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Thread: Av's "Looking West" 2013 Preview: Who will get the jump out of the gate?

  1. #1
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Av's "Looking West" 2013 Preview: Who will get the jump out of the gate?

    Throughout the offseason, the national media has been talking about the epic battle between the Seahawks and the Niners for NFC West supremacy. For those looking for fresher angle, the Rams have become an "in vogue" pick to "crash the party." Then there's the Cardinals. While they have many question marks, a strong defense, and the prospect of a Carson Palmer/Larry Fitzgerald combo has some suggesting even they could be a dark horse.

    So, as we look ahead, how will the early schedule impact this race? Which team is in the best position to get the jump out of the gate in Weeks 1 through 4?

    Week 1
    Cardinals @ Rams
    @ Panthers
    Packers @ Niners

    The Rams start with somewhat of a must-win contest. If they are going to compete in the West, they can't afford to drop a home game to the weakest divisional opponent. For the Cardinals, its an opportunity to leap frog the Rams from day 1. The Seahawks start with a classic "trap game." They have a superior roster to the Panthers, no doubt, but Carolina can be tough at home and there are always a couple of upsets at the start of a season. The Niners get a good draw to start, as they matched-up very well against the Packers last season, and get to start the year on their home turf. A loss to the Packers, who will be a favorite to win the NFC North, could have implications down the road.

    Week 2
    Rams @ Falcons
    Niners @ Seahawks
    Lions @ Cardinals

    The Rams go from a must-win scenario, to an expected loss. If the Rams could go to Atlanta and steal one from a contender like the Falcons, that would be a huge boost. The Niners and Seahawks square off early. In this rivalry, home field is key, and I would expect the Seahawks to protect their turf. The Cardinals get a tough, but winnable, home game as they will try to keep pace.

    Week 3
    Rams @ Cowboys
    Cardinals @ Saints
    Jaguars @ Seahawks
    Colts @ Niners

    The Rams will be tested again on the road against the enigmatic Cowboys. While it won't be easy, this would be a good week for the Rams to steal a road win. The Cardinals have a tough draw against a strong Saints team. The Seahawks have a near "gimme." The Niners also should win against a Colts team that overachieved last year.

    Week 4
    Niners @ Rams
    Seahawks @ Texans
    Cardinals @ Buccaneers

    The Rams will have a national spotlight as they host the hated Niners. San Francisco will be out for revenge, while the Rams' confidence should be high. The Seahawks' schedule finally gets tougher, as the Texans are contenders. The Cardinals get another potentially tough road game.

    Looking at these schedules, it seems that the Seahawks have the advantage to start the season. I would be surprised if they didn't go at least 3-1. The Niners will have to travel to Seattle and St. Louis, which presents both a challenge and an opportunity to get the upper hand in the division. The Rams need to hold serve with two home divisional games, and would be thrilled with a split in the two road games against the Falcons and Cowboys. The Cardinals could fall behind in the race very quickly if they don't pull off a couple of upsets.

    I'll make my actual picks later, but its clear that the battle for the West will be heated from Day 1.
    laram0 and Tampa_Ram like this.

  2. #2
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    Re: Av's "Looking West" 2013 Preview: Who will get the jump out of the gate?

    rams can start 4-0 realistically...this is awesome

    and it's not HOPING!

  3. #3
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    Re: Av's "Looking West" 2013 Preview: Who will get the jump out of the gate?

    After the way our team played last season I don't see anyone on the schedule that we absolutely "can't" beat.

  4. #4
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    Re: Av's "Looking West" 2013 Preview: Who will get the jump out of the gate?

    The NFL even more this upcoming season is such a crap shoot because so many teams are bundled up in the 8-8. 9-7 crowd. A bounce here and an injury there makes a teams season now a days.

    I would say you have the Rams, Bears, Lions, Saints, Cowboys, Redskins, Vikings, Bucs, All in that middle of the pack area in NFC. The lower teams are Cards, Panthers, Giants, Eagles and the teams that are just a slight notch above the middle would be Seahawks, Niners, Packers, Falcons.

    By proclaiming the teams that are a slight notch above this where injuries and turnovers come into play. Does Kaepernick have a sophomore slump? What about Russell Wilson? Are the falcons a bit long in the tooth? What about the Packers Defense? I am 100% certain in my mind that the Rams will make this season the most exciting and interesting season we've had for 10 years...

  5. #5
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    Re: Av's "Looking West" 2013 Preview: Who will get the jump out of the gate?

    Quote Originally Posted by laram0 View Post
    After the way our team played last season I don't see anyone on the schedule that we absolutely "can't" beat.
    I feel the same way........nice to feel that way considering the lost years. But, Rams will be beaten on some Sundays. I think a 2-2 start is a positive as this team learns about itself.

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