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  1. #1
    AvengerRam's Avatar
    AvengerRam is offline Moderator Emeritus
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    To win division in 2011, Rams must survive... then thrive.

    Looking at the Rams' 2011 schedule standing alone, one might use the word "brutal." However, aside from the tough matchups (which all four NFC West teams will have to face this year), ther is another notable feature to the Rams' schedule.

    It is extremely unevenly weighted. The Rams' first eight games are far tougher (based on 2010 results) than their final eight games.

    So how does that compare to the rest of the West? The answer to that is intriguing.

    NFC West Strengths of Schedule/First 8 Games

    Rams: 70-54 (.547)
    Seahawks: 63-65 (.492)
    Cardinals: 62-66(.484)
    Niners: 53-73 (.414)

    NFC West Strengths of Schedule/Final 8 Games

    Niners: 65-63 (.508)
    Seahawks: 64-64 (.500)
    Rams: 52-76 (.406)
    Cardinals: 51-79 (.398)

    Add to this the fact that the Rams play all six division games in weeks 9 through 17, and the blueprint for winning the division becomes clear: survive... then thrive.

    If the Rams are only able to win 3 games in the first half of the season, they will still be in position to win their division. If they can go 4-4, I'd make them the favorite to win the West.


  2. #2
    GROUND DOG 39's Avatar
    GROUND DOG 39 is offline Registered User
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    Re: To win division in 2011, Rams must survive... then thrive.

    With the bounce of the ball, their is no reason why the Rams cannot get to 4-4 the first half of the season.
    I have a lot more confidence in the offense now that we drafted Bradford, I only hope the protection is good for him.? It'll be a very interesting to see how Sam fares in his second go round. I predict that he will slowly get better and better, coupled with the Rams young and improving D I see a 9-7 or an 8-8 within reach.?
    Id love a compliment for Jackson in free agency, Sproles would be a great pick up.?

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    Richbert88's Avatar
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    Re: To win division in 2011, Rams must survive... then thrive.

    Last season, the Rams had several late game break downs. The Raiders, the Buc's. I would expect that regardles of anything, those issues are not as likely this coming season. And that would indicate to me a Division Championship. It would have last season. I would love 4-4 in the first eight. I think Philly here, Washington here, Dallas on the road and New Orleans here are winable right off the top. However, with this division and it's lack of QB talent on other teams, I think another 8-8 record will win the Division. My prediction is 9-7 for the Rams, at the least.
    Semper Fi!

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    TekeRam's Avatar
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    Re: To win division in 2011, Rams must survive... then thrive.

    Has anyone else noticed that our two "in order of finish" games, or in other words the only difference in our schedule from the rest of the NFC West is against the last two Super Bowl champions?

    I find it very interesting and a very good sign that when I look at weeks 10-17, there's only one game that I'm concerned about and at this moment will predict a loss: Christmas Eve in Pittsburgh. The rest are 5 division games (3 at home), at Cleveland against our old friend Shurmur and the battle of Sophomore QB's, and hosting Cincinnati which, even if Palmer comes back, may feature Andy Dalton. 5-3 in our last 8 would be a minimal level of success in my mind.

    So, to get to 8-8, which very well could win the division, we need to find 3 wins in those first 8 games. Well, one, Week 9 in Arizona. Unless they get a QB that catches on fast, that's a win. Now it gets tough. Let's look at home games: Philly, Baltimore, Washington, New Orleans.

    Week one, it's anyone's game. If this lockout ever gets lifted, the Rams have the advantage of being able to open camp up first, which means more time with coaches. Sadly, even with going over the offense over the lockout, I have to give the game to the established system. Baltimore is a more physical team than us and I'll take that in a year where there's going to be some sloppy play. Washington is a mess and we've gotten to know them very well. If we can keep Orakpo in check, Sam should shred them. They were horrible against the pass last year and should only lose talent in the secondary. Win #2. New Orleans. They drop games against bad teams, and blow away good teams. It seems like the Saints are always in a matched fight, but I have to take experience. NO takes it.

    Now onto the road games: Giants, Packers, and Cowboys. If Eli comes out and has a year like last year, this one could be easy. With the loss of two of their big playmakers probable in Steve Smith(PUP/FA) and Ahmad Bradshaw(FA), I think I see the Giants' offense taking a step back, and Spags certainly knows it already. This could be a win. I don't see anything happening up in Wisconsin, but the Cowboys are another mystery. They could be great or they could be really bad. No way to tell.

    So to sum it up, we have at least 5 wins in the second half, 2 in the first half, and possible games against the other 3/4 of the NFC East. We should get to 8-8 despite the killer first half and that should be enough to be in the Dome Wild Card weekend.
    I believe!

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