Feldman: Rams turn a corner in Arizona

Feldman: Rams turn a corner in Arizona

GLENDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 25: Cornerback Trumaine Johnson #22 of the St. Louis Rams high fives Janoris Jenkins #21 after a defensive stop against the Arizona Cardinals during the NFL game at the University of Phoenix Stadium on November 25, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona. The Rams defeated the Carindals 31-17. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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by Brian Feldman / News 4 Sports

KMOV.com

Posted on November 25, 2012 at 7:48 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 26 at 4:38 AM

(FootballStL) -- Of all the stats that come from the Rams 31-17 win over the Cardinals the one that means the most - to me anyway - is the fact this is the first victory on the road.  The first.  Games in Detroit, Chicago and Miami?  All losses.  San Francisco?  That dreaded tie.
 
Winning the road for whatever reason is just tough.  The environment, the atmosphere, being out of your comfort zone.  It all adds up to being harder to win.
 
And when you're a bad football team that is working its way to becoming a good one, one thing you're going to have to do is prove to the league that you can win on the road.  For a day, anyway, the Rams have done just that.
 
Now granted, it was against a Cardinals team that has just been flat out struggling to no end the last couple months.  In fact, the Rams started their current 7-game losing streak by beating them on October 4th.
 
But that doesn't change anything.  Mistakes were made, sure.  However when plays needed to be made...they were made.  Janoris Jenkins picking off Ryan Lindley in the 2nd quarter to even up the game and no allow Arizona to extend their early lead.  Chris Givens making a fantastic play on a ball to haul in a touchdown pass from Sam Bradford.  Jenkins, again, picking off Lindley to extend the Rams lead from just four to 11.
 
That's what winning on the road comes down to most of the time.  Not making the huge mistakes and coming through with the big play when it's needed.  At home, usually you have a little more margin for error.  Again, I don't know why, but winning at home is just a little easier.  No one has ever been able to explain to me why that is...but it just is.
 
That margin for error completely evaporates on the road.  If the Rams were playing anyone other than the lowly Cardinals in this one, sure, the result might've been different.  But that's impossible to tell.
 
They faced who the schedule told them to faced and beat them by making plays.
 
And they did it with playmakers.  It's nice to actually have some guys capable of doing things like that, huh?  Forget the pillars and Steve Spagnuolo.  Jeff Fisher came in here and knew for a fact he had to raise the talent level of this group.
 
Nice guys are, well, nice.  But if they're nice and not as talented as the guy who's got a few issues, he's going with the talent and will take his chances.
 
Janoris Jenkins symbolizes the change in philosophy this franchise is going through.  He had many problems in college.  But this franchise was willing to take the risk just to raise that overall talent level.
 
With Jenkins, Chris Givens, Michael Brockers and a few others coming into the fold this year...the number of guys capable of making the big play when it's needed has been raised.  They still need more of them, absolutely, but this current crop's a good start.

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