A 1-3 record to start the season can be demoralizing for any team. Although not many believed the St. Louis Rams were going to contend for a playoff spot, many within the organization believed they were going to at least improve on their 7-8-1 record from last season.
So far, all the new weapons the Rams added during the offseason have failed to meet expectations. Even the strength of the team, the front seven on defense, has disappointed as opponents have run for a combined 534 yards.
The Rams are now heading into the 2nd quarter of the season and are looking to improve. An optimistic person would predict the Rams finishing 4-4 after the next four games, but realistically the Rams might be 2-6 after this upcoming four game stretch. The next four opponents have a combined record of 7-6 with the weakest opponent being the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Seattle Seahawks being the toughest. If the St. Louis Rams want to build some confidence heading into the second half of the season, they will need to take it one game at a time. Below is a breakdown of how the next four games might go.
The Rams have lost three straight games and will look to put an end to their skid with a week 5 win against the lowly Jaguars. Although the Jaguars are 0-4, they will get some help from the return of star wide receiver Justin Blackmon. The wideout is coming back from a four game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Jags head coach Gus Bradley has been singing praises about Blackmon and is optimistic he will start against the Rams. Blackmon will definitely be an improvement, but he will still need to get acclimated to game speed and won’t be a factor. Although the Rams defense has been giving up a lot of yardage, the teams they’ve played have had multiple weapons. The Rams will not have trouble stopping Jacksonville in order to come out on top.
The Rams second opponent will be on the road against the Houston Texans. The Texans have not played consistent as they are currently sitting at 1-2.But last week in an overtime loss against a tough Seattle Seahawks team; they showed they are on starting to improve. They have multiple weapons in Arian Foster and Andre Johnson, and a defense that will spell out trouble for the Rams offense. The Rams are lacking a running game and opponents have figured out how to shut down Chris Givens and Jared Cook. With an offensive line that is starting to struggle against dominant front sevens; look for JJ Watt and the d-line to have a big game against the Rams linemen.
In week 7, the Rams will go on the road to face the Carolina Panthers who have also been struggling with a 1-2 record. Cam Newton has not been playing to his potential and currently ranks 30th amongst quarterback passing yardage only ahead of recently cut Josh Freeman and Brandon Weeden, both who have been replaced as starters. Even with Cam Newton struggling, The Rams defense have yet to show they can stop the run. With Newton being able to make big plays with his legs, look it to be another long game for the defense. The Rams might hang in there close to the fourth quarter, but with a struggling o-line, Bradford will struggle to close out the game.
The St. Louis Rams had a lot of success against teams in their division last season. The one team they did lose to last year is their week 8 opponent, the Seattle Seahawks. Currently the Seahawks are running like a well-oiled machine and it will be tough for the Rams to keep up. The Rams do have the luxury of playing at home against their division foes, but home field advantage did nothing for them when they played the San Francisco 49ers in week 3. Look for this to be another massacre in St. Louis.
By week 8 of the NFL season the St. Louis Rams will be in familiar territory in the standings, the bottom. If the Rams do hope to turn their season around there are some games in this second quarter that they can take advantage of. It is not impossible to have a 4-4 record after the second quarter of the season, but it is highly likely that they will be 2-6. St. Louis Rams fans better start getting ready for another long season.