Over the past week I have gone over the 2014 season projection of every offensive position and major offensive player on the St. Louis Rams. Now we will go over the defensive projections as a group as well as the special teams. Other than quarterback Sam Bradford, the defense may have the most pressure to succeed in 2014. With four first round picks on the defensive line and the fact that they play in a defensive division, the defense must come through. Here are the 2014 projections for the St. Louis Rams defense and special teams.
NFL.com- 51 sacks, 18 INTs, 10 Fumble recoveries, 1 safety, 5 TDs
ESPN.com- 60 sacks, 13 INTs, 11 Fumble recoveries, 5 TDs, 362 Points Allowed, 5,345 yards allowed
With Gregg Williams taking over the defensive play calling, the defense didn’t improve as much statistically according to these models as one might expect. In fact, in the one area that the defense will probably improve the most in, turnovers, ESPN actually has the Rams taking a step back from last season. Meanwhile NFL.com has the Rams taking a step back in the sacks department, which would be very surprising.
The points allowed were about the same as well as the yards allowed. The one area where the Rams significantly do better, at least from the ESPN standpoint, is in sacks. According to those projections the Rams would lead the league if they came up with 60.
At the end of the season I see between 55-60 sacks, 18-21 interceptions, 15 fumble recoveries, and seven touchdowns. 300-320 points allowed to go along with 5,000 yards is also a pretty realistic projection. All of these projection rely on one thing, and that is, will Gregg Williams take this defense to the next level?
NFL.com- 3(0-19), 3(20-29), 6(30-39), 7(40-49), 4(50+)
ESPN.com- 17/18(0-39), 7/8(40-49), 3/5(50+)
Zuerlein missing twice in the preseason opener had to be a little concerning even if Jeff Fisher said it was because it was a different long snapper. ESPN has Zuerlein going 27/31 on the season and that is a pretty fair projection. Legatron improved his kicking percentage from 74% his rookie season to 93% last season, and somewhere between 90%-95% would be pretty good, for the Rams kicker who is usually automatic.
And there you have it, the 2014 season projections of the St. Louis Rams. Come back tomorrow and we will see whether or not these stats translate to wins and a playoff berth.
Tags: St. Louis Rams