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Random Ramsdom 12/19: A Ram, A Buccan, A Plan

The Rams play host again this week, as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers look for their fifth win of the season in St. Louis. The Rams owned the NFC South-leading New Orleans Saints last Sunday, but don’t find themselves in a position to be overlooking any opponent.

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Setting the Rams on the Path to Redemption:  Grantland

There's still a lot of football to be played in 2013, but nobody has a more interesting offseason ahead than the St. Louis Rams. The 6-8 Rams have had a disappointing season, with quarterback Sam Bradford suffering a season-ending injury and top pick Tavon Austin struggling to gain a steady foothold in the offense, but they have much to look forward to in 2014.

Vote Zac Stacy For FedEx Ground Player of the Week:

Zac Stacy is becoming a regular on the weekly award polls, whether it be for Pepsi Next or Fed Ex.  Another solid [133 yard] performance in Week 15 has garnered him some more deserved attention.  Do your part…vote for him.  In case you need a reminder.

Week 16 Honors Stock Watch:

Chris Wesseling provides his weekly NFL Honors Award rankings, and there’s a familiar name amongst the bunch[es].  You’ll find not one, but two Rams’ players on Wesseling’s short list[s].  With only two weeks remaining in the regular season, there’s still plenty of time to climb to the top…or in one player’s case, to stay there.

NFL Division Power Rankings:  CBS Sports

The Rams win over New Orleans in Week 15 means that by the end of the season, the NFC West's last place team could have wins over first place teams from three other divisions: The Saints, the Bears and the Colts. The Rams should probably petition Roger Goodell to geographically realign the divisions next season, because St. Louis seems to be able to beat almost anyone, except other teams in the NFC West

Rams’ WR Austin No Longer In Walking Boot:  Yahoo! Sports

St. Louis Rams rookie wide receiver Tavon Austin did not practice Wednesday, but is no longer in a walking boot.  Instead, he’s in a pair of 4.3 second 40-yard dash running cleat.  It’s good news.

Brace on, bracers.  Good luck with that…

In the aftermath of another game plan destruction by St. Louis Rams defensive end Robert Quinn on Sunday, ESPN’s Nick Wagoner laid out the case for why he should be the leader in the clubhouse to be this year's NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

Everything about Todd McShay's selection of Texas A&M left tackle Jake Matthews for the St. Louis Rams in his initial 2014 mock draft makes sense. But that doesn't make it a slam dunk.

Note:  In an effort not to throw you into a bout of rage on this fine Thursday morning, let me just tell those who don’t have access to ESPN Insider that the Rams take Jake Matthews at No. 2 overall.  They don’t trade back.  They don’t draft Sammy Watkins or Teddy Bridgewater.  They take a tackle.  Find solace in the fact that this is one man’s opinion/prognostication.  We all know they’re trading that pick, right? RIGHT?!?

Series History, Bucs - Rams:

The Los Angeles Rams played a prominent role in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' first efforts to make it to the Super Bowl in the late 1970s and early '80s. In 1995, the Rams moved to St. Louis and, just a few years later, were once again a primary obstacle for the Lombardi Trophy-seeking Buccaneers. Two NFC Championship Games and perhaps the most thrilling non-playoff contest in Tampa Bay franchise history highlight a series that, despite containing only 20 games, has had more than its share of drama.

The Bears signed tackle Joe Long off of the Steelers practice squad on Wednesday, which means that he is now teammates with his brother’s teammate’s brother.  It’s something

The last of the Rams’ 2013 rookie class has shown up in a big way for his team this season.  Zac Stacy has ignited a rushing attack which was almost non-existant in the early portions of the year.  Having essentially missed the first five weeks of the season may have hurt his chances at winning Rookie of the Year, but a performance similar to that in Week 15 could make Stacy a 1,000-yard rusher prior to the season finale.

Intolerable NFL commentators are legion. Of course, some of this is not their fault. We binge-watch the sport once a week, leaving us exhausted, annoyed, tipsy and in need of much needed physical exertion. We take it out on the people talking at us, who are conveniently not in the room to defend themselves.

Chris Long Playing Lead Role In Rams’ Rise:  St. Louis Rams’ Official Site

"It’s gratifying to be on the ascent right now," Long said. "Now when you show up to work, you know you have a chance to win. When you have a chance to compete, and if you execute well and play to your potential, we can beat a lot of people."

Gray takes a look back at each Rams' position in Week 15 - vs. Saints - and hands out a report card for each.  It’s one you wouldn’t mind running home and showing to your folks…

You know who’s on this list…

With the Rams out of playoff contention and with no other reason to play for other than pride and for next year, head coach Jeff Fisher needs to consider shutting down his big playmaker as to not cause further injury to his ankle.

When golden chances fall in your lap, you've got to take them. As often as we hear it, you cannot overemphasize it. The NFL is a quarterback league

A 2014 NFL Mock Draft:  Walter Football

You might as well get used to it…the Rams are drafting Jake Matthews and HaHa Clinton-Dix. No if’s, and’s, or…it’ll never play out that way.

Rams favored over Bucs:  SB Nation

The St. Louis Rams are set to host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a Week 16 matchup on Sunday. The Rams are 6-8 on the season and out of the playoff race, but they're fighting to show they're better than most believe, especially given that they've fallen short of expectations this season.

Rams vs. Bucs; Spead, Analysis, & Predictions:  Bleacher Report

The St. Louis Rams have been exceeding betting-window expectations at home lately, going 4-1 against the spread over their last five games at the Jones Dome.  The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have lost their last five games against teams from the tough NFC West. Trends collide when the 6-8 Rams host 4-10 Tampa Bay on Sunday afternoon.

A bit of Week 16 Random for ya…[via Wikipedia]

A buccan is a native South American and Caribbean name for a wooden framework or hurdle on which meat was roasted or smoked over a fire, similar to the original meaning of a barbecue.

The term "Buccaneer" for pirates or privateers, is said to be derived from buccan. In the Caribbean, these seafarers would smoke fish, wild pigs and turtles to provision their ships.

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