St. Louis Rams: 5 Reasons Why They Will Make the Playoffs This Season

Zacharee CurtisContributor IIIJuly 20, 2011

St. Louis Rams: 5 Reasons Why They Will Make the Playoffs This Season

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    Coming off a major improvement last season, the St. Louis Rams, led by QB Sam Bradford and RB Stephen Jackson, hope to continue from their success and make it to the playoffs in 2011.

    With the Rams residing in a weak NFC West, their chances of making the playoffs are helped by playing in the same division as the Arizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 9ers.

    Here are five reasons why the Rams will make the playoffs this season.

NFC West

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    The NFC West is the laughing stock of the NFL, seen as the weakest division among all of them.  Last season, the NFC West combined for a dismal 25-39 record, by far the worst in the NFL.

    The Rams have an dramatic advantage being one of the younger teams in the division and without a QB controversy.  The only concern for the Rams is new offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.

Quarterback: Sam Bradford

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    Sam Bradford stepped right in for the Rams in his first season in the NFL.  He took over at QB for a team that hasn't had quarterback play like this since Kurt Warner.

    Last season, Bradford completed 60 percent of his passes for 3,512 yards, 18 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.  The Rams didn't really show off Bradford's arm last season with the deep ball. But I expect, with new OC McDaniels, Bradford will be throwing the ball deep more often.

Defense

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    The Rams already have the most consistent defense in the division, led by MLB James Laurinaitis and DE Chris Long.

    With the 14th pick in the first round of this year's draft, the Rams selected DE Robert Quinn out of North Carolina, who didn't play his senior season cause he was suspended by the NCAA.  With the loss of Oshiomogho Atogwe, the Rams will be a little hurt in the secondary but should be able to get by without him.

Running Back: Stephen Jackson

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    Steven Jackson is coming off a season where all the pressure wasn't on him for the offense.  Last season, Jackson rushed for 1,241 yards and 6 TDs.

    Even with the injuries that Jackson has, I expect him to still have a good season even though his career is on the downswing.  Jackson is still expected to give 110 percent like always, especially since the Rams didn't draft a RB in the draft. 

New Owner Stan Kroenke

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    The Rams have new owner going into this season in Stan Kroenke.  Kroenke is also the owner of Kroenke Sports Enterprises, which includes the Denver Nuggets of the NBA, Colorado Rapids of Major League Soccer, Colorado Avalanche of the NHL and Colorado Mammoth of the National Lacrosse League.  (The Colorado sports properties are in the name of Josh Kroenke, one of his children, to satisfy NFL ownership restrictions that forbid a team owner from owning teams in other markets.)

    He is also the majority shareholder of English Football club Arsenal and chairman of THF Realty, an independent real estate development company that specializes in suburban development. He founded this corporation in St. Louis in 1991.  So I don't expect the Rams to be moving to L.A. now, seeing how Kroenke is been in the St. Louis area for about 20 years.