The St. Louis Rams have been playing some really good football of late yet coming off a bye week, you never know what you are going to get, especially from a team that is the youngest in the league. The Rams responded with their 2nd straight impressive performance, this time against the Chicago Bears, and suddenly Jeff Fisher's bunch has thrown their name into the hat as a team that still has an outside shot for a wild card berth in the NFC playoffs.
Rushing attack - Any time you rush for over 250 yards on any team, you are doing something right. Zac Stacy continued to ground and pound another defense but this time, he had some help. Bennie Cunningham, the rookie out of Middle Tennessee State, also made some noise by rumbling and stumbling his way through the injury depleted Bears defense. It looks like the Rams have scored a hit with both Stacy and Cunningham in the backfield.
Offensive line - When you rush for over 250 yards as a team, more then likely it's because the guys up front are opening holes. The Rams offensive line has really come on of late as the Rams go more to a smash mouth type of football and it's showed with back to back solid performances. The O-Line also kept Kellen Clemens upright for most of the game and Clemens use that to pick apart the Bears secondary when needed. Clemens is no Sam Bradford and he needs protection if he's going to shoulder the load for the offense.
Tavon Austin - Once again the rookie showcased his speed by taking his first touch to the house for a 65 yard touchdown run. I still think the Rams can do more to get Austin involved as he is a legitimate threat to score every time he gets a chance.
Jared Cook - The free agent from Tennessee has been MIA since week 1. In this game, Cook finally found his groove as he had his way with the middle of the Bears defense. When Clemens needed a big play, he hooked up with Cook and the Bears could do very little to stop it. \
Defensive Line - If you don't know by now, the Rams defensive line is really, really, really good. Chris Long and Robert Quinn get the headlines for their ability to rush the passer but Michael Brockers and Kendall Langford in the middle are just as effective with the way they can contain a rushing attack. The Rams did struggle containing Matt Forte but the pressure these 4, plus their backups, put on the quarterback and the Bears offensive line really causes havoc. Quinn spent most of the day in the backfield and finally put the game away with his sack, forced fumble and fumble return for a touchdown.
Coaching staff - This isn't so much for what happened in this game but for how long it took for everybody to realize that this offense is better off running first then passing to set up the run. Right before Sam Bradford went out for the year with his knee injury, the Rams changed their offensive philosophy and since then, they've played much better football. In fact, the Rams are 2 plays away from being 4-0 during that time and sitting at 7-4 instead of 5-6. It sounds like the Rams are hell bent on resigning Sam Bradford, for good reason, and hopefully when next season comes around, everybody is on the same page in the organization. Use Zac Stacy to soften up the defense and then hit them with Tavon Austin, Chris Givens, Jared Cook and company.
Up next, the Rams head out west for back to back divisional road games. Up first, the San Francisco 49ers, who are coming off a major beat down on Monday night of the Washington Redskins. The 49ers seem more vulnerable this year then last but make no mistake about it, they are still one of the top teams in the NFC. The Rams are a different team now then what they were the first time these two met but IMO, St. Louis is still going to have to play a near perfect game if they want to spring an upset. The Rams have everything to gain and nothing to lose, which makes this young squad very dangerous. If the 49ers let them hang around, don't be surprised one bit if Jeff Fisher's bunch escapes San Fran with a win.