Saturday, September 28, 2013
Morning Ram-blings: Viewing guide
By Nick Wagoner
EARTH CITY, Mo. -- For a little change of pace in this weekend edition of the Ram-blings, we're going to start here with some random thoughts on football that might interest you since the Rams have already played their game for the week.
Coach Jeff Fisher allowed his team some time off this weekend, and they won't return to practice until Tuesday. For you, the fans, maybe it's not a bad idea to not think much about the team this weekend, either. So you want to get away from thinking about the past two Rams games but you still want to watch football? Here are a few things to keep an eye on this weekend (or you can, you know, do whatever you want, who am I to tell you what to do?!?).
Saturday means college football and there's a pretty tasty slate of games to watch.
The biggest game of the day takes place, where else, in the SEC. Georgia vs. LSU should be a barn burner, and there figures to be plenty of NFL talent on the field for you draftniks. The Rams haven't shied away from mining the country's best conference in recent years. These two schools alone have provided a first-rounder for St. Louis in each of the past two years.
Ole Miss takes on Alabama in what could be an intriguing game, and Texas A&M plays Arkansas. For those seeking potential options for the Rams' offensive line in next year's draft, the Tide has left tackle Cyrus Kouandjio and the Aggies feature Jake Matthews. Both could be top 10 picks. Plus, there's always Mr. Jonathan F. Football to provide additional entertainment.
Outside of the SEC, a couple of traditional powers in Notre Dame and Oklahoma meet up. Neither is all that exciting, but the Fighting Irish have some interesting prospects, particularly on their defensive line, and seeing two teams with as much history as those two play each other has some appeal.
Wisconsin and Ohio State is the ABC game tomorrow night and could go a long way toward determining which Big Ten school represents the conference in the Rose Bowl (or, in the Buckeyes' case, the BCS title game).
Finally, Oregon hosts Cal in the night game. I don't think you should need a reason to watch the Ducks. No team in the country makes blowouts more entertaining than Oregon.
As for Sunday, this looks like a great day to not have a Rams game. There are some great matchups.
At the top of the list for me is Seattle at Houston. The Seahawks have pretty much rolled the past two weeks after an opening-week scare. There have been red flags, but this will be a great test for them to go on the road against a good Texans team. Both of these teams are coming up soon on the Rams' schedule.
Chicago and Detroit should also be a great battle. The Bears are rolling, and the Lions have also been playing well. For Rams fans who want to check in on the kin of one of their players, Bears guard Kyle Long (brother of Chris) has played well and gets a chance to take on Detroit's Ndamukong Suh.
Philadelphia at Denver could break records for plays from scrimmage. This one should be fun to watch for the same reason the Oregon game is. The Eagles want to push the pace, but will they wilt in the altitude?
Washington visits Oakland. Yeah, it's a game nobody really wants to watch, but the Rams have the Redskins' first-round pick next year. For Rams fans, any team playing Washington should have their rooting interest.
"Breaking Bad." I don't think this needs explanation.
Quick roundup of yesterday's Rams' stories here on ESPN.com. ... We started with the usual rookie roundup with snap counts and production for the rookie class against San Francisco. ... From there, it was Upon Further Review with four hot issues coming out of that game. ... Next, we looked at the reports of the Rams' openness to a contract extension for quarterback Sam Bradford. ... Finally, the news that safety T.J. McDonald has a broken leg and is on injured reserve with the designation to return, as well as a look at how the injury alters things in the Rams secondary.
The fine folks at Over the Cap took a deeper look at the Rams' salary-cap situation now and moving forward.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnists Bernie Miklasz and Joe Strauss discussed the Rams' disappointing showing against the Niners, and Miklasz offers some thoughts on Bradford's recent struggles.