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Random Ramsdom: September 24: St. Louis Rams - Bring On The Niners

It's a short week for the St. Louis Rams. The San Francisco 49'ers come to town to face the Rams, on Thursday evening. Both teams are in turmoil, after devastating losses last weekend. Looking at the Rams, I see a team one year - and 3 games - into their rebuilding plan. A plan that will not come to fruition for at least another season. The Rams are heading in the right direction... However, there will be many bumps along the road.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports


Well, this is a unique way to look at Sunday's result...

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>Rams CB Cortland Finnegan on Sunday&#39;s 31-7 loss to Dallas: &quot;Sometimes you&#39;re the bug, and sometimes you&#39;re the windshield.&quot;</p>&mdash; Jim Thomas (@jthom1) <a href="">September 22, 2013</a></blockquote>

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Unfortunately, the haircuts didn't quite do the trick...

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>Me and my bro William Hayes and this killer new cut we designed. Call it the super boosie.%itcostme %worthit <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) <a href="">September 20, 2013</a></blockquote>

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A pretty fair assessment by Nick Wagoner...

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>This one is a final, 31-7 Cowboys.That the Rams lost this one is no upset but the way it happened is cause for plenty of alarm in St. Louis.</p>&mdash; Nick Wagoner (@nwagoner) <a href="">September 22, 2013</a></blockquote>

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Not sure what to make of this...I suppose a weak attempt at putting football itself into perspective???...

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>Well, in collective retrospect, the Rams loss today wasn&#39;t so bad. <a href=";src=hash">#STL</a> -- <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Matt Sebek (@MattSebek) <a href="">September 22, 2013</a></blockquote>

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These words leave me with a bit of an uneasy feeling, I must admit...

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>&quot;I can&#39;t explain it,&quot; Rams coach Jeff Fisher, on how poorly the team played Sunday.</p>&mdash; Jim Thomas (@jthom1) <a href="">September 22, 2013</a></blockquote>

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S.I. Investigation Reveals Oklahoma St. An Awesome Place To Play Football: The Onion

Might as well start off the day with a tongue-in-cheek look at college football. A morning smile to lift the doom and gloom of Sunday's loss.

Rams lose, offensive line is rough on eyes: Cover 32

MVP of Sunday's game? Robert Quinn. L(east)VP of the game for the Rams? The entire offensive line.

Special teams penalties costly (again): St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Perhaps the turning point in the entire game came when Tavon Austin's 84 yard punt return was called back, by a pair of penalties. The result: The Rams with horrible field position, and a 17-0 score, instead of 17-7.

Good News/Bad News for the St. Louis Rams: Rams 101

Amid all the bad news after the Dallas game, it is refreshing to see at least some positive vibes:

"It's still only three games into the season and both losses have come to teams who are NFC playoff contenders. Winning on the road in the NFL is tough. Ask the Green Bay Packers, who share the Rams' 1-2 records with two road losses to playoff contenders. There's a lot of football left."

Rookie Highlight Reel: Daren Bates

Darren Bates Stiff Arm vs. NMSU (via Davis Savoy)

Upon Further Review

San Francisco - Week 3: ESPN NFC West

Arizona - Week 3: ESPN NFC West

St. Louis - Week 3: ESPN NFC West

Seattle - Week 3: ESPN NFC West

The correspondents at ESPN take their weekly, in-depth look, at each of the 4 NFC West teams.


2013 NFL Game Grades - Week 3: CBS Sports - Will Brinson

The Rams get an "F" grade for their efforts on Sunday versus the Cowboys. Did Will Brinson go a bit too far with his commentary?:

""F" is also for "fraud," which is what the Rams look like right now."

Why Sam Bradford's decision to choose football surprised some people: The Oklahoman

Sam Bradford is one of those rare athletes that excelled at every sport. The biggest risk he may have taken was electing to pursue a career in football. It turned out to be the right choice.

Should The Rams Hit The Panic Button?: Ramblin' Fan

"Should the Rams and their fans hit the panic button yet? No, not quite, but they are desperate for a win. Should they lose on Thursday though changes should be considered and Jeff Fisher could probably take the panic button out of his desk."

The Good, The Bad, And The (Mostly) Ugly: Sports Jabber

I always prefer to see the cup as half-full, as opposed to being half-empty. After a loss like the one experienced on Sunday, seeing the positives (and the half-full cup) doesn't come easily. The positives are there though, as noted in this article.

Stat Facts Of The Week: Toxic Differential

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

On August 19, I wrote about the importance of the "toxic differential", in an article for Turf Show Times (link). The Rams, after 3 games, rank 20th 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".


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

Bleacher Report gives the Tight Ends and Secondary "B" grades for their performances on Sunday. The rest of the team does not fare as well; which was expected.

Seattle's Super Corners Set Limits: CBS Sports

Pat Kirwan takes an in-depth look at the Seahawks' dominant defense. The corners set the tone for the rest of the defense. The essence of their coverage schemes?:

"Seattle's base defense is a four-man front with press corners playing man-to-man coverage on the outside, not permitting wide receivers to run any routes inside, and a zone concept from the linebackers and safeties."

Rams, Expectations Fall Badly In Dallas: RamsHerd

Were expectations too high for the Rams coming into this season? I saw an 8-8 team, with the potential to achieve 10 wins. Are the Rams on track to at least be a .500 team this year?

Simple Approach Has Ogletree Making Immediate Impact: St. Louis Rams Official Website

Although he has had a baptism-by-fire, Alec Ogletree is one of the bright spots on the Rams defense. James Laurinaitis spoke of Ogletree's learning approach:

"It’s really about being able to filter out the information you’re given, and just slow down and play," Laurinaitis said. "I found myself as the season goes on, you try to complicate things as you learn more. He’s keeping things simple. If you keep the game easy, you’ll continue to play fast, and he’s doing a good job of that."

On This Day In Sports History

1967 - St. Louis Cardinals' kicker Jim Bakken kicks 7 field goals vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers.


The Pressers

All of the press conferences are courtesy of the Rams' Official Website.

Jeff Fisher Press Conference - September 23

Chris Long Press Conference - September 22 - Post-Game

Sam Bradford Press Conference - September 22 - Post-Game

Jeff Fisher Press Conference - September 22 - Post-Game

Jeff Fisher Press Conference - September 20

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Rams quarterback Sam Bradford speaks of the Dallas game as being "a good reality check for us"

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Is the Rams' talent over evaluated?

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St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Bernie Miklasz explains why the Rams' coordinators have a lot to prove.


The good, bad, and ugly from Week 3 loss: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Jeff Gordon examines the various aspects of the Rams' loss on Sunday to the Cowboys. Gordon adds some analysis from others who wrote about the game.

Rams - Cowboys Post-Game Locker Room Report - Video: Rams News Now

Fox 2 reporter Charlie Marlow gives his post-game report from the Rams locker room.

Rams and 49'ers face crucial Thursday showdown: KMOV

Two teams at 1-2. Both are struggling, for multiple reasons. Neither team is living up to preseason expectations. Both are in the same division, trying to keep Seattle in their sights. Expect this game to be a desperate war.

63 Minutes To A New Knee: S.I. MMQB

A fascinating look at NY Giants safety Stevie Brown's ACL surgery, all 63 minutes of it. Modern medicine at its finest.


Jim Thomas on bad loss for the Rams - video: Rams News Now

Jim Thomas believes the Rams are at a crossroads, one that can affect the remainder of their season, and beyond.

Looking Ahead: Nick Wagoner - ESPN NFC West

The 49'ers problems may be deeper, and more widespread, than the Rams'. This may be the perfect game for the Rams to capitalize on the missed opportunities of the last 2 games.

Disgusting day in Dallas: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Bernie Miklasz expresses his ire regarding the Rams' poor showing in Dallas:

"I picked the Rams to go 7-9 this season, so obviously I believed they'd have some bad days. But this wasn't just a bad day. This wasn't just bad football. This was the kind of awful, joy-draining, spirit-sinking, unacceptable stinking heap of a mess that was common when Scott Linehan and Steve Spagnuolo coached this franchise."

Rams Struggle Out Of The Gate In Dallas: Rams 101

The Rams' first-half woes continued in the game against Dallas. It's extremely difficult to come from behind in the NFL, particularly on the road, as the Rams have found out in the last 2 weeks.


DeMarcus-ed, DeMarco -ed, demoralized: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Jim Thomas shares his thoughts on the Rams' loss to the Cowboys on Sunday.

Rams receive harsh reminder in Dallas: ESPN NFC West

Nick Wagoner takes a look at the Rams game against Dallas:

"For anyone who thought the St. Louis Rams had passed the point in their rebuild of being on the wrong end of a beatdown, the Dallas Cowboys served up a sobering reality Sunday afternoon."

Floundering 49'ers have big problems: ESPN NFC West

Injuries, an anemic offense, the Aldon Smith fiasco...that and more, have all taken a toll on the 49'ers 2013 aspirations.

Rams Show Little Growth Against The Cowboys: Rant Sports NFL

One thing is for certain: the Rams do have talent, albeit young, and inexperienced:

"The Rams do have plenty of talent on both sides of the ball and should be expected to produce better results on a weekly basis."


Quick thoughts on the loss to the Cowboys: Ramblin' Fan

This is the kind of optimism I like to see!!:

"Realistically, most projected the St. Louis Rams with a 2-2 record heading into Week 5, with likely victories over the Cardinals and Cowboys. That record can obviously still be accomplished with a win over San Francisco on Thursday Night Football, with the added bonus of earning a 2-0 record within the NFC West."

Takeaways From St. Louis' Loss To Dallas: Bleacher Report

"Four days from now, the Rams will take on the stout 49ers on a prime-time stage. If they don't enter that game as a totally transformed team, it will be a very long season."

Quick turnaround tough test for Rams: ESPN NFC West

The Rams playing this Thursday is quite the dichotomy, as noted by Nick Wagoner:

"The good news for the St. Louis Rams is that they have only four days to wipe away what happened Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys."

"The bad news for the Rams is that they have only four days to wipe away what happened Sunday against the Cowboys."

Bradford Acknowledges That Loss Was Full Of "Execution Errors": Fox Sports Midwest

Sam Bradford's words nail the Cowboy's game right on the head:

"You name at it as far as execution errors and we did it today," Bradford said. "In the first half, we just never got anything going, played behind the chains all day. First play (of the second half), turn the ball over. Just things you can't do. Just a very poor performance on our part today."

1973 L.A. Rams vs. Dallas Cowboys (Rams win 37-31)

A memory from the past to erase this bad one from Sunday...

1973 LA Rams vs Dallas Cowboys (via william lewis)

Rams Rookie Review- Week 3: Nick Wagoner - ESPN

Both Alec Ogletree and T.J. McDonald receive praise for their work in Sunday's game.

Ten Takeaways From Sunday's Loss In Dallas: 101 ESPN

None of the ten takeaways are good ones...readers discretion is advised!

Daryl Richardson Plans To Play: ESPN

In a piece of good news for the Rams, Daryl Richardson plans to play on Thursday. He only played 2 snaps against the Cowboys before aggravating a foot injury.

Fisher can show why he gets the big bucks: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Can Jeff Fisher right the Rams' ship? Bryan Burwell examines what it will take to do so:

"A lot went wrong on Sunday. I mean a whole lot.

And at times like this, you really do want steady. But you also want someone who knows the difference between steady and stubborn."

The Jeff Fisher Show - September 23

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Blast From The Past: Classic Rock Tuesday: Aerosmith - Dream On

Dream On Aerosmith Official Music Video (via METALinYOURface1)

Have a great Tuesday and a Ramtastic week!!!

I will leave you today with this thought: If you think it is difficult at times to be a St. Louis Rams fan, please think about the plight of us die hard fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs. 46 seasons and counting since our last Stanley Cup victory. It makes being a patient and optimistic Rams fan very easy for me!!

This was a very difficult RR to write. So much negativity and criticism out there. I will remain positive...going forward with the knowledge that the Rams will continue to grow, and mature, throughout the season. See you all with Rams regalia on, at the 2016 Super Bowl!!!! In the meantime, let's get amped about Thursday!!