The Scheduling Gods have gazed down on the St. Louis Rams and demanded retribution for those 7 savory wins in 2010. And when the Scheduling Gods have you in their cross-hairs, you will NOT be spared.
Let's get to it:
Week 1 vs Philadelphia Eagles - The early-betting Super Bowl favorites open the season in St. Louis and right away the Rams are going to be in a hole. Mike Vick on turf? DeSean Jackson looking at Donnie Avery and seething? A home opener that will feature thousands of rowdy Philly fans showing St. Louisans how to tailgate? Brutal. PREDICTION - L (0-1)
Week 2 at New York Giants - Not for lack of preparation, the Rams' second official venture into prime time doesn't end well. NYC with the bright lights and a week of ESPN manufactured hype put the Rams behind the eight-ball early. PREDICTION - L (0-2)
Week 3 vs Baltimore Ravens - Sweet Jesus. These guys were OK in 2011... they didn't kill anyone. What did they do to deserve such a slate? The Ravens are about as tough a team to beat as there is anywhere, but are especially brilliant when blood taints the water. PREDICTION - L (0-3)
Week 4 vs Washington Redskins - Finally. Some relief. Mike Shanahan avoided a ton of scrutiny for a painful 2010 Skins campaign. But a couple losses early and he's going to be scrambling for anything at this point. The Rams do have an okay team and will finally get off the goose egg with Washington at home. PREDICTION - W (1-3)
Week 5 -- BYE
Week 6 at Green Bay Packers - Ok, seriously? PREDICTION - L (1-4)
Week 7 at Dallas Cowboys - Really? PREDICTION - L (1-5)
Week 8 vs New Orleans Saints - Wow. Just wow. PREDICTION - L (1-6)
Week 9 at Arizona Cardinals - The Cardinals will have more wins at this point in the season, but they'll still be sans a viable option at QB. PREDICTION - W (2-6)
Week 10 at Cleveland Browns - By week 10 the Peyton Hillis Madden '11 cover just seems like a cruel joke for the Browns' running back. PREDICTION - W (3-6)
Week 11 vs Seattle Seahawks - Now riding a bit of momentum, the Rams avenge a pretty painful loss to the Seahawks in Week 17 of 2010 with the best crowd of the season behind them. PREDICTION - W (4-6)
Week 12 Vs Arizona Cardinals - The Cardinals are not a good football team. In fact, Kurt Warner's Hall of Fame speech will be thus: "I got the Cardinals to the Super Bowl. And almost won it. Thanks." PREDICTION - W (5-6)
Week 13 at San Fransisco 49ers - Better known as the game we all look back on in 2012 as the one that sunk the season. PREDICTION - L (5-7)
Week 14 at Seattle Seahawks - Seattle played above their heads in 2010 and have fallen out of the race in the NFC West by Week 14. PREDICTION - W (6-7)
Week 15 vs Cincinnati Bengals - The Rams finally get back to .500 for the season and draw within a game of the NFC West leading San Francisco 49ers. Everyone is looking at that Week 17 showdown in St. Louis when they forget one little detail... PREDICTION - W (7-7)
Week 16 at Pittsburgh Steelers - The Rams can't beat the Steelers on the road in December. Oops. PREDICTION - L (7-8)
Week 17 vs San Fransisco 49ers - The showdown is for naught as the 49ers are 9-6 heading into this game, rendering the Rams' win meaningless. PREDICTION - W (8-8)
So the Rams go 8-8 with some improvement in the closeness of games with better competition. Trouble is, they have plenty of good competition in 2011.
More than plenty, actually. An abundance. Anyone care to take a Baltimore or Pittsburgh off the schedule? Anyone?