It's been a tough couple of months for the Rams faithful, but the team gave fans something to be thankful for with a win over the ailing Cardinals.
Before I start, I want to mention that I didn't catch the first half of the game. Of course, quickly browsing the comments, it appears that was probably a good call. Of course, it wasn't my call, but whatever. I was plenty happy watching the Rams in the second half. Let me break it down for you...
Givens Giveth and Rams Taketh Away
Hello! After the two rookies sat out against the 49ers, the both found their groove today. Givens was dynamite in replacement of Danny Amendola, capping off the day with a beautiful catch from a great throw from Bradford. I can't really nitpick, but I'm hoping that he can do the same things with Danny Amendola healthy. The Rams have been a pretty one dimensional team in the passing game, be it Danny or Chris, but never really both at the same time. They're going to need both to be in top form next week against San Francisco, for a must win game (if the Rams still want to be statistically involved in the playoff hunt, that is).
Oh, and of course, I can't forget Janoris Jenkins. The stat line showed that he blanketed Larry Fitzgerald, and while I have to give him credit for his amazing two interception (the first of which was all him), two touchdown day, he doesn't get all the credit for erasing Fitz from the game. Some of it belongs to Ryan Lindley, who had a very rough outing.
The Beast has Returned
Many fans have been clamoring to see Steven Jackson more involved. He's been on fire since the bye week, gaining 352 all purpose yards on 70 touches, an average of 5.03 yards per touch. It helped that Scott Wells was finally back (even though Robert Turner had an off day returning to his original LG spot). Still, the interior line had some great moments and it should only build as Turner and Wells both get more comfortable with playing at positions they haven't touched in ten weeks.
If Jackson keeps this up for the rest of the season, he may very well be worth seven million dollars next year. Unfortunately, it might not be the Rams who pay him that money.
Let's Play Ping-Pong (Or Football?)
Bradford was up and down against the Cardinals. On one hand, he showed good intelligence on some of the pass plays that broke down (the drive I'm thinking of is where Brian Quick again did not adjust to the pass, a reoccurring problem for him) showing restraint and finding small windows that his receivers unfortunately could not handle. Oh, and his touchdown to Givens was great.
On the other hand, I have it on good authority that he was shaky at the start of the game, but all-in-all, he shook it off and pulled it together for a 'good enough' outing. That is probably the most important thing to take away from this, as I think most of his problems are in his head. The moral boost from Givens' play and the win hopefully will rub off on a quarterback who has taken a beating on TST.
Odds and Ends
- I was once sold on the Rams drafting two offensive lineman in the first round. I'm thinking they might be better off if they add a defensive lineman (or, in other words, MORE PASS RUSH!) instead.
- Quintin Mikell had a game he'd probably like to forget. Given how Craig Dahl has played, the Rams may splurge for a free agent safety, because two draft picks for safeties is pricey for a team with needs elsewhere.
- Call me crazy, but I wasn't impressed with Trumaine Johnson. I get that the team isn't interested in Bradley Fletcher, but the primary objective should always be winning the game. To me, Fletcher gives them the best chance to do so.
- Thank goodness the Rams won. I would have gone crazy if they botched another game.