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2014 St. Louis Rams Odds | Season Preview | NFL Predictions

2014 Rams NFL Handicapping

Rams Ready To Post Winning Record After Decade Of Losing

The St. Louis Rams have gone 10-straight seasons without posting a winning record. They are finally set to break through in 2014.

St. Louis is coming off of back-to-back 7-9 seasons under head coach Jeff Fisher and there is a foundation for success heading in to year three for the current regime. The Rams made some impressive offseason additions through both the draft and free agency. The road won’t be easy in an NFC West division that features the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers this team will challenge for a playoff spot if it can stay healthy.

2014 St. Louis Rams Team Preview/Predictions

  • 2013 Record: 7-9
  • ATS Record: 7-9

2014 Rams Futures

  • Super Bowl Odds: +4000
  • Conference Odds: +2500
  • NFC West Odds: +1000
  • 2014 NFL Regular Season Wins: 7.5

The key will be the health of franchise quarterback Sam Bradford who has dealt with major injuries throughout his NFL career. St. Louis was 3-3 when Bradford tore his ACL in the seventh game last season and this could be a make-or-break year for him as he continues to chase expectations as the No. 1 pick from the 2010 NFL Draft.

Kellen Clemens signed with the San Diego Chargers in free agency and veteran backup Shaun Hill was signed to be the starter if Bradford goes down.

The Rams added to an impressive offensive line by taking top tackle Greg Robinson with their first round pick and will start him at guard next to left tackle Jake Long to begin his career in order to ease the transition and capitalize on his run-blocking skills.

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Joe Barksdale is back at right tackle next to another tough run blocker in right guard Rodger Saffold and Scott Wells at center.  St. Louis took a chance on veteran Kenny Britt with the hope that he can find a role in a receiving core that is deep but unproven.

Austin Pettis has the size and skill to be a No. 1 receiver but all four of his touchdowns came before week five and Chris Givens lacked consistency despite filling that No. 1 role as he finished with 34 catches for 569 yards.

Tavon Austin is the most dangerous threat in Rams’ receiving core with his elite speed but he is listed at only 5’8, 178 pounds, and played mostly out of the slot in year one. Stedman Bailey and Brian Quick have each shown flashes of their potential but will struggle to earn snaps.

St. Louis does have two excellent pass-catching options in tight ends Jared Cook and Lance Kendricks.

Cook led the Rams with 671 receiving yards on a career-high 51 catches and this could be the year that Kendricks finally puts it all together next to him. 2013 fifth-round pick Zac Stacy proved he was underrated as the No. 1 running back in St. Louis last year but will face competition from rookie third-round pick Tre Mason who has impressed throughout camp and in the preseason.
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The strength of the Rams’ defense is a line that features an elite pair of pass-rushing ends in Robert Quinn and Chris Long.

Quinn registered 19 sacks in 2013 while Long added 8.5. The defensive tackle position will get a boost with the addition of rookie first-round pick Aaron Donald who is expected to start immediately.

Donald is an excellent pass-rusher with a relentless motor and could already be the team’s best defensive tackle ahead of Michael Brockers and Kendall Langford. Rookie seventh-round pick Michael Sam has impressed in camp and the preseason but will have to work to earn a spot on a deep line.

2009 second-round pick James Laurinaitis has developed in to a solid middle linebacker and will once again be flanked by 2013 first-round pick Alec Ogletree and Jo-Lonn Dunbar.

The Rams drafted fourth-round rookie Mo Alexander to challenge TJ McDonald and Rodney McLeod for a starting safety spot.

The big upgrade in the secondary came in the form of rookie second-round pick cornerback Lamarcus Joyner who immediately moves in to the nickel role behind starters Janoris Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson.

The addition of Gregg Williams as the new defensive coordinator also can’t be overlooked as he arrives with a chip on his shoulder two years after he was supposed to take this job.

Williams was suspended for his role in the Bountygate scandal when he was the coordinator in New Orleans but he is still considered an intelligent mind and excellent motivator that will maximize the talent on the roster with his defensive schemes.

The arrival of Williams to mentor and develop a young defense that is loaded with talent cannot be overlooked and the Rams have once again added to the talent pool for what could be a formidable offense if Bradford can stay healthy and contribute at a high level.

St. Louis will have a difficult time making the playoffs out of a stacked NFC West division that features the Seahawks and 49ers but a manageable schedule could help them climb above the .500 mark for the first time in more than a decade if they can get a little luck and stay healthy at key positions.

2014 Rams Predictions

  • Place they’ll finish in NFC West: 3rd
  • Place they’ll finish in NFC Conference: 7th
  • Over/Under Wins Prediction: OVER

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