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Random Ramsdom: October 22: St. Louis Rams - Without Sam Bradford

This is Week 8 of the NFL season. It's also Week 1 without the Rams' starting quarterback: Sam Bradford. In the loss to Carolina last weekend, Bradford suffered a season-ending ACL tear in his left knee. Best wishes to Sam for a speedy recovery and a great 2014 season with the Rams.

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Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday, Bloody Sunday...

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>Rams QB Sam Bradford tore his ACL. He&#39;s out for year...</p>&mdash; Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) <a href="">October 21, 2013</a></blockquote>

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Was Mitchell trying to hurt Sam Bradford?

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>Big question on play that injured Sam Bradford: Why was Mike Mitchell trying to pull him backward? Bradford was running directly to sideline</p>&mdash; Howard Balzer (@HBalzer721) <a href="">October 21, 2013</a></blockquote>

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Chris Long delivers this shot to the Carolina fans...

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>Thanks Carolina fans 4 the flipped birds+few bottles to the head. Sticks n stones may break my bones but aluminum zimas will never hurt me.</p>&mdash; Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) <a href="">October 20, 2013</a></blockquote>

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Then apologizes to the Rams faithful...

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>Apologies 2 fans 4 losing my cool. Hard 2 watch from the locker room. Will always defend a tmmate + play w emotion but I need 2 reel it in.</p>&mdash; Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) <a href="">October 20, 2013</a></blockquote>

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Robert Quinn has Chris Long's back covered...

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>Love my guy <a href="">@JOEL9ONE</a> white thunder black lightning created a storm today lmao</p>&mdash; Robert Quinn (@RQuinn94) <a href="">October 20, 2013</a></blockquote>

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My post-game reaction:

"Here is what really should happen….regardless of the extent of Sam’s injury, let’s let these young players play and grow. Draft?? Build the OLine, pickup Seastrunk?, OLB and FS…and we let next season rip…11-5 next year…year three of the four year plan to get to the Super Bowl….no one said it would be easy!
And we cheer our damn team on through the bad times, just as we would during the good times!!!"

Sam Bradford
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Texas Homecoming: Student Of The Game - Cody Davis

Rams safety Cody Davis [via his own blog], describes the experience of returning to his home state to play the Houston Texans last week.

Bradford's injury creates future uncertainty: ESPN NFC West - Nick Wagoner

Nick Wagoner speculates about the possible fallout and implications from Sam Bradford's torn ACL injury:

"The immediate implications of the injury could well mean a lost 2013 season in which the Rams will struggle to find wins in their final nine games.The bigger issue is Bradford's long-term future with the team."

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Walter Football

Charlie Campbell presents his latest 3 round 2014 mock draft. The Rams take OT Taylor Lewan, RB Lache Seastrunk, S Dion Bailey, and DT Tim Jernigan. Trading down one of the first round picks looks pretty appealing at this point in time, as does adding a guard in the second round [Gabe Jackson], and a backup quarterback in the third round [yes, we are keeping Sam Bradford].

Self-inflicted Wounds Doom Rams: Cover 32

Rams - Panthers game awards: MVP - James Laurinaitis, L(east)VP - Brian Quick, X-Factor - Robert Quinn, who had an excellent game.

Rookie Highlight Reel - Tavon Austin

The Supreme Tavon Austin Highlights (2013 Draft Pick 8th Pick - St. Louis Rams) (via MockingNFLDraft)

Bargains and Busts - Ranking Team Offensive Lines: Over The Cap

OTC looks at salary cap values for offensive line players, and compares those values to grades from Pro Football Focus. The Rams' offensive line ranks near the middle of the league.

Sam Bradford's lost season could be a major decision point for the Rams: S.I. Audibles

It wasn't long ago that the Rams announced their desire to extend Sam Bradford's contract. Has Bradford's season-ending injury put the extension into doubt?

3 Players Rams Should Consider Signing: Ramblin' Fan

In the aftermath of Sam Bradford's season-ending injury, there is rampant speculation as to who the Rams should sign as a backup quarterback to Kellen Clemens. RF suggests: Vince Young, Tim Tebow, and Austin Davis. Davis is the easy choice from those three.

Salvage Effort Begins For Bradford-Less Rams: 101 ESPN

Of immediate concern to the Rams is where to go from here, and how to navigate the remaining 9 games of the season. Looking into the future?:

"And if the Rams do go down the drain? They’ll have to take advantage of what appears to be a deep quarterback draft and develop at the very least a backup, and perhaps an heir to Bradford as their starter."

Stat Facts Of The Week: Toxic Differential

Toxic Differential Leaders
Team Turnover Differential Big Play Differential Toxic Differential
1 Seattle Seahawks 7 26 33
2 Philadelphia Eagles 1 25 26
3 San Francisco 49ers 4 14 18
4 Kansas City Chiefs 11 5 16
5 Green Bay Packers -2 15 13
6 Carolina Panthers 5 6 11
7 New Orleans Saints 5 4 9
8 Buffalo Bills 5 2 7
9 Denver Broncos -2 8 6
10 Oakland Raiders 0 4 4
11 New York Jets -11 15 4
12 Cleveland Browns -1 4 3
13 Detroit Lions 5 -3 2
14 Indianapolis Colts 7 -6 1
15 Chicago Bears 7 -7 0
16 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 0 0 0
17 Houston Texans -11 9 -2
18 New England Patriots 5 -7 -2
19 Tennessee Titans 6 -9 -3
20 Baltimore Ravens -2 -2 -4
21 Miami Dolphins -1 -4 -5
22 St. Louis Rams 3 -9 -6
23 Pittsburgh Steelers -10 4 -6
24 Cincinnati Bengals -2 -5 -7
25 Dallas Cowboys 5 -12 -7
26 San Diego Chargers -6 -1 -7
27 Atlanta Falcons -2 -5 -7
28 Washington Redskins -1 -8 -9
29 Minnesota Vikings 0 -11 -11
30 Arizona Cardinals -2 -15 -17
31 New York Giants -16 -6 -22
32 Jacksonville Jaguars -7 -31 -38

On August 19, I wrote about the importance of the "toxic differential", in an article for Turf Show Times (link). The Rams, after 7 games, rank 22nd in the league in this vital statistic. It's evident there is a correlation between the "toxic differential", and an NFL teams success on the field. The chart is courtesy of "Sporting Charts".


Upon Further Review

St. Louis Rams - Week 7: ESPN NFC West

San Francisco 49ers - Week 7: ESPN NFC West

Seattle Seahawks - Week 7: ESPN NFC West

Arizona Cardinals - Week 7: ESPN NFC West

The correspondents at ESPN take their weekly, in-depth, look at each of the four NFC West teams.


Breaking Down Sam Bradford's Knee Injury And Road To Recovery: Bleacher Report/Dr. David Siebert

BR presents a possible timeline for the return of Sam Bradford from his ACL tear. 9-10 months is a reasonable time-frame, Bradford might be ready for training camp. A more more conservative estimate would put his return closer to opening day in 2014.

New Ideas From A Wise Source: S.I. MMQB

Peter King and legendary coach Bud Grant discuss how the game of football can become even greater.

Jeff Fisher In Pink: Deadspin

Jeff Fisher looks like a country club denizen in this photo from "a bar in Florida this summer". The comment section is as risque as it gets, and worth a few laughs.

Chris Long Apologizes To Rams Fans: CBS Sports

Long apologized to Rams fans for getting thrown out of the Carolina game. CBS' Sports' Will Brinson then apologized to Chris Long - for suggesting he had given Carolina fans the middle finger while exiting the playing field.

On This Day In Sports History

1950 - The LA Rams beat the Baltimore Colts 70-27. The 1950 Rams hold the highest offensive points-per-game average in NFL history.


Sorting Through Rams' Quarterback Options: Nick Wagoner - ESPN NFC West

In my thinking, Austin Davis is the best option for a backup QB to Kellen Clemens. The Rams have very little cap space to work with, are loathe to give up draft picks in a trade, and would prefer someone familiar with the offensive system. Davis fits the bill on all counts.

2013 NFL Grades - Week 7: CBS Sports

Will Brinson presents his weekly grades, for games played in Week 7. The Rams get a "D+" for the game against Carolina. The negatives far outweighed the positives in this game.

NFL Week 7 Winners And Losers: The Onion

The Onion takes a tongue-in-cheek look at the highs and lows from NFL games in Week 7.

Officials' Performance In Rams Game Should Be Reviewed: Howard Balzer - KSDK

Howard levels some serious criticism at the officiating in the Rams - Panthers game. The Rams players must take some of the blame for what transpired:

"The Rams certainly allowed their emotions to get out of hand during the 30-15 loss to Carolina. However, it seems evident that was the Panthers' game plan, and in that they succeeded."


Morning Ram-blings: ESPN NFC West

Turnovers played a critical role in the Rams victories against Jacksonville and Houston. They played just as critical a role in the loss to Carolina on the weekend.

Lack of execution, loss of composure cost Rams dearly: CBS - KMOX

"Four personal fouls and an ejection of a team captain?That’s just unacceptable. And the responsibility for it falls on the coaches."

Another Roster Gap Exposed: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

The injury exposed the Rams' lack of depth at the QB position, which will now be severely tested for the remainder of the season. Jeff Gordon highlights several issues related to the loss of Sam Bradford going forward.

Full Roster Report Card Grades For St. Louis: Bleacher Report

As expected, the Rams did not grade out very well in their loss to Carolina. Sam Bradford and James Laurinaitis rate special mention for their performances on Sunday.

St. Louis Rams Weekly Salary "Re-Cap"

The Rams currently have $257,903 in Available Cap Space, the lowest in the league. The injury to Sam Bradford will necessitate adding a QB (or two) to the roster. Bradford's full salary will count against the cap. This presents a difficult situation for the Rams regarding the cap. The Rams released WR CJ Akins from IR on Monday, which will create approximately $270,000 in cap space. This should be enough (along with another minor move) for the Rams to sign a veteran QB using the Minimum Salary Benefits provisions of the CBA. The MSB provisions allow a veteran to be signed and have a cap hit of $555,000, the league minimum for a player with two years experience.


What Lies Ahead For Rams QB Sam Bradford: Over The Cap

OTC details the possible financial and salary cap implications of the injury to Sam Bradford.

Jason La Canfora on Sam Bradford's injury - video: CBS Sports

CBS Sports' NFL Insider Jason La Canfora discusses the injury to Sam Bradford.

Rams Rookie Review - Week 7: Nick Wagoner ESPN

Tavon Austin and Alec Ogletree were bright lights for the Rams in the game against Carolina.

Refo: Rams at Panthers, Week 7: Pro Football Focus

Sam Bradford and Scott Wells are mentioned for their fine performances on Sunday. Janoris Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson were the lowest graded Rams.

The Pressers

NFL Week 8 - The Jeff Fisher Show - October 21

Jeff Fisher Press Conference - Post-Game

Chris Long Press Conference - Post-Game

Robert Quinn Press Conference - Post-Game

Jeff Fisher Press Conference - October 21

How do the Rams move forward without Sam Bradford?

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Rams Try To Regroup Following Loss Of Bradford: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

The Rams will have a tough task ahead of them for the remainder of the season. Jeff Fisher has taken it all in stride:

"It’s a difficult day for us," coach Jeff Fisher said Monday. "But we’ll move forward. ... We met with the team this morning, explained to them the situation. The challenge is obvious in this world where you have an impact player go down with a season-ending injury. Everybody else just has to step up, coaches included. Everybody in the building has to pick it up."

Sam Bradford Injury Means St. Louis Rams Must Draft QB In 2014: Rams 101

"The Rams are in the enviable position of having two first round draft choices this year, thanks to the Redskins' generosity. With this draft teeming with quarterback prospects, it's a no-brainer that they use one of those picks to draft at least an insurance policy against Sam Bradford's recovery."

Sam Bradford Done For Rest Of Season: ESPN NFC West

"Fisher said that when Bradford is healthy, his job will be waiting for him. "I'm especially disappointed for Sam just because of the work and the effort and the progress he's made," Fisher said. "He was off to a great start so it was unfortunate but he'll be back. He's our quarterback."

Ten Takeaways From Sunday's Loss In Carolina: 101 Sports ESPN

Randy Karraker gives his take on Sunday's loss to the Panthers.


Will Rams Draft A Quarterback In 2014: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Bryan Burwell explores the notion of drafting a QB in 2014, after Sam Bradford's season-ending injury on Sunday.

Head Trauma In Football: A Special Report: S.I. MMQB

Sports Illustrated presents a series of articles this week asking if football can change, particularly in regard to head trauma.

Audibles At The Line - Week 7: Football Outsiders

FO gives their take on the events of Sunday's game with the Panthers.

Bradford's Future Hangs In The Balance - Video: Pro Football Talk

Scott Pioli discusses how Sam Bradford's injury will impact his future.

2014 NFL Draft Big Board: Sports illustrated

Chris Burke delivers his second big board of the year. Many risers and fallers. The Rams will be in fine shape come draft time.

Rams Can't Get Caught Like This Again: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Bryan Burwell shares his thoughts on the Rams' QB situation, emphasizing that the Rams should always have quality backup help at the QB position.

Rex Ryan Just Saved The NFL: Wall Street Journal

"As of this weekend, Ryan's bone-shattering defense—which is something of a family heirloom—was back atop the football world, having stopped the New England Patriots in overtime on Sunday. But what's really amazing is what's happened to the Saints and the Chiefs: Rex Ryan has somehow saved them, too."

Harvey Dahl goes After Mike Mitchell - Video: St. Louis Rams Official Website

Good on Harvey Dahl for showing leadership!

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>Call me crazy but I love Harvey Dahl. Wish he did what he really wanted to do on the Bradford injury celebration.</p>&mdash; Jeff Hamill (@jehamill) <a href="">October 20, 2013</a></blockquote>

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The Rams have signed a pair of quarterbacks:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>Rams have signed Austin Davis to active roster. Brady Quinn has agreed to terms.</p>&mdash; Jim Thomas (@jthom1) <a href="">October 22, 2013</a></blockquote>

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Blast From The Past: Classic Rock Tuesday: Cinderella

Cinderella - Don't Know What You Got (Till It's Gone) (via CinderellaVEVO)

Have a great Tuesday and a Ramtastic week.