The Silver Lining In St. Louis: Records, Milestones, And Playoffs For The Rams?


Nov. 25, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA: St. Louis Rams running back (39) Steven Jackson runs the ball in the first half against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

1. Bradford completed less than 10 passes in a game for the second time this season. He finished off Sunday going 8 of 17 for  205 yards, with two touchdowns and one interception. However, both of those passing games came against the Arizona Cardinals, and both of those games were wins for the St. Louis Rams. He has quietly thrown for at least two touchdowns in each of the last 3 games, and has throw at least one touchdown in the last 5 games.

2. Steven Jackson logged 24 carries for 139 yards, averaging 5.8 yards per rushing attempt. That marks Jackson’s second 100+ yard game in the last three weeks, a span in which he has averaged 107 yards per game. Including Sunday’s steamrolling over the Arizona Cardinals, Jackson now has 724 yards on the season. To reach the 1000 yard mark this year, he will need to average 55.2 yards in each of the remaining 5 games of the season. That seems like an attainable goal at this point…

3. Chris Givens has to be considered a starter after he played 49 of 57 offensive snaps against the Arizona Cardinals. After hauling in only 4 catches in his first 5 games of the season, Givens has now average 3.6 receptions in his last 5 games. After pulling in 5 catches for 115 yards, including a diving touchdown grab, the 2012 4th rounder has now managed 355 yards in the last half of the season. Did the benching for team rule violation play any role?

4. Speaking of benching, Janoris Jenkins… The sentence could stop there and all of Rams Nation would understand exactly what was meant, but we won’t. The “Rams” have been around since 1936, when the team was mounted in Cleveland before the historic move to Los Angeles. The team stayed in L.A. for 48 years before being shipped in 1995 to the Midwest where they set up shop in St. Louis. In that long history, no rookie on the team’s roster has ever returned two interceptions for touchdowns in a single game. In fact, the feat has only been accomplished 3 times in the history of the NFL by a rookie, the last time being by Bobby Franklin in 1960.

5. Jenkins was not the only St. Louis Ram invited to the turnover party, with James Laurinaitis and Craig Dahl both recording an interception against the lowly Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. After going for five consecutive games without a defensive turnover, the drought was broken in a big way…

6. Trumaine Johnson has “officially” become the starter in the nickelback slot. Bradley Fletcher played only one defensive snap in the Rams win on Sunday, which likely spells the end for his career in St. Louis given that he is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. However, that is good news for the cornerback position that is now one of the youngest, and more skilled, in the NFL, including the semi-aged Cortland Finnegan.

7. With 14 tackles against the Arizona Cardinals, James Laurinaitis has notched 106 tackles on the season, putting him at 3rd in the league behind only Jerod Mayo and Chad Greenway. Although Laurinaitis will still not get a Pro Bowl invite this season, especially considering the season that Daryl Washington is having, he is clearly the man for the job in St. Louis. Rams Nation should be excited to have him and Chris Long signed on with the team for the foreseeable future.

8. Dan “the Man” Amendola (just thought we would try that out) is shedding the idea of him being “fragile” with his play on Sunday. He only recorded one catch, which was for 38 yards, but showed tremendous heart by battling with trainers in the pre-game to get the green light to suit up. During the presser yesterday, Fisher mentioned the Amendola “soreness” during halftime held him out of most of the second half. However, his mere presence on the field forced the secondary to shift coverage in his direction, which may have been a huge help to Givens in his monster receiving day.

9. Despite the “apparent” lack of dynamic playmaking ability, at least that is how the media portrayed it, the St. Louis Rams did manage to put 30+ points on the board. That is the second time this season that the Rams have elapsed that mark, the other coming in Week 2 against the Washington Redskins. In 2011, the St. Louis Rams only score 30+ points once, which came in the surprise win over the New Orleans Saints that was led by Feeley’s arm and a 159 yard rushing performance by Steven Jackson. In 2010, the team scored 30+ points only twice the entire season, although the Rams were only one game away from making the playoffs that year. In the three season span from 2007 through the 2009, the team scored 30+ only three total times, with a maximum of only 23 points in the final year of that span before Sam Bradford was selected with the first overall pick in the draft

10. With a win against the Cardinals, the St. Louis Rams can keep their slim, slim playoff hopes alive, at least for another week. Currently, there are 7 teams in the NFC ahead of the Rams in the Wild Card hunt. Realistically, the NFC North has one of those slots filled, with either Chicago or Green Bay, depending on how the rest of the season plays out. After them, St. Louis is two games back on 3 teams (Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Bucaneers, and Minnesota Vikings), and only one game back on the other 3 teams (Washington Redskins, Dallas Cowboys, and New Orleans Saints). A lot of things will have to swing in the Rams favor in order to make the playoffs, but there is still some hope…