– In a season full of injuries, the Rams have gotten used to having to plug and play players. But on Sunday, things seemed to come to a head as they entered the game with six players who were pregame inactives because of injury. Things got worse throughout the game as the Rams were hit hard by even more ailments.
– At the top of the list is a pair of devastating knee injuries. CB Al Harris and TE Mike Hoomanawanui were the victims and coach Steve Spagnuolo indicated that both could miss the rest of the season.
– At various other points during the game, the Rams lost S Darian Stewart (neck), LT Rodger Saffold (head) and RB Cadillac Williams (calf). None of those players returned and they’ll be evaluated further on Monday.
– Things are so bad on the injury front that Williams injured his calf while checking into the game.
– Needless to say, the Rams should get a tip of the cap for battling through all of those things and still finding a way to get the win.
– Yes, the Rams got the benefit of a lucky break on Phil Dawson’s miss from 22 yards out. But two things: 1. The Rams were due a lucky a bounce. Long overdue. 2. The Rams still had to put themselves in position for that bounce to mean anything.
– RB Steven Jackson continues to run as well as he has at any point in his career. He’s just not losing any juice. The guy is getting better every week it seems. This is three weeks in a row where he’s carried the freight even when the opponent has loaded up to stop him. Three straight 100-yard performances. One Twitter follower suggested a new level above “beast mode.” He called it Steven Jackson mode. I like it.
– Nice job by a patchwork offensive line. No issues with C Tony Wragge in his first appearance. QB Sam Bradford said Wragge did a good job with the exchange and clearly the running game didn’t suffer with him in there.
– WR Brandon Lloyd, one word: Wow. What a catch in the first quarter. And a beautiful route for the game’s lone touchdown.
– Some more nice moments for rookie WR Austin Pettis who seems to have a knack for finding the sticks on third down.
– Mark LeVoir and Adam Goldberg filled in nicely when called upon.
– Great effort from the defense. The Browns threw the kitchen sink at them with trick plays and such and they held Cleveland to four field goals.
– Another sack for DE Chris Long. Eight sacks in nine games. The results are coming this year and he’s on pace for a big, big season.
– Welcome back to the Rams, David Nixon. That’s a big play for anyone, let alone someone who has been here for all of about five days this week.
– Right place, right time for Ben Leber. Seems simple but that’s not an easy play for a guy who hasn’t been in that position this year.
– Punter Donnie Jones is still the man. Great effort again this week. Forget the punt return for a TD last week, this guy has been consistently outstanding on distance, direction, etc.
– Likewise, Josh Brown. Tough conditions for a kicker out there today and he got the job done.
– All told, a nice win for a Rams team that faced about every type of adversity it could on Sunday. Wins are hard to come by in this league. You take it any way you can get it.
– Back tomorrow to wrap this one up.
Posted in From the Sidelines | 2 Comments »