By Danny Cox
The St. Louis Rams went into the 2014 season with a lot of hope and the return of quarterback Sam Bradford from tearing the ACL in his left knee. Everything was going smoothly and the Rams were looking to be a solid competitor in the NFC West this season. That was when it happened.
In the third preseason game of the season, the Rams faced off with the Cleveland Browns and Bradford tore his left ACL once again and his season was over. The season for the Rams was now in the hands of both Austin Davis and Shaun Hill.
It was evident in the opening game of the season, the Rams were demolished 34-6 by the Minnesota Vikings. Fans immediately began thinking that 2014 was going to be an extremely long season and it would be one that was totally lost.
In week two, the Rams picked up a victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and at least this wouldn't be one of those "Will they go 0-16?" types of seasons. After that, it was three straight losses, but the Rams showed a lot of hope in them with slim losses to both the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles.
Week seven, the Rams took down the Super Bowl defending champion Seattle Seahawks. It was a surprising victory, but a good one that wasn't nearly as close as the final score indicates. Next week, a let down again as the Kansas City Chiefs demolished them.
The next few weeks confused fans as there were victories over the San Francisco 49ers and Peyton Manning-led Denver Broncos in between losses to the Arizona Cardinals and San Diego chargers. Then, the unthinkable happened as the Rams shut out their next two opponents (Raiders and Redskins) by a combined score of 76-0.
Could the Rams be headed for a big finish to the season?
That was the thought on the minds of so many, but then the bottom dropped out again and they lost the final three games of the year. St. Louis was in the thick of things for the playoffs, but then losses to the Cardinals, Giants, and Seahawks dropped them out completely.
Now, the team is looking ahead to 2015 and an NFL Draft that is very slim on pickings for quarterbacks. The top two (Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston) will likely go in the top three picks and the Rams are sitting back at number 10.
Sam Bradford's job is not guaranteed as a starter or even with the team, and that is something the Rams seriously need to do. Two torn left ACLs in two years is not good and the Rams need more reliability. 2014 showed a lot of promise in the defense and parts of the offense, but a leader is needed on the field.
This was a season with some ups and more downs, but there were flashes of brilliance and excitement. It looks as if 2015 could be big for the St. Louis Rams if there is a good draft and some moves made in free agency.
For more Rams news and updates, visit Rams Central.
Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. Danny is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.
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