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NFL St Louis Rams

2013 NFL Schedule Daunting for Young St. Louis Rams Team

St. Louis Rams

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL schedules may not officially be released until April as far as dates and times are concerned, but the St. Louis Rams already know the opponents that they will face during the 2013 season. Having the order of those opposing teams set is really inconsequential to how the schedule stacks up in terms of difficulty. For a team that finally took a step in the right direction as far as wins and losses are concerned in 2012, it may be a bit more difficult to follow that up with a similar performance next season.

According to a compilation of opponents’ records that the Rams will face in 2013, the combined 137-117-2 record for a win percentage of 0.539 is good enough for the fourth most difficult slate of games in the league. Obviously with the NFC West taking a step up in terms of quality and the San Francisco 49ers actually representing the division in the Super Bowl, the Rams have their work cut out for them in their six divisional games. Here is a look at which teams the Rams play at home and which they play on the road in 2013.

HOME: Arizona Cardinals, 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Chicago Bears

ROAD: Cardinals, 49ers, Seahawks, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Dallas Cowboys

The Rams face both the NFC and AFC South divisions next season with their two random conference match-ups being with an NFC North and NFC East opponent respectively. Since the team finished third in the NFC West, their opponents in those two random games will also be third place finishers from 2012.

When breaking it down, the Rams face five different playoff teams including the Niners and Seahawks twice. Seven games against teams that made the postseason in the previous year is a lofty number. The Rams did fare well against both San Fran and Seattle though during the 2012 campaign compiling a 2-1-1 record against the two combined. Their ability to play up to the level of their competition is important and will be a key to having success in the coming year.

It’s difficult to truly evaluate the opponents for 2013 until the rosters for next season are officially set in stone, but if the Rams can have another draft class as successful as this past season’s, they could be quite competitive in the year ahead. Confidence will be key for this club and given how much their outperformed expectations this past season, 2013 should bring no shortage of that to the Rams’ locker room.

Follow Anthony Blake on Twitter @AnthonyMBlake or on Facebook at Anthony Mizarkus Blake