When they won two games in 2011, the Rams totaled just 193 points, an average of 12.1 per game.
In being 3-4 this season, heading to Sunday's game in London against the New England Patriots, the Rams have already scored 130 points, an average of 18.6 a game.
In fact, that 18.6 average is right about where the Rams were in 2010 when the team went 7-9. It averaged 18.1 points per game. The trend is easy to see: score more points, which leads to allowing fewer points, and there will be more winning. It’s borne out by the numbers from the last three seasons.
In 2009, the Rams scored 175 points (10.9 average) and allowed 436 (27.2 average). That produced a point differential average of minus 16.3, and a 1-15 record.
Last year, along with the previously noted offensive numbers, the Rams allowed 407 points (25.4 average). Along with the 12.1 average, the average differential was minus 13.3.
Now, let’s look at 2010. The additional touchdown per game also reduced the points allowed by close to a touchdown, as that team allowed 328 points (20.5 average). The differential dropped significantly to minus 2.4.
This year, it’s about the same. The Rams have allowed 141 points (20.1 average), creating a differential of minus 1.5.
Obviously, the goal is to be on the plus side, and the Rams aren’t far from that goal despite the troubles in the red zone, on third down and settling for too many field goals. Through seven games, the Rams have 11 touchdowns and 18 field goals.
"We have got to score touchdowns when we have the opportunity to," quarterback Sam Bradford said. "I think the offense is going to be a big part of winning this game. We are going to have to play extremely well, we are going to have to control the football and score every time we have the opportunity."
Saying the goal is to be a more explosive offense, Bradford added, "Anytime we have the opportunity to score touchdowns this week, we have to. We can't settle for field goals. That's something that's hurt us the past couple weeks. When you go up against an offense that's as explosive as the Patriots, points come at a premium and we have to score as many as possible."
Bradford does believe the offense is improving, despite the loss of wide receiver Danny Amendola and more shuffling on the offensive line. Nine players have already started games on the line, and another two have appeared as subs.
Said Bradford, "I think those guys up front have done a great job the past couple weeks opening up some holes for our backs. We have a nice combination now with Jack (Steven Jackson) and Daryl (Richardson). Obviously, they complement each other very well with their different styles. I think the receivers who have stepped up in place of Danny have done a great job.
"Two weeks ago and last week they did a great job of winning one on ones when they've had the opportunity so I think we are definitely making progress. We have just got to continue to make steps and continue to find ways to score points."
Shooting for San Francisco: It’s difficult to believe that Rams wide receiver Danny Amendola has had enough healing to go out and get hit in an NFL game. Obviously, only the Rams and their doctors know the extent of the healing. With their week off after Sunday’s game, it certainly makes sense to be smart and wait until the Nov. 11 game against San Francisco for him to return. That would be 38 days after the injury.
Still, Amendola practiced Thursday and was improved from what he did Wednesday. Asked if there is a chance Amendola could play Sunday, coach Jeff Fisher said, "He practiced better today. He was limited, but he practiced better today. We'll have to wait and see how the week goes on."
Amendola told the Post-Dispatch, "I'm getting there. I'm almost there." Referring to the Rams' next game against the 49ers, Amendola said he "absolutely" will be ready for that game. "One hundred percent actually," he added.
The Williams contract: Normally, players released by teams during the season receive minimum salaries when they sign with new teams. However, that wasn’t the case with offensive lineman Chris Williams, who the Rams signed Monday after he had tryouts with Philadelphia and Arizona last week. Williams was released by the Bears on Oct. 16.
The Rams went the extra mile to sign Williams, a first-round pick in 2008. In fact, his base salary of $1.25 million is actually higher than the $1 million salary he was playing for with the Bears. The Rams also paid Williams a signing bonus of $73,529 (equal to one week’s salary) and a $200,000 OATSB (outstanding amount treated as signing bonus).
If Williams remains with the Rams for the rest of the season, he will make $1.009 million (10 prorated weeks of his base salary plus the bonuses), more than he would have made being with the Bears all season. For the six games he was with the Bears, he made $352,941 of his base salary.
Roster makeup: Of the 53 players currently on the Rams’ roster, 20 entered the NFL as undrafted free agents. Is that a particularly high number? This week’s opponent, New England, has 16 undrafted free agents, Green Bay has 18.
The breakdown of the Rams’ 33 drafted players is first round, 6; second round, 9; third round, 6, fourth round, 2; fifth round, none; sixth round, 6, seventh round, 4.
For the Patriots, it’s first round, 8; second round, 10; third round, 3, fourth round, 4; fifth round, 5; sixth round, 4, seventh round, 3.
Parity, mediocrity, or balance? Currently, there are 18 teams in the NFL with records of 4-3, 3-3, or 3-4. The NFC has eight teams with winning records; the AFC has just three.
The NFC has three divisions with winning records, the AFC none. Including Thursday night’s game (Tampa Bay over Minnesota), the NFC North is 16-11, NFC West 16-12, NFC East 14-12 and NFC South 11-13.
The best aggregate record in the AFC is the South at 13-13, followed by AFC East 13-14, AFC North 12-15 and the AFC West 9-15.