St. Louis Rams 2012 NFL Team Preview
Things could not have gone much worse for the Rams last season. On their very first offensive play, star running back Steven Jackson hurt his right leg despite going untouched for a 47-yard touchdown, which forced him to miss the next game, Sam Bradford missed six games due to injuries to his right index finger and ankle and they managed to win just two games, resulting in the second pick of the draft (which was traded to the Redskins).
The Rams have fared much better in the offseason by signing high-profile head coach Jeff Fisher, bringing in solid players through free agency and putting together a promising draft class. However, they lost some key players that may force them to suffer through another disappointing regular season.
Signing cornerback Cortland Finnegan, defensive ends Kendall Langford and William Hayes and linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar are great moves. Finnegan more than makes up for the loss of former No. 1 cornerback Ron Bartell. He will be reunited with Jeff Fisher, who he played for from 2006-10. Langford possesses the ability to be a disruptive force on the defensive line and Hayes spent all four seasons of his young career with the Titans and Dunbar is coming off his first full season as a starter, in which he tied a career-high with 79 tackles for the Saints.
The Rams lost their best wide receiver, Brandon Lloyd, who signed with the Patriots in March. They countered by signing Steve Smith, who proved he can be effective by hauling in 107 receptions for 1,220 yards and seven touchdowns with the Giants in 2009. Smith had an injury-plagued season in 2010 and signed with the Eagles last season; however, he played in only 11 games, including just one start and finished with 11 catches for 124 yards and one touchdown.
The draft was eventful for the Rams, they traded the second overall pick in the draft to the Redskins in exchange for the sixth and 39th overall picks, as well as first-round picks in 2013 and 2014. The Rams then traded the No. 6 pick to the Cowboys for the 14th and 45th selections. They finally decided to take a player by drafting LSU defensive tackle Michael Brockers at No. 14. Then, with the first pick of the second round they took Brian Quick, a wide receiver from tiny Appalachian State. It's clear that Quick's athleticism and potential impressed them.
Six picks later they took North Alabama cornerback Janoris Jenkins. They also took little-known running back Isaiah Pead out of Cincinnati with the 18th pick of the second round and cornerback Trumaine Johnson out of Montana with the second pick of the third round.
The Rams are the worst team in the relatively weak NFC West and they have to face two extremely tough divisions, the NFC North and the AFC East this season. The Rams will also play the Buccaneers and the Redskins, two teams that have improved. Another aspect to consider is that three of their last four games are on the road.
The Rams will improve their 2-14 record from last season but they will not be postseason contenders. I see them battling it out with the Seahawks to avoid the NFC West basement. The oddsmakers at America's Bookie set the win total for the Rams next season at 6. Look for the Rams to win four or five games, under 6 (-115) is the play here.
St. Louis Rams 2012 Regular Season Schedule
Week 1: 1:00 PM ET, September 9 @ Detroit
Week 2: 4:05 PM ET, September 16 vs. Washington
Week 3: 1:00 PM ET, September 23 @ Chicago
Week 4: 1:00 PM ET, September 30 vs. Seattle
Week 5: 8:20 PM ET, October 4 vs. Arizona
Week 6: 1:00 PM ET, October 14 @ Miami
Week 7: 1:00 PM ET, October 21 vs. Green Bay
Week 8: 1:00 PM ET, October 28 vs. New England
Week 9: BYE
Week 10: 4:25 PM ET, November 11 @ San Francisco
Week 11: 1:00 PM ET, November 18 vs. New York Jets
Week 12: 4:25 PM ET, November 25 @ Arizona
Week 13: 1:00 PM ET, December 2 vs. San Francisco
Week 14: 1:00 PM ET, December 9 @ Buffalo
Week 15: 1:00 PM ET, December 16 vs. Minnesota
Week 16: 1:00 PM ET, December 23 @ Tampa Bay
Week 17: 4:25 PM ET, December 30 @ Seattle
- Raiders bring back Woodson
- Chargers release Haslam
- San Francisco, Houston awarded Super Bowls
- NFL approves $200 million loan for Falcons’ new stadium
- Extra Points: No lazy days for veterans on the bubble
- Romo to miss workouts after back surgery
- Report: Pats TE Gronkowski has fourth arm surgery
- Former Dolphins WR Chad Johnson spends time in jail
- Freeney headed to San Diego
- Report: Pats TE Gronkowski to have fourth arm surgery