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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Can the St. Louis Rams Win the NFC West?

After watching the Rams beat the Redskins 30-16 last weekend, we recognized that rookie quarterback Sam Bradford gives his fans reason for hope. On Sunday, the Rams handled the Seahawks 20-3 for their first divisional win since week 11 of 2007. The back-to-back wins gives them their first winning streak since week 6 and 7 in 2008 (their only wins that season) and it ended a 10-game losing streak to Seattle. Now it may be time to raise the stakes: does Sam Bradford and the improved defense give Rams fans reasons to believe the team can win the NFC West? Sure does.

A big reason why the Rams are in contention to win the NFC West is the poor quality of teams in the division. Although Arizona is 2-2, the Cardinals barely won their two games and were blown out in their losses. They’ve changed from Derek Anderson to Max Hall twice during games because of pathetic quarterback play and they lack an offensive identity. If Sebastian Janikowski could kick, they’d be 1-3.

Seattle looked great in a 31-6 season-opening win over the 49ers, but they’ve been brutal on the road and only beat the Chargers at home because of two Leon Washington kickoffs returned for touchdowns. The Rams just got done dominating Seattle 20-3 and appear to be much better. That Seattle beat San Francisco 31-6 tells you all you need to know about the hopeless 0-4 Niners. Even a change at offensive coordinator couldn’t give them a boost.

You could knock the Rams by saying that they could win this division by default, but I’ll prop them up citing their solid defense and improved quarterback play. They haven’t allowed more than 17 points in a game and the defense seems to be getting better each week. Ditto for Sam Bradford — the rookie quarterback has thrown for 944 yards and six touchdowns in his first four games. He may be on pace for the most productive rookie season by a quarterback since Peyton Manning in 1998. At this point, they look like the best team in the NFC West.

Photo Credit: Elsa/Getty Images



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