I disagree with the Rams pick. If Detroit has no defense, and Seattle is no longer a defensive power with a bad offensive line, the Rams should kill these teams. The Rams play the Chargers, Minnesota, Green Bay, Kansas City and Philadelphia at home, which gives them a chance to win two of those games. Throw in Arizona, Oakland and Denver, and that’s already nine wins. Unless San Francisco is fantastic, the Rams split and that’s 10 wins.
The Rams run defense was awful last year, which was the reason they lost games against some good teams. This year, the front line should terrorize opponents on every down. Ogletree was completely overrated as a linebacker, and made countless mental mistakes instead of playing his role within the defensive scheme. The Rams also had big problems at the corners last year, due to injuries, and ended up playing soft coverages that allowed opposing quarterbacks to make easy throws on third down. This year, if Talib and Peters can press receivers at the line of scrimmage, the rush will pressure quarterbacks into a lot of incompletions.
With regard to the Atlanta game, it completely turned around because of two Ram fumbles on returns in the first half that resulted in 10 points, and a Rams drive that ended on downs at the Atlanta 5 in the fourth quarter after a touchdown was reversed due to the old catch rule. That’s a 17 point difference in a game where Matt Ryan played a perfect game and the Rams inexperience hurt them. There are only a couple of teams in the NFL that can win games when they are -2 in the turnover battle.