Over the course of 32 days (or so) I will be previewing all 32 NFL teams, followed by an overall season prediction post, leading up to the start of the 2014 season. This post is previewing the St. Louis Rams.
Any optimism Rams fans had for the upcoming season likely went away in August when QB Sam Bradford suffered a season-ending ACL injury in the team’s third preseason game. In his absence, veteran backup QB Shaun Hill is expected to get first crack as the team’s starter as he sits atop the depth chart. With the quarterback situation, it’ll be tough for the team to improve upon its 7-9 record from last season.
Rookie RB Zac Stacy began last season as a backup but took over the starting job during the season and showed some promise in the role. Stacy started 12 games — he played in 14 total — and ran for 973 yards with seven touchdowns. The team’s top receiver last year was TE Jared Cook, who caught 51 balls for 671 yards and five touchdowns. No one else on the team caught more than 40 passes last season.
Looking ahead to this year, the team’s biggest question is Hill. In his eight seasons in the league, he has started just 26 games — none since 2010 in his first season with the Lions. Stacy likely needs to have a good follow-up to his breakout campaign in his rookie year to help out the offense. The receiving game could get a boost after the offseason signing of WR Kenny Britt, who can put up good numbers when he plays, but injuries have limited his production throughout his career. in addition to the typical divisional games against the Seahawks and 49ers, tough games on the Rams’ schedule include a road game against the Chiefs and a home game against the Broncos. It looks like another sub-.500 season for the team that hasn’t had a winning record since 2003.