When playing in arguably the toughest division in football, the NFC West, who should the St. Louis Rams fear the most heading into 2015? At first glance, most would say it would be the defending champ Seattle Seahawks. But, is there another team the Rams should fear more?
There is no question that the Rams have made the most upgrades out of any team in the division heading into 2015, but it is still the Seahawks division to lose.
In my opinion, absolutely.
The 49ers have really fallen off since playing in the superbowl in 2013, so as of right now, they aren’t in the same league as the other three teams in the NFC West. But, the Cardinals on the other hand are showing no signs of slowing up heading into 2015.
Arizona was arguably the most surprising team in 2014.The Cardinals started off 2014 with a 9-1 record, but faded away after quarterback Carson Palmer wen’t down with a torn ACL. Arizona made the playoffs as a wildcard and traveled to play the Carolina Panthers in the first round of the round, but ultimately lost.
It took the Cardinals 11 wins just to find themselves in a road playoff game against a team that won their division with a losing record. That puts how tough the NFC West is into perspective.
The NFC West has been so competitive that the division has sent a second team into the playoffs, three consecutive years.
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Arizona has one of the best defenses in the league and will have Palmer healthy at the start or the 2015 season. But, I would, and will give the nod to St. Louis on overall offensive talent. Outside of Palmer and wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, the Cardinals have next to no offensive weapons. Running back Andre Ellington is a sub-par running back while wide receiver Michael Floyd is solid, but not elite.
On the other hand, the Rams have the better quarterback in my opinion with Nick Foles, and they get the nod at the running back position as well with Todd Gurley and Tre Mason. The receiving corps still have a lot to prove, but has a ton of potential, and will finally have a quarterback capable of throwing them the ball.
On the defensive side of the ball, both teams have a lot of young, very talented players. Defensive end Calais Campbell is a freak of nature while cornerback Patrick Peterson is a top five corner in the NFL. Arizona also has standout college safety Tyrann Mathieu and picked up former Atlanta Falcons linebacker, Sean Weatherspoon in free agency.
The Rams defensive squad has names such as Robert Quinn, Aaron Donald, Alec Ogletree and Chris Long but have yet to put up top 10 numbers as a unit. At first glance, these two teams are very even. It’s almost scary how even they are, but who will trump the other?
This is clearly the team the Rams need to fear the most in the NFC West. If Seattle doesn’t play up to par in 2015, then that’s icing on the cake for St. Louis, but the odds of that happening aren’t very high. If the Rams can win both games against Arizona in 2015, then you can bet the Rams will be in the mix for a a wild card berth.
It will be very exciting to see how the Rams compete in the NFC West in 2015. May the best team win.