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2015 St. Louis Rams: Looking At The Schedule After Week 7 Of The NFL Season

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Every week, we will take a look at the results of the NFL week that was, and see how it may impact the rest of the Rams' 2015 schedule.

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Rams came out in Week 7 and did St. Louis Rams things. They played some great defense, with relentless pressure on the quarterback, and Todd Gurley continued his emergence as a young superstar. They also had a painfully slow start offensively, mustering a pathetic three yards in the first quarter. If not for a stellar play from Janoris Jenkins and Rodney McLeod to get an early defensive touchdown, the Rams likely would have entered halftime in a 3-3 tie. The offense finally picked up in the second half on the strength of Todd Gurley's legs, and the Rams closed out the Cleveland Browns 24-6 to get back to a.500 record.

In spite of the sluggish start the Rams managed to secure a "should win" game, the type of game which they have routinely laid an egg for under Jeff Fisher. Is this a start of a new trend for the Rams? A sign their young roster is developing more maturity, with the ability to play to their potential instead of that of their opponents? We will certainly learn the answer over the next month as the Rams schedule has its fair share of favorable matchups.

The Rams did manage to escape the game with the Browns relatively unharmed, seemingly suffering only minor bumps and bruises. On the injury note the return of Chris Long is still undetermined, but if William Hayes can play like he did in Week 7 on a regular basis there is no need to rush. Speaking of players filling in for injured starters, how about Mark Barron? He wasn't exactly a replacement for Alec Ogletree, as Tree is a unique talent and emerging young star, but he was absolutely everywhere against the Browns.

Let's take a look at the Rams' 2015 schedule.

NFL Week

Rams Opponent

Opponent Record

1

Seattle Seahawks

3-4

2

@ Washington

3-4

3

Pittsburgh Steelers

4-3

4

@ Arizona Cardinals

5-2

5

@ Green Bay Packers

6-0

6

Bye

Winless

7

Cleveland Browns

2-5

8

San Francisco 49ers

2-5

9

@ Minnesota Vikings

4-2

10

Chicago Bears

2-4

11

@ Baltimore Ravens

1-6

12

@ Cincinnati Bengals

6-0

13

Arizona Cardinals

5-2

14

Detroit Lions

1-6

15

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2-4

16

@ Seattle Seahawks

3-4

17

@ San Francisco 49ers

2-5

At 3-3, the Rams are in a fairly good place, as long as they can continue to win the "winnable" games on their schedule they have a chance to be relevant in the playoff race come December. With an even split of home and away games (five each), the Rams will need to be either equally good regardless of location or dominant at home. The Rams currently sit at 7th place within the NFC playoff standings, just behind Week 9 foe the Minnesota Vikings. Let's take a little closer look at the next two weeks.

The Rams will have their second straight home game in Week 8 as they play host to the longtime division rival San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers were so bad in their Week 7 game they managed to make the Seattle Seahawks look like the 2013 and 2014 versions. It appears Jim Tomsula may be well over his head in San Francisco, and the 49ers are all but eliminated from playoff contention already. This is the exact type of trap game the Rams have fallen victim to time and again. On top of the obvious trap you can almost always throw out the records when division rivals meet.

The Rams will hit the road in Week 9 to take on the Vikings, a game which has obvious potential playoff seeding implications for the Rams. This game will showcase one of the best RBs to ever suit up in Adrian Peterson, as well as the emerging young superstar Todd Gurley. The battle of the backs will certainly get plenty of headlines, but each of these teams will need to generate more from its passing game to secure the victory. The Rams certainly need to get some semblance of balance as defenses will eventually be able to slow Gurley. The Vikings defense is currently only allowing 17 points per game, tied for second in the NFL, which could spell a low scoring defensive slugfest.

The Rams took the necessary first step towards their playoff push by defeating the Browns. They now need to develop a little more consistency on the offensive side of the ball. The defense has been one of the best in the NFL at limiting the big play, but eventually there will be an exception to that. The Rams need to get the passing game going, as well as find a way to get both Tavon Austin and Todd Gurley going in the same game. With the way those two open things up for each other it would be nice to see them both produce in the same game. Of course even the threat of a passing game would do wonders for Austin and Gurley. There is an awful lot of reason to be optimistic as a Rams fan, but it is hard to believe in the Fisher era Rams until they show up week in and week out.

The time is now. Thanks for reading and as always, Go Rams!!!!