NFC West: Marvin Hagler

Boxing great Marvin Hagler once criticized Thomas Hearns for postponing their fight over a finger injury, suggesting a tougher man would have cut off the appendage before missing a $3 million payday.

Pro Football Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott once had part of a finger removed so he could play in a game for the San Francisco 49ers.

I recall seeing Steve McNair shrug off a dislocated finger during a game. Anyone familiar with NFL Network programming has probably noticed Brian Baldinger's pinky, which looks more like a diagram for a post pattern (not a skinny post, either). And Rams fans have probably seen former receiver Torry Holt's mangled finger (a "trophy" he credited with helping him catch passes).

Where does Rams running back Steven Jackson stand on the finger pain spectrum? Jackson has told reporters he plans to play in Week 8 despite undergoing finger surgery Monday, according to Brian Stull of 101ESPN St. Louis.

Around the NFC West: Rams finish

October, 18, 2010
10/18/10
7:33
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Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Steven Jackson's power running allowed the Rams to close out the Chargers, 20-17, for their third victory in four games. Guard Jacob Bell: "I told 'Jack' after the game that he has unbelievable ability, but even greater willpower and effort. To see the way he strives to compete and to win -- it fuels us. It fuels the line. It fuels the offense. I mean, I was beyond impressed with him today." The Rams have started the same five offensive linemen every game this season even though Bell suffered a concussion last week. The team's young tackles have fared better at home. Can St. Louis win a road game for the first time this season when the Rams visit Tampa Bay in Week 7?

Also from Thomas: The Rams got conservative offensively in the second half. Also: Hamstring injuries sidelined Mardy Gilyard, Justin King and Darian Stewart.

Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams were true to their word when they said a 44-6 defeat at Detroit in Week 5 wouldn't undermine their confidence following back-to-back victories. Coats: "Rams defensive coordinator Ken Flajole ordered a heavy dose of blitzes, and Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers took a beating. The Rams produced seven sacks -- two apiece by linebacker Larry Grant, end James Hall and end Chris Long, and one by tackle Fred Robbins. The Rams hadn't generated as many sacks in a game since piling up eight against Minnesota in 2003."

Also from Coats: a Rams report card with high marks for James Hall, who blocked a Chargers field goal try.

Bryan Burwell and Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch offer postgame thoughts following the Rams' victory. Miklasz wanted to see more aggressiveness from the Rams' offense after the team built a 14-point lead. Miklasz: "It got a little unnerving late in the game but the Rams held on for a 20-17 win. They're 3-3. And could be 5-1. The team made a positive statement Sunday. Outstanding win."

Nick Wagoner of stlouisrams.com says the Rams "continue to surprise with character, grit and will" -- to say nothing of accurate passing from Sam Bradford. The Rams held San Diego to 287 yards, an indication the Detroit game was more aberration than indication.

Also from Wagoner: Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo showed players the classic 1985 Marvin Hagler-Thomas Hearns fight Saturday night. Other fights I would recommend: George Foreman over Ron Lyle, for starters.

More from Wagoner: Danario Alexander's diving 38-yard touchdown catch was huge for the Rams. Wagoner: "It wasn’t until Sunday that it was certain that Alexander would even be among the 45 active players against the Chargers. But the Rams had worked him into the mix during the week and had some plays in for him, including the two catches he made to jump start the Rams’ day."

Steve Korte of the Belleville News-Democrat says Jackson had five carries for 28 yards on the Rams' clinching drive. Jackson: "Our defense was gassed, it was no secret. They'd been fighting for us, and they'd held San Diego. It was going to come down to who had the ball last. We knew we had to get a first down, and we had to get it in a convincing manner to take their will away from them. We did that. Coach challenged me, and I challenged the offensive line, and everyone responded.''

Also from Korte: The Rams have won their last three games at home.

More from Korte: Alexander was "ecstatic" after catching his first touchdown pass.

Brian Stull of 101ESPN St. Louis passes along quotes from Rams players. Bradford: "I think the way we played today and the way we prepared this week says a lot about the guys we have on our team."

Tony Softli of 101ESPN St. Louis says the Rams' performance against San Diego shows the team believes in Spagnuolo.

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