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Thread: Sando: Mailbag: Worst to first a towering order ..

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    Sando: Mailbag: Worst to first a towering order ..

    June, 26, 2012

    By Mike Sando | ESPN.com

    Jeff from St. Louis asks whether the St. Louis Rams have a decent shot at going from worst to first in the division.

    "I know the ***** have expectations this year," he wrote, "but it seems in our division it changes year to year. I'm a die-hard fan and always hope for the best."

    Mike Sando: Yes, the Rams have a chance. It's an outside chance. They arguably have the most talented quarterback in the division. They have talent on their defensive line. Strength at those positions will give a team a chance.

    The Rams will need much better luck with injuries. They're due on that front. (Amen brother !! Amen !!!!)

    Also, while the NFC West has improved, the quarterback situations aren't stable across the board. There are no perennial Pro Bowl quarterbacks standing in the Rams' way. Every team in the division has taken too many sacks recently. Sacks put quarterbacks at risk to injury. A team's fortunes can swing wildly with an unexpected quarterback change.

    Alex Smith started all 16 regular-season games for the *****. He was an exception among quarterbacks in the division. League-wide, seven quarterbacks have started 16 games in each of the past two seasons: Joe Flacco, Philip Rivers, Matt Ryan, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Eli Manning and Mark Sanchez. Peyton Manning, Carson Palmer, Matt Schaub, Josh Freeman and Bradford started 16 games in 2010, but not last season (Palmer was not injured).

    Fifteen different quarterbacks have put together consecutive 16-start seasons since 2007.

    2012 Worst-to-first Candidates
    Team Division 2011 W-L
    Chiefs AFC West 7-9
    Bills AFC East 6-10
    Redskins NFC East 5-11
    Browns AFC North 4-12
    Bucs NFC South 4-12
    Vikings NFC North 3-13
    Rams NFC West 2-14
    Colts AFC South 2-14


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    Re: Sando: Mailbag: Worst to first a towering order ..

    We have the best RB, QB, DE's, MLB, and CB's in the division. I'd say we have a chance.
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    Re: Sando: Mailbag: Worst to first a towering order ..

    Quote Originally Posted by sosa39rams View Post
    We have the best RB, QB, DE's, MLB, and CB's in the division. I'd say we have a chance.
    I would say Patrick Willis is still on a level higher than Laurinaitis.

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    Re: Sando: Mailbag: Worst to first a towering order ..

    Quote Originally Posted by sosa39rams View Post
    We have the best RB, QB, DE's, MLB, and CB's in the division. I'd say we have a chance.
    QB? Maybe. Bradford only by default.
    RB? Nope. The Whiners and Seahawks are better.
    MLB? Really? Over Willis? I like JL but come on.
    CB's? Really bettin' on the rooks aren't we?
    DE? Long maybe, but Quinn is still an unknown.

    We have a chance because other teams can suffer the same amount of injuries to key players that the Rams suffered last year. ...and if they do and the Rams do not, maybe. But head-to-head?

    I just don't see it.
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    Re: Sando: Mailbag: Worst to first a towering order ..

    Quote Originally Posted by RockinRam View Post
    I would say Patrick Willis is still on a level higher than Laurinaitis.
    Jesus, I totally forgot about Willis! I retract my statement.
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    Re: Sando: Mailbag: Worst to first a towering order ..

    Quote Originally Posted by RAMFANRAIDERHATER View Post
    QB? Maybe. Bradford only by default.
    RB? Nope. The Whiners and Seahawks are better.
    MLB? Really? Over Willis? I like JL but come on.
    CB's? Really bettin' on the rooks aren't we?
    DE? Long maybe, but Quinn is still an unknown.

    We have a chance because other teams can suffer the same amount of injuries to key players that the Rams suffered last year. ...and if they do and the Rams do not, maybe. But head-to-head?

    I just don't see it.
    QB: Bradford is the best, hands down.
    RB: I'd beg to differ.

    Frank Gore Career Stats (7 years): 7,625 yards, 43 TD's, 2,397 receiving yards, 9 TD's, 28 FUM
    Marshawn Lynch (5 years): 4,542 yards, 35 TD's, 1,020 receiving yards, 2 TD's, 14 FUM
    Steven Jackson (8 years): 9,093 yards, 52 TD's, 3,003 receiving yards, 8 TD's, 23 FUM

    SJ has shown no signs of slowing down, and based on his year-year numbers, I'll take him over Gore and Lynch any time of the day.

    MLB: My mistake, Willis is the best MLB in the NFL, he slipped my mind!
    CB: Finnegan is the best CB in our division, not to mention the other 4 guys.
    DE: Long in my opinion yes, Quinn is an unknown, correct. I'm going off what he's going to produce when he starts 16 games.


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    Re: Sando: Mailbag: Worst to first a towering order ..

    Quote Originally Posted by RAMFANRAIDERHATER View Post
    QB? Maybe. Bradford only by default.
    RB? Nope. The Whiners and Seahawks are better.
    MLB? Really? Over Willis? I like JL but come on.
    CB's? Really bettin' on the rooks aren't we?
    DE? Long maybe, but Quinn is still an unknown.

    We have a chance because other teams can suffer the same amount of injuries to key players that the Rams suffered last year. ...and if they do and the Rams do not, maybe. But head-to-head?

    I just don't see it.
    Really? You don't think Jackson is better than any of the running backs in our division. The guy is a beast. He can run with the best of them. I would take him over gore or lynch any day of the week, and twice on sunday.

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    Re: Sando: Mailbag: Worst to first a towering order ..

    Gore is done now. Just watch. He got run into the ground last year. And there is a reason they brought in both Brandon Jacobs and LaMicheal James

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    Re: Sando: Mailbag: Worst to first a towering order ..

    Gore and Lynch at worst are close in productivity to Jackson. It is not a hands down situation. Bradford has a lot to prove after last year's injury riddled sh** show. Laurinaitis is a solid player but not yet on Willis' level. Finnegan looks good on paper but hasn't played a down for this team, nor has Jenkins. Last years' CB crop was a revolving door of guys who couldn't stay healthy. I think Long is the best DE in the division, and Quinn has a shot to be a quality player, though he's not there yet and has a lot to learn.

    The overall point? There is not a great deal of separation at these key spots between us and the rest of the West. Certainly, worst to first can be done- we've seen it time and again in the NFL and saw the greatest turnaround in NFL history with our very own Rams in 1999-2000. But it is going to take an extraordinary set of circustances to make it happen, plus a little luck along the way.

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    Re: Sando: Mailbag: Worst to first a towering order ..

    Quote Originally Posted by sosa39rams View Post
    Jesus, I totally forgot about Willis! I retract my statement.
    Well, don't.

    Folks, don't just hand the title to Willis w/o taking a look at it. In 2011, J-Lau outplayed Willis. J-Lau is on his way up, and Willis is coming off his worst year. All signs point to J-Lau being even better this year, but how will Willis react to his less-than-stellar 2011.

    I think by the end of this season, J-Lau will have a strong (if not undeniable) case to be named top MIKE in the NFC-W.
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    Re: Sando: Mailbag: Worst to first a towering order ..

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison View Post
    Well, don't.

    Folks, don't just hand the title to Willis w/o taking a look at it. In 2011, J-Lau outplayed Willis. J-Lau is on his way up, and Willis is coming off his worst year. All signs point to J-Lau being even better this year, but how will Willis react to his less-than-stellar 2011.

    I think by the end of this season, J-Lau will have a strong (if not undeniable) case to be named top MIKE in the NFC-W.
    I just wanted to add to this point a little.... Don't forget the improved defensive line is going to free up J-Lau a lot and make him a much better player.

    Also, it could be argued that our terrible past d-line could have easily contributed to the other running backs in our division having slightly inflated statics.

    Rams should be better overall and they'll probably get over looked early. They have to take advantage of it.
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    Re: Sando: Mailbag: Worst to first a towering order ..

    Quote Originally Posted by mikhal5569 View Post
    Also, it could be argued that our terrible past d-line could have easily contributed to the other running backs in our division having slightly inflated statics.
    Do you mean like how Demarco Murray, who hadn't rushed for more than 34 yards in one game at that point, set the Cowboy's record for most rushing yards in one game against us?
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    Re: Sando: Mailbag: Worst to first a towering order ..

    Quote Originally Posted by sjacksonrules View Post
    Really? You don't think Jackson is better than any of the running backs in our division. The guy is a beast. He can run with the best of them. I would take him over gore or lynch any day of the week, and twice on sunday.
    No. No I don't. He is far from a "beast" anymore. He can't power through a tackle, can't outrun anyone, and definitely can't block. I'd have no problem taking Gore, Hunter, or Lynch over Jackson at this stage of his career. Career stats mean nothing NOW. We have the Jackson of 2012 and no, he's not the premier back in the NFCW. To say he hasn't slowed down is crazy. Yes he has. He comes down with relatively ease in the open field, especially when a tackler goes low on him.
    Last edited by RAMFANRAIDERHATER; -06-28-2012 at 01:17 AM.
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    Re: Sando: Mailbag: Worst to first a towering order ..

    Quote Originally Posted by RAMFANRAIDERHATER View Post
    No. No I don't. He is far from a "beast" anymore. He can't power through a tackle, can't outrun anyone, and definitely can't block. I'd have no problem taking Gore, Hunter, or Lynch over Jackson at this stage of his career. Career stats mean nothing NOW. We have the Jackson of 2012 and no, he's not the premier back in the NFCW. To say he hasn't slowed down is crazy. Yes he has. He comes down with relatively ease in the open field, especially when a tackler goes low on him.
    I'm not really disagreeing with your assessment of Jackson, more of your statement that you would take Gore over him.

    This is from Rotoworld:
    Frank Gore had just one game with a per-carry average over 4.0 in the second half of the 2011 season.Gore's per-carry average plummeted to 3.2 in the final eight games after he was run into the ground during a five-game stretch of 100-yard performances from Weeks 4-9. Just as worrisome are Gore's lack of production in the passing game and the arrival of LaMichael James and potential goal-line horse Brandon Jacobs to go with talented second-year back Kendall Hunter

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    Re: Sando: Mailbag: Worst to first a towering order ..

    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Ramsfan1 View Post
    The overall point? There is not a great deal of separation at these key spots between us and the rest of the West. Certainly, worst to first can be done- we've seen it time and again in the NFL and saw the greatest turnaround in NFL history with our very own Rams in 1999-2000. But it is going to take an extraordinary set of circustances to make it happen, plus a little luck along the way.
    I agree that the separation in key spots is not that much. So I have to ask why would it take an extraordinary set of circumstances to make it happen?

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