It may seem as if the St. Louis Rams have every reason to be discouraged after Sunday’s disenchanting performance at home against the Minnesota Vikings, but the fact remains that the team is on the up tick. The Rams still have a chance to make this their first year with a winning record since 2003 when they went 12-4. While this year might not end the way the players had hopes, there are still plenty of reasons to be optimistic moving forward.
Youth may be the biggest reason to be upbeat when examining this Rams roster. As the NFL’s youngest team, the Rams certainly had their fair share of contributions from rookies during the 2012 campaign. Cornerback Janoris Jenkins has been the most impactful scoring touchdowns three times defensively and showing that he has plenty of upside ahead as a cover corner. Wide receivers Chris Givens and Brian Quick have taken different paths this year, but still Givens’ 37 catches for 606 yards with three scores and Quick’s 11 grabs for 156 yards and two touchdowns are decent in terms of production for first-year players.
The team’s top pick, Michael Brockers, has been coming on of late after missing the first three games of the year. He has 28 tackles, four sacks, and one forced fumble this year and has shown plenty of upside potential as well at just 21 years of age. Let’s not forget about two of the least mentioned rookies in the league in kicker Greg Zuerlein and punter Johnny Hekker who have each had their individual ups and downs, but all in all shown they are more than capable of performing on football’s biggest stage.
Injuries certainly have taken their toll the Rams this year as they have lost a number of man games due to injury from plenty of starters. From wideout Danny Amendola to center Scott Wells, this team has been without players who were expected to be among their top contributors this year.
Despite these difficulties and their inexperience, one factor has held this team together that has been present in years past. Head Coach Jeff Fisher has made an instant impact on this franchise and has begun the rebuilding process in a big way in 2012. There is no reason that this team can’t take the next step in 2013 and be serious contenders for a playoff berth.
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