The upcoming 2015 NFL season could be an exciting one, especially for one of my three surprise teams. I am going to divulge to you why I think the St. Louis Rams can capture the NFC West title and return to the playoffs for the first time since 2004.
Back in 2012 Jeff Fisher took over the Rams, during mini-camp he challenged his defence to break the NFL team sack record of 87 (held by the great 84 Chicago Bears). A bold statement to make as a new coach for a new team.
They failed to achieve that goal but still compiled a league leading 52 sacks. In fact since 2012 the Rams have tallied 145 sacks, this has shown to me that Fisher has instilled his mindset into the St. Louis locker room and if not for a few miscues on offence this team would of been playoff bound earlier.
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Now 145 sacks is a scary number of sacks in three years, but it comes as no surprise when you look at the talent loaded defensive line that the Rams wield.
Having elite pass rushers such as Chris Long and Robert Quinn coming off the ends and interior pressure coming from rookie of the year Aaron Donald and the newly acquired Nick Fairley is something of dreams.
This unit will be the hallmark of the 2015 Rams and with Jeff Fishers never quit attitude and aggressive mentality I could see the Rams getting another 45-50 sacks this year bringing their total in 4 years just short of 200.
Of course the sacks the Rams generate isn't the only talking point as the Rams have also caused 56 fumbles and picked off 44 passes since 2012. Now in my opinion, this defence is only going to improve in 2015 as the Rams finally have an offence to back them up.
Which brings me to my next point, THE RAMS MIGHT HAVE AN OFFENCE AGAIN!!!
Newly acquired Nick Foles is a great addition, finally freeing them from the clutches of the injury plagued and cap heavy Sam Bradford!
Foles will bring a stronger arm and more importantly, durability, to a position that's been moving from quarterback to quarterback faster than Todd Gurley gets to endzones. Oh, Todd Gurley, yeah they drafted the thumper from Georgia didn't they!
Gurley will make an instant impact on the Rams offence, perhaps finally becoming the bell cow back they have missed since Steven Jackson left in 2012. So Foles and Gurley might result in the Rams having a 1000 yard rusher and a 1000 yard receiver for the first time since the Kurt Warner days.
Now let's take a look at the Rams division.
The 49ers are in great decline losing the majority of their defensive stars. The Seattle Seahawks have a number of critical injuries in the secondary and a couple of big name contract disputes going on.
The Cardinals have lost defensive playmakers in Darnell Docket and Antonio Cromartie and ace defensive coordinator Todd Bowles.
This is as good a time as any for the Rams to win the NFC West. Will it be easy? God no. Is it possible? God yes! The experience of Jeff Fisher needs to get this immensely talented defence playing at the highest level possible.
He needs to get the offence to be an efficient, time chewing unit that can aid it's elite defence. If they do this, they can win that division and give the playoff starved fans in St. Louis something to be excited about.