Ties are usually said to be like kissing your sister, but for the St. Louis Rams, their tie with the San Francisco 49ers seems to have had the opposite affect. The team heads into its week 11 showdown with the New York Jets energized and ready to get a victory as the game with the Niners instilled a new confidence in the club. This sense of self-belief will be extremely beneficial for the team moving forward and will begin this Sunday.
Perhaps the best quote came from offensive tackle Rodger Saffold who said: “It’s fun to come to work. It’s not like ‘Oh gawd, it’s the second week in November and everything’s feeling bad.’ There’s none of that ‘Oh man, this hurts, oh man that hurts’ stuff gong on. Guys are excited. Guys feel like something’s about to happen here. It’s not hard to come to work when you have that feeling. Everyone’s excited about (football) and that’s because we can see it, we can feel it.” What they feel is potential and the players in the locker room realize that this turnaround of a franchise that had won just 15 games during the course of five seasons coming into 2012 is now on the verge of breaking out.
Their youth certainly contributes to that optimism, but it isn’t an unjust feeling. The team is getting healthy, the offense is beginning to look more fluid, and the defense has continued to be impressive.
Where that optimism ties into this given week however may have more to do with the opponents. The Jets are a completely dysfunctional mess with controversy at quarterback, head coach, and heck, maybe even equipment manager. They have dropped five of their past six games and don’t show any signs of improving.
While the Rams may get a skidding Jets team on Sunday, they too are trying to end a slide of their own having failed to record a win in four straight. Their energy level is on par with a team on a streak of quite the opposite, however, which bodes well for them this weekend. The confidence that this team gained from going toe-to-toe with the 49ers for 75 minutes will be fully realized when they take the field against the Jets and get the win they’ve been searching for.
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