2011 NFL Predictions: St. Louis Rams Realize NFC West Is Theirs to Lose

The NFC West is the worst division in football, and the St. Louis Rams need to pounce on it like a lion in the jungle.

With Rams star quarterback Sam Bradford ready for another year of development and success, this could be the season that launches him into the top-tier of quarterbacks.

Bradford has the talent to be one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, but he didn’t have the weapons last year.

This season, St. Louis gave little Sammy some new toys.

The Rams had serious injury questions at wide receiver last season, but Bradford made it work anyway, throwing for over 3,500 yards and 18 touchdowns. Guys like Donnie Avery and Danny Amendola cam into their own, and look to build on their success.

St. Louis also added veteran receiver Mike Sims-Walker through free agency to help in the passing game, while adding both Cadillac Williams and Jerious Norwood to the backfield.

The hope is that with more capable backs, Pro-Bowl running back Steven Jackson will be able to stay healthy and fresh all season, especially come playoff time.

Protecting all of the offensive components will be the improved offensive line, and St. Louis is hoping that players like Harvey Dahl and the other additions push the current starters and become first-string players themselves.

With improvements on offense, Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo turned his sights on the defense.

A poor season defensively will not sit well with the former defensive coach on both the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants, and Spagnuolo changed his personnel to ensure the necessary change.

The additions of veterans like safety Quinton Mikell and Ben Leber makes the Rams’ porous run defense better and adds more talent for an inexperienced secondary.

In a terrible division, these moves may just be enough to catapult the Rams to the top of the NFC West.

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