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Battleline: Rams Start to Make Good Impressions

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Posted: Wednesday, November 27, 2013 7:00 am

I like a lot of what I’m seeing from the St. Louis Rams, especially from the younger players right now.

The Rams have rolled to two consecutive convincing victories in a row after holding off the Chicago Bears Sunday at the Edward Jones Dome.

The Rams have rallied since losing starting quarterback Sam Bradford to a season-ending injury, and it’s been for a lot of reasons.

The team has developed a running game around rookies Zac Stacy, Bennie Cunningham and Daryl Richardson, although only two can be expected to be healthy at any given moment.

It’s not because they are necessarily fragile. Stacy and Cunningham are inside-the-tackles style runners who run hard, take hits and come back for more.

I saw Cunningham get hit so hard Sunday that I think he lost some letters from his last name. But, he was right back and ready to go for the next play.

The development of a running game has eased the transition to Kellen Clemens, which has made him a more effective quarterback.

Clemens benefits because teams will buy the play-action fakes and that gives him some extra time to find receivers. The staff also has him roll out at times, which extends the plays.

Despite injuries, the offensive line has done an effective job in giving him the time to look.

Because Clemens doesn’t seem to have a favorite target, teams have to defend everyone. It seems that all receivers and ends have come up with big grabs at different times. That allows Clemens to find favorable matchups.

Because there is nobody to key on defensively, Tavon Austin is developing into a multiple threat running, catching and returning the ball.

Defense has played a huge role in the turnaround. Alec Ogletree seems to be the proper player to wear Mike Jones’ 52 because he has made a number of touchdown-saving tackles near the goal line.

Robert Quinn is becoming the star the team envisioned when it drafted him in the first round. Chris Long is a leader and Michael Brockers and Kendall Langford make a good defensive tackle pairing.

The return of Jo-Lonn Dunbar at outside linebacker has helped to solidify the tackling and James Laurinaitis remains a strong middle linebacker.

The Rams are forcing turnovers as well and two set the tone for Sunday’s win. The fumble forced by Trumaine Johnson and recovered by Laurinaitis gave the Rams a 14-0 lead early in the game. Quinn’s strip and recovery with a touchdown return in the fourth quarter sealed the game.

At times, Sunday’s game seemed to be a road contest. The Bears fans traveled very well and there was a lot of orange in the stands. I don’t know why that’s the case. Would St. Louis fans allow Cubs fans to inhabit a great number of seats in Busch Stadium without making sure to drown them out? Would the Blues allow Black Hawks fans to hold a majority at the Scottrade Center? Then rally behind the Rams and fill the seats.

The Rams have fought back to 5-6, but still stand last in the NFC West at this time in one of the league’s best divisions. If the Rams can continue their recent success, who knows what could happen?

The schedule doesn’t get any easier. The Rams are on the road at San Francisco and Arizona over the next two weeks before returning home for games against New Orleans and Tampa Bay.

The Rams close the season on the road at Seattle.

It’s not going to be an easy stretch by any imagination. The three division games in San Francisco, Arizona and Seattle are going to be extremely tough. The Tampa Bay game definitely is winnable and we all remember the last visit of the Saints, a gem of a game by the Rams.

If the Rams could win the two home games and take one of the road contests, that would give the team a .500 season, one win more than 2012.

Also consider that the team dropped very winnable home games against Seattle and Tennessee and you have the potential for a strong team in the future.


Area Scoreboard

62nd Annual Borgia Pepsi Thanksgiving Tournament

Blue Division

Pool 1

McCluer North



Pool 2

Cardinal Ritter


Rockwood Summit

Gold Division

Pool 1




Pool 2


North Tech


Monday, Nov. 24

CBC 77, Washington 52

Tuesday, Nov. 25

Cardinal Ritter vs. Rockwood Summit, PPD

Washington 63, Soldan 62

Borgia 83, Union 50

Wednesday, Nov. 26

Carnahan 71, Normandy 46

Pacific 64, Rockwood Summit 22

North Tech 67, Union 37

Thursday, Nov. 27

McCluer North 95 Carnahan 68

CBC 82, Soldan 55

Borgia 50, North Tech 45

Friday, Nov. 28

McCluer North 93, Normandy 39

Pacific 70, Cardinal Ritter 57

Saturday, Nov. 29

Blue Consolation — Rockwood Summit 47, Normandy 38

Gold Consolation — Soldan 78, Union 59

Gold Third Place — North Tech 63, Washington 57

Blue Third Place — Cardinal Ritter 71, Carnahan 46

Blue Championship — McCluer North 64, Pacific 58 (OT)

Gold Championship — CBC 67, Borgia 66

Boys Basketball

Monday, Dec. 8

Lutheran S 64, St. Clair 48

Borgia 61, Carnahan 51

Tuesday, Dec. 9

Lafayette 44, Washington 35

Friday, Dec. 12

Potosi 72, St. Clair 45

*Washington 69, Ft. Zumwalt North 65

Montgomery Co 62, New Haven 61

*St. Mary’s at Borgia    6:45 p.m.

Bourbon 75, Union 74

Glendale 63, Pacific 46

Saturday, Dec. 13

New Haven 46, Barat 40

Nixa 56, Pacific 46

Tuesday, Dec. 16

*Pacific 70, New Haven 35

*Hermann 67, St. Clair 49

*Ft. Zumwalt South 61, Washington 50

*Union 81, St. James 74

Friday, Dec. 19

*Owensville at St. Clair    4 p.m.

Washington vs. Parkway Central, GAC/Suburban Shootout, St. Charles Family Arena, 5:30 p.m.

*St. James at New Haven    6 p.m.

*Pacific 76, Union 57

Saturday, Dec. 20

Sullivan Shootout

Owensville vs. Rockwood Summit, 11:30 a.m.

Lindbergh 67, St. Clair 46

Jefferson City vs. Jackson, 2:30 p.m.

Washington 56, Lutheran South 54

Poplar Bluff 59, Borgia 49

Sullivan vs. Affton, 7 p.m.

Girls Basketball

Saturday, Dec. 6

Cor Jesu 63, Borgia 60

New Haven 46, Moberly 39

Monday, Dec. 8

Pacific 73, Rolla 40

St. Clair 68, Dixon 37

Washington 54, New Haven 15

Tuesday, Dec. 9

*Borgia 59, Rosati-Kain 38

Union 53, Northwest 44

Thursday, Dec. 11

*Borgia 60, Notre Dame 53

Union 81, Bourbon 53

Friday, Dec. 12

New Haven 45, Principia 30

*Washington 59, Ft. Zumwalt North 32

Saturday, Dec. 13

West Plains 76, Pacific 37

Monday, Dec. 15

*Pacific 46, New Haven 28

*St. Clair 59, Hermann 50

*St. James 64, Union 37

Sullivan Tournament

Cuba 48, Principia 27

Borgia 68, Patriettes 29

Sullivan 56, Pattonville 43

Owensville 78, Farmington 54

Wednesday, Dec. 17

Sullivan Tournament

Farmington 61, Pattonville 39

Sullivan 68, Owensville 64

Principia 55, St. Louis Patriettes 42

Borgia 56, Cuba 38

Thursday, Dec. 18

*St. James 72, New Haven 21

*Union 49, Pacific 48

Friday, Dec. 19

Francis Howell 55, Washington 48

Sullivan Tournament

Seventh Place — Pattonville vs. St. Louis Patriettes, 4 p.m.

Consolation — Farmington vs. Principia, 5:30 p.m.

Third Place — Owensville vs. Cuba, 7 p.m.

Championship — Borgia 62, Sullivan 35

Saturday, Dec. 20

Union at Waynesville    5 p.m.


Monday, Dec. 8

Maplewood 48, Borgia 30

Brentwood 47, Borgia 36

Winfield 48, St. Clair 36

St. Clair 42, St. James 40

Tuesday, Dec. 9

Pacific 55, North County 10

Jackson 63, Washington 12

Farmington 63, Washington 6

Wednesday, Dec. 10

Borgia 36, Lutheran St. Charles 34

Winfield 54, Borgia 30

Thursday, Dec. 11

Union 72, Ft. Zumwalt East 9

Union 52, Principia 30

Union 54, Winfield 27

Saturday, Dec. 13

Union Tournament    9 a.m.

Borgia at McCluer S-Berkeley Tny    9 a.m.

Pacific at Farmington Tny    9 a.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 16

Owensville 61, St. Clair 16

Union 48, Owensville 27

Union 65, St. Clair 18

Friday, Dec. 19

Washington at Raytown S Tny    TBA

Union at Cape Central Tny    TBA

Pacific at Ft. Zumwalt E Tny    TBA

Saturday, Dec. 20

Washington at Raytown S Tny    TBA

Union at Cape Central Tny    TBA

Pacific at Ft. Zumwalt E Tny    TBA

Girls Swimming

Monday, Dec. 8

Washington at Eureka    4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 9

Washington at Nerinx Hall    4 p.m.

LSC/OFC 134, Borgia 101, St. Dominic 83

Monday, Dec. 15

Borgia at Notre Dame (Forest Park)    4 p.m.

Kennedy 88, Washington 84

Wednesday, Dec. 17

Lindbergh 128, Washington 48

*Conference Games