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Random Ramsdom, 12/16: Bradford and the beard

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Though the scewiness of the NFL Network prevents me from watching them, I kind of like these Thursday night games. Gets you in the mood that much sooner. It also means that the Rams week 15 game against KC, complete with playoff implications, is right around the corner. Let's get ready.

Stakes get higher for Sam Bradford
Bernie Miklasz at the Post-Dispatch notes the stakes for the Rams and Sam Bradford this week against KC.

Rams' Bartell says he'll play despite injury

Meaningful football in December has Rams' players motivated. CB Ron Bartell will play this week, even though he will not be fully healthy. His shoulder stinger could return at any time. The real question is whether or not Bartell's shoulder will factor against opposing receivers. Also on the injury front, Kenneth Darby has a cracked rib, and Keith Toston could get his reps. The Rams would be wise to start using Steven Jackson more on third downs, if for no other reason than to replace Darby's pass blocking.

After the jump, yards after the catch and a mock draft with a twist for the whole division.

YAC and the Rams defense

The Rams defense allows an average of 5.37 yards after the catch, 19th fewest in the league. Injured cornerbacks could affect that number.

Rams' playoff chase starts against the Chiefs this weekend

Rams Herd looks this week's game against the Chiefs, with a particular emphasis on the NFL playoff picture.

Stopping the run key for the Rams defense 

Talk about Matt Cassel all you want, but the biggest factor in keeping the Chiefs off the board this week will be stopping the run game. The Chiefs run more than any other team in the league with a two-headed combo of Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones. Charles could be the most dangerous for the Rams, given his ability on the outside and the Rams weakness at outside linebacker. The secondary will have a big role in run support.

Computer predicts close game
Accuscore is predicting a very close game between the Rams and Chiefs this week. Their computer generated scenarios have the Rams winning 44 percent of the simulations. One key: turnovers. If the Rams can keep from giving the ball away, the chance of a win improves considerably. Computers, is there anything they can't do?

NFL: Samson Bradford?
Coincidence or not, Sam Bradford was one productive passer during No Shave November. Since going with the neat and trim look this month things have been a little different, like having zero touchdown passes in two December games. Needless to say, the beard is back.

Matt Cassel's status still up in the air for week 15
The only name on the injury report this week for the Chiefs is QB Matt Cassel. Though he practiced in a limited role yesterday, there's still no clear idea about whether or not he'll play this week.

Wild, wild NFC West in new mock draft

Some mock draft goodness over at Walter Football. They've swapped the Rams first round pick to WR Justin Blackmon from WR Jon Baldwin. Arizona grabs WR AJ Green and San Francisco takes...Cam Newton

And over on the TST Facebook page, we've got a little draft talk going today related to the above mock draft. Resident draftnik 3k and amateur draft watching myself want to hear your take on a couple of key prospects.