Dec 15, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams mascot Rampage hypes up the crowd during the first half against the New Orleans Saints at the Edward Jones Dome. The Rams defeated the Saints 27-16. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Three Things The Rams Have To Do To Get Back To The Playoffs


Like it or not, this is a big year for the St. Louis Rams. It’s not necessarily playoffs or bust, but this team hasn’t been to the dance since 2004, and the fan base is anxious  to get back to relevancy.

Vegas has the Rams win number at over/under 7.5 wins.  To get to the playoffs, the Rams are going to need a lot more than seven, their going to need more like over/under 9.5.

The Rams play in by far, the toughest division in football, and on top of that they have one of the toughest schedules in the league. Making it to the playoffs is going to be hard, but certainly not impossible. Here are three things the Rams have to do to make postseason.

 

1. Find Their Identity Early

This one shouldn’t be too difficult as they found their identity of being a ground and pound, run the football first team, in the middle of last season. It seemed to work out well for them as they went .500 after starting 1-3. By the time the Rams finally found their identity however, it was too late and they had lost their starting quarterback.

The Rams drafted the best run blocking offensive lineman in the draft and backed that up with a running back that will compliment Zac Stacy well. The Rams need to stick to their game plan, run the football, and play tough defense if they want to make the playoffs.

 

2. Defense Needs To Live Up To The Hype

Many experts have gone out and said that the Rams have the best defensive line in football after they drafted Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald. Some have even gone out and said that the Rams could have a top 10 if not a top five defense.

We’ve heard this all before though. People were saying that about this defense last season, that they could be a potential top ten defense, and had one of the best front sevens in football. The Rams ended up finishing 15th in total defense, far below their potential.

The Rams went out and got Gregg Williams who will pay massive dividends in turning this defense around. The Rams have the pieces they just need to put them together. This defense has the potential to win games, we saw it last season against the Seahawks, Bears, Saints, and Colts. The year before we saw it against the 49ers, Bills, and Seahawks.

This defense has the ability to be this teams offense, which in turn takes pressure off of Sam Bradford, and all he has to do is make the necessary plays that can give the defense the lead and let them take over.

The Seahawks and 49ers both have this type of defense and if the Rams want to not only compete in the division, but make a playoff run, living up to this hype is something that they are going to have to do.

 

Protect The Edward Jones Dome

Winning at home is important, but it is especially important when it comes to wanting to win the division. In 2012, the Rams were undefeated at home against the other teams in the division which in turn gave the Rams the best division record in the NFC West.

If the Rams want to not only attract fans to come to the games, but also make the playoffs, protecting the Edward Jones Dome is key. Winning on the road in San Francisco and Arizona is difficult, and it’s darn near impossible to do in Seattle. The Rams can’t expect to go 1-5 in the division again next year and still come out on top. Winning division games at home is crucial to making the playoffs in 2014.

 

Although there are other factors that will come into play if the Rams want to make the playoffs, these are the big three. The young players will still have to step up and the Rams will need to take advantage of the easier parts of the schedule, but when it comes to what they have to do, the three listed above are the most significant.

Some may not believe it, but the Rams have a legitimate shot and being a very good football team next season. The pieces are all there, the pieces just need to be put together and the Rams are moving in the right direction to do just that.

Tags: St. Louis Rams

  • Gary Stewart

    start out 3-0 and go 4-2 in the division is the key as far as i am concerned of course to do that the rams will have to as you say play great defense, run the ball, and score when the opportunities arise. if they turn one field goal into a td every week, thats an extra 4 points per game and limiting the opponents to a field goal instead of a td once per game would lower our ppg allowed by 4 add 4 on offense take away 4 on defense = 8 ppg difference thats my formula!! GO RAMS!!

  • MichaelNupe Thompson

    These Wrs will need to step up immensely if we wanna win. The issue with offence is that we couldn’t convert on the down. Dropped passes receivers being thrown off routes. Let’s see if these experiments work out this year. Banking on Austin and cook to have a MORE consistent season this year.

    • trinity

      The wrs can step up to Megatron levels, and it still won’t matter if the quarterback sucks. The issue is Bradford. He has to step up.

      • UhhDuhh

        Okay, I’ll bite. Bradford was 2010 rookie of the year with bad receivers. If he sucked as rookie of the year then Adrian Peterson, Matt Ryan, Percy Harvin, Cam Newton and RGIII sucked as rookies of the year as well. He is 4-2 against the NFC West so he is not afraid to play in the division. Before he got hurt, he threw 14 TD’s to 4 INT’s with young or ineffective receivers last year which means he was on pace to throw 32 TD’s for the year. That would have tied him for fourth in the league. He played a lot from deep in his own territory because of the boneheaded special teams and OL holding penalties. And don’t forget the dropped passes as he only throws them. If he sucks so much, why didn’t they draft a QB until the 6th round in Garrett Gilbert and not earlier like a Mettenberger, Garapolo or even McCarron? It’s true he still has not to yet fully earned all of the big money he made but to say he sucks when everybody else around him sucks is not an accurate assessment. Even Peyton Manning and Tom Brady would suck if their best receiver was 59th in the league.

        • trinity

          In 2010 he threw 18 touchdowns, 15 interceptions, 219 yards per game. In 2012 he threw 21 touchdowns, 13 interceptions, 231 yards per game. The other 2 years he was hurt. There it is. That is what he has produced in his career. You can toss as many excuses and justifications on the table as you want. He played nice in the division, he played well over a few games. Blah blah, because you simply cannot escape the facts. And the facts are that for his entire career, he has either been hurt or mediocre. Sure, his recievers struggled. But Sam Bradford absolutely played a part in it, and anyone who says they are completely sold on him is simply lying or fucking delusional.

          You just acknowledged in your own argument, in your own words, that he has not yet earned that contract. Well thank you, I completely agree with you :). They didn’t move on from him because of that contract, but next year will be different salary cap wise. They will be able to cut him without a huge hit :).

          As I said, there are no more excuses for mediocrity. His ass is either going to get it done, or go be someone’s backup QB. Period.

          • Gary Stewart

            trinity it is time to share a little blame forget the WRs forget the TEs the RBs the blame is shared equally between bradford and shotty. heres the point bradford has the arm but throws to the guy where he is not where he is going to be that needs to change the best qbs in the leagues throw their receivers open. and shotty and his ball security is not helping on 3rd and 8 from their own 28 yard line i have been preaching to let him throw it deep if we catch it its 50 yards gained and if they commit pass interference its 50 yards gained if they intercept its like a 50 yard punt tackle the defender and go play defense and if it falls incomplete snap the ball to our all pro punter on 4th down and play defense this 3 yard checkdown crap on third and 8 will not cut it i came i ranted now im leaving c ya

          • UhhDuhh

            Okay. Whatever you say.

          • MichaelNupe Thompson

            All that’s uncalled for. He’s here another year so live with it. We know about his ups and downs. You act like he was brought into a team to succeed. They started the rebuilding process with him. There has been little talent brought in to help him out but you sound like you just don’t like him. If that’s so then whatever. But Shit he’s a ram and if your a fan be supportive. I don’t like shotty, I don’t like how Bradford holds the ball too long. But hey their here another year. Live with it.

    • UhhDuhh

      Exactly. Even with GRob in the middle, you cannot expect Stacy, Cunningham and Mason to grind out first downs every game with NFC West defenses stacking eight in the box. They will continue to see eight and maybe even nine in the box until the WR’s can prove they can stretch the defense AND catch passes.

  • trinity

    Bradford is the issue. There are no more excuses for mediocrity. He has to perform well this year or the rams will definitely be in the hunt for another QB. For his entire career, Bradford has either been hurt or disappointing. This is the year where he has to either get good or get gone.