Scott Kane-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
The St. Louis Rams have played one quarter of their season, and there is plenty to celebrate.
I need you to ask yourself a question, and answer it honestly. Did you really think that the St. Louis Rams would be 2-2 a quarter of the way through the season?
I didn't. I really thought this week's game against the Cardinals might be the best chance to pick up a win. Now it looks like it might be the most difficult game in the first five. It's also easy to see a way for the Rams win this one, giving them a winning record for the first time since 2006 and a 3-0 start at home for the first time since 2003.
A few things worth celebrating:
1. The league's best pass defense
You have several ways of looking at this one, and they're all very good. Opposing quarterbacks have a combined 64.2 rating against the Rams, no defense is doing better on that number. The Rams have allowed 2 passing touchdown, the same number as the Ravens, and the fewest of any team in the league. They've given up 11 plays of 20 yards or more, only six teams have allowed fewer big plays.
2. Chris Long is getting to quarterbacks
Long picked up where he left off. He has 25 total quarterback pressures, according to Pro Football Focus. He's chasing passers out of the pocket and right into Robert Quinn's waiting arms.
3. Third down success
The Rams defense is allowing opponents to convert just 31 percent of their third-down chances. Only five teams are doing better. On offense, the Rams are converting just 38 percent, but check out how they did on third downs last week. They converted five third downs against Seattle, the shortest distance on those was 10 yards.
4. Special teams!
Needless to say that the Rams special teams units are pretty good. Field goals are tops in the league, which is to be expected when you have a kicker capable of booting 60-yard field goals with minimal effort.
5. Swagger, swagger, swagger
The Rams have swagger running out of their ears. They're a tough team. When was the last time you could say that about the St. Louis Rams? It's been awhile. Why does it matter how tough a team is? It's the resiliency, stupid.
I'll let Bernie Miklasz sum it up:
This one isn't quantifiable, but they're just a lot tougher under Jeff Fisher. Which was the expectation. That's his rep. He builds tough teams. The Rams have that. It isn't just a matter of physical play. The Rams are mentally tough. That's why they're able to come back from so many deficits.