With the preseason over, it is now time to truly see what the St Louis Rams are made of following Sam Bradford‘s injury. Looking at the schedule, it will be important for the team to get off to a hot start this season. The home opener against the Vikings is winnable, on the road at Tampa Bay is winnable, and Dallas at home is also winnable. Finishing 2-1 or 3-0 is a must, because after an early bye week (Week 4) it doesn’t get easy.
The problem lies in Weeks 5-12. Every team in that span was either in the playoffs, or they were just shy of making it. The next time the Rams face a team that did not have a winning record will be Week 13 against the Oakland Raiders.
While this Rams team is built on defense and a strong running game, they will be battling against the third-toughest schedule in all the NFL. Only the Raiders and the Denver Broncos have tougher schedules.
But just look at that and assume it’s all over and that it’s time to pack it up. There is some good news in all of this scheduling. The Rams open their NFC West schedule at home back-to-back against the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks. They played both teams well last season.
Though it seems daunting, if the defense is as good as expected, the Rams have a decent shot in most of their games this season. Though most eyes are on Shaun Hill, the eyes of fans should look at Zac Stacy, Benny Cunningham, and Tre Mason (and don’t sleep on Trey Watts, who looked great this preseason). This team will be handing it off a lot trying to set up play-action passes. For the full schedule (including TV networks) click here.