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Random Ramsdom: December 24: St. Louis Rams - Christmas Cheer!

The Rams made it two in a row on Sunday, defeating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in convincing fashion. The only blemish was the loss of OT Jake Long to an ACL/MCL knee injury. Let's pray for a speedy recovery. The Rams conclude the regular season on the road versus the Seattle Seahawks. A win in Seattle would provide momentum going into next season - allow the Rams to finish the season 8-8 - and end the year on a high note. Merry Christmas to all! Have a safe and wonderful holiday season!

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports


The Rams defense has shown much improvement in the last half of the season:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>As of Monday morning, Rams are 7th in the league against the run, allowing 102.33 YPG. Turnaround in run game not limited to offense.</p>&mdash; Nick Wagoner (@nwagoner) <a href="">December 23, 2013</a></blockquote>

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The NFL draft picture becomes a bit clearer:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Based on strength-of-schedule tiebreakers Rams now almost assured of no worse than a top-3 pick from Washington Redskins.</p>&mdash; Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) <a href="">December 23, 2013</a></blockquote>

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Joe Barksdale perhaps summarized it best:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Praying for Jake Long</p>&mdash; Joseph Barksdale (@BazookaJoe72) <a href="">December 22, 2013</a></blockquote>

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The news on Jake Long was as expected:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Rams coach Jeff Fisher confirms: Jake Long has torn ACL and MCL. Will wait 4-6 weeks to have ACL repaired so MCL can heal first.</p>&mdash; Nick Wagoner (@nwagoner) <a href="">December 23, 2013</a></blockquote>

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But the prognosis is good:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Fisher said doctors are optimistic about Long being able to return in time for start of &#39;14 season. If not, soon thereafter.</p>&mdash; Nick Wagoner (@nwagoner) <a href="">December 23, 2013</a></blockquote>

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Fisher optimistic that Long will be ready for season opener: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

The bad news was expected: Jake Long suffering a torn ACL. The good news? He may be able to return for the 2014 season opener.

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Shutdown Corner - Yahoo Sports

This mock has the Rams taking OT Jake Matthews and WR Mike Evans...before the injury to Jake Long on Sunday.

2014 NFL Free Agents: NFL Trade Rumors

An up-to-date list of players who become free agents after this season.

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

The Rams might be looking to extend Robert Quinn this off season, before the price gets too high.

Upon Further Review

St. Louis Rams

Arizona Cardinals

San Francisco 49'ers

Seattle Seahawks

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: Offensive Tackle - Cyrus Kouandjio

Cyrus Kouandjio vs Virginia Tech (2013) (via Nick Page)

Rams Unveiling New Identity: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"That’s our blueprint. We’re going to run the football. We’re going to get completions when we can and play good defense."

Ten Takeaways From Sunday's Win Over Tampa Bay: 101 ESPN

Aside from losing Jake Long to injury, all the takeaways from Sunday's game were of a positive nature.

Bradford still the man for Rams: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Despite the Rams' recent success, Bernie Miklasz leaves little doubt about who should be the Rams' starting QB next season.

Caught in cap bind, Rams restructured Chris Long's deal: CBS Sports

It was only for a couple hundred thousand, but the restructure illustrates how close to the salary cap the Rams truly are.

Week 16: Rams rookie review: ESPN NFC West

Alec Ogletree, Stedman Bailey, and T.J. McDonald all contributed fine performances in the Rams' victory over Tampa Bay.

St. Louis Rams 7 round mock draft: Football Nation

Interesting choices pervade this 7 round Rams only mock draft.

Rams would be wise to invest in Saffold: ESPN NFC West

Investing in Rodger Saffold is a great idea...will the Rams be able to afford him?

Rams' strong finish sign of real progress: ESPN NFC West

"Run the football, play good defense and then the other things happen," Fisher said. "They stem off those things. You play good defense, you rush the passer, get off the field on third down and run the football and then good things happen. ... That's how you have to win."

Stat Facts Of The Week: Toxic Differential

Toxic Differential Leaders
Team Turnover Differential Big Play Differential Toxic Differential
1 Seattle Seahawks 18 43 61
2 Philadelphia Eagles 10 45 55
3 San Francisco 49ers 10 30 40
4 Carolina Panthers 12 12 24
5 Denver Broncos -1 16 15
6 St. Louis Rams 10 4 14
7 Cincinnati Bengals 2 11 13
8 Kansas City Chiefs 17 -4 13
9 New Orleans Saints -1 8 7
10 Buffalo Bills 2 4 6
11 Arizona Cardinals 1 5 6
12 Washington Redskins -7 10 3
13 New England Patriots 10 -7 3
14 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 11 -12 -1
15 Indianapolis Colts 11 -13 -2
16 Pittsburgh Steelers -4 2 -2
17 New York Jets -17 14 -3
18 Detroit Lions -14 8 -6
19 Green Bay Packers -3 -3 -6
20 Cleveland Browns -8 0 -8
21 Oakland Raiders -8 0 -8
22 Tennessee Titans -3 -5 -8
23 San Diego Chargers -3 -6 -9
24 Miami Dolphins 1 -11 -10
25 Houston Texans -17 6 -11
26 Baltimore Ravens -6 -9 -15
27 Minnesota Vikings -10 -9 -19
28 Chicago Bears 5 -25 -20
29 Dallas Cowboys 10 -34 -24
30 New York Giants -16 -10 -26
31 Atlanta Falcons -8 -29 -37
32 Jacksonville Jaguars -4 -41 -45

On August 19, I wrote about the importance of the "toxic differential", in an article for Turf Show Times (link). The Rams, after 15 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".

On This Day In Sports History

1950 - The Cleveland Browns win the NFL Championship, defeating Los Angeles 30-28.

The Pressers

Jeff Fisher Press Conference - December 23

Jeff Fisher Press Conference - Post-Game

The Jeff Fisher Show - December 23:

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How does Jake Long's injury affect the Rams' off season?:

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Blast From The Past: Christmas Tuesday

John Lennon - Happy Christmas (War Is Over) (via BeatlesHQ)

Have a very Merry Christmas and a Ramtastic holiday season!!