Hawk’s 2014 NFL Preview: NFC West Edition

St Louis Rams


This team was going to be one of my surprise wildcard picks, but now they are in big trouble after losing starting QB Sam Bradford for the year to a torn ACL for the second consecutive season. Kellen Clemens stepped in for the injured Bradford last year and did OK, but they don’t even have him anymore. That leaves Shaun Hill as the starter for now. Ever hear of him? Exactly. He was a backup for the Lions at some point and the 49ers before that I think. For now that is the best they have at quarterback and with a dreadful receiving core for him to throw to (possibly the worst in the league). It’s gonna be another sad situation for this Rams team.

Running back Zac Stacy had an impressive rookie season last year, rushing for 7 TD’s and just under 1000 yards.  Rookie Tre Mason might take some of Stacy’s carries though. Mason was drafted by the Rams in the 3rd round and was a Heisman finalist for Auburn last year. He may be a sleeper. 

St. Louis’s identity is defined by their mean defensive line, which is arguably the best in the league. Defensive end Robert Quinn is a machine who was second in the NFL with 19 sacks last year. If that wasn’t impressive enough he also forced 7 fumbles. On the other end of the defensive line is Chris Long who had a respectable 8.5 sacks himself.  

They have a decent Linebacker group too. Alec Ogletree lead the team in tackles with 117 and James Laurinaitis was closely behind with 116. An interesting factoid for you WWE/WWF fans. You remember The Animal? That is Laurinaitis’s dad.

Great defense or not the Rams are going to struggle without Bradford. An already weak offense got significantly weaker after that loss. Expect them to be in last place in the NFC West again.

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