The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
6 Points

The St. Louis Rams will win the NFC West

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/28/2011 Category: Sports
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,259 times Debate No: 17688
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
Votes (2)




I will allow my opponent to either just accept in this round or they can post their first round if they so wish


As I am con and you have posted no arguments, I will not post any arguments in this round.

I assume that this argument is referring to the upcoming NFL season, and not just saying that the Rams will someday in the future win the NFC west. I also assume that as PRO you will have the burden of proof for this argument. Finally, your use of the word "will" in the resolution led me to believe that you are saying it is practically a 100% chance the Rams will win the NFC West. Knowing this, I just have to prove there is a slight possiblity that the Rams will not win the title again.

I wish my opponent good luck and await his response.
Debate Round No. 1


Response to Opening Statement:

I did not foresee an argument based on semantics, and do not wish to engage in such a debate. To clarify: It is my personal belief, that the Rams are the best team in the NFC West and that belief leads me to defend the resolution: The St. Louis Rams will win the NFC West. I will prove (using expert analysis, statistics, performance metrics, etc..) that the Rams are the best team in the NFC West, and with such a designation it only logically follows that they will win the NFC west. I apologize to my opponent for any confusion. I wish to engage in a debate centered on football. I would have preferred if my opponent had commented, asking for clarification, before accepting the debate. I hope (for the sake of an interesting debate) that he drops the semantic argument.

C1: The Rams have the best Quarterback in the NFC West

This contention relies upon the premise that success in the NFL is first and foremost, dependent on solid production from the QB position. Sam Bradford has out-produced every starting quarterback in the division. He leads the division in yards and touchdowns. The two stats that are most indicative of QB production. Experts note that one of the biggest deficiencies in the NFC West is the lack of stability at the QB position (Rams excepted) [1].

Now let’s take a look around the division at the other possible starting quarterbacks:

In SEA: Tavaris Jackson: When Jackson was given an opportunity to start for the injured Brett Favre, he failed to produce. According to the experts at ESPN: “Jackson…doesn’t have the throwing accuracy or decision-making chops to be an above-average signal-caller.” [2]

Charlie Whitehurst: As with Jackson, Whitehurst got an opportunity to start in the place of an often injured QB in Matt Hasselbeck: but he performed even worse than Jackson [3], resulting in his benching, in favor of an unhealthy and inconsistent Hasselbeck. [4]

In AZ: Kevin Kolb: Admittedly Kevin Kolb is a highly touted prospect, but his limited body of work makes him a relatively unknown quantity. If we look at the statistics: he is a relatively mediocre passer. He threw seven touchdowns and 7 interceptions. [5] I’m willing to give him more credit, however and call him a highly touted prospect. He is going to a team with a weapon at wide receiver in Larry Fitzgerald, but he’s leaving behind a coaching scheme he knew and was comfortable with for a team where Fitzgerald is his only asset.

In SF: Alex Smith: We do have quite an extensive body of work with Smith. Unfortunately, his resume is not impressive. In the only season where his playing time was not diminished by being injured or benched due to ineffectiveness. He sported 16 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. [6]. What do the experts at ESPN have to say about Smith? “ Smith has lost heat off his [throws] because of shoulder injuries because of shoulder injuries… [Smith is] jittery in the pocket and has never conquered the accuracy issues that have plagued him since day one… It’s not good news for the 49ers.” [7]

Colin Kaepernick- Colin is young and athletic, but he has a lot to learn about a pro style offense. There is no telling whether his playing style will translate well with the 49ers, offense. In that sense he is a completely unknown quantity.

The Rams also spent three of their eight picks on receiving weapons for Bradford (two wide receivers and one tight end); to supplement what the experts say was the Rams biggest weakness in the 2010 season: receivers to throw to.

C2: The Rams have a solid running back in Steven Jackson who has produced year after year while the other RB’s in the division failed to produce or have a worrisome injury history

Steven Jackson has rushed for at least one-thousand yards in each of the seasons in which he has been the starter. He has also proven to be a volatile weapon out of the backfield catching at least 38 passes, while recording an astounding league high for the position in 2006. Jackson also improves in ball-control skills last year, only fumbling the ball once. [8]

Frank Gore of the 49ers is a great running back. He can power through an offensive line’s holes with ease and has a nose for the first down marker. He struggles with versatility allowed and generally struggles to run to the outside. He’s not a great receiver either and has a long history of nagging injuries. He and Jackson are both the same age, at 28, but Gore would appear to be more vulnerable to the injury bug because of the aforementioned history which follows him back to his college days.

Tim Hightower and Beanie Wells have both struggled with injury. The success of the Arizona running attack seems to be contingent both of them working in tandem, which we do not have a large sample of because both have missed time due to injury in their respective young careers.

The highlights of Marshawn Lynch’s career have been on draft day when he was drafted in the first round by the Bills and one run he made at a key moment in the playoffs last year. Other than that his skill set seems to be well below the par set by Jackson and a healthy Frank Gore.

C3: The Rams have successfully remedied their biggest woes from 2010 and are still looking to improve further with moves in free agency.

As mentioned earlier the Rams supplemented Sam Bradford’s receiving arsenal by drafting two young, talented wide receivers and a pass-catching tight end. They also cured an issue that plagued them last year by signing Quinton Mikell to replace former safety Craig Dahl.


The Rams had a talented nucleus of core players like Sam Bradford and Steven Jackson to guarantee that they’ll have a great chance to score. They’ve also vastly improved their defense with the signing of Quinton Mikell. They have the offensive line to protect Bradford and Jackson for a long time. I have more to add, but I’ll rest for now as I feel I have given my opponent a lot to digest. I’m looking forward to a second round free and clear of questions regarding definitions.

Fair warning: if my opponent’s argument is to be solely a resolutional critique, I will simply extend my arguments and ask voters to vote Aff; especially on the grounds of conduct. I sincerely hope that is not the case however.

Thanks to my opponent for accepting this debate and thanks to my comrades for taking time to read and eventually vote.





C1: Quarterbacks in the NFC West

It should be noted that despite leading his division in touchdowns and yards last year, his stats were still far from impressive. Due to a myriad of changes this year in the 49ers, Seahawks, and Cardinals, I believe that the difference in quarterbacking ability will be severely diminished between the Rams and their rivals.

In SEA: Tarvaris Jackson: While Jackson may be a worse pocket passer than Sam Bradford, he is far superior in mobility. Jackson (despite never starting all 16 games) has rushed less yards than Bradford only once in a season[1][2]. However, Jackson's deficiencies in passing are much more acceptable on a Seattle team that will live and die by the run.

In AZ: Kevin Kolb: In the first two games he started in 2009 (when McNabb was injured), Kolb lead his team to victory with two 300 yard, multi-touchdown games[3]. Next year, the Eagles, who knew the type of talent they had, traded away McNabb and put all their faith in Kolb. Unfortunately, Kolb was knocked out with a concussion early in the game and Vick's subsequent play led to a reversal in the depth chart. However, due to a Vick injury, Kolb got to start weeks 5-7 (and the majority of week 4)[4]. In this 4 week stretch he average over 250 yards, 1.5 touchdowns a game, and only one interception a game[5]. Compare this to Sam Bradford, who averaged only 219 yards/game, about 1.2 touchdowns/game, and about 1 interception/game[6]. My opponent included Kolb's last game of the year (an admittedly poor outing where he threw for one touchdown and three interceptions) where Kolb was coming off a 9 week break. It is hardly fair to assume that he would be able to play at his regular level of skill considering the gap in playing time.

In SF: Alex Smith: My opponent states Smith's 16 TD's and 16 interception year as a bad thing. I find this more than a little bit ironic, since Bradford only posted 2 more TD's and 1 less interception in his only full season. Smith could easily be in for a bump in his stat production due to the addition of Jim Harbaugh as their head coach. Last season, Harbaugh coached what was effectively the best passing quarterback in all of college football with Andrew Luck. I see no reason why Harbaugh can't work his magic again on this young but talented quarterback.

C2: Running backs in the NFC West

In StL: Steven Jackson: There is no doubt that in years pass Jackson has been a horse and the only good thing on the Rams team. However, his heavy workload due to the large amount the Rams relied on him has started taking it's toll. Last year, his average yards/rush dropped from 4.4 to 3.8[7]. This average is lower than a whopping 33 of the top 40 backs of last year, including his division rivals Justin Forsett (Sea), Tim Hightwoer (AZ), Marshawn Lynch (Sea), and Frank Gore (SF)[8]. Although Jackson is still on the "right" side of 30, his unusually high workload has led to more wear and tear than the average back.

In SF: Frank Gore: I am glad that my opponent acknowledges that Gore is indeed a great runningback. He mentions a lack of versatility and a struggle to run outside, but these attributes are unimportant to Gore's style of running. Gore is a bruising back that specializes in dominating tacklers and busting through gaps between the tackles for big runs (giving his unusual amount of speed). I don't know if an argument can be made that one runner is worse than the other, as they have two completely different styles of play. I will leave it at the fact that both runners are very good and give their teams a great offensive assett.

In AZ: Tim Hightower, Beanie Wells, and Ryan Williams: Looking at the 2009 and 2010 seasons respectively: Wells and Hightower gained around 1400 and 1100 yards on the ground. This also got a combined 550 yards and 200 yards receiving[9][10]. The addition of Williams can only help but solve the injury problems at RB for the Cardinals as all will be receiving a lighter workload and the 3 different back will allow a runningback committee that has each RB specalize for better overall results for the team. This RBC (runningback committee) is very similar to other successful RBC's in Carolina (Goodson, Williams, and Stewart) and Dallas (Barber, Jones, Choice). There's a reason more and more teams (to the distraught of fantasy owners like myself) are moving towards a RBC rather than the single-back workhorse. It makes for a more efficient running game, it lowers injury risk, and makes all the RB's last longer.

In Sea: Marshawn Lynch, Justin Forsett, Leon Washington: Washington provides pure and unbiased speed, the perfect 3rd down back. He also provides an X-factor at the returning postion. Forsett is poor-man's version of Maurice Jones-Drew at 5' 8", 200 lbs [11]. Finally, anyone who watched the playoffs last year knows Marshawn Lynch. For those of you who didn't, watch this video: . That was Lynch, taking on the whole Saints defense (he broke 8 attempted tackles) for a 67 yd TD run. I could never put Lynch on the same level that Jackson has played on. However, I believe that the wear and tear Jackson has seen combined with this little-known but none the less effective RBC will prove more than a match the Rams' workhorse.

C3: Wide Receivers

In StL: ???: This is the biggest question on the Rams team. No one single wide receiver stepped last year and the group is just as much as a mess this year. Who will be the #1? Will it be Amendola, Gibson, Avery, Clayton, Alexander, or one of these new draft picks (Austin Pettis, Gregory Salas)[12]? Clearly the WR's from last year were not working out (as my opponent readily admits), so that leaves us with the two rookies. Looking at the top rookie WR's of the last decade, we see names like Greg Jennings, Donnie Avery, Calvin Johnson, and Larry Fitzgerald [13]. So what spectacular stats did these WR's get with their "dominating" rookie years? Jennings: 632 yds and 3 TD's, Avery (who clearly has not panned out for the Rams): 674 yds and 3 TD's, Johnson: 756 yds and 3 TD's, Fitzgerald: 780 yds and 8 TD's. Johnson, Jennings, and Fitzgerald are all elite WR's today, but only Fitzgerald was able to post significant numbers as a rookie (due mainly to the help of Anquan Boldin).

In AZ: Larry Fitzgerald: No one argues that Fitzgerald is one of the best (if not the best) WR in the league. Without a good QB (which the Rams supposedly have in Bradford), he still posted better numbers than any Rams WR. With the addition of Kolb, he will go back to the astounding numbers that he had under Kurt Warner.

In Sea: Mike Williams, Sidney Rice: Another team that has multipe WR's better than anyone on the Rams' team. Both this wide receivers have displayed their talent and are a more reliable bet than the rookies my opponent wants to rely on.

In SF: Davis (TE), Crabtree: Davis is an elite tight end that the Rams have no hope of matching this season. Crabtree (while not exactly the greatest) will still post better numbers than the rookie WR's on the Rams.


I have run too low on characters to finish my argument for this round, but I believe I gave a good general assessment.


Debate Round No. 2


First, I want to thank my opponent for two things. One: his willingness to not pursue a win on the grounds of semantics. Two: for putting forth a football argument, that carries definite weight. This is going to be fun. In this round, I will put forth rebuttals to my opponent’s (admittedly well argued) points. Since his contentions are merely rebuttals to my contentions, rebutting his “contentions” is virtually the same as upholding my own. If I have a sufficient number of characters after offering my rebuttals, I will put forth a small constructive argument at the end of my post.

R1: Quarterbacks

Bradford v. Jackson: My opponent states that: “While [Tavaris] Jackson may be a worse pocket passer than Sam Bradford, he is far superior in mobility.” My initial response to this is that the primary responsibility for any quarterback is to THROW the football. In regards to this: Sam Bradford broke records previously set by the great Peyton Manning. [1] Now if Sam Bradford can put up numbers like that with (as my opponent so eloquently “termed [???] receivers… I will address this designation later…) imagine what he can do when he is not as wet behind the ears as a rookie. Especially under the direction of the pass-happy Josh McDaniels. Sources say the 2011 Rams team is eerily similar to the 1999 team that was deemed “The Greatest Show on Turf”. [2]

My opponent also states the following: “[Tavaris] Jackson's deficiencies in passing are much more acceptable on a Seattle team that will live and die by the run.” I contend that this will highlight Jackson’s deficiencies, because successful teams that “live and die by the run” have a phenomenal feature back. (e.g. 1999 Titans’ Eddie George) Something the Seahawks so desperately lack that they have to rely on the meager production of three running backs. Also, teams such as Seattle that would call themselves a run heavy team typically are forced to run virtually every play out of three formations that history has shown are not conducive to mobile quarterbacks. These are: The “I” formation (with two tight ends) The offset “I” (with two TE’s) or the single-back formation (with two tight ends). The to tight ends are crucial to a run heavy team because they allow the quarterback to play-action fake with regularity and consistency. Unfortunately for a play-action to be effective, the tight ends have to release from the offensive line late, so as to sell the fake effectively. When the tight ends release late and Tavaris Jackson attempts to roll to his right, he is immediately made vulnerable by a blitzing DE and a spying LB or vice versa. I could go on and on about the technical issues that the Seahawks offense could possibly present for a QB like Jackson.

Whereas the offensive scheme that McDaniels prefers plays perfectly into the hands of Bradford and his plethora of underwhelming receivers (by stats only). McDaniels employs a run-and-Gun meets spread with a hint of West coast flair. While this seems rather jumbled I’m sure it’s exactly the same system that then Offensive Coordinator Mike Martz employed with the Greatest show on turf. It’s accomplished by using a lot of Shotgun as singleback sets with three wideouts (2 on the outside 1 in the slot) and a tight end on the opposite side of the slot either blocking on the inside against a pass-rush or acting as a twin slot receiver, the latter being used more often than not. Anticipating the Rams drafted a pass catching tight end Lance Kendricks. Bradford is on a team that is building around his strengths. Tavaris Jackson would best suited in a spread offense, unfortunately he finds himself in a very conservative system where he won’t be adequately protected when he bootlegs.

Bradford v Kolb: Bradford and Kolb are the top two quarterbacks in the division without a doubt. I am sure my opponent agrees with this designation. My opponent presented stats that are indeed accurate, even if though the differences in production are in fact quite negligible. My opponent cites a difference in touchdowns per game between the two young gun QB’s at .3. Can anybody tell me what difference a third of a touchdown makes in football? None. If he follows the round up rule from elementary school he would be taking an enormous liberty so let’s all hope he doesn’t do that. He also cites a difference in yards per game production of 31 yards. I am not going to pretend that such a difference is negligible, that indeed amounts to about one big pass per game. I would like to submit that ESPN’s experts expect to see an increase in Bradford’s production; due to adopting McDaniels’ pass heavy offensive scheme. I will presume that my opponent is worth his salt (as I believe he is) and point out preemptively that they also predict an increase in Kolb’s production. I will attempt to curb any enthusiasm by saying that the severe concussion that Kolb suffered last year is (for the rest of his career) be more susceptible to even more severe concussions, because of the Cardinals shoddy offensive line [3].

Bradford v Smith: My opponents argument for this matchup is so weak that I’m lead to think that he does not believe what he types. I don’t blame him though; if I would have to defend a position where Smith is even an equal QB to Bradford, I would struggle to come up with a passable football argument. I’ll leave it to say that that Smith’s 2006 season is his best CAREER season and he was still less productive than Bradford and his faceless and beleaguered receiving corps last year.

R2: Running backs

Jackson v Gore

Again it would not be to my advantage to flat out deny Gore’s productivity as a bruiser in the league. Unfortunately, (like Jackson I’ll admit) Gore is 28, and it’s an old 28, since Gore is one dimensional. My argument here is that Jackson’s running style makes it (more) likely that he’ll be able to last longer in this league. I’m afraid,(for Gore’s sake) that we are on pace to see him go down a similar path to destruction that caused Emmitt Smith to disappear into ambiguity in Arizona [4] [5]. Simply put Jackson’s ability to get to the outside will allow him to get to the outside will save his body from the turmoil that results from running between the tackles. Additionally, the acquisition of Harvey Dahl should add a pro-bowl capable veteran presence to the scrappy, young, Rams offensive line.

Jackson v the Seattle three: To show you that Marshawn Lynch is comparable to Jackson, he showed you a video of the run that I myself deemed the highlight of Marshawn’s unimpressive collage of work. [6].

Jackson v Hightower & Wells:

Again, I can’t argue with the statistics presented, but what I can provide you with is that the experts at ESPN don’t see either of them providing too much of a spark for the Cardinals, especially an impact similar to the one that Steven Jackson gives the Rams. [7] [8].

R3: (abbreviated due to character space) response to Rams receivers [???]’s.

The Rams have signed Sims-Walker to provide an outside threat with the primary objective of running streak and fade routes. The Rams have a plethora of viable possession receivers (quick players with good hands) like Danny Amendola, Brandon Gibson etc.

Note: If my opponent/audience has noticed a drop-off in quality towards the end of the list this is due to two things that are (relatively) beyond my control. I’ve come down with a rather tough bout of sickness, compounded with intense side pain. Also a lack of character space. I ask your indulgence in allowing me to post the actual sources tomorrow in the comments section. I assure my opponent that the quality of R3 will increase in the final round. I wish him the best of luck in the final round as we look to end this debate on a high note. Thank you.



I will do the same as my opponent this round, that is, rebutting his contentions and hopefully having enough characters to add some of my own. I hope that he feels better soon.

R1: Quarterbacks

Bradford v. Jackson: My opponent is under the assumption that quarterbacks must throw the ball extremely well to be successful. However, we have seen that a running quarterback can be quite successful both in college (Tim Tebow, Vince Young, Pat White, Cam Newton) and in the NFL (Michael Vick anyone?). Having this type of quarterback just requires that you focus on a more versatile and mobile offense, rather than one that depends on great pass protection, good WR's, and a great QB. My opponent seems to think that Bradford will be an elite quarterback next year due to his projections. Yet these projections[1] (if he had these stats last year) would have placed him only 9th in passing yards, 15th in touchdowns,
and tied for 12th in interceptions [2]. None of these stats show a bad QB, they show one that is growing into his position. My point is that while Bradford may one day be an elite QB (which my opponent relies on for his argument), that is not next year.

As I've already shown, a successful running team does not need a phenomenal feature back. Out of the top 10 rushing teams of last year, 6 of them had some form of RBC and one (the Eagles) saw a split in running between Vick and McCoy [3]. So you tell me, is feature back really necessary for at top of the line running game?

Whether or not the system McDaniels employs is similar to Martz's on the 99' Rams is irrelevant. The fact of the matter is this is not the '99 Rams, this is the '11 Rams. Bradford is no Kurt Warner (Warner got 18 more TDs than Bradford is expected to get)[4] and the Rams WR's are no longer Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt (two of the most dominant WR's in the league at the time).

Bradford v Kolb: I find my opponent's point that a difference of touchdowns per game of .3 is "none" a bit humorous because the difference between Smith (who my opponent holds with contempt) and Bradford is only .2. Kolb may have suffered a concussion last year in the first game, but as cited previously, he made a full recovery. He came back and played and managed to stay healthy for the rest of the season. I would also like to take this moment to point out that even though the Cardinals had the 25th ranked O-line last season, guess who had the 26th ranked O-line? The St. Louis Rams[5]. My opponent is confident that his pocket passing QB will dominate even though similar passers (Brady and Peyton Manning) had the 5th and 12th ranked lines.

Bradford v Smith: Although Smith was less productive, my opponent has already pointed out that he finds this difference meaningless (see above). While I will not contend that the difference is meaningless, I do not think that the difference is significant enough to declare that the Rams have the best QB outright.

R2: Runningbacks

Jackson v Gore

I cannot deny that a more bruising running style results in a shorter "shelf-life" for runningbacks. However, rushing attempts (the amount of workload) are the most telling factor for how long a runningback will last. While Gore only has 1371 attempts, Jackson has a whopping 1874 attempts[6][7]. Despite their equality in age, that's effectively two more seasons worth of running that Jackson has over Gore. Although Dahl may provide some much needed support, he's not going to bring one of the worst O-line's in the league completely around.

Jackson v the Seattle three: I did not and it would be complete folly to compare Jackson to any one of the Seattle backs. However, that is the beauty of an RBC, it does not require one feature back. Every RB has his own role and complements the weaknesses of the others. There is a reason the majority of NFL teams are moving to a running system based on the RBC [8].

Jackson v Hightower & Wells: My opponent seems completely set on the idea that a team needs a feature back to be successful. While they may be more fun and much more useful to fantasy owners, the fact of the matter is that RBC are a better system for a team to use. What you have to look at is how the RBC works as a group, not as individual runners. Looking at this way, my opponent has even conceded that they provide better numbers than the talented (but solo) Steven Jackson.

R3: Rams Receivers

I would like to point out that Sims-Walker was dropped from his last team (Jacksonville Jaguars) after his dismal production. Sims-Walker has never provided a 1000 yd season and remains a mid-level journeyman receiver.

I understand my opponent has had difficulties with the character space, so I will allow him another round to respond to my points about the receivers on the other NFC West teams.

C1: Defense

Rams: The Rams ranked an unexceptional (but not dreadful) 19th in total defense, 19th in passing defense, and 16th in rushing defense[9]. I point this out for two reasons: to show that the Rams are not a team that can rely on a stud defense to lead them to victory like the Ravens, Steelers, Jets, etc..., and to set up my argument below.

49ers: San Francisco ranked a bit worse at 13th in total defense, 23th in passing defense, and 6th in rushing defense. While this defense was worse than the Rams in passing, the addition of Jim Harbaugh will boost this defensive unit immensely. Why is that? Well, look at Harbaugh's brother, John Harbaugh, and the stalwart defense he's led in Baltimore. We can only help but expect more of the same from this family of defensive-orientated coaches. Secondly, this group dominated runningbacks last season (so good luck to Steven Jackson).

The other two teams ranked lower in overall defense but I believe that their offensive superiority (especially in the case of the Cardinals) will more than make up for their defensive deficiencies.


Below I will state why I believe each team is better than or at least has a good probability at being better than the St. Louis Rams.

Seattle Seahawks: I will concede that the Seahawks defense is inferior to that of the Rams, but not necessarily the offense. The addition of Sidney Rice to the already existing throwing weapons of John Carlson and Mike Williams will lead to a much improved passing game in Seattle this year. Lynch also finally got the new offensive system down and next year this could be a very scary RBC to face. Lastly, I would like to remind the voters that the Rams had a chance to win the title last year but lost to the Seahawks in the final game of the regular season. The Seahawks then went on to prove how good of a team they could be by defeating the then Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints.

San Francisco 49ers: As shown above, the 49ers defense is both superior to that of the Rams' and in line for even more improvement. In other aspects the 49ers are close to equal with the Rams (with QB's and RB's having similar production). However, I would like to bring up again the fact that Jackson is wearing down and will be seeing a drop in his production this season.

Arizona Cardinals: This team to me is the best team in the NFC West. In this division, they have the best QB (looking at all available stats), the best RBC, the best WR (Ftizgerald), and a team that knows how to win (only been 3 years since their last Super Bowl.

Out of characters now. I wish my opponent luck and look forward to his next argument.

Debate Round No. 3


I am looking forward to the conclusion of what has been a very fun debate. Without further ado… my last stand.

Bradford is the best QB in the division:

Last year, Sam Bradford threw for more yards and touchdown’s than anyone else in the division . My opponent tried to mitigate this by saying that he had the most playing time, and that if we were to extrapolate Kolb’s statistics, he would have indeed had the better year. So why didn’t Kolb play you ask? He suffered the scariest injury a quarterback (a young one at that) can endure: a concussion. The experts at ESPN agree that with the Cardinals shoddy offensive line, Kolb’s health cannot be guaranteed. [1]

Nothing in Tavaris Jackson’s resume suggests that he is anywhere near Sam Bradford’s caliber as a passer. My opponent states that the Seahawks addition of Sydney Rice suddenly makes their receiving corps better. We must remember though that Tavaris Jackson has played extensively with Rice, and that the results were not all that impressive. Remember when the acquisitions of TJ Houshmandzadeh and Dion Branch were supposed to make the team miraculously better?

The 49ers quarterback situation is less than desirable. In Alex Smith, you have a quarterback that has never lives up to his number one pick billing. He has been plagued by injuries his entire career and I find it unlikely that he’ll be able to take every offensive snap.

The Rams receiving core is healthy and primed for success under Josh McDaniels’ pass heavy scheme:

As I have said before the Rams made a huge improvement to their receiving corps by adding Mike Sims-Walker as an outside deep threat. Don’t expect him to run short routes or routes over the middle. He will run primarily vertical routes (streak, fade, wheel) and leave the over the middle work to Danny Amendola and co. Expect Mark Clayton and (a healthy) Donnie Avery to work the sidelines opposite Sims-Walker. My opponent (as one would expect) looked at Sims-Walker’s stats and took them at face value. I will not say that this is bad, I will merely point out that Sims-Walker is leaving a very conservative system and coming to a Rams team that will be a very heavy pass team. Expect his (and every other receiver’s) stats to take a jump this year.

Expect Steven Jackson’s workload to go down and his production to increase

As my opponent has tirelessly pressed, Steven Jackson’s workload was detrimental to his production. He cited a drop-off in yards per carry production. I would like to submit that since Josh McDaniel’s offensive scheme will be heavily focused on passing the football, the stress that Steven Jackson’s legs have accrued will be alleviated at least partially as he won’t be expected to carry the ball thirty plus times per game this year. We should see Jackson utilized in much the same way we saw the great Marshall Faulk utilized in 1999 when the rams not only won the west, but also the Super Bowl. Frank Gore will have to shoulder the load in San Francisco with the quarterback situation in flux. The Cardinals have released Tim Hightower, so they no longer have the tandem that my opponent so overvalued.

Some crucial items we have failed to discuss:

Defense: The Rams have addressed a long standing position of need signing Quinton Mikell, a top tier safety.[2] What has the rest of the division done on this front? The Seahawks have released linebacker and defensive signalcaller Lofa Tatupu, who leaves in his stead a gaping hole in defensive leadership production.[3] The Cardinals have trades away Rogers-Cromarte who is arguably one of the best corners in the league. [4] The 49ers have released monster tackler Takeo Spikes to free agency. He has since signed elsewhere. [5]

Coaching: Rams GM Billy Devaney has assembled a cast of coaches that have distinctive playcalling styles. Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo, who handles defensive play calling, has surrounded himself with players who do what he knows how to coach, that is blitz and confuse the quarterback. The Rams have signed top draft pick Robert Quinn. In Quinn’s first year he is likely to split time playing right end with the hulking veteran James Hall. [6] Quinn’s speed, and Hall’s size will make the right side of the Rams line very adaptable to various situations. The Rams are built to use many substitution packages and the versatility of their defensive roster in terms of speed guys versus power guys will make the Rams defense eerily similar to the great Giants D (which Spagnuolo coached) that brought a superbowl championship to New York in 2008.

Closing Remarks: In terms of choosing a winner in this debate, I urge football minded voters to look at the make-up of every team in the NFC West and think about which team is built for success next year. I had the “burden of proof” in this debate (as much as you can prove things in a speculative debate). I fulfilled my promise to the voters. I gave you numbers. I backed up my numbers with expert analysis. I took you past the numbers with my own analysis. I have proven that the Rams scheme is best set to lead them to success. I showed you that Bradford was the best quarterback last year and showed you that he is the best bet next year. I have used football logic to tell you why Steven Jackson is a better bet than Frank Gore. I have shown cleared up the shroud of questions surrounding the Rams receiving corps to the best of my ability. For those reasons, I ask you to vote in affirmation of this resolution. Thank you.

Sources: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]



I am almost sad that this debate is about to be concluded. It was a lot of fun and I enjoyed this debate thoroughly.

R1: Quarterbacks

Although multiple concussions in a season can be scary, there is no need to fear the results of a concussion from a year ago. Especially since Kolb has already played multiple regular season games after this injury. Plenty of great players of come back from single or multiple concussion seasons to succeed (most notably Aaron Rodgers and his recent Super Bowl). As for my opponents claim that the Cardinals offensive line will be weak, well, the Cardinals made some recent free agent acquisitions. They added guards Daryn Colledge and Floyd Womack to boost their line from last season[1]. I'd also like to remind you that the Rams had a worse offensive line last season and did nothing to alleviate this problem.

My opponent misunderstands my arguments if he thinks I said Jackson is a better passer than Bradford. However, there is much more to a QB than how good of a passer he may or may not be. Jackson's mobility is far superior to Bradford, and less pressure will be put on him for the overall result of a game. Seattle will rely much more on their superior running game to lead them to victory.

While Alex Smith has not lived up to his expectations, the same could be said for Sam Bradford. Each QB's best season have practically the same stats. I say this to remind the readers that just because someone is expected to succeed does not guarantee success (Vince Young, Reggie Bush, Steve Slaton, etc...).

R2: Wide Receivers

The fact of the matter is that the Rams WR's were ranked 26th in the league last year. Conversely, Sims-Walker (even with his dismal stats), came from the 12th ranked team[2]. I don't know how my opponent expects one of the worst wide receiving cores in the league to turn completely around in one season, especially with their best addition being a mid-level, journeyman receiver. The Rams WR's have proved that they are ineffectual before, and there is no reason to believe that they will turn it around.

I would like to take this moment to point out that the Cardinals have recently caught a great pass-catching tight-end in Todd Heap. Despite the Raven's run-first offensive mentality, Heap still put up impressive enough numbers to be considered an elite tight-end in the league. Putting him on the same field as Larry Fitzgerald will have all defenses shaking in fear. That's not to mention the fact that the Cardinals are right now in the front-running for Braylon Edwards, another wide receiving threat that will help take pressure away from Fitzgerald [1].

Lastly, my opponent did nothing to refute that the WR's of the other NFC West teams are better than that of the Rams. As I believe I have already proved this to be the case, my opponent's lack of response to my arguments seems to have proved them true.

R3: Runningbacks

McDaniels' last coaching job was as head coach of the Denver Broncos. Despite that team's lack of a feature back, they still had almost 380 rushing attempts that season[3]. With the Rams having their own feature back that my opponent values so highly, there is no doubt that McDaniels will use Jackson again for 300+ carries. Such a workload could very well be put on the last legs of an aging workhorse.

While Tim Hightower has been released, this only shows me how much faith the Cardinals have in rookie Ryan Williams. While Wells will surely have a leading role this year, Williams will definitely be able to pull up the slack and keep a dangerous RBC in Arizona.

My opponent seems to have given up on proving that Jackson is better than the RBC in Seattle.

R4: Defense

The Cardinals have also picked up a new cornerback to replace Rogers-Cromarte in Richard Marshall. I feel that the rankings I posted in the previous round and my explanation of the defenses explain well enough how I feel about this subject. I cannot contend that anyone of this divisions defense (including the Rams) will be a dominating force and so it all comes down to offensive firepower. Luckily, I believe I have shown quite thoroughly that the Rams are not as good as my well-meaning but undoubtedly biased opponent thinks they are.

R5: Coaching

While I cannot argue against the fact that most of the coaches in St. Louis are good, it is hard to see why they can be considered special for any reason, especially when you look at the other coaches in the division. Both the Seahawks and the 49ers have head coaches that dominated the college game and have a pedigree for success in the NFL (whether through their own coaching experience or that of their siblings). Also, the majority of the Cardinals coaching staff has already been to a Super Bowl (3 years ago) and clearly have what it takes to succeed while the Rams coaches remain either untested or failures (including my opponent's highly touted McDaniels that has caused irreparable damage to a once dominant Broncos team). The Cardinals head coach, Ken Whisenhunt, has not only lead his team to the Super Bowl, but won it as a coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers under Bill Cowher[4].


My opponent is clearly very passionate about this debate and I applaud the effort he put into his arguments. However, he is clearly too close to his team to see the truth of their predicament.

While Bradford may be a great QB someday, that someday is not next year. Kolb has been proved to be clearly better than Bradford, Smith is on the same level, and Jackson is a different type of quarterback that excels at being a limited passing, mobility-based QB (Vick anyone?).

Jackson is now past his prime and missed his opportunity to be a great runningback on a winning team. Runningback-by-committee has been proved to be a better way to do a running offense and my opponent has failed to show how the other RBC's in the division are inferior to his "feature back."

The Rams WR's are, for lack of a better word, horrid. Their is absolutely not comparison from their WR's to that of the other teams in the division.

With the other teams in the division having superior offenses (especially the Cardinals) and equal to or better defenses, there is very little hope that the Rams will pull out a NFC West championship banner this year. I have refuted all my opponents arguments and given arguments that he has not been able to refute.

I thank my opponent immensely for this fantastic debate, but in light of the facts that have been presented, urge you to VOTE CON on this resolution.

Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Cobo 5 years ago
Jets will win this year.
Posted by BlackVoid 5 years ago
Good job by both of you, its great to see a good NFL debate for once.

Quarterback was the biggest issue here. I really dont see how Tarvaris Jackson can be considered better than Bradford. While Con basically concedes that Bradford is a better passer, I dont buy that being able to run is the great equalizer. Most great running quarterbacks have also been able to throw, such as McNabb and last year's Vick. Jackson has never been able to throw. Pro is correct in saying that success is most strongly tied into being able to throw the football.

Pro essentially concedes that Kolb is a better statistical quarterback than Bradford, but just questions his ability to stay on the field because of their poor O-line. Con wins this by showing that the Rams actually have a worse O-line.

I'd also like to point out that Bradford was concussed in his freshman year in college and basically was knocked out for his entire junior season.

Based off this, I can agree that Kolb is the best QB in the division.

The Cardinals overall were Con's best argument. In addition to Kolb, they have Fitz and Todd Heap. This is better than the entire Rams receiving core. Mike Sims-Walker wasn't really a factor because he was cut last year for his poor production. And Fitz/Heap is clearly better than Amendola/Gibson.

As far as RB goes, I dont think Pro can escape the fact that Steven Jackson is aging and damaged from his workload from previous years. Con gives a very good statistic about him only averaging 3.8 YPC last year, even with Bradford there. Thats nowhere near where a feature back should be at. In contrast, the Cardinals have two thousand yard rushers plus Ryan Williams, who will keep each other's legs fresh.

The Rams do have a better defense than the Cards and this is uncontested. However, the Cards having a better quarterback, RB core, and receivers outweigh slightly, mainly since the Rams still only have an average D and offense wins regular season games.
Posted by thejudgeisgod 5 years ago
Oh and yes, please refrain from voting if you have no idea at all who we're talking about.
Posted by freedomsquared 5 years ago
I can't speak for my opponent, but I think it would be best that those who vote on this debate at least have some general knowledge of football.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by BlackVoid 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Comments
Vote Placed by airmax1227 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Very well debated by both...But Con did an excellent job refuting Pro's assertions and creating doubts via the resolution.. Go Packers!