By Rams Nation's Don Ackerman
With ugly wins like 33-22 over Baltimore, 23-21 at Chicago, 30-27 at Arizona, 26-20 at Cleveland, and most recently 27-22 over Seattle, the Rams have quietly beaten everyone lately. Their record is currently the best in the NFC with Philadelphia playing right now at Miami (21-14 Philly - Go Fish!). At worst, the Rams would host a wild-card team. That's how good the Rams' record is in 2003.
But the Rams are survivors for more than ugly games. It is for more than the Rams coming back from a 1-2 start to the season. The Rams players are survivors.
Leading the Rams survivor tribe is leader Marc Bulger. He is the most unlikely survivor. Week after week, he is ripped for being a sub-par quarterback. But since the meltdown in San Francisco on November 2nd (close to Halloween that game was scary!), the Rams are 6 and 0 and are 10-1 since September 21st. Wow! Marc keeps winning and has avoided being voted off Starting QB island.
Another survivor having success is Marshall Faulk. Injured, Faulk missed five straight games in 2003. But since returning, Marshall has rushed for four 100-yard games and is averaging 73 yards a game through the year with 8 touchdowns and zero fumbles. Not bad for a washed up old man!
Faulk is one of many survivors on the Rams in 2003. Another "old man" who is tearing up the league is Aeneas Williams. Williams has been spectacular and a factor in 2003 after being injured last year. In fact, Williams was even Madden's player of the game against the Browns last Monday night.
Surviving 2 Rams camps, a Patriots camp, and NFL Europe is Dane Looker, #89. Now being called a Ricky Proehl clone, Looker is contributing on third downs and often can be seen fighting for yards that he gets.
Winning the division and clinching a playoff spot mean little and the surviving is not near over. Even if Philly holds on to win at Miami tonight, the Rams will still need to survive the Cincinnati Bengals next week then face the Detroit Lions in Detroit with the Lions having nothing to lose. Meanwhile, the Eagles have to weather Miami, host San Francisco, then face rival Washington in DC on Saturday night. To be honest the Rams at Lions is not as dangerous as the Eagles at Redskins. It will be interesting to see who survivors the last two weeks.
My only hope is that the Saint Louis Rams will seen again right before the
next Survivor episode which premiers Super Bowl Sunday on CBS.
Don, the Rams Nation columnist can be contacted at Don@RamsNation.org.