Mt. Vernon Register-News


August 12, 2013

Hines Sight: Bears, Rams face challenging divisions


The beginning of every sports season starts with sky high expectations.

NFL fans are no different. Fan bases in St. Louis and Chicago might want to temper their excitement a bit as the preseason kicks off though. We're less than a month away from the start of the season, and it's about the time when fans seriously start sizing up the quality of their squads.

It seems like just a few short years ago, the NFC West was the laughing stock of football. Every team was equally mediocre. Seattle edged into the playoffs with a losing record after beating the Rams in the final game of the regular season. That was 2010.

This is how quickly things can change in the modern NFL. The college ranks are loaded with talent that translates into impact rookies at the professional level. San Francisco ended this past season on the cusp of a Super Bowl title, falling to the Baltimore Ravens. The Seahawks advanced to the playoffs, earning a wild-card berth. This time their win total was an impressive 11.

This is the competitive environment the Rams will be competing in this season as they enter division play. St. Louis played both teams tough a season ago. St. Louis famously tied the 49ers and then beat them in overtime later in the season. Against the Seahawks, St. Louis split with each team winning on its home field.

The NFC West with the 49ers, Seattle and a solid Rams team should be one of the better divisions across the NFL. The only vulnerable team on a weekly basis is the traditionally hapless Arizona Cardinals.

The last few seasons Arizona has had a carousel of quarterbacks since Kurt Warner left. It's the most critical position in today's NFL and at Arizona it's always unstable.

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  • MTV-Centralia baseball Rams outlast Orphans

    The offensive floodgates finally opened in the ninth inning for Mt. Vernon's baseball team.

    The Rams piled up six runs in the ninth inning to claim a 7-3 extra-inning victory Tuesday.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mt. Vernon looks to move quickly on basketball opening

    The summer is a critical time period in the development of a high school athlete.

    With the resignation of Mt. Vernon boys basketball coach Scott Gamber becoming official at Monday's school board meeting, Mt. Vernon will look to move quickly to fill the position with summer workouts approaching. MVTHS principal Wes Olson said Tuesday the school will try to have a candidate at the May board meeting.

    April 22, 2014

  • Gamber resigns as Rams coach

    Scott Gamber has resigned as Rams basketball head coach after six seasons.

    April 21, 2014

  • Blues beat Blackhawks 4-3 in triple overtime

    Alexander Steen scored at 26 seconds of the third overtime to give the St. Louis Blues a 4-3 victory over the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series on Thursday night.

    April 18, 2014

  • MTV-Flora boys tennis Rams edge Flora

    The Rams tennis matchup against Flora on Thursday came down to the final match.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • MTV-Salem tennis Rams sweep Salem

    The Rams tennis team swept past Salem 9-0 Wednesday.

    It was the opening match of the season for Mt. Vernon after three cancelations to start the year under first year boys coach Randy Knox.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Woodlawn-Carmi softball Carmi downs Woodlawn

    Carmi-White County jumped out early in an 11-3 win over the host Lady Cardinals on Wednesday.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Woodlawn-Odin softball Woodlawn tops Odin

    The Lady Cardinals used late offense to put Tuesday's softball matchup with Odin out of reach.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • MTV-Breese Central girls soccer Breese Central drops Mt. Vernon

    A trio of first-half goals were enough for Breese Central to top the Lady Rams soccer team 3-1 Monday.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Claire Ryan signing Lady Rams guard signs with Welch

    Claire Ryan has functioned like a coach on the basketball court the past several seasons for the Lady Rams.

    Ryan, who has been the team's point guard the past two years, signed with Welch College in Nashville, Tenn. on Friday.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

Tom Lindley Sports