Week 1 - v. Seattle, Sep. 13 (Field Gulls)
In their version of Random Ramsdom, Coffee and Cigarettes, the FG crew has their morning linkage every day. One that stood out to me from today's? This piece from the Everett Herald on Seattle's new defensive coordinator, Kris Richard. Richard's been the secondary coach for Seahawks HC Pete Carroll since he returned to the NFL. It'll be interested to see how he does in his first year in his promoted role.
Week 2 - @ Washington, Sep. 20 (Hogs Haven)
Good point, counterpoint from two HH staffers on whether or not Alfred Morris is replaceable. Tough decision ahead for a running back who has topped 1,000 yards in all three of his NFL seasons, averaging just more than 1,320 per. There has been a year-to-year decline in production, though. Of course what Washington needs more than anything is to resurrect 2012 RGIII which helped Morris to that spectacular rookie showing of 1,613 yards and 13 TDs. The Rams haven't had a 1,000-yard rusher since Steven Jackson in 2012.
Week 3 - v. Pittsburgh, Sep. 27 (Behind the Steel Curtain)
Le'Veon Bell is turning into one of the better running backs in the league after his 1,361-yard 2014 season. Former Ram and Steeler RB Jerome Bettis thinks Bell could be "one of the best running backs ever." Hyperbole Thursday, I guess. But with Bell facing a three-game suspension, though it's currently facing appeal, the Rams would be facing DeAngelo Williams as the starting RB in Pittsburgh. Here's why Steeler fans think he could be a successful addition in 2015.
Week 4 - @ Arizona, Oct. 4 (Revenge of the Birds)
Mike Iupati, Not Soccer Player. There's a good compare/contrast to be had between the Rams and the Cardinals with the defensive strength and offensive line issues. And while Bruce Arians rightly gets praised for turning around a franchise that won 18 games throughout the last three seasons under his predecessor, Ken Whisenhunt, he's set the bar so high that I wonder if he can maintain that pace. A 10-win 2013 preceded an 11-win playoff-studded 2014, though without starting QB Carson Palmer, the Cardinals were in tough spot regardless of the situation or opponent. I just wonder if the huge dropoff in offensive output from 2013 to 2014 might get exacerbated this year with Palmer a year older and a knee more injured and with Larry Fitzgerald near the end of his HOF career. Also a worthwhile reminder? Arizona's vaunted defense gave up the fifth-fewest points but the ninth-most yards. Noted.
Week 5 - @ Green Bay, Oct. 11 (Acme Packing Co.)
Green Bay's pretty loaded up for another legitimate run at the Super Bowl. Last year they came up just short, but landed seven players in Pro Football Focus' Top 101. If we're doing a schedule analysis, this is a game the Rams want to not need to win...more on that later in the summer.
Week 7 - v. Cleveland, Oct. 25 (Dawgs By Nature)
On average, each NFL season sees four teams make the playoffs that didn't the year prior. With the Browns coming off their best season since 2007, I think they could be one of those four. Here's DBN's blueprint for how they make it into the postseason in 2015.
Week 8 - v. San Francisco, Nov. 1 (Niners Nation)
Do the 49ers have the second-worst offensive line in the division? And I get why the Rams come in last, but let's be honest. We have no idea how well the Rams' 2015 offensive line will play. One huge question mark.
Week 9 - @ Minnesota, Nov. 8 (Daily Norseman)
Adrian Peterson made the NFL Top 100 for 2014. That's what respect among your peers looks like because his finals season tally was just his totals from the season opener against the Rams: 21 carries for 75 yards. Also, here's a good look at an athletic wideout who is coming off of a disappointing 2014 in their sophomore season. No, not Tavon Austin. It's Cordarrelle Patterson. And yes, both have serious expectations going into 2015.
Week 10 - v. Chicago, Nov. 15 (Windy City Gridiron)
A good question for every team who missed the post-season in 2014 is what is holding them back from contending. Sam Householder answers it for the Bears.
Week 11 - @ Baltimore, Nov. 22 (Baltimore Beatdown)
Obviously coming out of the draft, most NFL fans are interested in their newest class and the rookies who could potentially improve their team in year one, but it's the year two guys who might make more impact. Here's one look at the Ravens' 2014 class and who is going to step up for them in 2015.
Week 12 - @ Cincinnati, Nov. 29 (Cincy Jungle)
The Bengals are already dealing with injuries to some key players like Vontaze Burfict, Tyler Eifert and Cedric Ogbuehi. Throwing in disappointing third-year DE Margus Hunt onto that list helps them not at all.
Week 13 - v. Arizona, Dec. 6 (Revenge of the Birds)
There is a bit of a question as to who steps up to push the defense in 2015.
Week 14 - v. Detroit, Dec. 13 (Pride of Detroit)
Detroit's working through some uncertainty with their offensive line depth chart themselves.
Week 15 - v. Tampa Bay, Dec. 17 (Bucs Nation)
I think the headline will suffice: Tampa Bay is the graveyard of NFL head coaching careers.
Week 16 - @ Seattle, Dec. 27 (Field Gulls)
Seattle's coming off of back-to-back Super Bowl appearances. Here are five issues they're facing that could derail this golden era of Seahawk football.
Week 17 - @ San Francisco, Jan. 3 (Niners Nation)
The idea of Flipper Anderson's son in a 49ers jersey is cause for nausea.