The St. Louis Rams secured the largest disparity among our staff, with a standard deviation of a whopping 6.43, which leads me to believe that this team has too many question marks to count. I also don't think they will end up being very good. Their stature here is propped up by how well they play their divisional foes, but there may be too much emphasis put on that as division rivals tend to know each other better than non-divisional opponents.
17. St. Louis Rams (2013 Record: 7-9)
Though the Rams only won a single divisional game in 2013, they played the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers tough in at least one of their matchups with each, plus they had quality wins over the Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints. However, beyond that they were mostly blown out, with double digit losses to the Dallas Cowboys, 49ers, Carolina Panthers, Seahawks, and Arizona Cardinals.
Key Losses: Chris Williams, Kellen Clemens, Shelley Smith, Cortland Finnegan
Key Acquisitions: Alex Carrington, Shaun Hill, Jo-Lonn Dunbar, Rodger Saffold, Kenny Britt
I thought the Rams did okay in free agency and thanks to the Washington Redskins, picked up some good talent at the front end of the 2014 NFL Draft. However, one writer thinks this is the second worst roster in the NFL. They apparently did not share much zeal for how well they play their division rivals. While I do not think they are quite that terrible, they are clearly the weakest team in the NFC West.
The Rams 2014 schedule includes the brutality that is the NFC West, but also matchups against the AFC West. If I were to count their potential wins from that schedule, I am hard pressed to get past the number seven and that is if they win every single one of their winnable games. I am diverging from the staff a bit on this one and putting the Rams firmly in the cellar of their division for 2014.
Projected Record: 5-11
Kyle: I had the Rams 18th in my power rankings. They played in one of the two toughest divisions in football in 2013, and still finished with a 7-9 record.
Jon: It will be hard for the Rams to be anything more than the third-best team in the NFC West once again. Until that changes, St. Louis won’t be much of a threat to opponents.
Topher: People forget the Rams went 7-9 with their backup QB in the most competitive division in the NFL. They also forget Sam Bradford was a top 10 QB when he went down to injury throwing 14 TD’s to just 4 INT’s. People also forget they have the best front seven in that division and upgraded their offensive line as well. People forget they have a solid head coach and good coordinators. The Rams aren’t good enough to steal the throne of the NFC West from the Hawks or 49ers but they beat teams like the Colts and Saints last year with a much worse team, hard to not see them get 9 wins in 2014 if, and it’s a big if, they can stay healthy.
Scotty: I love what the Rams are doing. They have one of(if not the best) front sevens in the NFL. Their secondary is improving, and they have done well against their tough NFC West rivals. But Sam Bradford is made of glass, and kinda sucks. He will probably hold this team back.
Jacob: The Rams are a very good football team, lacking a true number one quarterback. The front seven is in the conversation for best in the league, the offensive line is deep, and the defense as a whole is strong enough to compete in the NFC West. The Rams are in the league’s toughest division unfortunately, but it’s not out of the question that the NFC West could send three teams to the playoffs. 8-10 wins.
Laurie: The Rams are going to be better than most opponents think, but thanks to a conference with the 49ers and the Seahawks, they still won’t be contenders...yet.
Pete: Why the love for the Rams? Well, they have all the right pieces, so if Bradford can stay upright, he should have a nice bounceback year. Afterall, he is probably the best QB in that entire division aside from maybe Colin Kaepernick.