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Monday, January 20, 2014
Morning Ram-blings: NFC West classic

By Nick Wagoner

ST. LOUIS -- Normally we lead this space with something related to the Rams and though this technically is related in a tangential sort of way, there's really nowhere else to begin than with coverage from a classic showdown of NFC West powerhouses (and Rams rivals) Seattle and San Francisco for the NFC championship.

I'll spare you my thoughts on any interviews involving a certain Seattle cornerback. I have no doubt you'll be deluged with righteous indignation or some form of grandstanding elsewhere. Instead, let's just lead with some good old reaction to a game that is already being overlooked because of what happened when it was over.

After Denver and New England failed to live up to the expectations that came with the Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady story lines (though Manning more than lived up to his end of the bargain), the Seahawks and 49ers made up for it and then some with a scintillating 23-17 showdown that met all of its heavyweight fight hype.

Here's Seahawks reporter Terry Blount's Rapid Reaction from the game as well as some thoughts from Niners reporter Bill Williamson. Also, some great stuff -- as usual from the folks at Stats & Information -- looking deeper at a great game.

We've spent plenty of time here chronicling how outstanding the NFC West division is and how it is the biggest obstacle keeping the Rams from being a playoff contender again. Sunday's display did nothing to alter that perspective. Seattle and San Francisco are the big bullies on the block, not just in the division or the conference but the whole NFL. For anyone questioning that, the tape from this one should quickly rectify those feelings.

I.C.Y.M.I. 

A roundup of the weekend's Rams' stories appearing on ESPN.com. ... In Saturday's Ram-blings, we took a looked at the early returns on Sam Bradford's recovery from a torn ACL. ... In this week's edition of Rams-related playoff notes, we examined the offenses that are getting teams to the Super Bowl and how it relates to the Rams as well as picks you didn't ask for.

Elsewhere: 

Chris Berman, Tom Jackson and Trent Dilfer break down the NFC Championship Game.

Ed Werder gets a similar response from Richard Sherman but with a little more context and questions.

At stltoday.com, Jim Thomas writes that the Rams still have faith in running back Daryl Richardson.

Sam Bradford tells Thomas he believes the Rams are close to contending.

Turf Show Times gives us the longest plays of the Rams season in convenient GIF form.

Stlouisrams.com reviews the performance of the special teams in 2013.