For all of the good that the St. Louis Rams experienced during the 2012 season, the NFL’s yearly exhibition escapade surely won’t show it. The Pro Bowl is set to take place Sunday night and the Rams will be one of three NFC teams without a player on the field in Honolulu. Even though they don’t have anyone in Hawaii this year, here is why the Rams should be optimistic that several of their starters find their way there sooner rather than later.
Starting on the offensive side of the ball, wide receiver Danny Amendola is clearly a dynamic wide receiver that fans would love to see play. Unfortunately that has been the problem, Amendola hasn’t been able to play much over the past two years missing all of 2011 and a good chunk of 2012 due to injury. He missed five games this past year, but still hauled in 63 grabs for 666 yards and three touchdowns. Look for him to become a Pro Bowl staple in 2013 if he can finally avoid the dreaded injury bug.
On defense, both defensive ends Chris Long and Robert Quinn were explosive in 2012 becoming the first Rams duo to record double-digit sacks in more than a decade. Also linebacker James Laurinaitis is clearly one of the best at his position going over 100 tackles again for his fourth straight year since entering the league. Controversial rookie cornerback Janoris Jenkins also turned some heads this season with his four interceptions, 14 passed defended, and three defensive touchdowns on the year.
Special teams is where this team may have two annual Pro Bowlers very soon in rookie kicker Greg Zuerlein and rookie punter Johnny Hekker. Zuerlein was 14-for-20 on field goals of 40 yards or more this season including seven kicks made from 50 yards or more. As for Hekker, his 45.8 yard average and 40.9 net average were spectacular this year as he pinned 22 punts inside of the opponents’ 20 yard line.
Even though just the Rams, Philadelphia Eagles, and Carolina Panthers lacked a Pro Bowl selection this time around, don’t expect that to continue in St. Louis. This youthful team is primed for success and it’s only a matter of time before their excellent young talent is recognized around the league for its abilities.
Follow Anthony Blake on Twitter @AnthonyMBlake or on Facebook at Anthony Mizarkus Blake