Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

St. Louis Rams playoff bound in 2014 - TD sports debate p2


 

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.

[Part one - Rams this season's Panthers]

 

TODD:

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?

 

DAN:

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.

[If you missed Part one - Rams this season's Panthers]

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Tags: NFL Nfl Playoffs San Francisco 49ers St. Louis Rams

  • John Bennett

    yes, I’ll buy that for a dollar!!!!

  • John Bennett

    I believe the RAMS will be in the playoffs in 2015 for sure, loaded with talent, that just need a little time under their belts!! GO RAMS!!!!

  • B Hall

    Dan absolutely hit the nail on the head here. Great to see the eye being a fan of another team. Sam Bradford was off to his best year before going down, and in 2012 the rams went 4-1 in the division. Teams in the division will tell you they are the wild card, with high upside. Sneaky snead will make this draft be the one that pushes them over the top.

    • trinity

      Unfortunately, they play in a division that boasts 2 of the top 3 teams in the league, and an Arizona squad that is simply better. The rams have talent, but I would be stunned if they made the playoffs. Actually, forget about the playoffs. I would be stunned if they didn’t finish last in the division.

      • B Hall

        Well trinity, the great thing about the professional level is that you never know how they will fall. It proves itself year after year. Arizona is talented but I see them as the worst team in the division in 2014

        • B Hall

          You forget 7-9 with Kellen Clemens under center, who is he again? All I know is that he almost best the Super Bowl champs because of the talent around him last year. Bradford would have got it done. Period.

          • trinity

            Bradford definitely would have gotten it done? And you base that opinion on what? The amazing career he’s had so far? Lol since he was drafted, he’s spent part of his career being mediocre, and the other part being hurt. I understand you’re a fan, but lets not start hurling absurdities lol.

            Second, I think by “you could see Arizona last place in the division”, you mean “you desperately want them to be last place in the division to give your team at least a long shot chance at the playoffs”. And hey, I understand being a passionate fan. But Arizona is just the better team. We will see how it shakes out.

          • B Hall

            Agreed, we will see. If you look at the numbers he has improved year after year. You are a fan yourself and have not presented any numbers or facts to validate your opinions. Only the record last year and it was with a backup QB lol, it’s safe to say that’s better than most teams would have faired without their starter.

          • trinity

            He was drafted in 2010. That year he threw 3500+ yards, 18 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. The last full season he played was 2012. He threw for 3700+ yards 21 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. And his completion percentage went down. Pretty much the same mediocre stats. As you know, he was hurt for a major part of last season. Again. He’s either been hurt or disappointing for his entire career, so I’m really not sure what improvement you are speaking of. And honestly it doesn’t matter, because it all comes down to this….

            Outside of Andy Dalton, there is not a quarterback in the league under more pressure to perform this upcoming season than Sam Bradford. When you consider he’s been in the league since 2010. Then compare the monstrous contract he signed with how little he’s produced, you will realize that the time for talk is over. Considering how he’s been, anyone who says they are completely sold on Sam Bradford is either delusional or lying. After this year, they can cut him without a big cap hit. So there are no more excuses for mediocrity. His ass is either going to get good, or get gone. I for one can’t wait to see how it shakes out.

  • Beer O’Clock

    I don’t know if the Rams will make the playoffs. I do know, if they make the playoffs with their schedule,they will go deep in the playoffs–perhaps all the way to the Super Bowl.

  • trinity

    Is the for real? The rams have some talented pieces, but how does anyone figure them into the playoffs? Last place in the division with the exact same 7-9 record is more likely lol.