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Best/Worst Case Scenario For St. Louis Rams Through the First Quarter of 2015

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Getting off to a fast start isn’t necessarily a must in the NFL, but it certainly doesn’t hurt matters.  If you remember in late September of 2014, Green Bay Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers was telling folks to "R-E-L-A-X" after his team got off to a 1-2 start.  They went on to win four in a row, and only lost two games in their final eleven.

But the St. Louis Rams don’t have Aaron Rodgers.  And that matters.

If the Rams are to get off to a fast start they’ll have to do it against these opponents:

Week 1:  vs. Seattle Seahawks
Week 2:  at Washington Redskins
Week 3:  vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Week 4:  at Arizona Cardinals

Best case scenario would be an undefeated start to the first quarter of the season.  And that’ll probably prove pretty difficult based on their opponents.  In 2014, these teams combined for a 38-26 record.  Take the Redskins out of it, and you’re looking at a trio of teams that all won eleven games last year.  One of them won 12...they also went to the Super Bowl for the second straight year.

And that’s how the Rams will start the season...by hosting the Seahawks.  Dating back to January of 2005, the Rams have gone 4-17 against Seattle.  Some well executed special teams trickery did afford the Rams a win in 2014, and a season split.  Winning in Seattle, though, is...well...really, really hard.  So if they hope to replicate a split in 2015, they’ll need to put a "1" in the win column in the season opener.

The Redskins are pretty terrible, but it doesn’t make them an easy win.  The Rams and Redskins, dating back to 2000, have played ten times.  The series is tied at 5-5.  This is the most "winnable" of all of their Q1 games.  I’d go as far to say "they can’t afford to lose this one."

The Rams will host the AFC North Champion Pittsburgh Steelers [11-5] in Week 3.  History vs. this opponent matters very little, as the Rams and Steelers rarely square off.  They’ve played just two times in the past decade.  The Steelers won them both.  You’d have to go back to 2003 to find a Rams win over the Steelers.  The Steelers may be without star running back Le’Veon Bell, who was given a three-game suspension for substance abuse.  He’s appealing...so that’s one you’ll want to follow Rams’ fans.  That’s a big hit to their offense if the suspension holds up.

Last but not least, on the road against division rival Arizona Cardinals.  The Cardinals went 11-5 last season, in one of the toughest divisions in football, and they did so - at least for the majority of the season - without starting quarterback Carson Palmer [ACL].  The last game he played in 2014 came in a 31-14 win against the Rams.  Many view the Cardinals as the team to overtake the Seahawks atop the NFC West.  If he stays healthy, they may very well be right.

Using your mid-July optimism, what’s your prediction for the Rams - who haven’t gone 3-1 to start a season since 2006 - through the first four games of 2015?