According to the official Madden 16 team ratings, 11 teams have a lower rating than the Rams 78 overall team rating. Furthermore, two other teams have a matching 78 overall rating as the Rams. This puts the Rams right near the middle of the pack.
Previously, I took the leap of faith in predicting each game on the Rams' schedule for this season. I drew my conclusion from the inexperience of the offensive line, and the prediction that there would be some struggles on the offensive side of the ball. The defensive side looks to be locked and loaded, and features some of the better players in the league at their respective positions in defensive end Robert Quinn, defensive tackle Aaron Donald, and safety T.J. McDonald. The creators over at EA Sports agree in that regard showing a vast difference in talent in their ratings between the sides of the ball...
"The Rams may not make the playoffs in a crowded NFC West, but they will be a tough out. The arrival of QB Nick Foles (78 OVR) is an intriguing storyline, and he’ll quickly become acquainted with TE Jared Cook (84 OVR) and WR Kenny Britt (82 OVR). The Rams have a pair of capable running backs in rookie Todd Gurley (80 OVR) and Tre Mason (79 OVR)."
"The defensive line is the strength of this team, starting with RE Robert Quinn (94 OVR) and Defensive Rookie of the Year Aaron Donald (92 OVR). DT Nick Fairley (86 OVR) is a quality new addition. William Hayes (86 OVR) and Chris Long (84 OVR) will alternate at LE."
Madden 16 - EA Sports
In my prediction I reached a conclusion of 8-8 for the season. The middle of the pack team rating would suggest the team finishing right around the 8-8 mark, could possibly even win or lose an extra game. Ultimately this team - much like their offensive and defensive talent levels - is really split. Just viewing the team as it stands now with no games having been played, they appear to have the ability to equally finish 9-7 or 7-9.
It has long been established that the Rams will need a few key players to step up on the offensive side of the ball. Of course it all starts with the offensive line. But outside of that area, the Rams could also use some more explosive plays from the wide receiver, tightend, and running back positions. Enter Tavon Austin, Jared Cook, and Todd Gurley.
All three players are explosive and game changers in the world of Madden due to the speed they bring to their position groups.
The Rams are hoping for impact plays like the ones above from these players this year. While these simulations are just that, simulations, none are too far fetched as we've all seen these players make these types of plays already. The issue is not the quality, but the quantity.
The focus this season will be heavily placed on finding ways to allow these players to deliver these type of impact plays more ofter than 2-3 times a piece. A pretty tall order for a rookie OC, but a mandatory order to help secure that extra win or two, rather than an extra loss here or there.
From early observations, it looks like he plans to do just that, as Tavon Austin and Jared Cook both look to be integral parts of the offensive game plan this season. As for Gurley, while he has not even practiced with the team yet, Jeff Fisher has been more than clear what his role will be. The trick now is to find a way to put it all together and bring it to fruition when the games start to count. One thing is for sure, there's not a Rams fan out there that would have an issue with plays like the ones above happening more often. If nothing else, it would make for a more exciting game, and higher anticipation on a weekly basis...