Work in Sports
St. Louis assaults NFL record book
By Desmond M. Wallace, CNNSI.com
Were it not for a pair of goal posts at either end of NFL stadiums and the presence of several 300-pound men to protect them, St. Louis Rams games this season could easily be mistaken for track meets.
The Rams have exploded out of the blocks through the first five weeks of the season like no team in NFL history, posting successive games of at least 37 points.
St. Louis is averaging nearly 400 yards a game in the air and is on pace to set several offensive NFL records for an entire season.
Gray-haired and bedeviled defensive coordinators from teams throughout the league no doubt have been guzzling java by the gallon in hopes of finding a way to stop the Ramsí juggernaut.
En route to their Super Bowl XXXIV title last season, the Rams led the NFL in yardage, scoring and margin of victory.
Football observers everywhere marveled at the sheer brilliance of St. Louisí Dream Season, perhaps thinking that the Rams might have simply caught lightning in a bottle before their inevitable return this season to the moribund life to which the franchise had become accustomed. Clearly, they were wrong.
Quarterback Kurt Warner and the Ramsí stable of speedy receivers have merely picked up where they left off -- and then some. Through the seasonís first five games, Warner has averaged over 100 more passing yards per game than he did in his MVP year in 1999.
Wideouts Isaac Bruce, Az-Zahir Hakim, and Torry Holt have been so explosive that the trio has already accounted for four catches of at least 78 yards. Moreover, running back Marshall Faulk, who last season set a league record for yards from scrimmage, leads the NFL in yards after catches.
But history tells us that the Rams have never been strangers to lighting up football scoreboards.
Indeed, the franchise has accounted for three of the five most prolific-scoring teams in the NFL in the last half-century. Last season St. Louis, which scored at least 30 points in a dozen regular-season games, led the league with 32.9 PPG. The 1950 Los Angeles Rams of QB Bob Waterfield averaged an NFL record 38.8 points per game.
Sure, most football observers consider the road to a Super Bowl championship to be quite a marathon. After all, no NFL commissioner has ever handed out any trophies in September. But these Rams may just be good enough to sprint all the way to the finish.