The Rams are 3-5-1 and the Jets 3-6, but with numerous former Jets on the Rams this season, including offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, the game has a slightly different feel.
Schottenheimer, the coordinator under Jets coach Rex Ryan for the previous three seasons, is asked about this being a special game. Former Jets players, including tackle Wayne Hunter and center Rob Turner, are queried about the absence of a circus-like atmosphere in St. Louis when compated to New York.
Participating in the questioning are several reporters from New York who are in town, unusual for most regular-season games much less one between teams with losing records.
Asked if he has seen a difference in Schottenheimer this week, coach Jeff Fisher said, "No, he's been around long enough to know that you don't get caught up in the personal things. He wants to win just like everybody else wants to win."
As for any edge Schottenheimer might be able to give the Rams, Fisher noted, "He's familiar with their personnel and, obviously, as we've talked throughout the week, coach Ryan's going to change what he does week-to-week. So, in all likelihood we're not going to see some of the things that we expect to see."
As expected, Schottenheimer tried to downplay the former team angle. He said, "It's the NFL, man, it's always a normal week. It's a fun week. You've got so many relationships back there. I'm looking forward to seeing those guys and competing against those guys. It's going to be a great challenge. I'm looking forward to it."
But, do you want to win this one a tad more than others? "No, they're all the same," he said. "Again, it's fun to compete against your friends. You've got friends all around the business and I think that's what we love about this business as coaches. You move from team to team and you get a chance to play friends and former colleagues and things like that. So, no, I want to win the game because it's the next game and we need to get four wins."
However, he did acknowledge there is a difference after working with Ryan for three seasons.
"He's a fun guy to play cat-and-mouse with," Schottenheimer said. "He's a dangerous guy to play cat-and-mouse with. But, we enjoyed it for three years. It will be fun on Sunday in the Edward Jones Dome."
Schottenheimer was under fire in New York last season when the Jets' offense struggled, and they are struggling even more this season. There could be a certain amount of vindication. But Schottenheimer refused to bite on that one, too, claiming he feels no satisfaction with that result.
"I really don't," he said. "I think when you're a coordinator in this league - offense, defense, head coach, whatever - you're going to take bullets. I always appreciated how passionate the fans were back there in New York and it comes with the territory."
Turner spoke of the passion of those fans, who haven't experienced a Super Bowl since 1969.
Concluded Turner, "(In the fans' minds), the Jets are the Chicago Cubs of football."
Tebow Time: Schottenheimer is probably happy he doesn’t have to deal with the ongoing Tim Tebow saga in New York, which is reaching a crescendo. It escalated this week when stories came out with anonymous Jets player ripping Tebow, with one saying he “is terrible.”
It went to another level when former Jet LaDainian Tomlinson speculated that Bart Scott and Antonio Cromartie were ones that had talked and both, of course, denied it. That story did produce a classic rant from Scott, who said, "I've been here four years. It's always an anonymous source. An anonymous source can be the janitor. An anonymous source can be the cable guy. An anonymous source can be the equipment guy. Anybody can be an anonymous source. If you don't tell them to put their name to it, what credibility do you have? I think the anonymous person is probably some smoke in the air or a fart off somebody's ass."
Then, there was the comment from Denver Broncos executive vice president of football operations John Elway who made the decision to move on from Tebow this past offseason. Said Elway, "I believe that there are Tebow fans, and there are Broncos fans. My responsibility is to the Broncos fans, and my responsibility is to (owner) Pat Bowlen and what he wants to do, and that's win championships."
Fit to be Tied: When the Rams and 49ers played to a 24-24 tie in Week 10, it was the 18th deadlock since the NFL instituted overtime in 1974.
In the event anyone cares, here is some tie trivia you can use to impress someone at your office or next to you at the nearest bar stool:
*The month with the most ties is November with eight. Oddly, since 1989, there have been six ties and each one has been within a two-week period from Nov. 10-Nov. 23. There have been five ties in October, three in September and only two in December.
*There have been 20 franchises involved in tie games, and only eight that have been in the league since 1974 that haven't: Buffalo, Chicago, Dallas, New England, New Orleans, Oakland, San Diego and Tennessee. Twelve franchises have been involved in more than one tie. Leading the way is Green Bay and Philadelphia with four. The other 10 all have two, including the Rams and 49ers.
*The most popular score for a tie game is 10-10, which has happened six times. The Rams-49ers game was the fourth-highest score of any ties. The top three are 35-35, 34-34 and 28-28. The only other scores with more than one occurrence were 20-20 and 17-17.
*Finally, the longest time between tie games came after Kansas City and Cleveland played to a 10-10 tie in 1989. The next tie was in 1997 on Nov. 16 when Philadelphia and Baltimore also played to a 10-10 tie. That game was followed by the shortest time between ties as Washington and the Giants tied 7-7 the next week. The only other season with two ties was 1986 when San Francisco and Atlanta and the St. Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia each played 10-10 games.