Today is one of those rare days in the life of a St. Louis Rams fan that there is no silver lining that needs to be found but we will do it anyways. The win for the Rams makes all, well most, of the negatives go away, and allows the St. Louis faithful to bask in the glory of the win. So, without anymore unnecessary chatter, here is Ramblin’ Fans’ silver lining of the game:
1. The St. Louis Rams won! We could stop there, but plenty more can be said. The Rams are now 5-6-1 on the season and 4-0-1 in the NFC West. More importantly, St. Louis jumped two teams in the NFC rankings, and are now within one game of the Buccaneers, Cowboys, and Vikings in the hunt for one of the two wild card spots in the conference.
2. In spite of the offensive and special teams dysfunction that allowed Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers to start with the ball at the SF 25 or higher on their opening six possessions, the defensive was able to hold on long enough to secure the win. The St. Louis Rams defense is responsible for 18 points in the last two game…
3. All of those 18 points have come courtesy of Janoris Jenkins, running back two pick-6s against the Arizona Cardinals, and rolling his way to a touchdown after picking up the attempted flip-toss to Ted Ginn Jr. via Colin Kaepernick. No rookie has ever scored three defensive touchdowns in a season, and no Ram has done it since Mike Jones in 1999.
4. The St. Louis Rams offense has clearly been its own worst enemy, and not just with penalties. When drives stall early, the opposing team gets decent to good field position off the punt. When the defense is able to hold off their drive, the St. Louis offense gets pinned back by a mid-field punt; and, so goes the cycle! The Rams started outside of their own 20 yard line only 3 times throughout the game. However, one of those drives resulted in the game winning field goal in overtime…
5. When the San Francisco 49ers started outside of their 20 yard line, which happened on 7 occasions throughout the game, the Rams defense only allowed one touchdown. Their drives ended in the following fashion: Punt, TD, Punt, Punt, Punt, Half, Missed FG
6. Speaking of missed field goals, Greg Zuerlein had missed 4 out of his last 5 attempts after swinging wide on the 58 yarder in the first half. However, all misses will be forgotten after Greg ‘the Leg’ booted one from 53 yards in regulation to send the game to overtime, and then another from 54 yards to seal the win in overtime. As Jim Rome put it in a tweet immediately following the kick, “Legatron is cold-blooded.”
7. With an eight penalty performance against the 49ers, the St. Louis Rams are now tied for first place in the NFL for the most offensive penalties this season. However, the second offsides penalty on Rodger Saffold during the two-point conversion attempt should have been pinned on Aldon Smith. Oh yea, and the “roughing the passer” on Robert Quinn for nuzzling Kaepernick’s arm? Laughable…
8. If you weren’t on the Chris Givens bandwagon already, you should hurry up and jump on it before the wheels break under the weight. The Rams’ 4th rounder from the 2012 draft, who was labeled by most as a “pure burner,” has average 4.8 receptions per game since the Danny Amendola injury in Week 5 against the Arizona Cardinals. Given picked up where he left off in his 5 catch, 115 yard game last week, and hauled in 11 receptions for 92 yards against the 49ers. He was quietly averaged 74.5 yards per contest over the past six games, and is now second on the team in receiving yards, targets, and touchdowns after starting the season getting only 15-20 offensive snaps per game.
9. Steven Jackson earned every inch of the 48 yards that he amassed in the game against, arguably, the best run defense in the NFL. Even when they did slow him rushing the ball in the first half, Jackson contributed big in the passing game, catching 5 passes for 69 yards. His unrelenting drive and determination willed the team into scoring position on the final drive of overtime, getting handed the ball on 4 out of 5 final plays of the game and gaining 16 crucial yards to get Zuerlein within range. Jackson now has 772 yards on the season, meaning that he will need to average 57.0 yards per game for the rest of the season to reach that 1,000 yard milestone. I don’t think there is one person in Rams Nation that doesn’t believe he will make it this year.
10. After starting off the season with 4 interception in the first 4 games, Cortland Finnegan has not had and interception since that time. There is good reason for that, namely that quarterbacks are no longer looking his way on the field. Nearly every one of Kaerpernick’s passes were either designed screen passes or quick slants to Jenkins’ side of the field. Cortland has put receivers on lock down this season, and is not getting nearly the credit he deserves for the St. Louis Rams’ successes this season.