Not to sound like a member of the College Football Playoff, but the St. Louis Rams might have the best resume in football. Yes, the Rams have a losing record (4-6) and are in last place in the NFC West, but they’re also 3-2 in their last five games with wins over Seattle, San Francisco and Denver.
The wins over the Seahawks and 49ers were by a combined five points. Close divisional wins? Yeah, those happen. But to beat the Broncos by 15? That was easily the most stunning result of Week 11.
“We were able to execute about 90 percent of our calls,” Rams linebacker Alec Ogletree said on The Doug Gottlieb Show. “We gave up a touchdown. It was probably due to miscommunication and guys just not (being) in the right position.”
That touchdown was a 42-yard reception by Emmanuel Sanders. Aside from that? Nothing. Nada. Zilch. The Broncos didn’t score a single point in the second half.
“For the most part, we was able to do what we needed to do to get off the field when we had an opportunity to and make plays on the ball and get off the field on third down,” Ogletree said. “That really helped out a lot.”
Indeed, Peyton Manning threw for 389 yards, but the Broncos rushed for just 28 yards and were 4-of-12 on third down.
“(We had to) get a lot of pressure on him (and) not let him sit back there and throw the ball,” Ogletree said. “He’s one of the best in the league. If you give a quarterback like that time to throw the ball, they’re just going to pick you apart all day. We was able to get our hands on the ball and steal a few possessions. That really helped changed the game.”
Ogletree finished with a team-high 13 tackles – 10 solo – and picked off one of Manning’s two interceptions.
“We was able to match up a lot of their routes and not really give them any free throws,” Ogletree explained. “We just wanted to make them work for all the catches that they got.”
The Rams have fared better than virtually anyone could have imagined this season, especially after losing Sam Bradford (knee) and Chris Long (ankle) to injury. St. Louis has also been competitive in defeat, losing by three points against Dallas and by six points at Philadelphia.
“It’s not (really different),” Ogletree said of the locker room dynamic. “You just got different guys and they had to step up. (Bradford and Long) still come around and support us. We can’t wait to have those guys back. Right now, we got a good feeling. We know what we have in the locker room. We know how good we can be. We just got to keep working and try to get better.”
The rest of the schedule is a little easier, but not by much. The Rams still have home games against the Raiders, Cardinals and Giants and road games against the Chargers, Redskins and Seahawks.
So, what’s a reasonable expectation for the Rams the rest of the way?
“It’s reasonable to expect us to go out there, to fight every game and try to win every game that we can,” Ogletree said. “We’re definitely looking forward to playing this week out in San Diego against another top quarterback in the league. We just got to come out and do what we need to do to win the game.”