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Random Ramsdom: November 9: St. Louis Rams - So Near...Yet So Far

A missed two-point conversion (a questionable decision to go for it) proved to be the difference in the game against the Minnesota Vikings. The rationale behind going for two? Jeff Fisher noted: "partly for strategic reasons and partly due to wind". That's how tight games are won and lost. So near...yet so far. Those damn Vikings have been a thorn in my (and the Rams') butt for over 40 years. Props to Greg Zuerlein for kicking the 7th-longest field goal in NFL history (the record is 64 yards).

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Twitter Talk

Could the Rams be looking for pass-catching help?:

Looking forward to having CLong, Quinn, Ogletree and TJ Mac on the field together again:

I take it Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer wasn't too happy about getting QB Teddy Bridgewater knocked out of the game:

But it appears there was no intent on Lamarcus Joyner's part to hurt Bridgewater:

Clearly our man TG3II has a great sense of humour...:

And he can play a little football too...

ICYMI last week. An amazing throwback week tribute...a must see:

Well, that's pretty "crappy". I get it now. Privilege and anti-social behavior carries over to other teams' publicly funded stadiums as well...hmmm:

Well-said Tru. Thanks for keeping it real and in perspective:

Stop worrying about relocation and enjoy the Rams: KSDK

This is perfect...and gold (and applies even after losing a hard-fought game in Minnesota):

"Here's what fans can do. Stop reading relocation articles and just enjoy some great football. The Rams are 4-3 and aren't slowing down. This Rams defense is relentless and straight up hurting folks. They've knocked out Ben Roethlisberger for weeks and thrown Colin Kaepernick from his starting position this past week. They are top 10 ranked, angry and getting into the grill of other teams every week. They haven't allowed a touchdown in three weeks."

"Todd Gurley is making up for a lukewarm Nick Foles and slippery handed receiving core by running for huge chunks of yards and showing a flash that has been missing for quite some time. It's Gurley and the offensive line all day. Fall in love with that while the stadium politics wager on."

Older Quarterbacks Form A New Story In The NFL: New York Times

Older quarterbacks are enjoying a renaissance in the NFL this season. Through Week 8, half of the passing yards and passing touchdowns have come from quarterbacks over the age of 30.

2016 NFL Mock Draft: Walter Football

Charlie Campbell updates his 3 round mock draft. The Rams select WR Laquon Treadwell in the first round, followed by C Max Tuerk and DT Hassan Ridgeway in the second round and OLB Eric Striker in the third round.

Cardinals headline NFL's five best secondaries:

The Rams' secondary has had its share of ups and downs in the last few seasons. Through the first half of 2015, they've quietly emerged as one of the best units in the NFL.

2015 St. Louis Rams: The Toughest Team In The NFL: Rams In Perspective

Retired New England Patriot LB Tedy Bruschi thinks the Rams are the toughest team in the NFL. Aaron Donald, Michael Brockers, Bradley Marquez, Mark Barron and Todd Gurley might have had something to do with that high ranking.

Draft Prospect Highlight Reel: WR - Tyler Boyd - Pittsburgh

Rams hit the jackpot with Barron: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Sending 4th and 6th round draft picks to Tampa Bay for Mark Barron is looking more and more like a huge bargain. Let's hope the Rams will be ale to re-sign him in the offseason (Barron is eligible for Free Agency).

Todd Gurley, Tavon Austin being maximized by St. Louis Rams:

Bucky Brooks takes an in-depth look at the Rams' offense, breaks down the All-22 Coaches Film and highlights the electric playmakers Tavon Austin and Todd Gurley.

Complicated and expensive: What recent NFL stadium deals can teach St. Louis: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Complicated, expensive and fraught with peril. What other city would build two stadiums for the NFL within 25 years? You'd be surprised how many actually did just that.

DT Michael Brockers Often Forgotten: NFL Spin Zone - Fansided

In my estimation, Brockers is the most underrated player on the Rams' entire roster.

Reggie Bush to sue city of St. Louis over injury suffered vs. Rams: CBS Sports

The lawsuit by Bush worries me less than the potential for a Tavon Austin or Todd Gurley getting hurt on that concrete. Let's get it fixed!

Stat Facts Of The Week: Toxic Differential

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

Through Week 8, the Rams were 5th in the league in Toxic Differential (+15). The other 9 teams in the top ten had a combined 47-19 record heading into Week 9. Despite the loss to Minnesota, the Rams will remain in the top ten in Toxic Differential after Week 9.

The expression "toxic differential" was coined by former NFL coach Brian Billick. Billick was head coach of the Baltimore Ravens for 9 seasons, and led them to a Super Bowl victory in the 2000 season.

From an article by Brian Billick for in November, 2011:

"People are constantly looking for the right combination of stats to indicate the probable success of a team. What are the key factors to winning? Is it sacks, third-down conversions, first-down efficiency, the ability to run the ball and stop the run, total passing yards? All are important, but none are a precise indicator of success."

"Beginning in 1998, when I was the Vikings' offensive coordinator, I used a formula that I called the "toxic differential" as the best barometer for our team's success. Simply stated, the toxic differential is the correlation between turnovers and explosive plays."

Rams Fall To Vikings In Overtime: St. Louis Rams Official Website

Rams Insider Myles Simmons recaps the Rams' 21-18 loss to the Vikings.

Mistake Prone Rams Can't Spring Todd Gurley In Loss To Vikings: ESPN NFL Nation

Nick Wagoner shares his initial thoughts on the game between the Rams and Vikings.

Kenny Britt up, D-Line and Jeff Fisher down in Rams' loss: ESPN NFL Nation

Nick Wagoner gives us his individual ups and downs for the game between the Rams and Vikings.

Rams-Vikings Highlights:

In my estimation, Tavon Austin, Rodney McLeod, Kenny Britt and Greg Zuerlein all had great games for the Rams.

Penalties, missed opportunities doom Rams against Vikings: Belleville News-Democrat

The road to the playoffs just became a lot tougher after Sunday's loss. It's still doable!

On This Day In Sports History

1996 - 8th College Football Holy War: Notre Dame beats Boston College 48-21 in Chestnut Hill.

1961 - The Professional Golfers Association (PGA) eliminates the "caucasians only" rule.

Vikings get win over Rams, but are left seething over hit on Bridgewater: Sports Illustrated

Vikings guard Brandon Fusco gave his two cents on the hit taking Teddy Bridgewater out of the game and Lamarcus Joyner's explanation:

"He’s full of crap. I don’t agree with the hit. I think some of those players on that team are pretty cheap, to tell you the truth."

You be the judge:

Midseason Rookie Review:

Perhaps my favorite NFL Draft expert Daniel Jeremiah takes a look at how the top 2015 NFL draftees are faring this season. Of course Todd Gurley is front and centre, as he should be.

Lackluster Passing And Penalties Kill Rams In OT Loss To Vikings: 101 Sports ESPN

We all know what the issues are. The question is: How do they get fixed?

Vikings Flip The Script: Sports Illustrated - MMQB

Peter King reports on the week that was in the NFL.

Quote Of The Week

From Andy Benoit - S.I. MMQB:

"I think one of the most overlooked players in the NFL is Rams safety Mark Barron. Or, more accurately, Rams linebacker Mark Barron, as that’s where the ex-Buc has been in the wake of Alec Ogletree’s injury. Barron has excellent quickness in the box and the flexibility to cover running backs and tight ends one-on-one. He’s a great fit in Gregg Williams’ multifaceted system."

The Pressers

Jeff Fisher Post-Game Press Conference: St. Louis Rams Official Website
Nick Foles Post-Game Press Conference: St. Louis Rams Official Website
Todd Gurley Post-Game Press Conference: St. Louis Rams Official Website
Lamarcus Joyner Post-Game Conference: St. Louis Rams Official Website
One-On-One With Kenny Britt: St. Louis Rams Official Website
One-On-One With Greg Zuerlein: St. Louis Rams Official Website
Fisher Says Rams’ Offense Fell Flat in Loss to Vikings: 101 ESPN

St. Louis Post-Dispatch Post-Game Coverage

Rams Report Card: Struggles At QB

Jeff Gordon hands out his weekly unit grades. QB Nick Foles and the offensive line are given the worst grades in the 21-18 loss to the Vikings.

Vikings Boot Rams 21-18 In Overtime

Jim Thomas recaps the game between the St. Louis Rams and Minnesota Vikings.

Foles looks like weak link

The Vikings won the toss in OT...and gave the Rams the ball. That speaks volumes all by itself. Chris Long may have added a little fuel to the fire after Sam Bradford led the Eagles to an overtime win over Dallas with a 41-yard TD pass:

Rams are blown off course at Minnesota

JL55's words ring true:

"To lose it that way is rough. It would’ve put us in really good shape. We’ve gotta learn from it in the next 24 hours and really just move on."

Selfish Janoris Jenkins Tweets After Loss

It sure looks bad when a player brags about his personal play after a tough loss:

"The cornerback tweeted "Numbers don't lie.. #ClampSeason.." in reference to his ability to clamp down on a receiver. Below was a photo of the Vikings' receiving stats, and Stefon Diggs' numbers were highlighted in bright yellow – three catches for 42 yards on five targets."

St. Louis Rams Weekly Salary "Re-Cap"

The Rams have $4,040,671 in available salary cap space as of 11:00 pm, Sunday, November 8 (the 12th lowest total in the league). Please check here and here for my regular salary cap updates throughout the year.

CBS Sports Game Grades

B The Rams would probably be slightly better this season on offense if the running game had any help. For the seventh straight game, Nick Foles threw for under 200 yards, which is almost impossible to do in this pass happy era of football. Out of Foles' 168 yards in the game, 55 came on one play. The Rams also struggled on third down, going 2 of 16.
B+ The Vikings had to play overtime without Teddy Bridgewater (concussion), but that didn't matter because they have Adrian Peterson. Not only did the veteran running back outrush Todd Gurley (125-89), but Peterson also set up Minnesota's game-winning field goal int OT by rushing for 25 yards on four carries in the extra period.

St. Louis Rams Current Roster & Depth Chart

The roster and depth chart is updated to include all transactions as of 11:00 pm. Sunday, November 8. Last week, RB Trey Watts was suspended by the league for what looks like the remainder of the season.  DE Matt Longacre was signed from the Practice Squad to replace Watts. The Rams have yet to sign another player to replace Longacre on the Practice Squad.

C Tim Barnes Demetrius Rhaney
RG Jamon Brown
LG Garrett Reynolds Cody Wichmann
RT Rob Havenstein Andrew Donnal
LT Greg Robinson Darrell Williams
TE Lance Kendricks Cory Harkey
TE Jared Cook Justice Cunningham
WR Tavon Austin Brian Quick Bradley Marquez
WR Kenny Britt Stedman Bailey
RB Tre Mason Benny Cunningham
RB Todd Gurley Chase Reynolds
QB Nick Foles Case Keenum Sean Mannion
PK Greg Zuerlein
P John Hekker
LS Jake McQuaide
DT Aaron Donald Nick Fairley Doug Worthington
DT Michael Brockers Ethan Westbrooks
DE Chris Long William Hayes
DE Robert Quinn Eugene Sims Matt Longacre
MLB James Laurinaitis Bryce Hager
OLB Mark Barron Daren Bates
OLB Akeem Ayers Cameron Lynch
CB Janoris Jenkins Marcus Roberson
CB Trumaine Johnson Lamarcus Joyner
SS Tim McDonald Jr. Maurice Alexander
FS Rodney McLeod Cody Davis Christian Bryant
Practice Squad Injured Reserve IR-Designated To Return
DE  Gerald Rivers CB  E.J. Gaines OLB Alec Ogletree
DT  Louis Trinca-Pasat OG  Rodger Saffold
LB  Zack Hodges WR  Isiah Ferguson
CB  Melvin White Reserve/Suspended
CB  Eric Patterson
RB  Malcolm Brown RB  Trey Watts
FB  Zach Laskey
WR Nick Toon
OT  Isaiah Battle

Blast From The Past: Classic Rock Monday: Pat Travers Band - Snortin' Whiskey, Drinkin' Cocaine

Please have a great Monday and a Ramtastic week!!