The St. Louis Rams thrived in the NFL’s toughest division last year. But will they rise to make the playoffs in 2014? One new team will shock us all and the Rams are zoned in. Dan Salem and Todd Salem debate in part two of this week’s TD Sports Debate. Two brothers from New York yell, scream and debate the NFL and sports.
The St. Louis Rams are an interesting case. They certainly were an impressive last-place team in 2013, going 7-9 in the toughest division in football. The defense had many impressive pieces, including pass rushers Robert Quinn and Chris Long. I also agree that the offense has some upside potential with Sam Bradford back healthy for a full season.
However, picking St. Louis to jump by four wins and reach the playoffs essentially means you have the Rams taking the San Francisco 49ers’ place in the division. While that fits in line with our previous discussion of finding this season’s team to plummet, it is also doubling down on a very risky base bet. If San Francisco doesn’t dramatically fall, the Rams have almost no shot at increasing their win total by this much. After all, this should still be the elite division in football this season.
I am also not as enamored with their coaching staff as you seem to be. Is Jeff Fisher still a good head coach, or is he riding the coattails of his success at his previous stop? Is Brian Schottenheimer still an effective….check that. Has Brian Schottenheimer ever been an effective coordinator? Weren’t the Jets terrible on offense pretty much every season he was in charge? And what do we make of Gregg Williams? His actual talents have been, I think, overrated based on his infamous celebrity stemming from the bounties in New Orleans. It’s not a perfect analogy, but Williams is like one of those diva wide receivers that used to fill up this league. If it wasn’t for the sideshow, their games would be ignored for being mediocre.
Also, now that the NFL has released all the official 2014 schedules, are you just as confident in the Rams reaching double-digit wins and gaining Panthers status?
I don’t see the St. Louis pick and 49ers pick as doubling down; they simply compliment one another. With San Francisco taking a step back this upcoming season, whether dramatic or not, it opens the door for a different NFC West team to snatch a playoff berth. And I love St. Louis as that team, especially now that the official schedules are out.
The 2014 official NFL schedule for St. Louis plays right into the palm of Jeff Fisher’s hand. He was riding coattails up until last season, when an otherwise awful football team found the light at the end of the tunnel. They have playmakers and stars on both sides of the ball and Jeff Fisher is re-inventing a football team that hasn’t found success since the days of Marshall Faulk. Brian Schottenheimer was not ineffective as the Jets’ offensive coordinator either, they had a top rushing attack in two of his three seasons with New York. And his inventiveness in the passing game pushed Mark Sanchez to another level come playoff time. Sam Bradford is arguably better than Sanchez, so Schottenheimer has plenty to work with. Plus Gregg Williams would never have found another job if he wasn’t excellent at his last one. He smeared so much brown, crusty, poop all over the New Orleans Saints that only his actual talent was left to get him re-hired. Its there.
Bottom line, the St. Louis Rams are better than the Vikings, Tampa Bay, Washington, Oakland, Arizona, and San Diego. That’s seven wins. Let them split the rest and we’ve got ourselves a playoff team. The Yellow and Blue will be a welcome site come January.