With the Seattle Seahawks winning the Super Bowl this season and the San Francisco 49ers coming up just short in the Super Bowl last season, you have to wonder if there may be yet another NFC West team in the Super Bowl yet again next year.
The St. Louis Rams are also in the NFC West and you have to wonder if their turn is next. An unfortunate turn in events forced the Rams to improvise, but yet they finished a respectable 7-9.
They still finished 4th in the division, but 7-9 in any other division would have at least given the Rams a third place finish.
Getting out of the division is going to be difficult as the Cardinals failed to make the playoffs after going 10-6 last season, but the Rams have some things going for them that could get them over the hump.
The Seahawks proved on Sunday that you can have an average offense and still win the Super Bowl. The Seahawks don’t have a terrible offense, but it certainly wasn’t elite.
The Rams, likewise have a defense that has the ability to be dominant and an average offense that can get the job done. With the addition of new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, the Rams defense will play more up to their potential and Williams will get the best out of them.
Not to mention the Rams have a decent amount of draft realty to add more pieces. The Rams could add a Jadaveon Clowny if desired or Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. Either way the Rams will make improvements to their defense this offseason.
To win the Super Bowl you need a run game, the Seahawks have Marshawn Lynch, the 49ers have Frank Gore, and back in the day Jeff Fisher had Eddie George.
The Rams found their run game in Zac Stacy last season and he will play a vital role in this Jeff Fisher offense. With Bradford back next season, Stacy should be able to really break out as he won’t be seeing as many stacked boxes.
Many won’t agree with me here, but Bradford has the ability to get the Rams to the promised land. Bradford will never be Drew Brees or Peyton Manning, but he can be an Eli Manning or Alex Smith.
The only thing that separates Bradford from Kaepernick and Wilson is his mobility and Bradford showed last season that he wasn’t afraid to take off when he got the opportunity.
Bradford can make plays and he doesn’t turn the ball over often, if Bradford can get some support from the guys around him, he can take the Rams to the promised land.
When you look at teams like the Giants and the Seahawks, two teams that have won the Super Bowl in the last five years, one thing really jumps out, the defensive line and the pass rush. The Rams don’t seem that much worse than those teams.
The Rams have one of the best defensive lines in the NFL and one of the most ferocious pass rushes in the league. That alone gives them a really good shot. The Rams need to improve in the secondary and on the offensive side of the ball and then they will be serious contenders.
Since 2001, 21 teams have gone from worst to first, two of which have won the Super Bowl. If the Rams can win the West there is no doubt they can get to the Super Bowl, but for now the Rams need to worry about just getting to the playoffs.
Here are the list of opponents for the Rams in 2014:
|Dallas Cowboys||Philadelphia Eagles|
|New York Giants||Washington Redskins|
|Denver Broncos||Kansas City Chiefs|
|Oakland Raiders||San Diego Chargers|
|Minnesota Vikings||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|San Francisco 49ers (Div.)||San Francisco 49ers (Div.)|
|Seattle Seahawks (Div.)||Seattle Seahawks (Div.)|
|Arizona Cardinals (Div.)||Arizona Cardinals (Div.)|
The Rams will have a chance in every single one of those games, it’s just a matter of them “growing up” and putting games away. Just glancing at the schedule, the Rams could get anywhere from 7-10 wins next season, obviously 10 wins could get the Rams to the post season, there are no guarantees, but it’s not often that a 10 win team misses out.
The Rams seem to be an almost identical team to the Seahawks and the 49ers in the way that they are built. For the Pete Carroll and the Seahawks it took three years before they made their first real, serious threat at a Super Bowl title. Jim Harbaugh on the other hand has made the playoffs every season as head coach.
Next year will be Jeff Fisher’s third season, and if big things don’t happen, as good as Fisher is, he very well could be on the hot seat. In Tennessee, it took five years for the Titans to get their first winning record, and made the Super Bowl that season.
Rams fans are getting impatient and would like results very soon. A lot is going to happen between now and the beginning of the 2014 season, but if the Rams can make the right improvements in the offseason, they very well could make a push for the playoffs.
The Rams are a few years away yet from being serious Super Bowl contenders, but there is no doubt that they are a team that the rest of the NFL should start worrying about.