Rams looking for winning season

Jeff Fisher recognizes his St. Louis Rams have plenty of goals

to reach in their final game of the season.

They can finish with a winning record for the first time since

2003. They can finish without a loss in the NFC West.

Steven Jackson, who might be in his final season with the team,

can finish with at least 1,000 yards rushing for the eighth

consecutive year.

While all of that might be important, Fisher said Monday the

season finale at Seattle cannot serve as the lone measuring stick

to the success of the season.

Even if they lose to the Seahawks, the coach said there are

plenty of successes this season. He also said if the Rams had been

a bit better, it might have turned Sunday’s game into a warm-up for

the playoffs.

”There’s been some good things, but we’re playing our final

game this final weekend but that’s not what you set out to do,”

Fisher said as he gets ready to close out his first season at St.

Louis.

The Rams are 7-7-1 heading into Sunday’s game against Seattle

and 4-0-1 in divisional play. They went 15-65 in the previous five

years, including a two-win season last year.

The seven wins match the total from 2010 when St. Louis finished

7-9. But the 12-4 regular-season record in 2004 represents the

Rams’ only winning season in the past 10.

Fisher appreciates what a win at Seattle would mean.

”It’s very important, but it’s not going to suggest this season

was a loss if we weren’t successful in Week 17,” he said. ”We can

make a case, going back to several of those games and or that tie,

that we played .500 ball this year regardless what happened this

week. But from a statistical standpoint it’s something good to talk

about.”

The Rams lost their season opener at Detroit after the Lions

scored the game-winning touchdown with 15 seconds remaining. Greg

Zuerlein missed 3 of 5 field-goal attempts in a 17-14 loss at

Miami. A delay of game penalty at San Francisco turned a successful

53-yard field-goal attempt in overtime into a 58-yarder that

Zuerlein missed.

Jackson has the option of getting out of his contract at the end

of the season to explore free agency. But after rushing for 81

yards in the Rams’ 28-13 victory over Tampa Bay on Sunday, he

didn’t sound like a player ready to find a new team after 10 years

with St. Louis.

He needs 10 yards against Seattle to reach 1,000 for the

year.

”We have a lot to play for, a winning season, undefeated in the

division,” he said. ”It’s something to build off of and go into

the offseason feeling happy and strong and make it appealing to

free agents as well.”

Fisher isn’t ready to put a bow on the season, yet. Nor did he

suggest that this season was a total success even if the Rams are

coming off one of the worst seasons in franchise history and

playing with one of the youngest rosters in league history.

”We had a few in the past that we had a chance to win and

didn’t. That takes the front page as far as we’re concerned,” he

said. ”But, we saw tremendous improvement from our rookie class.

We got tremendous from the rookies and from the second-year

players. I think we improved in a lot of areas.

”We still have a long way to go.”

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