St. Louis Rams News
11-23-15: The benching of quarterback Nick Foles wasn’t the answer for the Rams, who’s losing streak extended to three with a last second loss to the lowly Baltimore Ravens. Now at 4-6, the Rams uphill climb to the playoffs starts with a road game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
11-16-15: The St. Louis Rams had a chance to keep up with the Arizona Cardinals but a loss to the Chicago Bears put that theory to rest. Now playing for an NFC Wild Card spot, the Rams look to get to .500 against the lowly Baltimore Ravens.
11-9-15:An overtime loss to the Minnesota Vikings puts the St. Louis Rams at 4-4, tied for second in the NFC East. They’ll try to keep heading towards an NFC Wild Card spot with a home game against the Chicago Bears.
10-20-15: With a bye week to work out some kinks, the St. Louis Rams return home to the Edward Jones Dome after playing two consecutive games on the road. The Rams welcome in the Cleveland Browns, whose last three games have been decided by within three points.
9-29-15: The Rams couldn’t get anything going offensively for the second week in a row, as they dropped to 1-2 behind an ugly 12-6 loss to the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers. The St. Louis defense was largely strong throughout, as they limited one of the league’s more explosive offenses to just one touchdown, while also registering five sacks and getting a pick. Nick Foles struggled once again for the Rams, as he failed to top 200 yards passing or lead the offense to a touchdown, while also throwing a pick. Rookie rusher Todd Gurley made his long awaited debut, but was ineffective in the loss, amassing just 14 yards on seven touches. Gurley will see his role expand as he tries to help the Rams in week four, when they’ll battle the Cardinals in Arizona.
9-22-15: The St. Louis Rams regressed in week three following the high of taking down the Seahawks, as they simply could not stop the run in a tough 24-10 loss to the Washington Redskins. The Rams were overly aggressive on the day and it came back to bite them, as Kirk Cousins calmly hit on 85% of his passes and Redskins rushers Matt Jones and Alfred Morris combined for 182 rushing yards. Things weren’t much better on offense, as Nick Foles couldn’t generate anything through the air, completing just 53% of his passes for a paltry 150 yards. St. Louis was even worse on the ground, as Tre Mason mustered just 26 yard and Tavon Austin, a wide receiver, ended up being the team’s leading rusher. St. Louis could quickly turn things around with rookie running back Todd Gurley possibly making his pro debut in week three. If active, he’ll have a solid matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
9-15-15: The St. Louis Rams played their game perfectly in week one, as they used a combination of big plays, special teams and a little bit of luck to outlast the NFC West rival Seahawks in overtime, 34-31. In quite possibly the most entertaining game of week one, Nick Foles didn’t wilt under the pressure of facing the mighty Seahawks, as he nearly passed for 300 yards and scored twice. Benny Cunningham filled in admirably for an injured Tre Mason, as he piled on over 100 total yards. Tavon Austin was the secret weapon in this divisional clash, as he scored on a 16-yard run out of the backfield and provided a huge spark with a 75-yard punt return for a score, as well. The defense did its job in the end, too, as they contained Marshawn Lynch for much of the game and kept the Seahawks from converting a fourth down on the final play of the game. St. Louis has the look of a team reborn heading into week two, where they’ll go up against the Washington Redskins.
9-8-15: The St. Louis Rams have a problem at running back, as Todd Gurley is being held out for the first few weeks to start his career and interim starter Tre Mason (hamstring) is questionable for week one. Mason injured his hamstring in his third preseason game and has missed practice ever since, but the Rams sorely need his versatility and explosiveness against a tough Seattle Seahawks defense come week one. If Mason indeed is held out, Benny Cunningham would be the team’s top tailback, with Chase Reynolds and Isaiah Pead likely rotating in. Despite needing help on the offensive line, the Rams oddly cut loose 2015 supplemental draft pick Isaiah Battle. Battle was inexplicably cut just 58 days after being drafted for a fifth-round pick, although the Rams were able to keep him on their practice squad. Largely at full strength beyond running back, the Rams will play host to the hated Seahawks this weekend as they kick off their 2015 season.
9-1-15: The St. Louis Rams remained winless in preseason play this past weekend, as they fell to Andrew Luck and the Colts, 24-14. It wasn’t all bad for the Rams, as quarterback Nick Foles was nearly flawless (10 for 11 with 128 yards and a touchdown) and helped the Rams move the ball well in the first half. Running the football was the real issue for the Rams, as no rusher with multiple carries averaged better than 3.0 yards per carry. St. Louis shouldn’t feel too bad about their rushing woes, however, as rookie Todd Gurley didn’t hit the field and Tre Mason only ran the ball four times. Mason unfortunately suffered a “mild” hamstring injury, however, and will miss the Rams’ week four preseason battle with the Kansas City Chiefs. Mason still hopes to be ready for the Rams regular season home opener against the hated Seattle Seahawks, but is no guarantee to be 100%. With Gurley already confirmed out to start the year, Benny Cunningham could find himself in a huge role to kick off 2015.
8-25-15: The St. Louis Rams didn’t have the best offensive showing in their second preseason game, as Nick Foles had an interception returned for a score in a 27-14 loss to the Tennessee Titans. Jeff Fisher got to coach against his former team, but the Titans had most of the success, at one point holding a 20-0 lead. The Rams got some solid play out of their backups, though, as quarterbacks Sean Mannion and Case Keenum both tossed touchdowns and backup running back Trey Watts put ip 53 rushing yards on six totes. Chris Givens reminded everyone of his play-making ability, too, as he secured one of four targets for an 80-yard touchdown. Givens and co. will get back to work in week three, when the Rams face off with the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday night.
8-18-15: Nick Foles’ debut with the St. Louis Rams was a marginal success, as the former Eagle put up 69 passing yards and helped the Rams to their only score in a 18-3 loss to the Oakland Raiders. St. Louis struggled to get anything going on offense after Foles left the field, as no running back mustered more than 18 rushing yards and a combination of Case Keenum, Sean Mannion and Austin Davis produced little results. The prospects for the Rams running game aren’t much better to start the season, as top draft pick Todd Gurley is slated to miss the “first couple of games”. Gurley is healthy and practicing as he rehabs a torn ACL, but is not expected to suit up for the next month. The Rams were dealt an even bigger blow recently, as cornerback E.J. Gaines will miss the entire season due to a lisfranc injury in his foot. Viewed as the Rams’ top cover corner, Gaines will be tough to replace and his loss could negatively impact what was regarded as one of the league’s better defenses.
8-12-15: The St. Louis Rams seem to think quarterback Nick Foles is their future under center - at least for now - as the two sides agreed to a two-year, $24.5 million extension. The deal largely keeps Foles from being a lame duck entering the 2015 season and gives the Rams some stability at the position for the first time since before Sam Bradford’s first ACL tear. While the Rams feel better at quarterback than they did a year ago, they’re still unsure about the running back position to a certain degree. Jeff Fisher and co. seem to love the new depth they have with rookie rusher Todd Gurley in town, but the team doesn’t plan to use the former Bulldog at all during preseason action. That should make for a good amount of playing time for Tre Mason and Benny Cunningham come Friday night, when the Rams open up preseason play against the Raiders in Oakland.
8-5-15: Todd Gurley was under the spotlight when he hit the practice field this week, as the former Georgia Bulldog not only stayed off any injury lists, but also participated in drills. Tre Mason is still tentatively regarded as the starting tailback to open the season, but if Gurley keeps improving the health of his knee and impresses, that stay in the starting lineup could be short. St. Louis seems to feel like they’ve found a new starting quarterback they can trust, as the team is reportedly already engaged in long-term extension talks with Nick Foles. Foles is still seen as a question mark to many, but could provide the Rams with consistent competency at the position that they’ve lacked the past two seasons.
7-28-15: Rookie running back Todd Gurley’s recovery from a torn ACL seems to be going according to plan, as the former Georgia Bulldog is said to begin training camp on the team’s active roster. Not being put on any sort of “football list” keeps the rookie rusher from being placed on PUP to start the season, which is a great sign that the coaching staff likes where he’s at with his rehab. Tre Mason still figures into the rushing workload to some degree, and their camp battle will be one of the funnest to watch in St. Louis. Rookie offensive tackle Isaiah Battle will be another interesting name to track in camp, as the Rams used a supplemental pick on the Clemson product. With offensive line being a huge concern last year, the Rams have now pledged a whopping five selections on the o-line since the season ended.
7-22-15: The St. Louis Rams shook things up quite a bit this offseason in an effort to quickly turn into a playoff contender. It remains to be seen if it’ll work, but trading Sam Bradford for Nick Foles could at the very worst give them a reliable (healthy) presence under center every week, while the drafting of stud prospect Todd Gurley could combine with Tre Mason to give them one of the league’s nastiest rushing attacks. Should the team ever figure out a way to get something out of slot receiver Tavon Austin, the Rams could be cooking with serious gas on offense in 2015. Fans can get the first sneak peek when rookies report for camp on July 27th, while the veterans show up four days later on the 31st. The Rams are largely known for their defense, where new free agent Nick Fairley bolsters an absolutely nasty defensive line and Mark Barron tries to shore up an inconsistent secondary. Barron could end up being a huge get, especially considering regular starting strong safety T.J. McDonald could be out with a leg injury to start training camp.
5-4-15: The St. Louis Rams made a huge splash to start the 2015 NFL Draft, as they snagged franchise running back Todd Gurley off the board despite already having Tre Mason and Zac Stacy on their roster. That move was a sign of a major commitment to the run game and the Rams furthered that notion with bold offensive lineman picks with their next two selections. Wisconsin tackle Rob Havenstein was considered a reach by many in round two, but he has the size and power to be a tremendous right tackle. Considering the Rams will be wanting to mow over their opponents in the ground game, he just might be the perfect reach. St. Louis didn’t stop their offensive retooling their, either, as they plucked Oregon State passer Sean Mannion off the board in round three to give current starter Nick Foles some solid competition. While Foles is regarded as the locked-in starter for 2015, Mannion could be viewed internally as the new quarterback of the future. Let’s take a look at the Rams’ other picks during this year’s draft:
Round One - Pick 10: Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia
Round Two - Pick 57: Rob Havenstein, OT, Wisconsin
Round Three - Pick 72: Jamon Brown, OT, Louisville
Round Three - Pick 89: Sean Mannion, QB, Oregon State
Round Four - Pick 119: Andrew Donnal, OT, Iowa
Round Six - Pick 201: Bud Sasser, WR, Missouri
Round Six - Pick 215: Cody Wichmann, OG, Fresno State
Round Seven - Pick 224: Bryce Hager, ILB, Baylor
Round Seven - Pick 227: Martin Ifedi, DE, Memphis
4-9-15: The St. Louis Rams arguably solved their issue at quarterback, as they traded the overpaid and oft-injured Sam Bradford for former Eagles quarterback, Nick Foles. Foles has had his issues, but remains an interesting prospect due to good size, arm strength and pocket presence. With quarterback hopefully a done deal, the Rams made a splash elsewhere by bringing in former Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley, which arguably helps give the Rams the deepest, most talented line in the league. The line on offense is another story, as the Rams let go of Jake Long and Scott Wells and still badly need to bring in reinforcements. The team also brought back wide receiver Kenny Britt on a two-year deal, but could still look to add an impact receiver in the draft.
3-9-15: One of the biggest questions for the Rams yet again in 2015 is whether or not Sam Bradford is their answer under center. The team has endured two straight injury-riddled seasons for the former #1 overall pick, and it sounds as if the team will at the very least bring in serious competition via free agency or the draft. With quarterback hopefully rounding out finally this year the Rams will also be actively trying to reshape a shaky offensive line. That could mean cutting Jake Long or keeping him at a discount and sliding him in at guard. The team should also be on the lookout for a new safety, as well as an impact wide receiver. With Kenny Britt a free agent, Tavon Austin a bust and Brian Quick coming off shoulder surgery, the team could decide to spend money on a receiver in free agency.
12-29-14: Last week, Alec Ogletree was fined $8,268 for his hard hit on Odell Beckham Jr. in Week 16. The St. Louis defense then came out strong in the first half in Seattle in the Rams’ season finale. Unfortunately, Shaun Hill did not get his team into the end zone, as St. Louis lost, 20-6.
12-23-14: The Rams and the visiting New York Giants were playing angry on Sunday. Each team scored in all four quarters in the contest, but St. Louis lost, 37-27. In the second quarter, a late hit by Rams linebacker Alec Ogletree on Odell Beckham Jr. sparked a brawl, which led to three ejections, including Rams defensive end William Hayes.
12-17-14: The Rams went a third consecutive week without allowing their opponent to get into the end zone, but their offense only put up six points in their Thursday night contest against the Arizona Cardinals. After the 12-6 loss, Jared Cook expressed his frustration by saying that his team was outplayed and out-coached.
12-9-14: The Rams dominated the Washington Redskins in all phases of the game on Sunday.
Although Greg Zuerlein had a difficult day kicking, St. Louis still scored 24 points in
their second consecutive shutout. In the third quarter, after Shaun Hill completed his second touchdown to Jared Cook, punter Johnny Hekker, who signed a six-year, $18-million extension earlier in the week, gave the team a 17-0 lead with a two-point conversion pass to Cory Harkey.
12-3-14: Coincidentally, before Sunday, the last time the Rams shut out a team, it was also the Oakland Raiders. That came in 2006 when St. Louis won, 20-0. In 2014, the Rams more than doubled that point total. Tre Mason ran for 117 yards and two touchdowns in St. Louis’s 52-0 victory.
11-26-14: Rams cornerback Janoris Jenkins returned an interception 99 yards for a touchdown to
give St. Louis a 10-3 lead in the second quarter at San Diego. However, St. Louis’ defense could not hold up the rest of the way. The Chargers tacked on a field goal near the end of the first half and scored 21 second-half points, as they spoiled the Rams’ upset attempt.
11-19-14: The Rams shocked the football world on Sunday, as they defeated the visiting Denver Broncos, 22-7. St. Louis scored in all four quarters, as Shaun Hill was connecting with Kenny Britt all day. Hill threw for 220 yards, 128 of which went to Britt. In addition, the quarterback’s only touchdown went to Britt.
11-12-14: The Rams held a 14-10 lead in Arizona on Sunday, but St. Louis was unable to take down the league’s best team. The Cardinals scored the game’s final 21 points en route to their 31-14 victory. Austin Davis connected with Jared Cook for his only touchdown on the day, a 59-yard score near the end of the second quarter.
11-6-14: Even with all the rumors about the Rams moving back to Los Angeles, the team has been playing very well recently. St. Louis is the only NFC West squad with multiple divisional wins this season. After defeating the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, the 3-5 Rams will take on the league-best Arizona Cardinals in Week 10.
10-30-14: Sunday was not a very good day for the Rams, as they lost Jake Long for the season due to another torn right ACL, and the team fell to the Kansas City Chiefs, 34-7. In the contest, St. Louis scored the first points of the game, but was shut out the rest of the way. Then, before the trade deadline, the Rams acquired safety Mark Barron from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in exchange for a couple draft picks.
10-21-14: The Rams dominated the Seattle Seahawks on special teams on Sunday, as they defeated the defending champions, 28-26. Stedman Bailey had the highlight of the day, as the Rams tricked the Seahawks and he returned a punt 90 yards for a touchdown. On Monday, the Rams released wide receiver Austin Pettis.
10-14-14: The Rams have already matched their home loss total from last year with their 31-17 loss at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers on Monday. St. Louis looked strong early in the game, as Austin Davis was spreading the football around to several different receivers. He found Lance Kendricks for a 22-yard score to give the Rams a 14-0 lead.
10-9-14: Jeff Fisher named Austin Davis the team’s starting quarterback, and he led a comeback that fell just short on Sunday. The St. Louis defense shut out the Philadelphia Eagles in the fourth quarter, but Davis’ 375 yards and three touchdowns were not enough as the Rams fell to the Eagles, 34-28.
10-1-14: The Rams, who were on bye for Week 4, travel to Philadelphia for an early afternoon game on Sunday. St. Louis is oddly winless at home this season while it is 1-0 on the road, so Jeff Fisher hopes that his team can keep up its success away from home.
9-25-14: On third down with three yards to go near the beginning of the fourth quarter, Jared Cook had a costly drop, which would have given the Rams a touchdown. Unfortunately, they had to settle for a field goal and eventually lost the game by three points. Austin Davis threw for 327 yards and three touchdowns, but he did not have as strong of a second half in the loss to the Dallas Cowboys.
9-16-14: Due to weather conditions, the game between the Rams and Buccaneers was delayed for more than an hour in the second quarter. Although Shaun Hill was active, he was not fully healthy, and Austin Davis started at quarterback. Zac Stacy scored a first-quarter touchdown, and Greg Zuerlein made four field goals, including the game-winning one.
9-10-14: The injuries continued for the Rams, who do not look probable to make the playoffs this year. Defensive lineman Chris Long exited Sunday’s opener against the Minnesota Vikings with a left ankle injury. Shaun Hill only played a half before leaving due to a quad strain. Austin Davis then came in at quarterback and led the team to two field goals, the only St. Louis scores of the game.
9-4-14: On Sunday, the Rams open their season against the Minnesota Vikings. The professional football team from St. Louis was in the news last week for releasing Michael Sam, who recently signed with the Dallas Cowboys’ practice squad. With Sam Bradford done for the season, Shaun Hill is ready to take on the quarterback duties.
8-26-14: On Saturday, the Rams went into Cleveland and beat the Browns by 19 points to get their first victory of the preseason. Unfortunately, cornerback Trumaine Johnson was carted off the field and is out for four to six weeks with an MCL sprain. The news is worse for Sam Bradford, who re-tore his ACL and is now done for the 2014 season.
8-20-14: For the first time in almost a year, Sam Bradford played in a game. Coming off the ACL tear that he suffered in Week 7 in 2013, the 26-year-old quarterback completed nine of his 12 pass attempts for 101 yards and a touchdown in the Rams’ 21-7 loss to the Green Bay Packers. Unfortunately, running back Isaiah Pead is done for the season with a torn ACL.
8-14-14: Sam Bradford and Drew Brees did not play in the Rams’ preseason opener on Friday. Left tackle Jake Long, who will most likely miss most or all of the preseason as he finishes recovering from an ACL tear, sat out the game as well. Backup quarterback Shaun Hill attempted just seven passes, but he threw for 84 yards and two touchdowns in the Rams’ 26-24 loss to the New Orleans Saints.
8-5-14: On Friday, the Rams will host the New Orleans Saints in their preseason opener. Kenny Britt, who signed with the Rams during this past offseason, is looking for a bounce back season. Britt fell out of favor in Tennessee last year, but the 25-year-old looks ready for the 2014 season.
7-30-14: The St. Louis Rams have quieted the talks of a running back competition, as head coach Jeff Fisher admitted that rookie back Tre Mason is merely a “change of pace” option. That doesn’t necessarily mean it will stay that way forever, but for now Zac Stacy is the team’s starter and that isn’t likely to change any time soon. Michael Sam, the first active homosexual player in league history, is projected to make the Rams’ final roster, per ESPN Rams reporter, Nick Wagoner. Sam is clearly a huge story for the Rams and the league and will have fans tuning into the St. Louis feed and preseason games until we find out for sure whether or not he makes the team.
7-15-14: The Rams have gone back and forth over the course of the summer on a supposed “battle” at running back, but at least for now it looks like starter Zac Stacy’s job is safe. Rookie running back Tre Mason may get a chance to cut into Stacy’s role once camp opens, but fans will have to wait until July 22nd (when rookies report) for that to happen. Fellow rookie Christian Bryant (ankle) may not be ready when camp rolls around, as he is nursing an ankle injury. He’ll need to get back to 100% as soon as possible if he wants to compete for a roster spot.
6-5-14: The Rams have been in the news a decent amount since what figures to be a successful 2014 NFL Draft showing, as new running back Tre Mason made waves by saying he expects to compete for the starting running back job. Zac Stacy may have something to say about it first, but even the remote possibility of competition at the position should only help the offense. Speaking of helping the offense, Sam Bradford is expected to be ready to operate at near full speed for the Rams’ minicamps, while veteran offensive guard Davin Joseph was brought on at the end of May to strengthen an already improving offensive line.
5-19-14: The St. Louis Rams were another team caught up in the Johnny Manziel rumors, but ultimately Jeff Fisher and co. knew their plan and stuck to it. The Rams started the draft with two first round picks and despite rumors of trading up or down, they stood pat and grabbed the best guys available. Let’s take a look at how the Rams did with those first two picks, as well as the rest of their stay in the 2014 NFL Draft:
Round 1. Pick 02 Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn
Round 1. Pick 13 Aaron Donald, DL, Pittsburgh
Round 2. Pick 09 Lamarcus Joyner, CB, Florida St.
Round 3. Pick 11 Tre Mason, RB, Auburn
Round 4. Pick 10 Maurice Alexander, S, Utah St.
Round 6. Pick 12 E.J. Gaines, DB, Missouri
Round 6. Pick 38 Garrett Gilbert, QB, Southern Methodist
Round 7. Pick 26 Christian Bryant, S, Ohio St.
Round 7. Pick 34 Michael Sam, DL, Missouri
St. Louis needed offensive line help going into the draft and they stood pat at the second overall spit and made sure they got the help they needed. Greg Robinson isn’t the most polished tackle, but he’s a great athlete for a tackle and arguably has the most long-term upside. He should slide in right away and make a struggling o-line a strength for the Rams.
Aaron Donald was a major steal, as the Rams didn’t necessarily need a defensive tackle and Donald was a potential top-10 talent. Ultimately, he was just too good for St. Louis to pass up, while suddenly an elite pass rush gets even stronger.
The Rams weren’t done there, however, as they went on to add some much needed safety help with versatile defensive back LaMarcus Joyner, and also spiced up their offensive backfield with running back Tre Mason.
Quite possibly the Rams’ most popular pick, however, came when they drafted the NFL’s first openly gay player, Michael Sam. Should Sam to prove to be worth the selection, he could give an already stout pass rush an extra boost as a defensive end.
5-9-14: The St. Louis Rams made excellent use of both of their first round picks in the 2014 NFL Draft, shoring up their offensive line with stud tackle Greg Robinson, while also beefing up the interior of their defensive line with defensive tackle Aaron Donald. Robinson can slide in at either tackle spot and give a once troubled offensive line loads of versatility, while Donald was more of a luxury pick that will only strengthen an already stout pass rush.
4-28-14: The St. Louis Rams will enter the 2014 NFL Draft with some clear needs. While GM Les Snead has suggested their current crop of wide receivers are good to go, the popular opinion is that they will still add another big-play option. Whether they aim high with Sammy Watkins or Mike Evans in round one or just grab a sleeper in the second or third round, however, is anyone’s guess. Safety is arguably their biggest hole and absolutely needs to be addressed. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is a sensible pick with their second of two first round picks (13th overall), while guys like Dion Bailey and Jimmie Ward would be solid consolation prizes in round two. St. Louis may also inch closer to moving on from franchise passer Sam Bradford, who has been nothing but hurt and/or inconsistent. If St. Louis is done with him, they could surprise everyone by drafting a quarterback early. If they merely want someone to light a fire under him, they’ll take a quarterback prospect in the second or third round.
4-18-14: The St. Louis Rams were extremely competitive without quarterback Sam Bradford in 2013, but should get him back in time to take on the New Orleans Saints at home in week one. Bradford and the starters likely will only play a series or two, but it will be a nicely hyped battle to kickoff the Rams’ preseason schedule. Bradford should see more time on the field one week later when an equally tough opponent in the Green Bay Packers come down to Missouri. Things get slightly easier on the road at Cleveland, as Bradford should play at least two quarters as he and the offense try to get on the same page against the Browns. St. Louis caps their 2014 preseason with another road game, as they try to end things on a high note against the Miami Dolphins.
After competing at a very high level with no real quarterback for half of 2013, the Rams arguably just needed Sam Bradford back and some slight improvements to take the next step in 2014. St. Louis acted accordingly in free agency, refraining from overspending while bringing in wide receiver Kenny Britt and re-signing offensive tackle Rodger Saffold. In the event of Bradford going down due to injury yet again, the Rams will be as prepared as they’ve ever been, as newly signed backup Shaun Hill is arguably one of the league’s top backup options. The Rams still need help at safety and could also take a stab at another wide receiver in this year’s draft.
3-21-14: The St. Louis Rams somehow stayed very competitive despite playing half of 2013 without their starting quarterback. They made sure early in free agency they wouldn’t have to again. From a protection standpoint, at least, the Rams improved on the surface by holding onto stud tackle Rodger Saffold, while wisely not over-paying to keep guards Chris Williams and Harvey Dahl. St. Louis did bid farewell to starting cornerback Cortland Finnegan, but due to age and regressed play, it was a move that had been in the making. With a fairly quiet presence in free agency this year, the Rams march into the 2014 NFL Draft with two first round draft choices and few gaping holes. They still could use more help on the offensive line, a new safety and a go-to option at wide receiver, though, and Rams fans shouldn’t be shocked if their team targets players at those positions in the early rounds.
12-31-13: The first time the Rams took on the Seattle Seahawks the game came down to the final play. In week 17, St. Louis wouldn’t be so lucky. Kellen Clemens struggled even more this time around, as he took two sacks and threw two picks en route to a rough 27-9 road loss.
12-24-13: Zac Stacy ran 33 times for 104 tough yards and found the end-zone once as the Rams held things together at home in a 23-13 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Robert Quinn beasted out on defense for three sacks, as the Rams terrorizes Tampa Bay quarterback Mike Glennon on the day as a whole, sacking him seven times and forcing a fumble.
12-17-13: Kellen Clemens somehow out-dueled Drew Brees and the St. Louis Rams dominated the line of scrimmage all day on defense en route to a huge 27-16 home win over the New Orleans Saints. The St. Louis defense had Brees rattled early, as they sacked him four times and forced three turnovers.
12-10-13: Running back Zac Stacy found the end-zone early in the fourth quarter to help keep things interesting, but the Rams were too careless on offense to survive a deep hole that turned into a 30-10 road loss. Quarterback Kellen Clemens continued his ineffective play, tossing two picks and taking four sacks for St. Louis’ eight loss of the season.
12-3-13: Kellen Clemens and co. made it close late, but the Rams were ultimately no match for the determined 49ers in San Francisco, dropping their week 13 clash, 23-13. Zac Stacy ran hard for 72 yards on 19 carries, but St. Louis dug themselves too big of a hole and fell to 5-7 on the season.
11-26-13: Tavon Austin scored the game’s first touchdown as St. Louis was hot out of the gates against the visiting Bears, jumping out to a 21-7 lead. Chicago got this one to within just six points late, but St. Louis pounded in a rushing score and returned a late turnover for a touchdown to deliver the final blows in a 42-21 home win.
11-12-13: The St. Louis Rams were major underdogs heading into a tough road matchup with the impressive Indianapolis Colts. Someone forgot to inform them. The Rams balled out on defense all day, limiting Andrew Luck and co. to just eight points, while rookie wide receiver finally had his huge breakout game everyone was waiting for, as he scored three long touchdowns in a 38-8 shell-shocking performance.
11-5-13: For the second week in a row, the Rams fought hard remained in a game that they probably shouldn’t have been in. Unfortunately, for the second week in a row, they lost a close game at home. Running back Zac Stacy topped 100 rushing yards for the second straight week and scored the Rams’ first two offensive rushing scores of the year, but the Rams simply couldn’t stop Tennessee running back Chris Johnson down the stretch in the 28-21 home defeat.
The Rams were supposed to be dead on arrival when the Seattle Seahawks came to town in week eight. They had other plans. Chris Long and Robert Quinn registered three sacks a piece as the Rams notched seven sacks on Russell Wilson and stayed in this one to the very end. Zac Stacy paced the offense with 134 rushing yards, but the Rams couldn’t convert on fourth and goal and fell in week eight, 14-9.
10-22-13: The St. Louis Rams lost both Sam Bradford and the game in week seven, as Bradford sustained a torn ACL late in a 30-15 road loss to the Carolina Panthers. Bradford tossed his 14th touchdown pass of the year before exiting with his season-ending knee injury, and the closest the Rams ever got in this one was 27-15 late in the third quarter. Carolina simply took what St. Louis gave them on offense, while the Panther defense stuffed the Rams’ ground game, recorded four sacks and forced two turnovers in the week seven loss for St. Louis.
10-15-13: The Houston Texans were supposed to rebound from two straight losses and whoop up on the St. Louis Rams. Instead, they got a butt-kicking, themselves. Sam Bradford picked apart the Houston defense all day to the tune of three touchdowns. Rookie running back Zac Stacy paced the Rams on the ground, working his way to 79 rushing yards on 18 carries. The St. Louis offense was efficient, but the real story of week six was the Rams defense, which had previously been gashed on a weekly basis, but recorded five sacks and two interceptions in a dominant 38-13 road win.
10-8-13: The St. Louis Rams may finally have figured out a solution to their ineffective running game; to start Zacy Stacy or face the Jacksonville Jaguars every week. Rookie running back Zac Stacy put up the Rams’ best rushing day of the year with 78 yards on 14 carries and likely earned himself a starting gig going forward, as St. Louis exploded on offense overall and held off the winless Jaguars, 34-20. Sam Bradford was arguably the true star of the day, however, as he connected with his offensive weapons for three passing scores. Wide receiver Austin Pettis, who already had caught two touchdowns prior to week five, hauled in two of those passing scores to help St. Louis snap a three-game losing streak and get to a respectable 2-3.
10-1-13: The St. Louis Rams had the San Francisco 49ers’ number in 2012, tying one game and winning the other. They couldn’t take that momentum and run with it this past Thursday night, however, as they struggled to move the ball consistently at home against a spirited and hungry 49ers team. The lack of an effective rushing attack was more obvious than ever in this one, as Rams top running back Daryl Richardson fought his way to just 16 yards on 12 rush attempts in the losing effort. Quarterback Sam Bradford didn’t throw an interception in this one, but wasn’t as effective as he could have been thanks to tight coverage throughout the game. The Rams found a way to score late, but this one was over by half-time, with the 49ers ending up taking it, 35-11.
9-19-13: Things got ugly early for the Rams as they fell behind 24-3 to the Falcons on Sunday. However, Sam Bradford and the Rams had other ideas, however, as St. Louis stormed back to make a game of it before eventually falling 31-24. Sam Bradford ended up completing 32 of 55 passes for 352 yards, 3 touchdowns and 1 interception, while the Rams really couldn’t get much going running the ball. Next week, the Rams travel to Dallas to take on the 1-1 Cowboys.
9-10-13: The Rams ruined Carson Palmer’s introduction to the NFC West, picking him off once, forcing a fumble, and sacking the Cardinals new quarterback four times. More importantly, they won the game 27-24 with 14 unanswered fourth quarter points. The comeback was capped off when Greg Zuerlein kicked a 48-yard field goal with 40 seconds left. It was one of four field goals on the day for Zuerlein on the day. Sam Bradford threw for two touchdowns and 299 yards on 27 of 38 passing-141 of those yards were racked up by Jared Cook. Daryl Richardson ran the ball 20 times for 63 yards. Next week the Rams head to Atlanta to face the Falcons.
9-5-13: Here are the Rams final roster cuts: WR Emory Blake, DE Mason Brodine, LB Sammy Brown, QB Austin Davis, S Cody Davis, DT Garrett Goebel, S Rashard Hall, OT Sean Hooey, LB Josh Hull, WR Nick Johnson, OL Ryan Lee, TE Philip Lutzenkirchen, DE Andre Martin, OL Ty Nsekhe, TE Zach Potter, FB Eric Stevens, CB Drew Thomas, WR Justin Veltung, DE R.J. Washington, CB Darren Woodard, OT D.J. Young.
8-20-13: St. Louis fell to 0-and-2 on the preseason with their 19-7 loss to the Packers last week. The Packers defense held Sam Bradford and the Rams starters off the board, but Bradford was 8 of 12 on pass attempts for a game-high 156 passing yards. He did come close to getting the Rams in the end zone, completing a 57-yard pass to Chris Givens that set the Rams up at the Packers' 4. However, Bradford later fumbled the snap on fourth-and-goal from the 1. Austin Davis completed 7 of 15 passes for 114 yards and the Rams only score, a 21-yards TD pass to Nick Johnson with less than a minute left in the game. For the game, Johnson caught three balls for 58 yards. On Saturday, the Rams travel to Denver to take on Peyton Manning and the Broncos.
8-11-13: The Rams opened up their 2013 preseason schedule with a 27-19 loss to the Browns in Cleveland. Sam Bradford was 5 of 8 for 102 yards and a TD. Kellen Clemens was 6 of 13 for 116 yards and a TD, but also threw 2 interceptions. Rookie WR Stedman Bailey caught 2 balls for 27 yards, while rookie RB Zac Stacy carries it 7 times for 23 yards.
The Rams will host Green Bay next Saturday at the Edward Jones Dome.
7-10-13: Jeff Fisher’s return to coaching went pretty well last year, and a solid season in St. Louis in 2012 now has Rams fans thinking playoffs for 2013. Losing Steven Jackson hurts the offense a bit, but solid additions across the board in Jared Cook, Tavon Austin, Jake Long and Zac Stacy should have the St. Louis offense on the up and up. On the other side of the ball, the Rams were already one of the better defenses in the league, but now could be a truly elite unit with the addition of athletic linebacker Alec Ogletree.
The Rams have already proven their worth with two down-to-the-minute battles with the mighty San Francisco 49ers in 2012, and will now aim at a trip to the playoffs in 2013. St. Louis said good-bye to long-time veteran running back Steven Jackson this off-season, potentially making the offense hostage to an ugly back-field. However, it could also just force young quarterback Sam Bradford to finally take over and put the Rams on his back. He’ll have a stellar (and improving) defense backing him, but 2013 may be the perfect time for the Bradford Show to be in full production.
Rams 2013 Draft Overview:
Round 1, Pick 8 (from Buffalo): Tavon Austin, WR West Virginia
Round 1, Pick 30 (from Atlanta): Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia
Round 3, Pick 9: (from Buffalo): T.J. McDonald, FS, Southern California
Round 3, Pick 30 (from Atlanta): Stedman Bailey, WR, West Virginia
Round 4, Pick 16: Barrett Jones, OG, Alabama
Round 5, Pick 16: Brandon McGee, CB, Miami
Round 5, Pick 27 (from Houston): Zac Stacy, RB Vanderbilt
12-4-12: The most impressive thing the Rams have done all year is beat the 49ers once and tie them another time. They seem to be a San Francisco bugaboo. Young Quarterback Sam Bradford will take his 83 rating into Buffalo for what should be a winnable game for the Rams. Since they hold the tie-breaker against the 49ers the Rams still have a chance, but a bumpy schedule could derail their playoff dreams in a hurry. After playing the Bills they will face the Vikings, Bucs and Seahawks.