NFC West: Lex Hilliard
The upside: Even the worst defeats tend to feature a bright spot or two.
- Steven Jackson averaged 6.2 yards per carry on his way to 81 yards.
- Chris Long collected two sacks, raising his season total to seven.
- The Rams scored on their opening possession for the third consecutive game, the longest streak for a St. Louis team since 2002.
- Quintin Mikell had a sack and forced fumble.
- Brandon Gibson had two touchdown receptions.
- The Rams scored touchdowns on both red zone possessions. They have now scored four touchdowns in five red zone possessions over their past two games.
- Rookie cornerback Janoris Jenkins returned from a one-game absence to block a field goal attempt. This was one of a couple strong special-teams plays. Linebacker James Laurinaitis sniffed out a fake punt and tackled fullback Lex Hilliard short of the first-down marker.
- Rookie Chris Givens had a 48-yard kickoff return, the Rams' longest since 2010.
- Rookie punter Johnny Hekker had a 44.4-yard net average.
- Second-year receiver Austin Pettis, who had a touchdown reception at San Francisco in Week 11, had a 36-yard reception against the Jets.
- The Rams allowed 289 yards, the fourth time in 10 games St. Louis has held an opponent below 300. The 2011 team did it four times all season.
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
The Cardinals hold the 31st, 63rd, 95th, 131st, 167th, 204th, 240th and 254th choices in the 2009 draft. For perspective, I've singled out the last four players chosen in those spots.
Teams have certainly found tight ends at No. 31 in recent years. The Bears drafted Greg Olsen (2007). The Ravens drafted Todd Heap (2001).
In 2005, my first year of NFL blogging, more than a few Seattle fans wanted the Seahawks to select linebacker Darryl Blackstock. The Cardinals drafted him instead at No. 95. They have the 95th pick again this year. Blackstock is the only linebacker drafted in that spot since the 49ers drafted Mitch Donahue from Wyoming in 1991.
Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt was with the Steelers in 2006 when they drafted guard Willie Colon with the 131st overall choice. Colon has started every game over the last two seasons. Arizona could stand to find starting-caliber depth for its line at some point in the 2009 draft.
Whisenhunt was also with the Steelers in 2005 when they drafted eventual starting guard Chris Kemoeatu with the 204th choice, another slot Arizona inhabits this season. In 2001,
the Bengals found T.J. Houshmandzadeh in that slot. Hall of Famer Art Donovan was also drafted 204th -- in 1947.