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Rams Focused on Seahawks, Not Being the Popular Super Bowl Pick in the NFC

The Rams realize they’re a popular Super Bowl pick after their spectacular first quarter of the season. Pundits, fans and other teams seem to be lining up to praise them.

While they appreciate the respect, this is a profoundly weird experience for any Rams who were around even two years ago for the franchise’s less-than-glorious return to LA after a decade of losing in St. Louis, the Associated Press reports.

This team doesn’t have much experience in being the favorites for anything, and the Rams are wary of the role.

“I hate it,” said Michael Brockers, who has been on the defensive line for seven years.

“I hate looking at ‘SportsCenter’ and they’ve got you at the top of the power rankings,” Brockers added with a smile. “It’s just like, you know, stop crowning us! For me, I’m a humble guy. I don’t want to be crowned. I always want the attitude of being the hungry dog, being the underdog, because you almost seem to be more hungrier when you play like that.”

Nobody with any experience in the Rams’ locker room has forgotten that this franchise is just one year removed from streaks of 13 consecutive losing seasons and 12 consecutive non-playoff seasons. Humility is relatively easy with that struggle still on their minds, according to the players and coaches who went through it.

Jared Goff doesn’t even turn 24 until next Sunday, but he remembers going 0-7 as a rookie starter for the hapless Rams of 2016.

“I don’t think we’re getting any bit caught up in anything,” said Goff, who’s second in the NFL with 1,406 yards passing after his outstanding effort against Minnesota. “I think a lot of people on this team, being part of that team two years ago, understand how easy it is to be on the other side of it, and you don’t ever want to go back there. You understand the work that needs to be put in to stay where you’re at.”

Receiver Robert Woods said it’s “easy” to ignore the attention the Rams (4-0) are getting.

“It’s just buzz,” he said. “It’s just noise. We’ve been on both sides. We’ve been not talked about, and now we’re being talked about, but it’s really just focus. We know how it goes. We had a great year last year and fell short, and I think this year the team is just focused. No outside distractions. Don’t blink. Just focus on one goal.”

Los Angeles was revived last season by coach Sean McVay, going 11-5 and winning the NFC West before losing its playoff opener. This season’s team appeared to be even stronger on paper — and through four games, that’s exactly what it has been.

The Rams lead the NFL with 468.5 yards per game of offense, increasing their total every week. Only five teams have allowed fewer points than the Rams, and their special teams have thrived despite losing two of their four Pro Bowl selections to injury.

The rest of the football world can get excited about the Rams, but McVay reflexively downplays any idea that they’re a Super Bowl favorite.

“I have no doubt that we have the right kind of guys in our locker room that know it’s about earning it every single day,” McVay said. “They are confident, but like we’ve said over and over, there’s a humility that exists.”

Rams OLB Dominique Easley Undergoes Another Knee Surgery

The Rams moved Dominique Easley to outside linebacker during training camp partly with the hope of minimizing the risks to his frequently injured knees.

It didn’t work.

Easley underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee Monday, his fourth major knee surgery since 2011.

Rams coach Sean McVay expects Easley will be placed on injured reserve.

With cornerback Aqib Talib and return specialist Pharoh Cooper likely to be activated off injured reserve later this season, the designation would almost certainly end Easley’s fourth season in the league and second season with the Rams.

Video: Rams Offense Shines as Goff Throws for 465 Yards and Five TD’s in 38-31 Win Over Vikings

Trey Wingo, Mike Golic and Mike Golic Jr. reflect on Los Angeles Rams QB Jared Goff’s 465 yards and 5 touchdown performance in the Rams’ 38-31 win Thursday night against the Minnesota Vikings.

Rams Trounce Cardinals 34-0

The 2018 Rams dismantled the Cardinals today at the LA Coliseum.  It would have been easy for the Rams to come out flat after losing their ace field goal kicker prior to the game.  But no one seemed to care.  “No FG kicker?  No problem.  Let’s just give the ball to Todd Gurley.”  Instead, the Rams exploded for well over 400 total yards of offense.  Rams RB Todd Gurley rushed for 3 TDs and two 2 point conversions while WR Brandin Cooks pulled down 7 receptions for 159 yards.  Rams QB Jared Goff passed for 354 yards and earned a QB rating of 108.1.  Plus, Goff was able to illicit big contributions from several other Rams receivers (Woods and Kupp).  Let’s compare this to the Cards whose accumulative offensive output for the day (including punt returns) was right around 150 yards.  The game scoring summary is below:

Team 1 2 3 4 TTL
ARI 0 0 0 0 0
LAR 0 19 8 7 34

The Rams’ big and nasty (and expensive) defensive line forced Cardinals QB Sam Bradford to attempt quick release passes the entire day.  The Cards had a difficult time setting up plays and the Rams’ defensive secondary did a great job of limiting Bradford to 90 total passing yards.  Even though we’re not seeing sacks from the D’s monster threesome (Suh, Donald, and Brockers), if they can continue to be this disruptive… who cares?

So the Rams jump out to a 2-0 start for the first time since 2001 (the last time we went to the Super Bowl). Although this is definitely cause for celebration, let’s not get too cocky.  After all, coming out of the weekend the Cardinals are ranked 31st in the NFL.  Next Sunday we take on the Chargers and just 4 days later we battle a highly ranked Minnesota team.  If we can turn these home games into victories, I think we’re on much more solid ground to celebrate our Rams.

Lets Go Rams!!!

Rams CB Sam Shields Reflects As He’s Back in Pads Nearly Two Years After Concussion

Sam Shields thought hard about quitting football during his darkest, saddest days at home in South Florida over the past two years.

As a former undrafted free agent who became a Pro Bowl cornerback and a Super Bowl champion with Green Bay, Shields knows all about overcoming tremendous odds. Four recorded concussions and the ensuing months of agonizing headaches were a daunting obstacle to be surmounted — and moreover, he wasn’t even sure if he should.

With the support of his friends and family, Shields eventually decided he couldn’t just stop. He had to play again, and he’s taking a shot with the Rams.

“I have a tough mind,” Shields said after stepping off the practice field at UC Irvine in full pads. “I’m not going to lie. I guess that’s just a gift that I have, and that’s an important thing on your body. I’ve been through a lot. I took time off, and now I’m here and I’m doing a hell of a job.”

Shields wore pads Sunday for the first time since Sept. 11, 2016, when he suffered the final concussion that kept him out of football for nearly two full seasons. He is already drawing attention during the first few days of camp with the defending NFC West champion Rams, who added him to a well-stocked defensive secondary last March while allowing him to recapture his career.

Shields is 30 years old now, but his body is completely healthy, and he says his mind is clear. In fact, his biggest physical obstacles these days are the braces on the back of his teeth, slightly altering his speech.

He realizes the odds he’s facing, and he isn’t naive about the potentially catastrophic damage from another major head injury. Shields still wants to be part of a team again after seven seasons with the Packers, who cut him in February 2017.

“I had a year and a half to think about it, to be with my family,” Shields said. “So I definitely had enough time to think about it, and I think I made the right choice.”

Rams Ink Running Back Todd Gurley to Four-Year Extension

The Rams have singed their best player to a new deal, as today the team inked play making running back Todd Gurley to an extension for four seasons worth $60 million.

Gurley had a huge 2017 for the Rams, rushing for 1305 yards and 13 scores, while catching 788 yards worth of passes for six more touchdowns.

Rams Road To A Second Straight NFC West Title Won’t Be An Easy One

Not many people saw the run the Rams went on in 2017 coming, and the season was one filled with excitement as the team won the NFC West, and then used the offseason to build for the 2018 season and beyond.

There’s plenty of excitement around the team, and if you look at American Football Betting you will see that the Rams this season are projected to be one of the top teams in the NFC with many thinking that this is the team that will represent the team in the Super Bowl come February of 2019.

The Rams this season will look to build on their successful 2017 by taking on the AFC West, meaning they will play games against the Raiders, Chargers, Broncos and Chiefs, as well as some huge NFC matchups against the likes of the Vikings, Packers and Saints.

If you take a look at the teams schedule, the road to winning the NFC West as well as getting deep into the postseason won’t be an easy one, as the Rams have a number of huge games on their schedule.

The opener will be an interesting affair against the Oakland Raiders in a game played at on Monday night football on the road. Oakland is looking to make a big splash with new head coach Jon Gruden, and this is going to be a huge opener for the Rams to try and build momentum.

The next big game is week four, as the Rams will be back at home to host the Minnesota Vikings, as team that last season got to the NFC Title Game before losing to the eventual Super Bowl champions the Philadelphia Eagles.

This will be a Thursday night game played at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, and it will be a chance to have the national spotlight on the Rams for this early season matchup with one of the contenders in the NFC.

One final huge game on the Rams slate is a matchup against the very team that won the Super Bowl last season, the Eagles, which will come up on Sunday Night Football on December 16th at home.

The Rams road to get that NFC West crown for a second straight season won’t be easy, but winning these games is a great start, as they will have some other huge games on the schedule like matchups with the Bears, Chiefs and Chargers in a game that will feature two teams from Los Angeles going up against each other.

The team won’t have an easy November, as they will face Drew Brees and Russell Wilson, two quarterbacks that will push and test the new look Rams defense.

Wade Phillips will have to have his players well prepared for that month, as well as those early tough games on a schedule that will test this team all season.

Can the Rams Offense Get Even Better? Robert Woods Thinks So

The Rams’ offense ranked first in the league in scoring last season.

Wide receiver Robert Woods thinks is can get even better under second year coach Sean McVay, Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times reports.

“It’s how can we improve in other ways just to be ready for the season,” Woods said. “We’ve got it. We’re loaded up and just fine-tuning.”

Woods is expected to once again be the dean of a receiver corps that lost Sammy Watkins to free agency but gained Brandin Cooks in a trade.

Woods, Cooks and second-year pro Cooper Kupp will begin training camp as starters, with Pharoh Cooper, Mike Thomas and Josh Reynolds competing for playing time.

Cooks, 24, was acquired in a deal with the New England Patriots. The four-year veteran had more than 1,000 yards receiving twice in three seasons with the New Orleans Saints and also last season with the Patriots. He has 280 receptions, 27 for touchdowns, in his career.

Cooks embraced the opportunity to join a team that averaged a league-best 29.9 points last season. He is expected to add deep-threat capability that Watkins flashed but did not consistently provide in his only season with the Rams.

“Coming here from a distance, you knew this offense was special,” Cooks said. “You always wonder why. And now, you get here and you’re finding out all the reasons why that’s the case. It’s great to be able to come in here and have some freshness to it.