Sweep of Cardinals Nets Rams First Winning Season Since 03

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Updated: December 4, 2017

Remember 2003? In 2017, it feels as though entire lifetimes happen in a single day, so memories from fourteen years ago might be hard to fathom. For the Rams that’s how long it has been since they’ve had a winning season. In 2003, Mike Martz was still the head coach, Lovie Smith had never head coached anywhere, Tom Brady only had two rings, and no season of The Apprentice had aired yet. It’s a long time ago. Considering how many head coaches, quarterbacks, and failed administrations the Rams have had the sweep of the Cardinals feels great. It should. Anyone who once thought Scott Linehan was going to turn the franchise around deserves a day to puff their chest. The Rams are 9-3 and have their biggest game in forever on Sunday, but for now fans can bask in this.

Not only did the Rams sweep the Cardinals but they did it without the offense firing on all cylinders. Goff was okay throwing for 220 yards with two touchdowns and a pick. Gurley ran for 74 yards with no scores. That’s okay because the special teams and defense did the heavy lifting. Alec Ogletree returned a Blaine Gabbert pick for a touchdown and then hyper extended his elbow. Despite a tepid day on offense (by their standards) their sweep of the Cardinals came with a combined score of 63-14 with a shut out in their London meeting. Naysayers can turn to the fact that the Cardinals aren’t very good this season but it doesn’t matter. The Rams took care of business which is what good teams do and what the Rams haven’t been since Friends was still on the air.

The Special Teams also flexed its muscles blocking an extra point and Greg the Leg was his awesome self, and punter Johnny Hekker contributed where it mattered. This unit is perhaps the best in the league and that could decide several crucial games, especially when like today the offense isn’t on point. Defensively, the team once again struggled to contain the run. They did lock it down in the second half but this is something that needs to be fixed. That will be covered later in the week. For now, this is a chance to celebrate the fact that in a year, Sean McVay and Les Snead have turned the team around. That seemed inconceivable in the spring but here we are. They are still in the running for a first round bye and if they can beat Philly and Minnesota can stumble, home field is still in play.

Luckily for fans the Rams don’t seem to be content resting on being 9-3. Andrew Whitworth’s veteran presence showed its value as the team didn’t fall into what could’ve been a trap game. They weren’t even thinking about the Eagles game until this one had ended. That’s a sign that this young team is mature enough to make a playoff run. They still have to clinch the West which got a lot tougher with Seattle beating Philly last night. On the plus side the Seahawks did provide a blue print to slow down the Eagles offense. Yesterday was a landmark day in the history of the Rams and a sign of good times to come. Lord knows fans have earned it.

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