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Thread: What to expect from Rams' 2014 schedule/Wagoner ..

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    What to expect from Rams' 2014 schedule/Wagoner ..

    By Jim Thomas

    Tipsheet: Once again Rams face brutal schedule

    After a soft opening, the Rams must face playoff-caliber teams week after week after week. Making it to December in on piece will be difficult. Read more


    In two prime-time home games last season against NFC West foes, the Rams managed to score a combined 20 points.

    Hopefully, it goes better this time around because the Rams once again have two prime-time home games ó both against NFC West foes ó on their 2014 schedule.

    The NFL released its schedule Wednesday and has the Rams playing host to San Francisco on Monday, Oct. 13 and two months later facing Arizona on Thursday, Dec. 11 in nationally-televised games at Edward Jones Dome.

    The timing of the Monday nighter against San Francisco is strange because thatís usually postseason time for Cardinals baseball. And going up against the Cardinals in the postseason usually isnít a good idea.

    Last year, the Rams fell 14-9 to eventual Super Bowl champion Seattle in an Oct. 28 Monday night contest at the dome. An intense, physical contest came down to the final play with Kellen Clemens throwing incomplete to Brian Quick in the end zone, on fourth-and-goal from the 1.

    With the Cardinals playing Game 5 of World Series that night against Boston less than a mile down Broadway at Busch Stadium, the Rams had 55,966 tickets distributed.

    But there were maybe 45,000 fans in the dome that night. The Rams-Seahawks game drew a 10.9 television rating locally, compared to 43.8 for Cards-Red Sox.

    So who knows what the NFL schedule-makers were thinking in having the Rams play another prime-time home game in October?

    Overall, 2014 promises to be one of the Ramsí most attractive home schedules since coming to St. Louis in 1995. They open the season at home for the second year in a row, this time facing the great Adrian Peterson and Minnesota on Sept. 7.

    Dallas, which has played the Rams only twice here, comes to town Sept. 21.

    The Rams get Peyton Manning and Denver at the dome Nov. 16, followed by brother Eli Manning and the New York Giants here five weeks later on Dec. 21. The only other non-division home game is Oakland (Nov. 3) ó here for the first time since 2002.

    In that Ď02 contest, quarterback Marc Bulger started his first NFL game and led the previously winless Rams (0-5) to a stunning 28-13 victory over a previously unbeaten Raiders squad (4-0) that went on to the Super Bowl that season.

    As for the Ramsí 2014 road schedule, their first away contest comes in Week 2 (Sept. 14) in Tampa Bay against new Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith, the one-time Rams defensive coordinator. It figures to be hot and humid for that one, so the Rams will get an early test of their conditioning.

    Besides their divisional opponents, the Rams also travel to Philadelphia Oct. 5 against a high-flying Eagles offense that should test new Rams defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. Three weeks later on Oct. 26, itís Kansas City and the Sea of Red at Arrowhead Stadium.

    Even the Ramsí best teams have struggled there over the years.

    On Nov. 23, the Rams make only their second trip to San Diego since the move to St. Louis. And on Dec. 7, itís time to revisit the RGIII trade when the Rams play Robert Griffin III and Washington at FedEx Field. As far as the Rams are concerned, the Redskins are practically an honorary member of the NFC West, because this game marks the eighth time the teams have met in 10 seasons.

    The meat-grinder portion of the 2014 schedule has to be Weeks 5 through 12, a stretch in which seven of the eight opponents made the playoffs in 2013 including both Super Bowl XLVIII participants. It begins with the Philly game and concludes with the contest in San Diego.

    The only non-playoff team from 2013 in that span is Arizona, no slouch last year at 10-6. Obviously, a teamís success one season doesnít necessarily translate into victories the next.

    Then again, San Francisco, Seattle and Denver probably arenít going to shrivel up and die in 2014. They comprise four of the games in the eight-game stretch, including two contests against San Francisco.

    Making matters worse, five of those eight games are on the road, including three in a row against KC (Week 8), San Fran (Week 9) and Arizona (Week 10).

    And what would a Rams regular season be without a trip to Seattle to close things?

    Thatís right ó for the fourth time in five seasons, the Rams end 2014 at CenturyLink Field, the loudest venue these days in the NFL.


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    Re: What to expect from Rams' 2014 schedule/Wagoner ..

    The schedule is tough on paper but who's to say these teams won't be performing as they are expected to based on last season. The first 3 games are manageable but one of those teams are bound to give us problems.

    It wouldn't surprise me if these tough games after the bye week are going to be played down the wire since our defense managed to perform well on their own despite Walton's horrendous scheme. Having Gregg Williams coach our defense is gravy in this situation.

    Our ability to get past the .500 pct will depend on how competent our offense is. We should be capable if we solidify our O-line since Schotty's gameplanning revolves around establishing the run game to open up some deadly play action passes.
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    Re: What to expect from Rams' 2014 schedule/Wagoner ..

    Not only that, but how many times have we seen the Rams beat, maybe even slaughter, a playoff contender team, only to lose in games originally thought winnable?

    Off the top of my head, I recall Rams surprising the Saints and Colts, only to turn around and lose to a struggling non-playoff team.

    In my opinion, all games are tough... but all are winnable as well. Even Clemons (well, Stacy really) led Rams within 1 yard of beating the Seachickens last year.
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    Re: What to expect from Rams' 2014 schedule/Wagoner ..

    All you have to do is look back to last year. The cards on paper where going to be a bad team they went 10-6. In week two we played the Falcons and they where going to make a run at the SB. How about the Texans another playoff and SB team on paper.
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    Re: What to expect from Rams' 2014 schedule/Wagoner ..

    The way I look at it, the teams we are playing should be worried about the RAMS
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    Re: What to expect from Rams' 2014 schedule/Wagoner ..

    There's no feeling like going through a season as an underdog and winning out.
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    Re: What to expect from Rams' 2014 schedule/Wagoner ..

    Sure the schedule looks tough but I don't think Jim Thomas (writer of this article) is giving our RAMS enough credit. We played well last season with an unknown RB and backup QB. That's all going to change. Not to mention we now have a real DC to lead our already strong defense.
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    Re: What to expect from Rams' 2014 schedule/Wagoner ..

    We will kill it as the kids say. I can't wait for the whiners and the 'boys game. We got embarrassed last year by them. Our d made their RBs look like Jim Brown and Barry Sanders all rolled into one. Those games are what is making me think that Clowney or Mack might be a good choice. I want to dominate those teams especially!
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    Re: What to expect from Rams' 2014 schedule/Wagoner ..

    Quote Originally Posted by macrammer View Post
    The way I look at it, the teams we are playing should be worried about the RAMS
    That reminded me of something! LOL
    That's right, and what does that mean for the teams playing the Rams? Bad News for them!

    That just took me back a few years... Hopefully our 'Bad News' Rams live up to this moniker, cause that is just fun to say! Go Rams Go! I expect to have roasted bird when we face the Sea Chickens and them red sparrows! And hopefully the Niners will pan out to be golden for us when we put some cans of whoop tail on them! That was kinda fun to think about! We got this thing in the bag, now I look at this schedule in this light...

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    Re: What to expect from Rams' 2014 schedule/Wagoner ..

    I don't think it's even as awful on paper as some feel.I like that 4 of the first 6 will be at home. The Rams were 5-3 at home/2-6 away last year. Homefield and the early bye give Sam & co a chance to get their groove back & not fall behind in the NFCW before that road stretch,etc.

    While it's true that The Rams are the only NFCW team with a 3 game road trip, the KC trip is more of a commute than a trip. I also like the non NFCW away/home combo The Rams face more than our NFCW foes'. Their road games look just as tough, if not more so,imo.

    I also like that the Thurs game comes late , is home, and followed by a home game. Late season mini-bye,imo.

    Impossible, as others have noted, to judge match-ups but I think it's easier to see another two home wins than a climb to or even above .500 on the road. Maybe 10-6/11-5 doesn't make the playoffs but I think it's realistic with good health and the odd bounce.
    Last edited by Azul e Oro; -04-25-2014 at 08:40 PM.
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    Re: What to expect from Rams' 2014 schedule/Wagoner ..

    Quote Originally Posted by KoaKoi View Post
    Not only that, but how many times have we seen the Rams beat, maybe even slaughter, a playoff contender team, only to lose in games originally thought winnable?

    Off the top of my head, I recall Rams surprising the Saints and Colts, only to turn around and lose to a struggling non-playoff team.

    In my opinion, all games are tough... but all are winnable as well. Even Clemons (well, Stacy really) led Rams within 1 yard of beating the Seachickens last year.
    Exactly.

    So no question tough on paper, but anything is possible.


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    Re: What to expect from Rams' 2014 schedule/Wagoner ..

    Too early to tell. Don't know the draft yet. Don't know cuts yet. Don't know injuries. Ask me Sept. 1st.

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