Saturday, August 7, 2010

32 Teams in 32 Days: #32 The Rams


We said it would start a week ago. We lied. IT STARTS NOW.  It's time for us to unveil our power rankings, REVERSE STYLE, as we start off down and dirty.  And by down and dirty, we mean the crappiest of the crap.

And that distinguished title belongs to none other than the St. Louis Rams. Pathetic was an understatement for this dump of a team in 2009.

Need a visual?  Imagine if a bunch of really shitty actors decided to make their own movie. And I mean really shitty. Imagine if Keanu Reeves, Hayden Christensen, and Nicholas Cage were in a movie together...starring Steven Seagal.  That movie would STILL be more entertaining than the '09 Rams.

So what can we expect from the Rams in 2010?

STRENGTHS


Running back Steven Jackson is the ONLY reason this team is worth watching. Jackson quietly put together his best (and healthiest) season since 2006, running for 1416 yards and leading the team with 51 receptions for another 322. But he pissed off fantasy owners like myself by only scoring 4 touchdowns all year...WHAT THE F&%@ STEVEN?

You'll be hard pressed to find any more strengths on this dumpster. They do have the badass name department taken care of, with a pretty good safety in Oshiomogho Atogwe. Youth could be another one, as St. Louis does have a solid core of young players (DE Chris Long, LB James Laurinaitis, WR Donnie Avery, and QB Sam Bradford) who theoretically can only improve. But that's gonna take time. Pllllllllllleeeeeeeeeeeeennnnty of time.

WEAKNESSES

Um...everything? They couldn't pass (28th)...nor could they stop the pass (25th)...or the run for that matter (27th)...surrendered points like France in every single war ever (31st)...and couldn't score period (32nd). Basically they were like this.

THE OFFSEASON

The Rams weren't very active in free agency. Sure they got rid of washed up QB Marc Bulger and the always shitty Kyle Boller. But their marquee signing of 2010? Fred Robbins. Seriously. Fred. Robbins.

But their draft was a step in the right direction. I'm not sold on QB Sam Bradford, especially after the shoulder injury he suffered last season, but he's definitely an upgrade over an old man and this loser. OT Rodger Saffold (Indiana) was a solid pick to keep Bradford upright...some day. And they got some high upside picks in 3rd round corner Jerome Murphy (South Florida), 4th round wide out Mardy Gilyard (Cincinnati), and 7th round DE George Selvie (South Florida, and the 2007 Defensive Player of the Year). Not bad. But experience is going to hurt this team in 2010.

THE DREAM 2010

Bradford is the real deal, Donnie Avery is the next Steve Smith (the real Steve Smith), and the Rams offense starts scoring like its 1999 (scores at all more like it).  Steven Jackson rushes for 1,800 yards with the help of an actual passing game. Meanwhile, the Rams defense starts off slow, but sees enormous strides from Chris Long as Laurainitis and Atogwe anchor an average D. St. Louis shocks the NFL with a 6-10 season (albeit in a weak NFC West).

THE NIGHTMARE 2010

The injury bug strikes...as Steven Jackson tears both his knees and Sam Bradford re-injures his shoulder, resulting in EVEN FEWER points from the league's worst scoring offense. Meanwhile, Oshiomogho Atogwe changes his name to "Thurman Murman". Then in November, Stan Kroenke's bid to buy the Rams succeeds, and he immediately announces he'll move the team to Los Angeles.   The Rams slug through the lowest scoring season in NFL history, getting shut out for all of December, and join the '08 Lions at 0-16.

SO WHAT HAPPENS IN 2010?

It doesn't look good for St. Louis when you add it all up.  The Nightmare scenario is pretty extreme...but when you add up an aging running back with a rookie QB, tons of youth and no veterans...you're 100% going to get a very long season in St. Louis. Head coach Steve Spagnuolo has his work cut out for him.

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