a season to pass before coming into the sun light once again just before NFL Draft day. The bold and unswerving will stand with their team; through thick and thin or come what may.

For me, this eight game stretch will be fun to watch, let alone illuminating. A long Bradford supporter, I'm open to seeing if a different style quarterback is the way to go. On defense, I really want to see if this Rams' unit can come around after being so highly touted in the off season. In 2013, the Rams defense started out of the blocks rough against the run, then got their act together as the season progressed. Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams may or not be the right guy for the job, but let's not forget he's new to this defense, and shortened off season preparation time has to be factored into judgement.

I can't help but hope Jeff Fisher-Les Snead begin to settle into a team and coaching staff for a while. It's hard to see progress - let alone individual player development - in the Rams until this team is allowed the time to mesh; to gel... But we're NFL fans, right? We want wins now, and explanations of salary caps, and team moves is just so much twaddle to us. We want touchdowns, and ESPN featured highlights showing just how great our teams are in the broad scheme. We thirst for vindication; that our hopes align with the stars to deliver Super Bowls and bragging rights.

In a recent writers' round table by Brandon Bate - Yes, he's a great writer, but he smells funny - I failed to offer up a final score when I wrote my observations. Maybe it was a Freudian slip of sorts? Now that I think about it, I've come to the conclusion this game will feature a final score which will have us cheering, or hiding our heads as Rams fans. I believe this will be a high scoring game for ONE team, and a near shutout for the other. I don't see this being a close game at all. Now who will emerge with the 40+ points, and the other with a "3-burger", is anyone's guess...

Will Nick Foles shred the Rams secondary, or LeSean McCoy rush for a career day? It could easily go another way, with Foles turning the ball over, and McCoy getting stuffed by a Rams defensive line awakening at just the right time. Maybe Austin Davis holds his back-up QB resume in the shadows once again, and leads the Rams to another stellar day of production. Zac Stacy could very well have a HUGE day against a very suspect Eagles front seven.

Regardless, this game represents the start of a great challenge for Jeff Fisher and the Rams. No one - NO ONE - gives the Rams a chance of emerging from the next eight games with a winning record. No one, except me that is...