Last year’s version of the Rams was one that Rams’ fans have experienced in recent years: no Sam Bradford, good defense, and lackluster offensive weapons doomed the Rams as they went 6-10. Hopefully, with a new quarterback in Nick Foles, top draft pick Todd Gurley, and the return of wideout Brian Quick can finally help this good defense out to make the playoffs a reality.
1. Can Foles bounce back? He is coming a injury-riddled season after a blistering 2013 campaign. The Rams have suffered mightily at the quarterback position previously, so they really need Foles to come up huge. This team I feel is a quality quarterback away from making some real noise in the NFC. He has the physical tools, but he needs to be healthy.
2. Todd Gurley: Can the Rams depend on him? Gurley, some said, was the best running back in the draft. I tend to agree because of his toughness and explosiveness. The issue is the two torn ACL’s he suffered in college. I understand why the Rams drafted him, they felt like a weapon like him only comes so often. I just wonder how much of the load can he bare. The plus is that Tre’ Mason is still in the running back group as well. I expect the two to split carries.
3. Will the defense take the next step and become dominant? This unit is a good, young collection of talent. We know about Robert Quinn and Chris Long (has to stay healthy), but with guys like Aaron Donald and Alec Ogletree this defense can be scary if fully healthy. Don’t forget Janoris Jenkins and the extremely consistent James Laurinatis. I am intrigued to see what the Rams can get out of Nick Fairley. A couple of things concern me however; the Rams were -2 in turnover margin and they allowed 22.1 points per game. Dominant defenses find ways to take the ball away and they keep offenses from the end zone. The talent is there to be special.
Brian Quick: Had his season cut short due to injury, but he did average over fifteen yards per catch. He is a big-play guy that would be perfect opposite Kenny Britt on the outside. I can see him getting a lot of looks because Foles can get it out of his hands quickly. I think he is a good mid to late round steal in PPR league, I think he has decent potential in a standard league because I don’t see a bunch of touchdowns.
Drafted possibly the best offensive talent in the draft in Todd Gurley. Really addressed offensive line in the middle rounds with Rob Havenstein and Jamon Brown. A Jeff Fisher-esque draft for sure. Wide receiver would have been nice to draft.
Brian Quick will be the first St. Louis receiver since Torry Holt in 2007 to have a 1,000 yard season.
Next Up: The NFC West concludes with the NFC Champion Seattle Seahawks.