Danny Amendola, for the second time in three years, is the St. Louis Rams' No. 1 wide receiver by default. But things are better this year—he's averaging nearly 12 yards a reception and he's already got two touchdowns, after picking up just three in 85 2010 catches. Granted, his touchdown vs. the Seattle Seahawks—one of six receptions—wasn't quite conventional; it was from Johnny Hekker on a fake field goal attempt. But it was the Rams' only touchdown, and it sealed their 19-13 victory.
Amendola's been a prime benefactor from Sam Bradford's improved mid-range game. (Or, I guess, he's been a key part of Bradford's improved mid-range game.) Two quick 15-yard shots from Bradford in the fourth quarter, including one on third-and-10, led to the Rams' final field goal.
He's not a conventional No. 1, and he's not a tenable replacement for a real one on a playoff team. But he's not the if-all-else-fails futility-release-valve he appeared to be in 2010, either, and if he's still going to find that Poor Man's Wes Welker tag unavoidable, at least he isn't quite as poor as he appeared a year ago.