Looking at early projections for 2014

EARTH CITY, Mo. -- Earlier this week, we took a look at how Las Vegas sees the St. Louis Rams and other teams around the league heading into 2014 with their projected over/under win totals.

It's that time of year when people are crunching numbers and trying to pinpoint how something nearly impossible to predict will play out. And so the good people over at Footballoutsiders.com ran their own statistics in an effort to project how the 2014 season would play out.

If you're a Rams fan, you probably didn't like the results. According to those projections, the Rams will again finish fourth in the NFC West division with a projected record of 6-10.

These projections take into account many variables including defense-adjusted value over average ratings and accounts for regression or progression toward the mean for units that might have over-performed or under-performed the previous season. Injuries and offseason additions and subtractions were also accounted for in the projections.

While 6-10 would certainly be a disappointing outcome, it's also worth noting that these numbers have Seattle winning the division with 10 wins. That's unlikely to happen but gives you a better idea of how difficult the NFC West figures to be.

Strength of schedule is another indicator used in the formula and the Rams have what is currently viewed as the second-toughest schedule in the league. San Francisco's ranks third, Arizona's is fourth and Seattle's is sixth. That's not surprising since those teams all play a total of six games against one another.

The analysis of the Rams' projected record also includes this from Footballoutsiders founder Aaron Schatz:

"As for St. Louis, as good as the front four will be, you still have to score points to win football games. A big Sam Bradford breakout could finally come in 2014, but it isn't a high probability."

As many already suspect, the biggest question for the Rams will be can they score enough points to keep up in the rough and tumble NFC West? Only time will tell.