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Random Ramsdom: January 4: St. Louis Rams - 7 Wins In Three Out Of Four

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A disappointing loss to the 49ers after a huge win against Seattle last week. Kind of leaves us all just scratching our heads, with 3 7-win seasons in Jeff Fisher's 4-year tenure. It will be a busy offseason, with much change potentially occurring: on the roster, on the coaching staff (front office?) and the teams' location. Stay tuned. Food for thought...for those who think you must have a great passing game to succeed in the NFL. 7 of the top 10 passing teams in the league did not make the playoffs. Conversely, 5 of the top 10 rushing teams in the league made the playoffs.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Twitter Talk

Best wishes to all for a healthy, happy and prosperous 2016!!

The labyrinth of bureaucracy, the constricted time frame, plus dealing with the NFL makes it all the more remarkable:

Sad to see him playing in a Patriots uniform, but will be happy when he retires as a St. Louis Ram:

The power of positive thinking. Go get em Sted!

An expensive proposition no matter which way you look at it...

Considering the foibles of the Rams' QB's this season, this little nugget is for all the Bradford haters:

Even Torry Holt is taking a swing...

A telling statistic:

Another telling statistic:

Quote Of The Week

From Drew Magary at Deadspin:

"Since the beginning of time, pro sports teams have been more interested in exploiting fan loyalty than appreciating it. This is not the first time a fanbase has been given the Sophie’s Choice of A) Losing their team or B) Making a spoiled rich (owner) even MORE of a spoiled rich (owner)."

Rams 360: The Greatest Show On Turf: St. Louis Rams Official Website

Join the 1999 Super Bowl Rams as they reminisce about the Greatest Show on Turf. A must-see video!

Rams face tough decisions on Trumaine Johnson, Janoris Jenkins: ESPN NFL Nation

Nick Wagoner hits on the key question regarding eligible Free Agent CB's Johnson and Jenkins:

"So the case can be made that the Rams can afford to bring both Johnson and Jenkins back. And they'll probably try. But that begs the question of whether that would be the most efficient use of their resources given their needs to significantly improve the offense and re-sign other key defensive free agents."

Allocation of resources will be the most difficult thing the Rams will have to do this offseason.

A closer look at the case for Keenum to be Rams' QB in 2016: ESPN NFL Nation

Two thumbs up for Nick Wagoner for his clever word play in the article title! I believe the Rams should tender Keenum to return (he's a Restricted Free Agent after the season) and have him compete for the starters job next summer. The Rams do have quite the conundrum, with Nick Foles and Sean Mannion also on the roster. Should the Rams roll with the three of them next season, or bring in more competition via Free Agency or the draft?

2016 NFL Mock Draft: Walter Football

Charlie Campbell updates his three round mock draft. At #18, the Rams select WR Laquon Treadwell. In the ensuing rounds, the Rams select QB Carson Wentz and DE Jarran Reed in the 2nd and LB Tyler Matakevich in the third 3rd. I love the Treadwell and Wentz selections.

Todd Gurley missed game with "mild turf toe": ESPN NFL Nation

From Coach Fisher:

"So, just a little bit of detail on Todd and his status, he’s got a mild turf toe. Nothing that’s going to set him back, nothing that’s going to be a problem for him, but we didn’t feel like it was necessary to mess with it and create the possibility where we could damage the joint a little bit more. So, we decided to hold him today."

Draft Prospect Highlight Reel: WR - Laquon Treadwell - Mississippi

Method to the madness: How Belichick rules the draft: Grantland

Should the Rams be taking notes from the master himself?

2016 NFL Draft underclassmen tracker: SB Nation - Mocking The Draft

Which college players are going pro? MTD's Dan Kadar will keep us updated on declarations as the deadline date (January 18) approaches.

What makes Jared Goff the best QB in the draft: SB Nation - Mocking The Draft

Will the Rams stand pat at QB this offseason? Or will they make a dramatic move and trade up for perhaps the best QB in the 2016 NFL Draft?

Transactions Table: Over The Cap

As Free Agency approaches, fans will be looking for all the information they can get. I'll make every effort to keep Rams fans updated on regular basis regarding where the Rams stand with Free Agency, the roster and all salary cap issues/salary cap space. In the meantime, OTC has produced this handy guide to 2016 salary cap hits for players over $4 million. The Rams may just have a few on that list they'll be paying close attention to as the new league year approaches.

Highlights: Rams at 49ers - Week 17: St. Louis Rams Official Website

The top plays from the Rams' loss to San Francisco in the season finale.

Stat Facts Of The Week: Toxic Differential

Toxic Differential Leaders
Team Turnover Differential Big Play Differential Toxic Differential
1 Carolina Panthers 19 34 53
2 Seattle Seahawks 4 38 42
3 Buffalo Bills 4 29 33
4 Cincinnati Bengals 9 22 31
5 Arizona Cardinals 12 15 27
6 Minnesota Vikings 5 19 24
7 Kansas City Chiefs 15 5 20
8 New York Jets 8 11 19
9 Pittsburgh Steelers 1 18 19
10 New England Patriots 7 9 16
11 Green Bay Packers 5 4 9
12 St. Louis Rams 4 4 8
13 Tampa Bay Buccaneers -4 12 8
14 Denver Broncos 0 7 7
15 Jacksonville Jaguars -7 9 2
16 Baltimore Ravens -12 9 -3
17 Oakland Raiders 0 -4 -4
18 Houston Texans 2 -8 -6
19 New York Giants 6 -15 -9
20 San Francisco 49ers -4 -5 -9
21 Atlanta Falcons -6 -4 -10
22 Philadelphia Eagles -4 -6 -10
23 Chicago Bears -1 -9 -10
24 New Orleans Saints 1 -20 -19
25 Miami Dolphins -3 -22 -25
26 Dallas Cowboys -18 -7 -25
27 Detroit Lions -9 -20 -29
28 Indianapolis Colts -5 -25 -30
29 Cleveland Browns -8 -23 -31
30 Washington Redskins 1 -33 -32
31 San Diego Chargers -8 -25 -33
32 Tennessee Titans -14 -19 -33

Heading into the final week of the season, the Rams were tied for 12th in the NFL in the "Toxic Differential" metric (+8). The Rams were +4 in both Turnover and Big Play Differentials.

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 NFL.com 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."


Taking a look: Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss: National Football Post

Treadwell is currently the highest-rated WR in the 2016 NFL Draft. He's also atop my board at WR. Will the Rams (who have a big need at WR) be in a position to select him? Or trade up if the cost isn't prohibitive?

NFL heavyweights to meet in New York in advance of LA relocation vote: CBS Sports

The NFL owners will be meeting in Houston on January 12-13, where a vote on a move to LA is still expected. In the meantime, as noted by Jason La Canfora:

"With the NFL pushing forward with plans to vote on a Los Angeles relocation soon, there will be preliminary meetings of key owners in New York next week. Sources said the powerful Los Angeles relocation commitee, which is spearheading this issue, along with the league's stadium committee and finance committee, are set to meet Wednesday and Thursday in New York."

10 Questions: Jim Thomas on the Rams: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

A sampling of topics and commentary from beat reporter Jim Thomas' weekly chat.

Five Things To Watch For Next Season: Belleville News-Democrat

The quarterback conundrum and the potential relocation to Los Angeles head the list of things to watch for in the coming months.

Tavon Austin up, Nick Foles down for Rams in 2015: ESPN NFL Nation

Nick Wagoner takes us through some of the Rams' ups and downs of 2015.

On This Day In Sports History

1976 - NFC Championship Game: Dallas Cowboys defeat the Los Angeles Rams 37-7.

1942 - NFL Pro Bowl - Chicago Bears defeat the NFL All-Stars 35-24.

A Less-Than-Stellar NFL Season Has Its Memorable Moments: New York Times

Memorable moments from the 2015 NFL regular season. Who will ever forget this runner-up for worst play of the year?

"Steven Hauschka’s poorly executed squib kick to start overtime in Seattle’s Week 1 loss at St. Louis. Coach Pete Carroll was blamed for trying an onside kick, but that was not the call. Hauschka made an awful attempt."

St. Louis Rams: 2015 In Review: Turf Show Times

ICYMI. A great article by Douglas Morrison looking back on the Rams' 2015 season.

Complete History Of The NFL : FiveThirtyEight

How do the Rams rate as an NFL team since their inception in 1937? A mediocre record overall and three NFL Championships.

NFL head-coaching candidates: NFL.com

If you're on the "Fire Fisher" bandwagon (I'm not BTW), Albert Breer has put together a comprehensive list of the hottest names who could be NFL head coaches next season.

Order for top 20 picks in 2016 NFL Draft is set: NFL.com

With Sunday's loss to San Francisco, the Rams will select at Number 15 in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

Five questions facing the St. Louis Rams this offseason: ESPN NFL Nation

The quarterback position and possible relocation head Nick Wagoner's list of what to watch for this offseason.

Rams suffer OT defeat to 49ers in season finale: St. Louis Rams Official Website

Rams Insider Myles Simmons recaps the Rams loss to the 49ers.

Biggest battle is still to come for the Rams: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

The regular season battles in the trenches are over for the Rams. Now the relocation battles in the boardrooms begins.

It's Playoff Time. But First...: Sports Illustrated - MMQB

Peter King shares his thoughts on the week that was in the NFL.

The Pressers

Jeff Fisher Post-Game Press Conference: St. Louis Rams Official Website
Greg Zuerlein Post-Game Press Conference: St. Louis Rams Official Website
Case Keenum Post-Game Press Conference: St. Louis Rams Official Website
William Hayes Post-Game Press Conference: St. Louis Rams Official Website
One-On-One With Chris Long: St. Louis Rams Official Website
Following a 19-16 loss to the 49ers to end the Rams’ season at 7-9, coach Jeff Fisher says the offense is his priority for next season.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch Post-Game Coverage

Rams Report Card: Week 17 - San Francisco 49ers

Jeff Gordon hands out his weekly unit grades. The grades have more than one "F" in them this week.

Same old Rams fall to Niners 19-16 in OT

Joe Lyons and Jim Thomas recap the season finale between the San Francisco 49ers and the St. Louis Rams.

Bitter ending by the bay for Rams

Jim Thomas shares his thoughts on the Rams' season-ending loss to the 49ers.Niners Nation

CBS Sports Game Grades & Recap

49ers 19, Rams 16 OT
B- The Rams have zero offense without Todd Gurley, so it wasn't exactly surprising to see St. Louis struggle with Gurley on the sideline.
B+ Blaine Gabbert did something on Sunday that not even Russell Wilson could do: Beat the Rams. Maybe the Rams underestimated Gabbert, maybe they gave up, but whatever the reason was, Gabbert was able to shred the Rams for 354 passing yards. That number marks Gabbert's career-high. Before Sunday, he'd never thrown for over 320 yards in a game.

St. Louis Rams Weekly Salary "Re-Cap"

The Rams have $2,309,338 in available salary cap space as of 11:00 pm, Sunday, January 4 (the 7th lowest total in the league). Please check here and here at Rams In Perspective for my regular salary cap updates throughout the year.

St. Louis Rams Current Roster & Depth Chart

C Tim Barnes Demetrius Rhaney Eric Kush
RG Cody Wichmann Brian Folkerts
LG Garrett Reynolds
RT Rob Havenstein Andrew Donnal
LT Greg Robinson Isaiah Battle
TE Lance Kendricks Cory Harkey
TE Jared Cook
WR Tavon Austin Wes Welker Bradley Marquez
WR Kenny Britt Brian Quick Nick Toon
RB Tre Mason Benny Cunningham Malcolm Brown
RB Todd Gurley Chase Reynolds
QB Case Keenum Nick Foles Sean Mannion
PK Greg Zuerlein
P John Hekker
LS Jake McQuaide
DT Aaron Donald Louis Trinca-Pasat
DT Michael Brockers Ethan Westbrooks
DE Chris Long Eugene Sims
DE William Hayes 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 Troy Hill
SS Maurice Alexander Christian Bryant
FS Rodney McLeod Cody Davis
Practice Squad Injured Reserve IR/Designated To Return
LB  Zack Hodges CB  E.J. Gaines OLB  Alec Ogletree
LB  Matthew Wells OG  Rodger Saffold
CB  Melvin White WR  Isiah Ferguson Reserve/Suspended
FB  Zach Laskey OT  Darrell Williams
TE  Justice Cunningham OG  Jamon Brown RB  Trey Watts
WR  J.J. Worton SS  Tim McDonald Jr.
WR  Deon Long DE  Robert Quinn Reserve/NFI
OG  David Arkin DT  Doug Worthington
DT  Nick Fairley WR  Stedman Bailey
CB  Eric Patterson
74 Players Total

Classic Rock Monday: Guns N' Roses - Sympathy For The Devil

Please have a great Monday and a Ramtastic week!!