The St. Louis Rams are still waiting for their former #1 overall pick Sam Bradford to lead them into the playoffs. The young quarterback has been hampered by injuries, but he goes into the 2012 season healthy.
The 2011 season was disappointing for the Rams. They went into the season hoping to win the NFC West, but only ended up winning two games. A few young players shined on offense and defense, but you can’t win many games when you can point out one or two players playing at a high level.
Can Steven Jackson break 1,000 yards rushing for an eighth season in a row? Will this be the year Bradford cements his status as a future Pro Bowl quarterback?
Key Additions: CB Cortland Finnegan, DT Michael Brockers, WR Brian Quick, CB Janoris Jenkins, RB Isaiah Pead, FB Ovie Mughelli, LB Jo-Lunn Dunbar, LB Mario Haggan, DE William Hayes, DE Kendall Langford, DT Trevor Laws, LB Rocky McIntosh, TE Matthew Mulligan, OT Quinn Ojinnaka, OT Barry Richardson, WR Steve Smith, OG Robert Turner, C Scott Wells, CB Trumaine Johnson, WR Chris Givens, OG Rokevious Watkins, and K Greg Zuerlein.
Key Losses: WR Brandon Lloyd, OG Tony Wragge, DT Fred Robbins, RB Jerious Norwood, CB Justin King, LB Bryan Kehl, P Donnie Jones, CB Al Harris, DT Gary Gibson, QB A.J. Feely, WR Mark Clayton, LB Chris Chamberlain, CB Ron Bartell, DT Justin Bannan and S James Butler
Non-Division Schedule: AFC East and NFC North
Fantasy Sleepers: RB Isaiah Pead – Steven Jackson will be 29 years old at the start of the season. He has been very durable throughout his career. He currently has a streak of seven straight 1,000 seasons. Jackson has a lot of miles on his body and he could start to break down over the next few years. Pead could receive some carries to spell him during long drives. He is a handcuff that you should make sure to own if you draft Jackson.
Team Analysis: The Rams knew their 2011 season was lost when Sam Bradford went down with an injury. They struggled with A.J. Feely and Kellen Clemens at quarterback. Their offense was a struggle the entire season. Steven Jackson broke 1,000 yards, but he was the lone bright spot in the anemic offense. Their defense was just as bad. Their pass defense ranked in the top-10, but only because teams didn’t have to pass, their run defense was one of the worst in the NFL. James Laurinaitis and Chris Long had breakout seasons, but had little help. They used their first-round pick on DT Michael Brockers, who will help with their run defense in his first season. The Rams will be improved if Bradford can stay healthy. He will be able to move the ball and keep the defense from being stuck in bad field position. They are still a long way from making the postseason, but they’ll make a few strides in the right direction in 2012.
2012 Wins Over/Under Line: 5.5 (Prediction: OVER)
2012 Projected Win/Loss Record: 6-10