Alright. We've got the Rams' full 2015 schedule. Let's take it down to the prediction level.
Week 1 - vs. Seattle: LOSE (0-1)
My heart wants to go with a W here. Getting off to 1-0 start with a home win under the belt over the reigning NFC Champions...that's kind of the picture perfect start.
But the Rams lost their season opener to Minnesota in 2014 in ugly fashion. They eked out a 3-point win over Arizona to open 2013, though a three-game losing streak thereafter sanded that leg down. They lost a close road battle to start 2012 in Detroit. Whooped at home versus Philly in 2011. Plunked by Arizona at home in 2010. Embarassed in Seattle in 2009...look. Fast starts aren't the Rams thing (more to come on that, BTW). What I'm saying is as much as my heart wants it, my head says no.
Week 2 - @ Washington: WIN (1-1)
Meanwhile, the Rams are 5-2 against Washington in their last seven losing those two by a combined 9 points. And if I'm being honest, I see another implosion in D.C. in 2015. Rams get back to .500.
Revised factoid: Rams have been above .500 for a total of 2 weeks in the Jeff Fisher era: 2012 Week 5, 2013 Week 1. (h/t @ngalarreta)— RamsHerd (@RamsHerd) April 22, 2015
Week 3 - vs. Pittsburgh: WIN (2-1)
So we'll have to keep tabs on the Le'Veon Bell suspension. As it stands, he's out for the first three weeks of the season. I say "as it stands," as any potential modification to the suspension is going to have Steelers fans checking the news frequently as we near the season. As that story from Behind the Steel Curtain notes? Pittsburgh is 0-4 without Bell during his career. I'll stick with the short historical note with the Rams in the rare position of being over .500...
Week 4 - @ Arizona: LOSE (2-2)
Cardinals might be the most underrated team for me going into 2015. They've got to get a better option behind a rehabbing Carson Palmer, but the rest of that roster should concern Rams fans...let alone how quickly Bruce Arians has turned them into a team that's won 21 games in their last two seasons after winning just five in 2012.
Week 5 - @ Green Bay: LOSE (2-3)
Asking too much this early unless Foles and the Rams simply abolish the historical slow start.
Week 6 - BYE (2-3)
Hey, we didn't lose!
Week 7 - vs. Cleveland: WIN (3-3)
No excuses here. At home, versus the Browns, out of the bye...if the Rams lose this, worry.
Week 8 - vs. San Francisco: WIN (4-3)
I'll let my heart get one. At this point, the Rams should be playing better football and finding some chemistry on offense with Foles. Fisher hates rookies, so they might not get a ton of time before the bye. By this point though, we should have our talent on the field. I'll go with an improving team to get the win over San Fran.
Week 9 - @ Minnesota: TIE (4-3-1)
I think this is going to be tougher than Rams fans give it credit for. Still, this is the kind of game the Rams have to compete in if they're going to turn a corner in 2015. I'll go with the defense carrying a spirited performance leading to a 3k favorite: chaos.
Week 10 - vs. Chicago: WIN (5-3-1)
The record's starting to look nice. This is when the Rams start turning up. Last year, Week 7 and 9 wins over Seattle and San Fran showed the inherent talent on the roster. A Week 11 walloping of Denver showed what was possible when that talent came together for a full performance. This is a good one to mark down as the mid-season shining star in 2015.
Week 11 - @ Baltmore: LOSS (5-4-1)
Just like the San Diego trip in 2014 following that huge Denver win, I could see the Rams dropping a tough one in Charm City after getting up to two games over .500.
Week 12 - @ Cincinnati: LOSS (5-5-1)
And this is where the Rams look like the Rams of the Fisher era. Sloppiness on both sides, missed assignments, stagnant offense, penalties, penalties, penalties...I just don't like this back to back in unfamiliar territory.
Week 13 - vs. Arizona: WIN (6-5-1)
Sack City comes through big time...and forces Arizona to go to the aforementioned needed backup option behind Carson Palmer moving forward.
Week 14 - vs. Detroit: WIN (7-5-1)
Week 13 and 14 saw the Rams' consecutive shutouts of Washington and Oakland in 2014. I'll go with two big, though not as big, defensive showings bringing the Rams into the playoff race.
Week 15 - vs. Tampa: WIN (8-5-1)
Whoa. 8-5-1. That feels odd to type, but I'm comfortable with it as things stand. Tampa had more issues than their quarterback play in 2014. Jameis Winston won't cure all of them.
Week 16 - @ Seattle: LOSS (8-6-1)
THIS ISN'T IN WEEK 17? WHAT HATH THE FOOTBALL GODS BE A-SMOKENING?
Week 17 - @ San Francisco: LOSS (8-7-1)
I already dread this game. I can already feel the Rams headed to the Bay needing a win to get into the playoffs and putting up a heartbreaking show. It's a palpable dread...but that's a feeling we've gotten used to with the Rams over the last decade.
Which ones do you disagree with most? How comfortable are you with some of the wins or certain are you of the losses?