Scott Linehan is one of the few first-year coaches this season enjoying early-season success.
St. Louis (3-1) hasn’t won three in a row since Oct. 3-18, 2004. With a win, the Rams can move past idle Seattle into first place in the NFC West, setting up an Oct. 15 showdown between the teams in St. Louis.
Linehan is aware of the Rams’ good start, but knows it’s a long season.
“It’s a good place to be,” he said. “You have to acknowledge it, but we’ve only played a quarter of the games that you play in an NFL season. A lot of things happen. A lot of things can change.”
Linehan and New Orleans’ Sean Payton each have recorded three wins. Eric Mangini has posted two wins with the New York Jets; McCarthy, Houston’s Gary Kubiak and Kansas City’s Herm Edwards have just one win while Oakland’s Art Shell and Detroit’s Rod Marinelli are winless.
A former offensive coordinator with Miami, Linehan’s approach to winning is a simple one.
“You’ve got to build on the momentum we have, but it’s really too early to feel good about where you’re at,” he said. “I think we’ve got to continue with this approach we have as far as improving daily and getting ready to play each game, and improving in some areas that we need to improve on.”
The Rams rallied from three deficits, then took advantage of an overturned pass interference penalty in the final seconds to beat Detroit 41-34 on Sunday.
“One game you’re kicking six field goals, another game you’re scoring points,” Linehan said. “The bottom line is you’ve got to feel good when you win in this league.”
St. Louis’ wins have come by a total of just 17 points.
Green Bay (1-3), playing the final game before its bye, will try to bounce back from a 31-9 loss on Monday night to Philadelphia that featured a terrible defensive effort by former first-round pick Ahmad Carroll.
In the second half, Carroll was burned by the Eagles’ Greg Lewis on a 45-yard scoring play that lifted Philadelphia to a 17-9 lead. On consecutive plays during the ensuing series, Carroll was flagged for pass interference before being beaten by Lewis on a 30-yard TD.
The Packers on Tuesday parted ways with Carroll, selected 25th overall in 2004 from Arkansas.
“We wish Ahmad luck,” McCarthy said. “On a personal level, it may be in his best interest for him to move on to another NFL venue.”
Green Bay’s defense will be tested trying to stop Rams running back Steven Jackson and Holt. Jackson is the NFC’s top rusher with 367 yards, and Holt has the most receptions (26) and is third in the conference with 332 receiving yards.
Brett Favre was 22 of 44 for 205 yards with two interceptions, but suffered a slight concussion and pinched nerve in his neck. He is expected, though, to make his 246th consecutive start—extending his NFL record for quarterbacks.
Favre who said he was a little sore after the hit from Eagles defensive lineman Juqua Thomas, added he doesn’t recall much about the play.
“I would like to tell you what happened, I got the you-know-what knocked out of me,” Favre said. “But I haven’t seen the play yet.”
Favre has made nine career starts against the Rams, and is averaging 217.1 yards.
Rookie wide receiver Greg Jennings quickly is becoming a favorite target for Favre. A second-round pick from Western Michigan, Jennings leads the team with two TD receptions—including the 400th of Favre’s career—and is second with 259.
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