The St. Louis Rams only rank 27th in the league in total offense and 14th in the league in total defense. They’re being outdone by over 60 yards per game and right at a field goal per game on average. Yet going into their nationally televised Thursday night game against the Arizona Cardinals, they’re 2-2 and right in the thick of the fight for the playoffs in the NFC a quarter of the way into the year.
St. Louis has already suffered some major setbacks this year. QB Sam Bradford has just as many picks as TDs. The rushing game hasn’t accounted for a single touchdown this year. The offense has scored just four total touchdowns. The defense and special teams have half as many.
Last year, that would have spelled disaster for the Rams. They would probably be 0-4 at the moment, and they would be looking forward to nothing but a great pick in the NFL Draft. However, with the Cards coming to town, these Rams, who are overmatched by superior talent seemingly every game, think that they can pull off this upset of one of the three undefeated teams in the league even though they are 2 ½-point underdogs on the NFL odds.
First year Head Coach Jeff Fisher is clearly the man to thank. He is pulling out all of the stops, and he is always using the best players that he has at his disposal. That’s why WR Danny Amendola has 31 receptions this year, and that’s why P Johnny Hekker ran a fake field goal that resulted in a touchdown in last week’s win against the Seattle Seahawks.
More trickery is going to have to be involved this week to beat the Cardinals defense. Fisher has been the man behind a number of doodads over the course of his coaching career, and he routinely has figured out how to get more out of his team than what the talent level suggests that he can. Now, he’s doing it in St. Louis, and the Rams are going to have a chance to show that they are for real this Thursday with the eyes of the whole league watching.