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Random Ramsdom: December 17: St. Louis Rams - Gunning For .500

The St. Louis Rams surprised the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, coming away with a well-deserved victory. The Rams have two games remaining, with the possibility of finishing 8-8 for the season. They host Tampa Bay this coming Sunday, and travel to Seattle for the season finale. That could be a meaningless game for the Seahawks, who can clinch home field advantage throughout the playoffs, with a win against Arizona this weekend. The Rams will be fighting hard in both games, hoping to finish the season on a high note, and carry momentum into the 2014 season.

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Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports


The importance of winning the turnover battle can never be understated:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>In their six wins, Rams are plus-17 in turnover differential. In eight losses, minus-7.</p>&mdash; Nick Wagoner (@nwagoner) <a href="">December 16, 2013</a></blockquote>

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The NFC West is the strongest division in the NFL, beyond a doubt:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Not only is NFC West 37-19 overall, but they are 28-10 in non-division games: SEA 9-1, SF 6-3, ARIZ 8-2, STL 5-4</p>&mdash; Howard Balzer (@HBalzer721) <a href="">December 16, 2013</a></blockquote>

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Robert Quinn is having a phenomenal year:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Robert Quinn making a case for defensive player of the year. He now has 15 sacks and 7 forced fumbles on the year.</p>&mdash; Jim Thomas (@jthom1) <a href="">December 15, 2013</a></blockquote>

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A pretty fine day for the St. Louis Rams:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Rams organization had a better day this season? Trounced the Saints and just about locked up a top-2 pick.</p>&mdash; Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) <a href="">December 16, 2013</a></blockquote>

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The Sam Bradford Dilemma: Over The Cap

OTC examines the remainder of Sam Bradford's contract, and its possible implications in 2014 and beyond.

2013 NFL Grades - Week 15: CBS Sports

Will Brinson hands out his weekly grades for games played in Week 15. The Rams earn a well-deserved B+ for their efforts, in defeating the New Orleans Saints.

2014 NFL Prospect Rankings: Walter Football

In Walt's updated positional rankings, it's clear there is plenty of quality and depth in the upcoming draft at the secondary and offensive line positions. Both will be areas of need for the Rams heading into the off season.

5 Possible Salary Cap Casualties For the Rams This Off Season: Rant Sports NFL

Kendall Langford, Harvey Dahl, Scott Wells, Cortland Finnegan, and ...Sam Bradford make the list of potential cap casualties. In an article published last week for TST, I examined the Rams' salary cap situation and potential cap casualties.

Upon Further Review

St. Louis Rams

Seattle Seahawks

Arizona Cardinals

San Francisco 49'ers

The NFC West correspondents at ESPN provide their weekly, in-depth, review of the weekends action for all 4 teams in the NFC West.

Draft Prospects Highlight Reel: Safety - Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix vs Texas A&M 2013 (via JPDraftJedi)

Would The Real St. Louis Rams Please Stand Up: Rams 101

The Rams have been maddeningly inconsistent this season. What's to be expected from the youngest team in the league, one who lost their franchise quarterback in Week 7?

Quick Thoughts On The Rams' Win Over The Saints: Ramblin' Fan

Many superlatives in the Rams win against the Saints. The play of both the offensive and defensive lines rates special merit.

The hype in no joke: S.I. - MMQB

With the Rams potentially landing the #2 spot in the upcoming NFL draft, Jadeveon Clowney's name has surfaced as a possible selection for the Rams already outstanding defensive line. Given Jeff Fisher's love for drafting defensive linemen in the first round, is it possible Clowney could find himself in a St. Louis uniform come draft day?

Week 15 - Rams Rookie Review: Nick Wagoner - ESPN

Alec Ogletree, T.J. McDonald, and Zac Stacy all had fine days for the Rams, and were significant contributors in the Rams win over the Saints.

ReFo: Saints@Rams, Week 15: Pro Football Focus

Zac Stacy, Rodger Saffold, and Robert Quinn earn excellent grades from the folks at PFF.

Steven Jackson Bowls Over Washington's Josh Wilson: Deadspin

A glimpse of the old Steven Jackson in action...with a special "power up".

Clemens and Quinn earn game balls for big Rams win: Cover 32 Rams

Robert Quinn easily earned a game ball for his efforts. Kellen Clemens earned one - despite fine performances by the offensive line and Zac Stacy - for his near-flawless execution throughout the game against New Orleans.

Defense, Ground Game Send The Rams To Win Over New Orleans: St. Louis Rams Official Website

"This was one of those games where we knew we would have to play well in all three phases, and we did that," Head Coach Jeff Fisher said. "Our kickoffs, our field goals, our punting, the fact that we affected one, if not two, field goals with our rush was really a contributing factor in this game and then our ability to run the football again against a really good defense helped."

On This Day In Sports History

1933 - The NFL begins keeping official stats, as the Chicago Bears defeat the New York Giants 23-21 in the championship game.

Stat Facts Of The Week: Toxic Differential

Toxic Differential Leaders
Team Turnover Differential Big Play Differential Toxic Differential
1 Seattle Seahawks 16 44 60
2 Philadelphia Eagles 9 35 44
3 San Francisco 49ers 8 26 34
4 Carolina Panthers 11 11 22
5 Kansas City Chiefs 21 -4 17
6 St. Louis Rams 10 2 12
7 Cincinnati Bengals -1 12 11
8 Denver Broncos -3 13 10
9 New Orleans Saints 0 9 9
10 Arizona Cardinals 3 4 7
11 Washington Redskins -8 11 3
12 Buffalo Bills 1 0 1
13 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 11 -10 1
14 Detroit Lions -10 9 -1
15 New England Patriots 6 -8 -2
16 Green Bay Packers -3 0 -3
17 Cleveland Browns -6 2 -4
18 Pittsburgh Steelers -4 -1 -5
19 Miami Dolphins 2 -7 -5
20 Houston Texans -15 9 -6
21 Indianapolis Colts 7 -13 -6
22 New York Jets -19 12 -7
23 Oakland Raiders -9 2 -7
24 Chicago Bears 6 -15 -9
25 San Diego Chargers -2 -8 -10
26 Tennessee Titans -3 -8 -11
27 Baltimore Ravens -5 -11 -16
28 Minnesota Vikings -7 -10 -17
29 Dallas Cowboys 11 -35 -24
30 New York Giants -17 -8 -25
31 Atlanta Falcons -6 -25 -31
32 Jacksonville Jaguars -4 -38 -42

On August 19, I wrote about the importance of the "toxic differential", in an article for Turf Show Times (link). The Rams, after 14 games, rank 6th 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. One of the bright spots for the Rams this season has been their improved turnover differential. This bodes well for next season. The chart is courtesy of "Sporting Charts".

The Pressers

Jeff Fisher Press Conference - December 12

Jeff Fisher Press Conference - December 13

Jeff Fisher Press Conference - Post-Game

Robert Quinn Press Conference - Post-Game

Zac Stacy Press Conference - Post-Game

Jeff Fisher Press Conference - December 16

All press conferences are courtesy of the St. Louis Rams Official Website

Chris Long reviews the Rams' defensive performance on Sunday:

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Austin Pettis on the effect Zac Stacy has had on the Rams' offense:

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Will Robert Quinn get overlooked for year end awards?:

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Ten Takeaways From Sundays Win Over New Orleans: 101 ESPN

Many hero's emerge from Sunday's victory over the New Orleans Saints. A complete team effort, one that we hope to see on a weekly basis in 2014.

Stacy proves to be premium pick: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"Rams running back Zac Stacy sure looks like one of the best draft choices made by the Rams in a long time."

Robert Quinn Strengthens Case For DPOY: Bleacher Report

Despite stiff competition for the award, Robert Quinn continues to make a strong case for Defensive Player Of The Year. Winning the Deacon Jones award just might be enough to push him over the top.

Takeaways From St. Louis' Win Over New Orleans: Bleacher Report

The biggest takeaway for me in this game was the importance of turnovers:

"The Rams are undefeated this season when they win the turnover battle."


The salary implications of Robert Quinn's great season: Cover 32 Rams

The Rams will have many difficult salary cap decisions to make over the next two years:

"If the Rams stick with Bradford going forward (and I think they will), he will command an eight-figure salary – and therefore an eight-figure cap hit."

"This very well could impact the ability for the Rams to sign Quinn to a long-term extension, as Quinn’s cap hit would make the Rams’ salary cap even more top-heavy than it currently is."

Jaguars Claim Gerald Rivers Off Waivers: Pro Football Talk

Although only seeing action in two games for the Rams, Rivers showed promise as an undrafted free agent.

Three things revisited - Rams-Saints: ESPN NFC West

Establishing the running game, limiting the Saints' downfield passing attack, and pressuring Drew Brees were all accomplished in the Rams' victory on Sunday.

Projecting Where Star QB's Will Be Selected: Bleacher Report

BR projects which rounds this years QB class will be selected in. Four are projected to go in the first round. All four could be selected in the top ten picks.

Rams hopeful Austin can practice this week: ESPN NFC West

Sunday's game was the first ever missed by Tavon Austin, including high school and college. He has proven to be quite durable in his first NFL season.

Fisher dismisses a weekend full of rumors: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Rob Ryan? Les Snead? Brian Schottenheimer? Tim Walton? Fisher more hands on with the defense? Jeff Fisher dismissed all of the rumors as being just that - rumors.

Rams continue to surprise: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Bernie Miklasz believes the Rams have found a winning formula. Can the Rams apply that formula consistently next season?

NFL Prospect Focus: Justin Gilbert and Kyle Fuller: National Football Post

NFP scouts a pair of cornerback prospects I am particularly high on. Both would look fine in a Rams uniform come May.

Stedman Bailey Is Up-And-Coming Receiver: Rant Sports NFL

Stedman Bailey is seeing more playing time as the season winds down. Bailey might have the most reliable hands among the Rams wide receivers.

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Post-Week 15 Breakdown: Bleacher Report

The Rams select OT Jake Matthews with the #2 overall pick, and CB Justin Gilbert with the #14 pick. QB's Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortles, and Derek Carr are all chosen in the first 8 picks. I still believe the Rams will trade down the Washington pick, irrespective of who is available at #2.

St. Louis Rams Weekly Salary "Re-Cap"

The Rams currently have $132,221 in available cap space, second lowest in the league. As outlined in last weeks salary cap article for TST, the Rams will face a tight cap space situation heading into the off season.

The Jeff Fisher Show - December 16:

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Blast From The Past: Classic Rock Tuesday: The Band - The Weight

The Band - The Weight (from the movie The Last Waltz) (via John1948TwoA1)

Please have a great Tuesday and a Ramtastic week!!