For the first time in a while, Rams fans can actually be excited about next season. After finishing last season 7-8-1, and 4-1-1 in arguably the toughest division in the NFL, there is good reason to be. However, the haunting memory of following a promising 7-9 season in 2010 with a disappointing 2-14 season in 2011 still remains in the back of the minds of many Rams’ fans. This time it’s different though. One of the greatest coaches, Jeff Fisher, and an experienced GM, Les Snead, are in charge instead of an inexperienced regime that was in charge last time. These are just a few important differences. So, what are the keys to the Rams’ success in the 2013 season? Here are just a few that will help the Rams have a successful 2013 campaign:
1. Sam Bradford
This one is kind of obvious, but it’s true. With the loss of Steven Jackson, Bradford is now the leader of this offense. In order for this team to do well, Sam Bradford has to do well. When Bradford is playing efficiently and effectively, he has the potential to be a superstar in this league. Being in the same system should definitely help his case. Another thing to love about Bradford is that he has the “clutch” factor. Last season Bradford led the Rams to game winning/tying drives against the Lions, Redskins, Bills, and 49ers, twice. Bradford could have added two more to that list against the Dolphins and Seahawks. He also improved greatly last season, posting career bests in almost every statistical category across the board. Expect more from Bradford this upcoming season as he and the Rams look to once again improve.
2. Solid Running Game
With the loss of Steven Jackson the Rams are going to have some tough shoes to fill in the running game. However, Rams fans need not to worry. If there is one thing Fisher is good at, it’s putting together a solid running game. Jeff Fisher has had good success with Eddie George, Chris Johnson, LenDale White, and Travis Henry all breaking 1,000 yards under Fisher. Richardson and Pead should have no problem carrying the load after what they showed last season, but adding a larger back in the draft definitely won’t hurt. Not only do the Rams need their running backs to produce in yardage, but they really need them to score touchdowns. The Rams only had 5 rushing touchdowns last season, one of which was by Bradford. With the running backs scoring more touchdowns, some of the weight in the red zone will be lifted off of Sam’s shoulders.
3. A No.1 Wide Receiver
The last 1,000 yard receiver in a Rams uniform was Torry Holt back in 2007. The closest the Rams have gotten to a 1,000 yard receiver with Bradford under center was last season when Chris Givens pulled in 698 yards receiving. Givens and Quick both showed potential to be a good combination, but adding another big name receiver with one of the two 1st round picks in this years draft would give a big boost to the offense. With the losses of Danny Amendola and Brandon Gibson, the young receivers on the roster are going to have to step up in order for the offense to make strides.
4. Put It All Together
The Rams defense is in pretty good shape and should be “Top 10″ next season. If the defense can create more turnovers consistently and add a few missing pieces they should be a difference maker on the field once again. Add Sam Bradford having a successful season along with a solid running game and receiving corps to help him out, this team will be on the road to doing good things. The Rams just need to put the final pieces of the puzzle together with their multiple first round picks the next two seasons. If the Rams get it right they could be back to winning very soon.