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Why Not Us? (Part 3)

Our St. Louis Rams had the second worst record in the NFL in 2008, just changed head coaches and have a team focused around one superstar, Steven Jackson.  The Rams just came off a very disappointing showing by their first team offense and defense against the Atlanta Falcons in their second preseason game.

But, the Rams have a few things going for them.  First is regression to the mean, their division and history.

First and foremost, the Rams play in the NFC West.  Three out of five of the last years, the NFC West has been won with a 9-7 record.  The NFC West is not the AFC East or South or the NFC East.  It is a step above the AFC West as far as quality of teams goes.  If someone is going to go from worst to first in a division, the NFC West is a great division to be in.  So, let’s look at the opposition in the NFC West and why they won’t be the division champions.

So, come take a ride with me on the unbridled optimism bandwagon after the jump as we look at the Seattle Seahawks.

The Seattle Seahawks were 4-12 in 2008, getting 2 of their wins from our St. Louis Rams.  Most of the projections for the NFC West have the Seahawks winning the division.  In 2008 the Seahawks were hit hard by the injury bug and started Seneca Wallace for most of the season at QB.

But, can the Seahawks actually stay healthy this year?  The early season projections think that they have to be more healthy than 2008, but they are an older team and the older a team, the more risk there is for injury.  Take a look at the 2008 Rams, one of the oldest teams in the league.  The Seahawks already had one of their starting tackles retire due to injury and Walter Jones, their future Hall of Famer will miss the first few weeks of the season due to injury.  Perhaps you can see where I’m going?  The Seahawks are supposed to be healthier in 2009, but they are still putting their hopes on the same players that were injured in 2008.

The Seahawks offense ranked 26th in DVOA last season and their problems were split between rushing and passing offense.  The Seahawks just signed free agent running back Edgerrin James to help fill out their running back stable.  The Seahawks also signed TJ Houshmandzadeh to help out their less than stellar wide receiver group.  Matt Hasselback is still the QB for the Seahawks.

Seattle was good against the run in 2008, but struggled against the pass (ranked 30th in DVOA).  Their first round draft pick was OLB Aaron Curry, who should be similarily good against the run and will struggle slowing the pass.

Seattle is banking on having a healthier 2009 to have an improved 2009, but have already suffered injuries to their starting center, left tackle and right tackle.  As the Rams know, the offensive line is the key to a productive offense.  The Seahawks are younger on defense, but still relying on older players on offense.  The Seahawks could have a slightly stronger defense, but the offense could stagnate again.  With so many issues, the Seahawks will not regain the NFC West crown.

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6 Responses to “Why Not Us? (Part 3)”

  1. RamHard says:

    Good analysis. To me to have “unbridled optimism” for a “Why Not Us” 2009 the Seattle season opener is the “key” game. I am not saying that if the Rams lose to Seattle their season is lost but when I try to predict the Rams winning 7-8 games (or more?) this year then we must win the opener in Seattle. Here’s why:

    I love sitting here and imagining the feelings that would be running through the minds of DV, Spags, the players and fans as the Rams celebrate in the locker room after the game and on their flight back to St Louis.

    Winning season openers creates a tremendous amount of optimism and more importantly momentum and a solid belief in what they are trying to accomplish. They return to practice ready to work hard and as a team.

    To win on the road in the NFL is challenging for any team so for Spags and the Rams to start with a road victory would certainly go a long ways towards establishing the blueprint for a winning season.

    You would be taking an all important win from a Division rival.

    I will give the ‘Hawks some props and say that their stadium will be sold out and extremely loud. It is not an easy venue to play at.

    Lastly, we come out of that game healthy and that trend continues for the entire season. We are ready to travel to Wash and after an extremely physical game I predict we will start the season 2-0.

    Hopefully that will be enough to bring the St Louis locals back into the stadium (and w/o radios stuck to their ears listening to the Cards game…LOL). Just kldding fans from Missouri. I just happen to be a native Californian and a lifetime Rams fan since ’56.

    However, for the Rams to have a successful season our home games need to return to being on the level of Minn and Indy as to indoor crowd noise.

    Pura Vida to all my Rams bros from Costa Rica

    GO RAMS !!!

  2. […] over at Ramsgab asks, Why not us? A win over Seattle in the first week sure would be nice way to start and with their suspect […]

  3. […] over at Ramsgab asks, Why not us? A win over Seattle in the first week sure would be nice way to start and with their suspect […]

  4. Justin says:

    “Plus week 1 looks like it will be the game that Seattle has most of its starters out with injuries.”

    With that in mind you’re exactly right. The Ram’s have an opportunity to steal a road game from a division rival while they are hurting.

    The more I look at the schedule the softer it keeps looking and the more optimistic I’m becoming.

    If the Ram’s can manage to win their first two road games like you’re suggesting you have to like their chances to win the division.

  5. RAMS says:


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