St. Louis Rams – Blog

Rams D-Line Gets Special Guest

Posted by nickwagoner on November 30, 2012 – 8:16 PM

– This weekend, the Rams will welcome back about 20 of their greatest alumni for their 75th anniversary celebration. They’ll wear throwback uniforms. They’ll get to interact with some of the greatest parts of the franchise’s history. We’ll have plenty on that tomorrow. But on Friday, the festivities began with a bang as one of the greatest of the great arrived at ContinuityX Training Center.

– Hall of Fame DE Jack Youngblood was in the house on Friday morning and he was much more than just  bystander taking in the day’s activities. Youngblood spent some time with coach Jeff Fisher then went into the defensive line meeting room to meet with d-line coach Mike Waufle’s group.

– Waufle knew about Youngblood’s planned presence before hand but told none of his players. You can imagine their surprise when one of the game’s all time greats walked through the door.

“Coach Waufle kept it a secret,” DT Kendall Langford said. “He didn’t tell us about it but when we walked in and saw him, it was a great surprise. To have a Hall of Famer in the room, a legend, one of the greats that ever did it, it was just an honor to be in the room with him.”

– Youngblood settled in and offered some words of encouragement though he reminded everyone in the room that if they needed motivation for a game against a division rival with potential down the road postseason implications then they are in the wrong line of work. He then got to the more important message:

” He said to basically go out there and approach everything like it’s your last play,” Langford said. “You are one play away from your career being over so go out there and you never know when that play is going to happen so take advantage of it when you are out there and give it all you got.”

– Youngblood didn’t depart the room after his speech, either. He stuck around for film study with the line and offered tips and encouragment to the group.

“It doesn’t get too much better than that,” Langford said. “To have a guy like him come in and be able to stand in there and talk to us and then have film study with us, it was just an honor.”

– It actually might get a little better for Langford and his teammates on Saturday. The Rams will have such franchise luminaries as Eric Dickerson, Tom Mack, Jackie Slater, Orlando Pace, Isaac Bruce, Vince Ferragamo and Rosey Grier, among many, many more in town this weekend. And before they are honored on Sunday, many of them will spend time with the team before, during and after the team’s walk through Saturday morning.

“We are looking forward to meeting everybody,” Fisher said. “We are going to have them in the building tomorrow and they’ll get some interaction with the players.”

– As for the rest of the day’s events, the Rams made it through practice with no issues and actually appeared to get some good news on the injury front.

– DE Robert Quinn (concussion) and C Scott Wells (knee) participated on a limited basis after sitting the past two days. Wells was mostly a maintenance situation and he’s expected to be ready to go on Sunday.

– Quinn passed some of the initial concussion testing, according to Fisher.

“He practiced limited today,” Fisher said. “He passed to the point where we could get him back to practice in individual stuff. We still have a couple more tests to do.”

– WR Danny Amendola did not practice for the third straight day but he did remove his walking boot, which is an upgrade over where he was at this time last week.

Here’s the full injury report for Sunday:

Out: LB Mario Haggan (elbow)
Doubtful: Amendola
Questionable: Quinn, Wells, T Barry Richardson (knee)
Probable: RB Steven Jackson (foot)

– In other good news, at least for Fisher, he officially has made it through all pre-December practices while wearing shorts. He has a policy of wearing shorts every day in practice up to Dec. 1. The origins of the agreement are unknown but Fisher benefited greatly from a very mild November that had temperatures regularly in the 60s and as high as the low 70s.

– Fisher is something of a weather aficionado for both personal but mainly team reasons.

“There is snow in the forecast next week Friday and Saturday,” Fisher said when asked if he’d need to switch to pants soon. “I need to be aware of the weather, yes because we spend a lot of time outside.”

– That’s all for today. Thanks for reading. Stay tuned tomorrow for some very special coverage from the team’s walk through.

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Jackson Look to Keep Rolling

Posted by nickwagoner on November 29, 2012 – 10:18 PM

– The Rams finished up Thursday’s day of preparation with very little change from Wednesday’s practice.

– One notable change came on the injury front where RB Steven Jackson went from not participating Wednesday to upgraded to limited on Thursday with what is being called a foot injury. The Rams, of course, are just resting Jackson to make sure he’s at full strength on Sundays.

– In the past three games, Jackson has rolled up 321 yards rushing, third best among all NFL running backs in that category. Along with that, he’s moved once again within striking distance of the 1,000-yard mark for the season. While 1,000 yards isn’t what it used to be, doing it in eight straight seasons would place Jackson in elite company with just five other backs in the history of the league. It’s a sign of continued production that does mean something to Jackson.

“I look at it as just being able to be consistent,” Jackson said. “Nine years ago, I had a very long conversation with (former Rams WRs) Torry (Holt) and Isaac (Bruce). They said that one of the keys to this game is just remaining consistent and being someone that the general manager and the head coach can always depend on. Once they gave me those words of wisdom, I kind of tried to hold on to it.”

– Jackson is just 276 yards away from reaching 1,000 again and is now in need of just 183 yards to hit the 10,000 mark for his career.

– In order to keep the run game rolling, Jackson will need to stare down long time nemesis/friend Patrick Willis, San Francisco’s outstanding middle linebacker. Matching up with Willis remains one of the things Jackson looks forward to most every year.

“It’s my favorite,” Jackson said. “I have the utmost respect for Patrick. He’s that person that, year-in and year-out, I use as my measuring stick on how I’m performing personally. The two of us have a great deal of respect for one another. We know that we’re going to play a clean game, but it’s going to be a tough game. I’m sure all week, he’s getting himself ready as well as I.”

– On the injury front, aside from Jackson, the Rams looked the same.

– WR Danny Amendola (foot), LB Mario Haggan (elbow), C Scott Wells (knee) and DE Robert Quinn (concussion) again did not participate.

– Rams assistant head coach Dave McGinnis said there is still “plenty” of time for Quinn to get healthy for Sunday. If Quinn can’t go, the starting duties could go to Eugene Sims, a job McGinnis believes Sims is capable of handling.

“Eugene’s a good player,” McGinnis said. “He’s done nothing but develop extremely well under Mike Waufle. I think he’s done a tremendous job. Eugene is a guy that’s very valuable to this team.”

– Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer said Wells is being rested with the goal of having him ready for Sunday. As for Amendola, it’s likely going to be a repeat of last week with Amendola testing the injured foot before the game and a decision being made right before it starts.

“I think so,” Schottenheimer said “He’s hard to keep off the field. He loves to play. Again, I know he’s doing everything he can to get back. Boy, he made a couple great plays for us last week to help us, kind of ignite us in that second quarter.”

– That’s all for today. Thanks for reading.

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Rams Looking Forward to Rematch

Posted by nickwagoner on November 28, 2012 – 11:18 PM

– Make no mistake, the Rams look forward to playing every week. For all the work they put in, it’s those 16 games every year that they live for.

– But on Wednesday afternoon – heck on Sunday afternoon after the Arizona game – the enthusiasm for what is to take place Sunday at the Edward Jones Dome was already palpable. It’s not just the rivalry with the Niners that has them looking forward to this week, it’s the chance to settle a score for a game that never really got settled.

– I’m referring, of course, to the 24-24 tie that the Rams and Niners played to back on Nov. 11. Both teams would have loved to finish it and find a victor but it didn’t happen. So Rams Coach Jeff Fisher has his team approaching this week like a chance to finish some very important business.

– I’ll have more looking back on the tie and looking forward to this one tomorrow but for now, know that Fisher and his team are fired up for another shot at San Francisco.

– Speaking of ties, how crazy is this stat? The Rams and Niners can also break another tie. They are tied 61-61-3 in the all time series for regular season games between the teams. Yet another incentive for both sides, as if they needed them in the first place.

– As for the news of the day: CB Janoris Jenkins was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week today, the first Rams defensive player since Chris Long in Week 6, 2010. Check out the story on the front for reaction from Jenkins and others.

– On the injury front, the Rams had a couple of surprise additions to the report.

– WR Danny Amendola (foot) is back in a walking boot and again joined LB Mario Haggan (elbow) as non-participants on Wednesday.

– The other three listed – each with the did not participate designation – are RB Steven Jackson (foot), DE Robert Quinn (concussion) and C Scott Wells (knee).

– It’s likely that Jackson is again just getting some rest after a busy work day in Arizona and he’ll be OK. He followed a similar plan last week.

– On Monday, Fisher said Wells made it through the game fine. It’s possible that the injury is just a rest or maintenance thing for Wells, also. We’ll know more as the week goes on.

– Quinn’s concussion was not on the radar until Wednesday but he must go through the battery of tests before he’s cleared to return so his status will also be monitored throughout the week.

– That’s all for today. Thanks for reading.

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Jenkins Named NFC Defensive Player of the Week

Posted by nickwagoner on November 28, 2012 – 3:28 PM

– Many were surprised to learn Tuesday that Rams CB Janoris Jenkins wasn’t a nominee for the Pepsi Rookie of the Week after his two interception, two touchdown performance against the Cardinals.

– The reason why became clear on Wednesday morning when the league announced that Jenkins had earned NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors.

– Jenkins becomes the third Ram to win a player of the week award this season. Coincidentally, he joins two other rookies to claim the honor. Rookie punter Johnny Hekker and rookie K Greg Zuerlein earlier claimed the special teams version of the award.

– Jenkins, of course, has been riding the rollercoaster that goes with his position and his rookie status with plenty of ups and downs this season but he ensured that Arizona rookie QB Ryan Lindley had his share of downs against the Cardinals. In the first half, Jenkins jumped a flat route pass and returned it 36 yards for a touchdown to tie it at 7. In the thid quarter, he noticed a pass coming up short, picked it off and returned it 39 yards for a touchdown.

– Jenkins is the first Ram to win Defensive Player of the Week since DE Chris Long did it in week 6, 2010 against San Diego.

– More to come on this and today’s activities later. Thanks for reading.

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Jackson Nominated for FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Week

Posted by nickwagoner on November 27, 2012 – 2:54 PM

– Rams RB Steven Jackson finds himself among a trio of running backs nominated for the FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Week after his dominant performance in Arizona on Sunday.

– Jackson rushed 24 times for 139 yards and has pushed the running game to new heights in recent weeks. He said he feels as strong as this point in the season as he has in a long time.

– Here’s the official release from the league on Jackson and the other nominees (Cincy’s BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Houston’s Arian Foster). You can vote for Jackson at

The NFL announced today that quarterbacks TOM BRADY of the New England Patriots, ROBERT GRIFFIN III of the Washington Redskins, and ELI MANNING of the New York Giants are the finalists for the FedEx Air NFL Player of the Week honors for games played on November 22-26, while running backs BEN JARVUS GREEN-ELLIS of the Cincinnati Bengals, ARIAN FOSTER of the Houston Texans and STEVEN JACKSON of the St. Louis Rams are the finalists for the FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Week.

Fans can vote for one player in each category on from 9 a.m. EST on Tuesday through 3 p.m. EST on Friday to determine the FedEx Air & Ground NFL Players of the Week. The winners will be announced Friday on NFL Total Access on NFL Network and on

Fans will be voting for more than their favorite player. As part of the Air & Ground program and its commitment to small business owners, FedEx will support education efforts at Junior Achievement by making weekly $2,000 donations in each of the winning players’ names. The funding, allocated to local Junior Achievement area offices in that team’s city or state, is used to help U.S. small business development, by educating the next generation of entrepreneurs on how to start and grow their own businesses.

A closer look at the FedEx Air NFL Player of the Week finalists:

  • New England Patriots QB Tom Brady completed 18 of 28 passes for 323 yards and three touchdowns as the Patriots beat the New York Jets 49-19.  
  • Washington Redskins rookie QB Robert Griffin III completed 20 of 28 passes for 311 yards and four touchdowns in the Redskins’ 38-31 victory over the Dallas Cowboys. 
  • New York Giants QB Eli Manning threw three touchdowns going 16 of 30 for 249 yards as the Giants beat the Green Bay Packers 38-10. 

A closer look at the FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Week finalists:

  • Cincinnati Bengals RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis tallied 129 yards on 19 carries and scored one touchdown as the Bengals beat the Oakland Raiders 34-10.
  • Houston Texans RB Arian Foster gained 102 yards on 20 carries and scored two touchdowns in the Texans’ 34-31 overtime victory against the Detroit Lions. 
  • St. Louis Rams RB Steven Jackson rushed for 139 yards on 24 carries as the Rams beat the Arizona Cardinals 31-17.

As the Official Delivery Service Sponsor of the NFL, Super Bowl and Pro Bowl, FedEx is proud to sponsor the 10th annual Air & Ground NFL Players of the Week program. The awards highlight superior on-field performance among the league’s top-performing quarterbacks and running backs, while supporting small business efforts and providing business solutions that matter to fans and customers alike. Follow FedEx on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter @FedExDelivers.

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Wrapping Up Arizona

Posted by nickwagoner on November 26, 2012 – 11:05 PM

– As is Monday’s custom, it’s time to take a look back at Sunday’s win against Arizona through the eyes of Rams coach Jeff Fisher as he addressed the media on Monday afternoon.

– As always, let’s start on the injury front. Fisher said his team made it through Sunday’s game pretty clean and healthy.

– On WR Danny Amendola, Fisher said he is sore but he’s healing and it’s possible Amendola could get some practice time in this week as he continues to battle a heel injury. We’ll see where he is on Wednesday.

– In the big picture sense, Fisher refused to discuss anything about where the Rams stand in the playoff picture or anything beyond this week’s game. Make no mistake, this matchup with San Francisco has been circled on both teams’ calendars since the first one ended in a tie. Fisher said that Sunday against the Niners will “tell us where we are as a team” and again referred to it as a big challenge.

– That’s not to say Fisher doesn’t value his team’s performance so far in the NFC West Division. He’s proud of the strides made within that group and said success starts there but also acknowledged the games that slipped away early.

– Fisher said as coaches he and his staff prefer to have corrections after wins instead of losses because it allows them to be harder on the players and, of course, for the obvious reasons.

– Some more Fisher thoughts on the game and the way some of his players are coming along:

– On the offensive line’s performance, Fisher called it “our best game” and said with the results in the run game and the protection for QB Sam Bradford that the front five should “only get better up front.”

– Fisher was pleased with C Scott Wells’ return and said he looked fine and felt good after the game.

– Wrote about it last week but Fisher gave more credit to Robert Turner, who filled in more than capably at C with Wells out and stepped in at LG on Sunday and played well again. Wells remains one of the most underrated free agent pickups of the offseason.

– Fisher is pleased with the continued evolution of rookie WR Chris Givens. Givens is now getting more involved than just running deep go routes. Yes, he caught one for a touchdown on Sunday but he also caught a tunnel screen that he turned into a big gain and ran a few other routes that yielded big plays.

– Asked whether he thought the one-game suspensions for CB Janoris Jenkins and Givens served as a wake up call to the young duo, Fisher didn’t think that it made that much of a difference. He did, however, say that both players while productive still have room for “considerable improvement.”

– One negative development in Sunday’s game was the continued struggles of rookie K Greg Zuerlein. Now, in fairness to Zuerlein, he hasn’t had many opportunities to kick field goals of late but he did miss a chip shot from 35 yards against the Cardinals. Before that, he hadn’t missed many that weren’t from great distances. But it was a little shocking to see the miss. But Fisher said Zuerlein just kicked the ball way too fast. In a normal operation, the Rams shoot for 1.20 seconds to get the kick off, Fisher said it was gone in 1.13 and that was the reason for the miss. Still, he’s not concerned and still has great faith in Zuerlein, who did connect on a short field goal later in the game.

– Another player who Fisher dished some praise to was TE Lance Kendricks. Kendricks continues to be an integral blocker in the run and pass game and has continued to show drastic improvement from his rookie year as a receiver. Fisher said it’s good to see Kendricks progress. Don’t be surprised if he’s more involved as the year goes on, especially if the O-line continues to develop cohesion.

– Finally, Fisher also offered even further praise of RB Steven Jackson, who put together a dominant performance on Sunday (see front page for a full story on Jackson revving up the run game). Most notably, Fisher said that the Jackson you see now is the one you will see the rest of the year.

– The Rams get back to work in preparation for San Francisco on Wednesday but I’m sure plenty will be around tomorrow. This game is one they can’t wait to get rolling.

– Thanks for reading.

Posted in From the Sidelines | 2 Comments »

Rams Continue Division Dominance

Posted by nickwagoner on November 26, 2012 – 5:08 AM


– In the rough and tumble world of a game with so many random idiosyncrasies and quirks, perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Rams’ 31-17 victory against the Cardinals on Sunday moved them to 3-0-1 in the NFC West Division. Under most circumstances, if you showed that record to someone and asked them who it belonged to, the natural guess would be division-leading San Francisco but in this wild and unpredictable 2012 season, it’s the Rams that have already wrapped up a winning record against division foes.

– Of course, the next step is to win against some opponents outside of the west but for now, let’s focus on what Sunday’s victory against the Cardinals does for the Rams, at least in the short term.

– With just two games remaining in the division, the Rams have clinched a winning record in the NFC West for the first time since 2004. Likewise, the season sweep of Arizona is the first sweep for the Rams in the division since winning three straight against Seattle that same season. Not sure what the magic potion is in the division but best believe it’s something the Rams wish they could bottle up and keep around.

– On the injury front, the Rams appeared to get out of the game OK. WR Danny Amendola played through a heel injury but was limited to just a handful of plays and coach Jeff Fisher said it’s unlikely he’ll jump right back into practice. Amendola continues to show his unmatched toughness but must be careful moving forward. By all accounts, he did not have a setback on Sunday.

– As for the game, well, Fisher summed it up quite succinctly, pointing to an opportunistic defense that came up with four turnovers and a physically imposing run game as the keys to the Rams’ victory.

– Let’s start with the defense. To a man, the Rams were thrilled to get the takeaway monkey off their back after going five weeks without one. The real story wasn’t just the takeaways but what the Rams did with them.

– CB Janoris Jenkins has certainly had his ups and downs in his rookie season as most rookies do and after some downs, he had his highest of ups this week. His two interception returns for touchdowns made him the first to reach that mark in franchise history. Jenkins is a play maker and, especially early in his career, it’s important to remember he’ll take some chances that will go his way and some that won’t. But there’s an undeniable, special talent just waiting to break out. Ride it out with him and chances are, you’ll be happy with the results while opposing quarterbacks are not.

– S Craig Dahl’s interception was thrown right to him but he made a nice return on the play. When the Rams didn’t take advantage of it, the defense responded with a three and out. Nice work all around.

– Nice to see MLB James Laurinaitis come up with a pick to help seal the win.

– After a difficult first half in which Arizona QB Ryan Lindley looked like a Pro Bowler, the Rams went to the locker room unhappy. The coaching staff made some major adjustments and forced Lindley into three interceptions as the Cardinals offense was silenced the rest of the way.

– Rams LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar said those adjustments came in terms of different pressures and coverages intended to fluster Lindley and goad him into some mistakes as well as tightening up on run defense to make the Cards one-dimensional. Mission accomplished.

– On the other side of the ball, there’s really only one place to start: RB Steven Jackson.

– Writing about him for almost nine full seasons, I’m sure I’ve used every superlative in the book to describe him but what a performance he put on Sunday against a very good Cardinals defense. Jackson said after the game he’s as fresh right now as he’s been in a long time at this point in the season and it showed. He had 139 yards on 24 carries Sunday and has gone over the 100-mark twice in three weeks against top-notch defenses and had 80-plus last week against the Jets.

– We’d be remiss not to throw some credit to the offensive line. With Scott Wells back in the mix at center and Rob Turner moving to left guard, the Rams had some moving parts again but this was the line they wanted at the beginning of the season and you could see why. When everything got rolling on the same page, that group opened holes for Jackson almost at will and kept QB Sam Bradford upright.

– Speaking of Wells, Jackson said it took a little time to adjust to his quickness and ability to get to the second level. When he did, the results of the second half speak for themselves. Nice return for Wells.

– Hey, TE Lance Kendricks, that’s a heck of a stiff arm.

– WR Chris Givens continues to evolve before our eyes. Yes, he scored his TD on a go-route, a play that he recognized he was being covered by converted S Justin Bethel and asked for the ball in advance but he also continues to find other ways to be involved. His line for the day included 5 catches for 115 yards, the first 100-yard game of his career.

– Bradford didn’t have to do a whole lot on Sunday, only throwing 17 times but he made the most of those chances. He completed eight for 205 yards and two touchdowns. His interception was not good and he was disappointed with it after the game but he still finished with a rating of 106.2. Pretty efficient with lots of big plays mixed in.

– Also, how tough is Bradford? He takes a vicious shot in the second quarter, missed a play and comes back to complete his next two passes for 55 yards, including his 37-yard strike to Kendricks for a touchdown.

– P Johnny Hekker deserves some credit again as he helped keep dynamic Arizona PR Patrick Peterson in check. He punted six times for 260 yards, an average of 43.3 yards and a net of 33.5. While Peterson had a 26-yard return that almost broke and Hekker had one low line drive that didn’t net much, he did a good job with hang time and angle for the most part.

– The Rams now get the rematch they wanted against the 49ers next week. Make no mistake, they have unfinished business and they want to finish it. A win there could make things interesting down the stretch.

– For now, the Rams will enjoy this win but they’ll be on to the next sooner than later I suspect considering the next opponent.

– Thanks for reading. Good night.

Posted in From the Sidelines | 2 Comments »

Rams vs. Cardinals: Running Blog

Posted by nickwagoner on November 25, 2012 – 8:07 PM


Fourth Quarter

– Three Jackson runs gained 9 yards but not a first and Hekker booted it out of bounds.

– Arizona starts at its 24.

– Another three and out for the defense.

– Jackson picks up 9 on first down to the Rams 36.

– 5 yards the wrong way on a false start penalty on Turner.

– Jackson gains 5 and then 15 to move the chains. I think the man still has it.

– Richardson runs for 5 to Arizona’s 44.

– On third and 6, Bradford found Givens for 22 to Arizona’s 22.

– A penalty and a pair of Jackson runs made it fourth and inches at the 1.

– Fisher opted for a 19-yard field goal from Zuerlein. He converts and the Rams lead it 31-17 with 5:27 to go.

– Arizona starts at its 20.

– Four completions to the Rams 28.

– After a long drive, the Rams closed the deal with a deflection from DE Chris Long into the arms of Laurinaitis for the fourth interception of the day.

– Rams take over at their 26 with 2:49 to go.

– Rams go three and out. Arizona gets it back with 2:28 to go. Cardinals are out of timeouts.

– Cards can’t score, Rams get it done.

– The Rams win it 31-17 and improve to 3-0-1 in the NFC West. First road win as well.

– Thanks for following. Plenty to come at

Third Quarter

– Arizona starts from its 20.

– Two runs pick up 16 to the 36.

– Rams get the stop and get it back at their 8.

– Rams get the drive started right as Jackson breaks off a 46-yard run on first down, his longest of the year.

– Richardson picked up 9 on first down from Arizona’s 46.

– Bradford floated a perfect pass over Arizona CB Justin Bethel and Givens lays out for a beautiful 37-yard catch for a touchdown. Rams go up 21-17 with 9:58 to go in the third.

– Cards start from their 19.

– Lindley hits Roberts for 12 and a first down to the 31.

– After Wells lost 1 on first down, S Craig Dahl gets a gift from Lindley and returns it 38 yards to the Cardinals 12.

– The Rams had a touchdown run from Jackson from the 7 nullified on a hold on Saffold.

– Devastating turn of events from there as Bradford is sacked and Zuerlein missed a 35-yard field goal. Still 21-17 Rams with 5:53 to go.

– Huge miss for the Rams. Zuerlein hasn’t had many opportunities lately but that has to be automatic for him.

– Rams get a three and out. Defense seems to have made some adjustments at halftime.

– Ball back to the Rams at their 28.

– Two runs gained 14 yards but three straight incompletions ended the drive. Hekker punts to Peterson who is brought down at Arizona’s 22.

– On first down, Lindley forced a pass to Fitzgerald and Jenkins jumped it for his second interception and a 39-yard return for his second touchdown of the game.

– Big plays from the rookie CB.

– The extra point made it 28-17 with 2:28 to go in the third.

– Cards take over at their 16 and go three and out. Much better from the defense in the second half.

– Rams have it back at their 24 at the end of the third.

Second Quarter

– On second-and-8 from the 33, CB Janoris Jenkins came off Michael Floyd and jumped a pass for Stephens-Howling and returned it 36 yards for a touchdown to tie it at 7.

– The touchdown is the first of Jenkins’ career. And it’s the first takeaway for the Rams defense since the initial Oct. 4 meeting with the Cardinals.

– Arizona starts anew from its 20.

– Lindley misses Housler on a deep pass on first down.

– Quick three and out for the defense. Very strong start to the quarter for the Rams.

– Rams take over at their 21.

– Three and out for the Rams. A good Hekker punt forces the Cardinals to start from their 35.

– Arizona wasted no time piecing together a drive as Lindley hit Housler for a 28-yard play, Roberts gained 13 on the next play and Wells finished it off with a 12-yard touchdown run.

– Arizona takes a 14-7 lead with 7:52 to go in the half.

– Rams get another possession from their 30.

– Bradford to Givens for 13 on first down.

– An offsides made it first and 5 from the Rams’ 48.

– Illegal motion on Kendricks moved it back where it started.

– After an incompletion, Amendola makes a terrific diving catch for 38 yards and a first down at Arizona’s 19.

– Jackson ran twice for 12 yards and a first down.

– On first and goal at the 7, Bradford threw a pick to Peterson. It’s the second time this season Peterson has killed a Rams drive in the red zone.

– Cardinals take over at their 20.

– Lindley just missed Fitzgerald on first down.

– Three and out for the Rams defense.

– Rams start again from their 29.

– An 18-yard strike to Givens on third down keeps the drive alive and Jackson runs twice for 11 to get a first down at the Cardinals’ 42.

– An illegal substitution penalty gave the Rams 5 more yards. It’s first and 5 at Arizona’s 37 at the two minute warning.

– On the next play, Bradford hits a wide open TE Kendricks for 37 yards and a TD. Kendricks with a strong stiff arm to finish it. His second career TD.

– Rams tie it at 14 with 1:55 to go.

– Nice bounce back by Bradford from the INT and also the big hit he took that cost him a play on that drive.

– Arizona starts from its 23.

– Cardinals convert on third and 2.

– They got another first on a 10-yard completion.

– A 2-yard completion made it second and 8 at the 48.

– Cardinals manage a 32-yard field goal from Feely to end the half with Arizona up 17-14.

– Shockingly poor performance from the defense in the first half.

First Quarter

– Arizona wins the toss and defers. The Rams will receive first.

– They start from their 20.

– After an offsides penalty, Jackson gained 8 for a first down to the 33.

– Two plays later, Bradford hit TE Matthew Mulligan for 15 and a first down.

– Two Jackson runs netted 5 yards but Bradford threw incomplete on third down to end the drive at Arizona’s 46.

– Hekker dropped a solid punt to Arizona’s 9 where Patrick Peterson called for the fair catch.

– The Cardinals start their first drive from their 9.

– Two first downs for Arizona, including a 12-yard pass from Ryan Lindley to Larry Fitzgerald to the 39.

– Lindley followed with an 11-yard strike to WR Andre Roberts to midfield.

– A holding penalty on first down pushed the Cardinals back to their 40.

– An offsides and a 10-yard completion to TE Rob Housler made it second-and-5 at the Rams 45. There, Wells gained 1 but the Cardinals lost 15 on a penalty to make it third-and-18.

– The Rams gave it right back on a penalty by S Quintin Mikell to the Rams 37.

– Lindley finds Fitzgerald for a gain of 13 to the Rams 24.

– Wells picked up 2 on first down.

– Lindley to Roberts for 21 to the Rams’ 1.

– Wells was denied on first down but punched it in on second down for a 1-yard touchdown.

– Arizona takes a quick 7-0 lead with 2:41 to go in the first quarter.

– Rams start again from their 20.

– Second down, Givens takes a tunnel screen from Bradford for 25 to the 45.

– That was all for that drive though as the Rams punted it away again. Cardinals take over at their 31 as Peterson almost busted one the distance.

– At the end of the first, the Cardinals lead 7-0.

Pregame Notes

– Greetings from University of Phoenix Stadium where the Rams and Cardinals are preparing to square off in today’s meeting. We are set for a 3:25 CST kickoff.

– The Rams come in looking to end a five-game winless streak while Arizona is battling a six-game losing streak. So, something has to give in this one.

– In a bit of a surprise, WR Danny Amendola is active and likely to play. The Rams almost certainly wouldn’t keep him active if they didn’t intend to use him but it remains to be seen how extensive his role will be.

– On the bright side, the Rams figure to have the offensive line they envisioned when the season began for the first time since the season opener against Detroit. C Scott Wells will start in the middle with Robert Turner at left guard. That should help a team looking to establish the run today.

– Here’s today’s inactives: LB Mario Haggan, WR Steve Smith, QB Austin Davis, RB Terrance Ganaway, OL Chris Williams, T Joe Barksdale, DT Matt Conrath.

– The Cardinals inactives are QB Kevin Kolb, RB Alphonso Smith, G Senio Kelemete, T Pat McQuistan, WR Early Doucet, TE Todd Heap and DE Calais Campbell.

– Surely, the Rams aren’t too upset by Campbell’s absence.

– The Rams are wearing white jerseys and blue pants.

– Stay tuned for updates throughout the game.

Posted in From the Sidelines | 2 Comments »

Rams Set for Trip to the Desert

Posted by nickwagoner on November 23, 2012 – 7:52 PM

– The Rams just wrapped up Friday’s practice and now will have a few hours of downtime before heading to Arizona this evening. As with all West Coast trips this year, the Rams will leave a day early to acclimate and get a long flight out of the way.

– On Friday, Rams coach Jeff Fisher tweaked things a bit, opting to take his team inside for practice and the reason had nothing to do with the chilly temperatures that would make his shorts wearing until Dec. 1 promise more difficult.

“Friday is a precision day,” Fisher said. “It’s plus-territory, it’s money zone, red zone and they were forecasting some gusts up to 20-30 miles an hour so we just wanted to make sure that we were sharp with the passing (game).”

– The forecast for Sunday in Arizona is sunny and about 80 degrees. The Rams won’t be informed until 90 minutes before the game as to whether the University of Phoenix Stadium’s roof will be open for the game.

– As for which players will be available on Sunday, C Scott Wells seems to be on a positive trajectory toward making his second start of the season against the Cardinals as he attempts to return from a foot injury.

“He got through pretty well,” Fisher said. “He alternated a little bit with Rob but for the most part, he took most of the reps. It looks like he’s got a chance to play a little bit.”

– On the other hand, WR Danny Amendola (foot) and LB Mario Haggan (elbow) again did not participate.

– Here’s the official injury report for Sunday:

Out: Haggan (elbow)
Doubtful: Amendola (foot)
Questionable: S Rodney McLeod (calf), TE Lance Kendricks (knee)
Probable:  RB Steven Jackson (foot)

– That’ll do it for today. Talk to you all in Phoenix. Thanks for reading.

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For One Ram, a Very Special Thanksgiving

Posted by nickwagoner on November 22, 2012 – 8:14 PM

– The Rams just wrapped up their Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, practice as they continue to prepare for Sunday’s NFC West Division game against Arizona.

– While the practice schedule wasn’t much different than normal, coach Jeff Fisher did tweak the meeting schedule for his team so they could go home to their families for Thanksgiving dinner.

– The afternoon meetings were canceled and now the Rams head home to be with their loved ones.

– For Rams C Scott Wells, this has been a huge week. He’s been activated to the 53-man roster and there’s a chance he could return to the starting lineup after a long recovering from a foot injury. But today will bring even more good things for Wells and his family.

– You may remember the story we had here on just before the season detailing the journey of Wells and his wife Julie to Uganda to adopt two children. They came back with three and their brood of three kids doubled to six. For a look back on that story, you can check out this link:

– But today will be the first Thanksgiving for the whole family together.

“We are excited about it,” Wells said. “It’s an American holiday so we are excited to be able to include them in our family and incorporate the three new members and have a much larger family at the table for Thanksgiving so that’s something we are definitely excited about.”

– With the oldest of the new additions just 5, Wells didn’t think they’d have much understanding of the holiday but is looking forward to the chance to teach them.

“They’re kids,” Wells said. “The oldest one is 5 out of the new additions so we’ll see. I know they’ll understand the big meal. And then they’ll understand what we say and how we teach them about the meaning.”

– Fisher said it’s important on a day like today for his team to be grateful for all that it has.

“It’s the opportunity the organization affords us and the opportunity the National Football League affords us,” Fisher said. “It’s a privilege to be associated with it and then once you surround yourself with good people, which we have, you are very thankful for that.”

– As for the practice, the Rams went through the usual two-hour or so work day and continue to get ready for Arizona.

– On the injury front, there were a couple of tweaks from Wednesday. Here’s the breakdown:

Did Not Participate: S Rodney McLeod (calf), LB Mario Haggan (elbow) and WR Danny Amendola (foot).
Limited Participation: TE Lance Kendricks (knee), RB Steven Jackson (foot).

– Again, Jackson and Kendricks are mostly resting and are expected to be fine. Both were upgraded from not participating on Wednesday.

– McLeod was added to the mix on Thursday. Amendola’s status for this weekend remains in question.

– That’s all for today. Thanks for reading and Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

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