If you are a subscriber to the idea of six degrees of separation then the idea that the St. Louis Rams have a presence at Super Bowl XLVII really doesn’t seem all that unlikely to you. If you don’t believe it that sort of thing, well, here is some pretty convincing evidence to prove it.
On Sunday, the San Francisco 49ers will do battle with the Baltimore Ravens for the claim to the most prestigious trophy that the NFL has to offer. The Lombardi trophy will be awarded to one of these two at the end of the day and if the 49ers are ultimately that squad, the Rams have a legitimate claim to that hardware.
During the course of the 2012 regular season, if you recall the Rams played the Niners on two separate occasions. One of those games was in San Fran and the other in St. Louis, yet on neither occasion did the Rams end up on the losing end of the scoreboard to the potential Super Bowl champions.
That was brought up to the Niners during the week leading up to the big game, but the Rams found themselves being dismissed from the conversation by some members of the 49ers. According to tight end Delanie Walker: “The St. Louis games are great, but we don’t see them as our rivals though.” Even though Walker doesn’t see the Rams as a rival to the Niners, he did go on to say: “They were really the only team that had our number this year.”
There is something to be said about beating the Super Bowl champions even if it was before they were actually crowned. There is something more still when you are the reason that the team is actually in New Orleans to participate in the game in the first place.
If you recall, the 49ers were in position to make a run to the Super Bowl last year, but they came up just short. Many pointed to their current quarterback Alex Smith as the reason why even though he did little if anything to deserve the blame. Most believed that Smith was an adequate QB, but not the man to take this team to the next level.
It was Nov. 11, Week 10 of the season when the Rams came to San Francisco. Smith was still under center and Rams linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar laid quite a blow on him as he scrambled out of the pocket. Six plays later, Smith was on the sideline and the legend of Colin Kaepernick was born.
The Rams aren’t playing for the Super Bowl this Sunday, but in a small way they are responsible for who is. The fact that they defeated the 49ers once and tied them in their other meeting also makes them undefeated versus the NFC representative in the Super Bowl which is quite an accomplishment.
Perhaps the most significant compliment that could be paid to the team came from Niners linebacker NaVorro Bowman who said, “The Rams are gonna be pretty good in 2013. Their defense definitely stepped up this year. Jeff Fisher and those guys went over there, and I think they’re on to something.” Even though the Rams aren’t technically in the Super Bowl this year, that is definitely uplifting as a fan of the team looking forward to next season.