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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
    RamWraith is offline Registered User
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    Rams have a tough road to travel in '06

    BY JEFF GORDON
    STLTODAY.COM SPORTS COLUMNIST
    04/07/2006

    Coach Scott Linehan and his new assistants know exactly what the Rams face in 2006. The NFL schedule offers up some big challenges and appealing made-for-media rivalries.

    Here is how the season will unfold:


    Sept. 10, Denver, noon: Ouch. They face the Broncos meat grinder right away. We’ll find out if Jim Haslett’s rebuilt defense can stop the run. Denver will pound away at the front seven again and again and again with that powerful offensive line. Mike Shanahan could pull a baggage handler out of the stands and get a 200-yard game out of him.


    Sept. 17, at San Francisco, 3:05 p.m.: Last season, the Niners gave the Rams an early boot to the groin. The ‘05 season immediately began to unravel after that sorry performance. At the time, San Francisco didn’t realize just how bad it was. As the season progressed, that realization sunk in. This game will tell us if Frisco is still an also-ran -– or if the young ***** are finally on the climb.


    Sept. 24 at Arizona, 3:15 p.m.: Quarterback Kurt Warner should still be healthy in Week 3, so this reunion will be interesting. No. 13 should have a nice ground game and stronger offensive line play to go with his impressive receiver corps. The Gridbirds were a sexy pick by the experts in ‘05, but this season Bill Bidwill’s perennial doormat may FINALLY be ready to compete. Some things just take time.


    Oct. 1, Detroit, 3:05 p.m.: Hey, look, it’s Mike Martz! Mad Mike won’t sleep a wink while preparing his Lions offense to face his old team and his good buddy Haslett. What will be the over-under on flea-flicker passes and double-reverse runs? No offensive coordinator will ever try harder than Martz this week. This may be the day his head finally explodes.


    Oct. 8, at Green Bay, noon: By this point of the year, Brett Favre should finally know whether or not he is playing in ’06. Either way, this is a road game the Rams should win if they are playing well. The tailgating and the museum tour in Green Bay should be much better than the actual team these days.


    Oct. 15, Seattle, noon: The reigning NFC champs visit in a game with playoff implications. (Or so Rams fans hope.) By Week 6 of this season, Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren should finally have put the Super Bowl officiating fiasco behind him.


    Week 7 BYE: This is a well-placed week off. After playing a half-dozen games, the Rams ought to be sufficiently beat up -– especially after facing the Seahawks at home.


    Oct. 29, at San Diego, 3:05 p.m.: This starts a challenging stretch of the schedule. Let’s hope Haslett has taught the Rams safeties how to tackle, because Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson WILL rush the ball to the second level if he's healthy.


    Nov. 5, Kansas City, noon: If the Rams stink, The Ed will fill up with Chiefs fans visiting from the West Coast of Missouri. Like the Chargers, the Chiefs will sorely test the Rams rushing “D” with their ground game. Haslett will be glad Mike Furrey is playing receiver for the Lions rather than safety for the Rams.


    Nov. 12, at Seattle, 3:15 p.m.: Unless Shaun Alexander is abducted by aliens, this will be another brutal challenge.


    Nov. 19, at Carolina, noon: This road challenge caps a brutal four-game span. If the Panthers feature healthy running backs -– unlike during the playoffs -– they will continue the assault against the Rams run defense.


    Nov. 26, San Francisco, noon: We don’t expect the Niners to contend this season, given their lack of a passing attack. So the Rams ought to be able to win this game, then take care of their Christmas shopping afterward.


    Dec. 3, Arizona, noon: The Gridbirds return to the Dome. Will Warner still be upright this late in the season? The chances of that are about 50-50. With Kurt playing, this game will create the usual media frenzy. Without him, it will be a snooze.


    Dec. 11, Chicago, 7:30 p.m.: Finally, prime-time exposure for the Rams! Lovie Smith’s aggressive Bears defense will give Linehan and his offensive staff plenty to do all week. This Monday night tilt would be more fun if Martz were still here, but we doubt that the Lions will let him take the week off.


    Dec. 17, at Oakland, 4:15 p.m.: Yesteryear Raiders coach Art Shell will take his lumps during his second go-round at the helm. But if receiver Randy Moss is healthy, it’ll be fun to watch what Haslett’s secondary does with him.


    Dec. 24, Washington, noon: The Redskins have spent what seems like $100 million on assistant coaches, so the Washington game plan for this game will be the size of the Manhattan phone book. But will all this expensive brainpower convince Washington to play a smart road game?


    Dec. 31, at Minnesota, noon: Linehan will have a pretty good idea how to attack the Vikings defense, having done time there before spending a season in Miami. Something tells us Haslett will be glad Daunte Culpepper, bad leg and all, is quarterbacking the Dolphins and not these guys.


    All in all, this is a difficult road the Rams must travel. The AFC West is no fun to play against. Neither are the Bears and Panthers. Facing Denver is a tough way to start, even at home, and that is a nasty turn of the schedule after the bye week.

    Best of luck, fellas.


  2. #2
    Haterade Guest

    Re: Rams have a tough road to travel in '06

    Nov. 12, at Seattle, 3:15 p.m.: Unless Shaun Alexander is abducted by aliens, this will be another brutal challenge.
    Hm....the guy does get his yards when he plays the Rams.

  3. #3
    RamsFan16 Guest

    Re: Rams have a tough road to travel in '06

    Ya when we didn't have Haslett or Witherspoon or Glover or Chavous or Huff and Hodge

  4. #4
    Rampage39 Guest

    Re: Rams have a tough road to travel in '06

    You might want to reserve the Huff or Hodge comment until after the draft. Just to be sure. Btw whos that player in your sig, RF16. Pretty sure hes a hawkeye but is he any good?

  5. #5
    RamsFan4ever's Avatar
    RamsFan4ever is offline Registered User
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    Re: Rams have a tough road to travel in '06

    Huff, Huff Huff!!!!! We NEED him!!!!! Why couldnt the draft be this weekend.....I cant wait.....after the bye we face alexander, LT, larry johnson(if he's the starter, most likely), clinton portis, james and edge...... GO RAMS!!!!! GO RAMS D!!!!!!

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