Want to know just how much better the Rams are playing now, compared to earlier this year? Depending on where you place your bets, the 49ers are only favored by 5-11 points. The Rams were blown out on national television last time the two teams played. The Rams actually kept it close for the first half of the game, but the wheels came off in the second half. The game in of itself caused the Rams to pursue a totally different philosophy moving forward. It will be interesting to compare this upcoming performance to the one on September 26th.
He is grading out as the best 4-3 defensive end in the league this year. Also, he looks to be improving each week. He simply cannot be contained. Even when teams chip him with backs and tight ends, it doesn't slow him down. We could seriously be talking about a defensive player of the year candidate if the Rams could make the playoffs.
It's a serious question worth asking. Washington looks awful, and teams like Jacksonville, Tampa Bay, and Atlanta all seem to have the schedule and capital to win a few more games. While it would have been in a negative interest for the Rams to want Washington to lose this week, from here on out the Rams will have a strong interest in the implosion on the east coast.
What would the Rams do with the number one overall pick? Dare I even ask? My money would be on Les Snead turning that single pick into multiple picks once again.
Austin has now applied the talent that the Rams so desperately sought in April. He appears to have an arrow on him pointing straight up. Credit to the Rams staff for sticking with many of these young players through difficult stages. It would have been easy to say Austin isn't ready and show him the bench; however the Rams kept plugging him in there and now it's paying dividends. Many of you may suggest that they did reduce his snaps after the first few games, but the truth is the offensive philosophy changed and his role started to evolve at that point as well.
The Rams moved up only slightly after two dominant performances against good teams. Does it matter? No. Do fans like to see their team get credit for strong performances. Yes.
The fact is that a team quarterbacked by Kellen Clemens isn't the sexiest to cover. The Rams will likely fly under the radar unless they can make the playoffs and overcome a 3-6 start.
There is no doubt that Michael Crabtree makes the 49ers better. Luckily for the Rams, I'm not sure he is going to make them better this week. His snaps will likely be limited and there should be a fair amount of rust that has to be kicked off before he has an impact performance.