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  1. #1
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    Vegas, schmegas -- here are 10 reasons Rams will do better than 8-8

    Vegas, schmegas -- here are 10 reasons Rams will do better than 8-8


    BY JEFF GORDON
    Post-Dispatch Online Sports Columnist
    05/18/2005

    Las Vegas believes the Rams haven’t improved one bit.

    We know this because Vegas oddsmakers placed the “over-under” number for Rams victories at eight. The oddsmakers believe our heroes will go 8-8 again, despite their significant makeover during the offseason.

    We disagree with that assessment. We’re not encouraging folks to bet the “over” -– wagering that the team will go at least 9-7 -– because such gambling is still illegal in most of Rams Nation.

    But here are our "Top 10 Reasons The Rams Will Win More Than Eight Games:"


    1. The NFC West still stinks.

    The talent-poor ***** are still overmatched and the Rams have owned the Seahawks -– who haven’t done much to upgrade their porous defense. The Cardinals will be drastically improved with Kurt Warner at the helm (for as long as he holds up), but I’m not ready to buy a ticket on the Gridbirds Express.

    The NFC West remains the Rams’ to win or lose.


    2. The rest of the Rams schedule is manageable.

    The non-division teams visiting St. Louis will include Tennessee, New Orleans, Jacksonville, Washington and Philadelphia. Outside the NFC West, they face the Giants, Colts, Texans, Vikings and Cowboys.

    It’s not hard to imagine the Rams winning most of their home games and breaking through for at least two or three road victories. If they do that, they’ll be back in the playoffs.


    3. The new FieldTurf at the Edward Jones Dome will lessen the wear and tear on skill position players.

    Perhaps running backs Steven Jackson and Marshall Faulk will actually hold up better this season. Perhaps wide receiver Isaac Bruce will continue playing like a kid.


    4. The Rams' defense should be somewhat tougher against the run.

    Veteran linebackers Chris Claiborne and Dexter Coakley offer a massive upgrade from phantom tacklers Robert Thomas and Tommy Polley.


    5. The secondary is no longer a primary concern.

    Doctors are attempting to fix broken safety Adam Archuleta, who used to be a force against the run. Coach Mike Martz is taking no chances; the Rams signed many new defensive backs, both young and old, to create a competitive training camp.


    6. Standout defensive end Leonard Little wasn’t convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol.

    So he didn’t go to jail and the NFL didn’t suspend him. He is back to lead a defensive line that will blossom if Anthony Hargrove and Jimmy Kennedy break through.


    7. Left tackle Orlando Pace will be at training camp.

    So there will be no excuse for early-season confusion with the pass-protection schemes.


    8. The Generation Next offensive linemen should only get better.

    Richie Incognito may not help this season, as he recovers from surgery, but Alex Barron, Scott Tercero and Blaine Saipaia ought to evolve into effective blockers.

    We expect the revolving door at left guard and right tackle to quit spinning this season.


    9. Chris Chandler is gone.

    So the Rams aren’t automatically doomed to defeat should Marc Bulger get hurt.

    Veteran Jamie Martin is a stable backup and we’ll see if Jeff Smoker has the make-up to succeed in the NFL.


    10. The Rams' kick coverage can’t possibly be as bad as last season.

    A legion of potential special teams players has been added to the depth chart. Surely these guys will be able to hustle down their lanes, remain disciplined AND make tackles, right?

    Right?


    If the Rams give Bulger decent field position, competent pass blocking and a complementary running, he will pick apart most opponents and head back to the Pro Bowl.

    The bottom line is this: The Rams can play pitch and catch with any team, including the Indianapolis Colts. If they become more solid in the other aspects of the game, the Air Martz offense will carry the Rams back into postseason contention.



  2. #2
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    Re: Vegas, schmegas -- here are 10 reasons Rams will do better than 8-8

    DITTO:ramlogo: :ramlogo: :ramlogo: :ramlogo: :ramlogo:
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  3. #3
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    Re: Vegas, schmegas -- here are 10 reasons Rams will do better than 8-8

    Quote Originally Posted by RamDez
    Las Vegas believes the Rams haven’t improved one bit.

    We know this because Vegas oddsmakers placed the “over-under” number for Rams victories at eight. The oddsmakers believe our heroes will go 8-8 again, despite their significant makeover during the offseason.
    I'm not sure how true that really is. Chances are it's just something to try and bring in some betting. I think Vegas also had the Colts winning 11.5 games. How does a team win half a game? I think it's just a number they put out there to try and inspire betting as to whether or not you think the team's going to do better than eight wins, in the Rams' case.
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    RamsFanSam is offline Pro Bowl Ram
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    Re: Vegas, schmegas -- here are 10 reasons Rams will do better than 8-8

    Quote Originally Posted by NickSeiler
    How does a team win half a game?
    This is something that has bothered me for the past few seasons. What is just as bad is the point spreads that have a team winning by half a point. My father-in-law uses the point spreads from USA Today for our family "bragging rights" football pool.
    My best guess is the person picking the half game or half point is half-assed.

    Oh, and Vegas bettors: Put your money on the Rams...13-3 is NOT out of the question this year.....

    GO RAMS!!!

  5. #5
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    Re: Vegas, schmegas -- here are 10 reasons Rams will do better than 8-8

    Quote Originally Posted by NickSeiler
    I'm not sure how true that really is. Chances are it's just something to try and bring in some betting. I think Vegas also had the Colts winning 11.5 games. How does a team win half a game? I think it's just a number they put out there to try and inspire betting as to whether or not you think the team's going to do better than eight wins, in the Rams' case.
    Perhaps a tie is considered a half-game for betting purposes?

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