The St. Louis Rams appeared to enter Sunday’s game with the right attitude, a great frame of mind, and some real motivation despite their slim playoff hopes entering the weekend. There were a numbers of optimistic quotes from the team heading into the game with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but no one could have foreseen the amount of turnovers that would take place in this meeting.
Offensive tackle Rodger Saffold offered his thoughts coming into the contest saying: “I want to win these last two games. I think it can carry some momentum into next season. I’m definitely a guy who thinks the cup is half full, so I think it’s really good that we can finish over .500 in the transition from such a horrible year last year.” That type of drive and fight is what really brings some justifiable optimism to the table heading into 2013 for this Rams club.
In the game with the Bucs however, St. Louis showed plenty of fight and really played a classic game for what we’ve come to expect from the team during wins this season. The Rams were out-gained by a wide margin, yet the club still found a way to scrap out a feisty victory.
As mentioned in the open, turnovers certainly played a large role in this win as Tampa gave the ball away five times on the day. Josh Freeman threw four interceptions for the Bucs including a pick-six to Janoris Jenkins who recorded his fourth touchdown on the season with that play. Another rookie in the secondary, Trumaine Johnson, hauled in another of the picks by instinctively jumping a route underneath. There is a wealth of young talent on this Rams defense just begging to be developed over the coming offseason.
The offense cannot be excluded from this discussion as they too saw the emergence of a young star in the making. Tight end Lance Kendricks had four catches in the game including one massive 80-yard touchdown on a seam route to open the second half that caught the Bucs napping on defense. All in all, it was a big step forward for the entire offense, especially quarterback Sam Bradford who was super sharp from start to finish.
In the end, the Rams did their part and got the victory needed to keep their playoff hopes alive, but the Houston Texans didn’t show up against the Minnesota Vikings and that ended any chances that the Rams had of playing in January. There is a great nucleus of young talent on this team and with some further development and refining of discipline there is no reason to think that the Rams can’t make the postseason a year from now.
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