NFL Nation: Rams

How Rams plan to honor Deacon Jones

August, 23, 2013
8/23/13
6:35
PM ET
EARTH CITY, Mo. -- After losing one of their most treasured franchise players in June, the Rams plan to honor legendary defensive end Deacon Jones in a couple of ways this season.

The team announced Friday that it will honor Jones by wearing a round, black decal with Jones’ No. 75 and a Rams head logo on the back of each player’s helmet for the entire 2013 season. Further, the team has invited several members of Jones’ family to attend the regular-season opener Sept. 8, where they will be honored during the game.

“Deacon Jones was a legend who was cherished by generations of NFL fans and players,” Rams Executive Vice President of Football Operations/C.O.O. Kevin Demoff said in a statement. “Our team is proud to wear his number on our helmets throughout the season to honor his meaning to this organization.”

Jones died on June 3 at the age of 74 in his home in Anaheim Hills, Calif.

Soon after Jones’ passing, the NFL announced the creation of the Deacon Jones Award, which will go to the league’s leader in sacks every year.
Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

LANDOVER, Md. -- Redskins running back Clinton Portis had just completed one of his best days as a pro Sunday, but none of that mattered as the Browns lined up for a 54-yard field-goal attempt to send the game into overtime.

 
 Drew Hallowell/Getty Images
 Clinton Portis rushed for 175 yards and a TD, his fourth straight 100-yard rushing game.

Even though he'd punished the Browns for four quarters with 175 yards on 27 carries, Portis stood to be the goat if the Browns pulled off the comeback.

After a dramatic goal-line stand by the defense, the Redskins took over at their 3-yard line. As he had all night, Portis spotted a seam and bounced outside for what he thought was going to be a 97-yard touchdown run. But as he raced down the right sideline, Browns cornerback Eric Wright jabbed the ball out from behind.

"I gotta know better," said Portis, wearing the type of gold eyewear that can't be found at Sunglass Hut. "I was running wild and trying to dig. The guy just made a great play."

Asked how he felt when Phil Dawson's 54-yard attempt sailed wide right, Portis told a reporter to think of the "best relief you've had in your life."

Portis' turnover led to a Browns touchdown, and opened the door for Dawson's attempt. The Redskins held on for a 14-11 victory that helped ease some of the sting from last week's 19-17 home loss to the surging Rams.

Earlier in the week, Portis said he didn't know if a hip injury would allow him to play against the Browns. With backup Ladell Betts already out, Jim Zorn had to dial up former Seahawk Shaun Alexander, whose best days are well behind him.

Portis didn't practice all week, but he said a couple of massages helped enable him to play. And given the circumstances and the Redskins' lack of rhythm in the passing game Sunday, Zorn had to ride his best player.

"I think Clinton Portis is an absolute workhorse," Zorn said. "And our offensive line takes pride in that. I think teams are coming to stop our run, but we're staying with it."

(Read full post)

ESPN.com VoterSeahawks
Rank
Cardinals
Rank
Rams
Rank
49ers
Rank
NFC West
Rank (avg.)
Mike Sando816192717.50
Paul Kuharsky1017212919.25
Kevin Seifert616272819.25
Pat Yasinskas817272619.50
Bill Williamson816312319.50
John Clayton724202819.75
Jeremy Green921242820.50
Matt Williamson1713282821.50
Matt Mosley1118292821.50
James Walker925263122.75
Team Rank (avg.)9.318.325.227.620.1

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

The NFC West fared worse on average than any division in our latest NFL power rankings. After placing the Seahawks among the top 10, most voters viewed Arizona and St. Louis with skepticism. They gave the 49ers virtually no shot at contending.

Counting all 40 votes for NFC West teams, the 10 panelists produced a 20.1 average ranking for teams in the division. The NFC East led all divisions with a 9.53 average ranking, followed by the AFC South (10.4), AFC North (15.7), NFC North (18.23), AFC East (18.35), NFC South (19.65) and AFC West (20.03).

I ranked NFC West teams at 17.5 on average, higher than any panelist. My ratings for the Seahawks, Cardinals and 49ers were consistent with how other panelists saw those teams. Some panelists ranked those teams higher than I ranked them. But no panelist ranked the Rams higher than my No. 19 ranking. I'll get into the reasoning a bit later.

Reading the chart: The second through fifth columns show how ESPN.com panelists ranked each team in the division. The final column shows how each panelist ranked NFC West teams on average. The chart is sorted in order of highest average ranking for the division. Each team's column includes two shaded cells. Red shading highlights out the team's highest ranking. Yellow shading highlights the team's lowest ranking.

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