# 94 Robert Quinn of the St. Louis Rams celebrates a sack against the Washington Redskins at the Edward Jones Dome on September 16, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri.ward Jones Dome on September 16, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri. (September 15, 20122012-09-15 16:00:00 - Source: Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images North America)

# 94 Robert Quinn of the St. Louis Rams celebrates a sack against the Washington Redskins at the Edward Jones Dome on September 16, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri.ward Jones Dome on September 16, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri. (September 15, 20122012-09-15 16:00:00 – Source: Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images North America)

The St. Louis Rams had an up-and-down season in 2013 going 7-9 and finishing last in the NFC West. Quarterback Sam Bradford went down with a torn ACL in the sixth game of the season. However, backup quarterback Kellen Clemens stepped in and went 4-6 to keep the season from being a total disaster. The Rams have not seen any playoff action since 2004 and the fans are ready for a playoff run.

Bright Spots

The Rams had quite a few bright spots in 2013. They have one of the best defensive front sevens in the NFL based on statistics from ESPN led by middle linebacker and captain James Lauranaitis (3.5 sacks, 2 interceptions, two fumble recoveries, 116 tackles). Rookie outside linebacker Alec Ogletree led the Rams in tackles with 117. In front of them are two of the best defensive ends in the game according to NFL analysts from ESPN and the NFL Network. Robert Quinn on one side was second in the NFL with 19 sacks behind Robert Mathis (19.5 sacks). On the other side Chris Long recorded 8.5 sacks. Inside of those prolific pass rushers was big defensive tackle Michael Brockers (6’5, 326 pounds) who clogged the running lanes and picked up 5.5 sacks.

The Rams picked up defensive tackle Aaron Donald and defensive end Michael Sam in the 2014 NFL draft to give the D-Line some more depth. The special teams were also solid last year. Punter Johnny Hecker was selected to the NFL Pro Bowl and led the NFL in Net Yards per punt averaging 44.2 yards a boot. Returning kickoffs, punts, and playing the slot position,

Tavon Austin, a rookie receiver out of West Virginia University, had a fine season averaging 10.5 yards a catch and caught four touchdowns. Another rookie out of Vanderbilt University, Zac Stacy, came in and ran for 973 yards which was second best among rookie running-backs only behind Eddie Lacy of the Green Bay Packers (1178 yards).

St. Louis Rams quarterback Kellen Clemens, left, fumbles as Tennessee Titans defensive end Kamerion Wimbley reaches for the ball during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013, in St. Louis. The Titans Derrick Morgan recovered the fumble. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

St. Louis Rams quarterback Kellen Clemens, left, fumbles as Tennessee Titans defensive end Kamerion Wimbley reaches for the ball during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013, in St. Louis. The Titans Derrick Morgan recovered the fumble. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Not So Bright Spots

The Rams only had a few sore spots, but they outweighed the bright spots by far. One of their biggest struggles was the defensive secondary as they allowed 68.14 percent of the passes they faced to be completed, which was highest in the league. The offensive line was inconsistent throughout the year, they ranked 12th in run blocking and 14th in pass blocking as they gave up 36 sacks.

Quarterback Sam Bradford was statistically off to the best start of his career with 1,687 passing yards, a 60.7 completion rate, and 14 touchdowns, through six and a half games before tearing his ACL. Even though Bradford had a solid stat line, he had trouble throwing the ball deep with accuracy and only averaged 6.44 yards per pass attempt which was ranked 33 out of 37 QBs who started a game in 2013.

With Sam Bradford going into the last two years of his contract and Jeff Fisher not getting the Rams anywhere yet, St. Louis could see some big time changes coming up in the next few years.

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