Sep 9, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) is sacked by St. Louis Rams defensive end Robert Quinn (94) and defensive end Chris Long (91) in the third quarter at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-US Presswire
These are not the St. Louis Rams you've come to know through five seasons of futility. Frustrated fans desperate to see this team win got their already barely functioning hearts broken again in Sunday's last minute loss to the Detroit Lions. But this was not that same old, sloppy team that folded up and looked ready to pack it in at the first sign of shakiness, and that's the point Bernie Miklasz drives home in his Monday morning column in the Post-Dispatch.
If anything drives that point home, it's a comparison with what happened during the last trip to Detroit. That was 2010, Bradford's rookie season and the last time the Rams won more than three games since 2006. Unless you were in a coma at the time, I'm sure you recall that day.
Mark Clayton got hurt. He left the field and was done for the season. In fact, it pretty much ended his NFL career, save for a short-lived comeback attempt in 2011. With Clayton out, who had become Bradford's top option, the Rams folded. Detroit skunked them 44-6.
The same thing could have easily happened on Sunday, especially after the injuries to the offensive line. But it didn't. As Miklasz notes:
Last season the Rams broke down and gave way as soon as the injuries hit them, but they shook off the adversity in Detroit. When the Rams lost starting offensive linemen Scott Wells and Rodger Saffold to injuries, they plugged in two unproven backups (rookie Rok Watkins and Robert Turner) and shoved their way to a fourth-quarter lead.
The Rams finally have some fight, a little zeal flowing through their veins. Keep a close eye on how they respond to a loss like this one.