49ers schedule 2013 preview: St. Louis Rams

USA TODAY Sports

We take a look at the Rams this offseason.

Having wrapped up the NFC South, let us return back to our division and examine the St. Louis Rams. Recently, the Rams had been the laughing stock of the NFC West (which was, in turn, the laughing stock of the NFL). Even with their franchise QB, the Rams could not break free from the problems that plagued them.

A lot of this changed with the hiring of Jeff Fisher. He has done, to a lesser degree, what Jim Harbaugh has done for the 49ers. His presence and coaching acumen has elevated the Rams to the degree that they are a pretty competitive team. Even though they went just 7-8-1 last season, they did so with a 4-1-1 record in the NFC West. That's just insane. The key to getting into the playoffs in this league is winning in one's division. Plain and simple. Obviously, that's not enough - but if the Rams can maintain this type of intradivisional play (and they won't), then they will be a potent force in the NFC West.

Even without such a display of NFC West dominance, the Rams could still develop such potency that they rival the Seattle Seahawks and the 49ers for a division title. Currently, they are over $1 million above the cap, but they will likely make some budgetary moves to get them lower - perhaps to even as low as $10 million under. In addition, they are sitting pretty with two first round picks at 16th and 22nd overall.

The defense is almost playoff reading. Their D-line, in particular, is pretty nasty. Like us, they want to upgrade at safety - especially given Craig Dahl's lackluster play last season. They might want to look for some depth at linebacker as well.

The real room for upgrade on this team, though, is on offense. They should continue to build their O-line, particularly at the Tackle position (even though Rodger Saffold did have a nice second half of the season). The big three areas of need though, RB, WR, and TE, all represent a consistent problem for the Rams: getting Sam Bradford enough playmakers so that he can thrive in his third year. They have already tried the Titus Young experiment. That petered out quickly, with the Rams having already waived him. Look for the Rams to replace Danny Amendola in the draft.

Key Free Agents: RB Steven Jackson; WR Danny Amendola; DE William Hayes.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Niners Nation

You must be a member of Niners Nation to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Niners Nation. You should read them.

Join Niners Nation

You must be a member of Niners Nation to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Niners Nation. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker