Peterson and Gurley – Photo Credit: Scott Rovak
St Louis Rams – Busy Off The Field
Rams 18 Vikings 21 OT
By Kasey Mcknelly @Cmcknelly
What a games the Rams had on the road with the Vikings on Sunday. I am not sure that I have seen a more closely statistically matched team go head to head. It was the matchup that everyone wanted to see in the veteran RB Adrian Peterson and the rookie RB Todd Gurley.
Peterson won the battle. Peterson scored an easy TD in the 1st quarter against the toughest red zone defense in the NFL. The Rams defense was missing key players on Sunday and it was a noticeable absence. DE Chris Long, DE Robert Quinn and SS TJ McDonald were all on the sideline Sunday; this marks the first time, since week 1 of Quinnâ€™s rookie season, that he was inactive andÂ missed a start. The defense kept the Rams in the game all 4 quarters, even into overtime, but like it has been all season, the Rams cannot seem to find a good flow on offense.
They continue to be at the bottom of the pack in the NFL for 3rd down conversions. The Rams also continue to struggle with penalties. We had 12 calls on Sunday. It is very hard to win games when we are giving up 87 yards in penalties alone. Kicker Greg Zuerlein made his way to the history books with a 61 yard field kick. This kick marked the 7th longest in NFL history.Â Zuerlein has struggled in the past weeks with some field goal attempts but seems to have redeemed himself as of last Sunday.
It would seem that much of what happened on the field Sunday is really much of the same for the Rams. But…..Monday back in St Louis brought about more talk and changes when it was released that the Rams were working out 3 wide receivers. They were reported early in the day to be working out veteran Wes Welker, Hakeem Nicks and Vincent Brown.
Approximately 5pm on Monday evening there was breaking news released that the NFL had suspended Rams WR Stedman Bailey. Bailey was suspended for reportedly violating the leagueâ€™s substance abuse policy. Bailey will be out for the next 4 games. This is Baileyâ€™s second suspension for the same offense. He was suspended the first 4 games of last season. Shortly after the announcement of the Bailey suspension the signing of Welker was announced.
The addition of Welker is the Rams attempt to move the chains and improve the very poor 3rd down numbers. Welker is by far the most experienced person on the Rams roster at this time. I think that this is a great addition. I only fear that he has a long history of concussions in the league. Coach Jeff Fisher spoke of this at his Monday night radio talk show and said that Welker passed all the medical testing, is eager to get back on the field and feels that he has a great deal to bring to the team.Â As an additional roster note RB Trey Watts has been indefinitely suspended by the league. He was suspended for the first 4 games of this season, came back week 5 and has been on the practice squad waiting being moved back to active.
The Rams have also been in the news a lot this week as a result of the hit of QB Teddy Bridgewater by CB LaMarcus Joyner. Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer has been very vocal about his thoughts on the hit. He feels very strongly that it was a â€œdirtyâ€ hit. He went a step further to say that it is a pattern of behavior with defensive coordinatorÂ Gregg Williams. This conversation did not end there. It carried over to Rodney Harrison on a national stage. He took shots at Coach Fisher. This very easily could have backfired.
Harrison is very well known around the league for being a â€œdirtyâ€ player. He was voted that title for a number of years. He has been fined more than anyone for â€œdirtyâ€ hits. Coach Fisher handled these comments with class and grace. I have watched the tape. I donâ€™t know about â€œdirtyâ€ hit. It was a very aggressive hit. I have said that the Rams do in fact play very physical and aggressive football. It appears that Joyner was sliding at the same time that Bridgewater was going into his slide. I would assume that it is hard to stop on a dime when you are in full motion. The league ruled Monday morning that Joyner would not be suspended for the hit but â€œcouldâ€ be fined. On Monday, Bridgewater passed step 1 of the concussion protocol and is expected to be back on the field Sunday.
A good note for the Rams, previous QB Sam Bradford has played enough and taken enough snaps that the Rams will not have to give up any additional draft picks as a result of the trade that was made for QB Nick Foles.
This week we are back home to take on the Bears. This should be a game where the Long brothers play against each other but it would appear that Chris Long will remain inactive.