It was a game they had to have, and the St. Louis Rams pulled it off on Sunday afternoon, beating up on the winless Jacksonville Jaguars by a score of 34-20 and earning their second win of the year.
MVP – Sam Bradford
Bradford didn’t try to do to much against Jacksonville, but instead played an efficient and turnover free game, easily guiding the Rams to the win. He threw for 222 yards and three touchdowns, with no picks. Bradford hooked up with Austin Pettis twice, including the game sealing score with 5:45 left to put St. Louis back up by 14 points. Bradford’s received a lot of (deserved) criticism this season, and even though it was against the lowly Jaguars, it was nice to see him turn in a strong game.
LVP – Daryl Richardson
Richardson has not lived up to expectations, at all, this season and that continued on Sunday. The running back finished with just 48 yards on 13 carries, a number that was skewed by a 13-yard run. Take that play out and Richardson’s average on Sunday is below three yards per carry, again. The St. Louis running game has been nearly non-existent this year, and Jeff Fisher has to be waiting for someone to step up and take the reigns. Speaking of which…
X-Factor – Zac Stacy
For as mediocre as Richardson was on Sunday, Stacy was simply that good. The running back’s been inactive in two games this year, and in the other two was hardly given a chance, but he seized his opportunity against Jacksonville. Stacy finished with 78 yards on 14 carries, good for an uber-impressive 5.6 yards per carry average. As mentioned above, the Rams running back job is clearly there for whoever wants it, and after Sunday, Stacy looks like an ideal candidate to grab it.
Key Stat – 7
That’s how many different receivers caught a ball from Bradford against the Jaguars. Pettis led the group with 4 catches, but multiple other guys caught handful of balls as well. Bradford has weapons, sure, but St. Louis certainly doesn’t have an elite receiver. Spreading the ball out and making sure defenses can’t just key in on one receiver is big, and Bradford was able to do that on Sunday. He’d also be wise to continue that moving forward.
Tweet of the game
Everyone is congratulating the Jaguars on the progress they've made in a 14-point loss to the RAMS. So depressing.
— SportsPickle (@sportspickle) October 6, 2013
What This Win Means
It means the Rams are still worth keeping an eye on in 2013. Yes, they’re in the basement of the NFC West, but only a game sperates them from the 49ers and Cardinals, and Seattle lost on Sunday too. Does anyone really expect St. Louis to make the playoffs? No. But, would a .500 season with a young core be a positive after a rough start? Absolutely. The Rams got a much needed win on Sunday.
Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013 | 12 p.m. CT
St. Louis Rams at Houston Texans