– When the Rams jumped out to a 14-0 first quarter lead and promptly gave it back with a series of miscues in a second quarter in which nearly everything that could go awry did, the instant reaction of many had to be ‘Here we go again.’ But after two weeks of near misses, the Rams had enough of that old feeling and they surged to a win in a second half performance that was by far their most complete and could nearly be described as dominant.
– I’ll get to the particulars of all of that in a moment but let’s hit the injuries first.
– Clearly, the groin injury to RB Steven Jackson is the most concerning. He was pulled apart at the bottom of the pile in a second quarter collision and did not return to the game after testing it at halftime. Early indications are that there is no tear in the groin and that Jackson should be able to recover fairly quickly if that is indeed the case. Jackson will have an MRI to determine its severity in the morning.
– WR Dominique Curry doesn’t appear to be as fortunate. He suffered a knee injury that is believed to be a torn ACL. If that’s the case, he will miss the rest of the season. That hasn’t been determined fully yet and Curry will also be looked at further this evening.
– Safety Oshiomogho Atogwe battled a quad injury all week and it never loosened up though he played early in the game. He came out and did not finish the game. He’ll be monitored day to day.
– RB Keith Toston (shoulder), S Darian Stewart (quad) and DT Gary Gibson (ankle) suffered what appeared to be minor bumps and bruises though more information on those will be available tomorrow.
– As for the game, what can you say? It was like a movie that started with a great action scene, bogged down by bad acting and writing in the middle and ended with a terrific plot twist. After two weeks of near misses, the Rams learned how to win by falling short.
– In some ways, winning in this manner rather than by jumping to a lead and holding on to it will be better for the long term confidence of this football team. Not that beggars can choosers when it comes to winning but finding a way to get it done when things started turning against them could do wonders for a team as young and inexperienced as this one.
– Jackson gave the Rams a huge lift in the first quarter with his touchdown run. A thing of beauty and anyone wondering if his burst is still there shouldn’t wonder anymore.
– Kenneth Darby had his finest career performance and looked quick and decisive in replacing Jackson. What a lift he gave the Rams. And it should be noted that Toston fought for some hard yards as well.
– QB Sam Bradford is growing up right before our eyes. Tremendously poised and confident performance, especially in the second half when Jackson was out of the game. Some terrific throws and he made all of the right decisions.
– What a pickup WR Mark Clayton has been. He just makes play after play after play. It’s early but so far the deal for him looks like nothing less than a steal.
– Danny Amendola might be the toughest player in the league pound for pound. He finds a new way to get hit, spun around or body slammed every week and he pops right back up and makes another play.
– Nice job by TE Daniel Fells as well. He fought for some big extra yards after the catch and did a nice job blocking.
– Which, of course, leads me to my player of the game for this week: the offensive line. That group absolutely took over and imposed its will in the second half. John Greco worked in some at right guard, flopping in and out with Adam Goldberg and he added some punch in the running game. That’s the type of performance of a jelling offensive line.
– On the other side of the ball, it was a total defensive performance. Great work by that entire unit but a few plaudits are in order.
– He hasn’t quite been able to close the deal for a sack by DE Chris Long is regularly getting in the backfield and putting pressure on the quarterback. He did it again on Sunday.
– Cornerbacks Ron Bartell and Bradley Fletcher have been consistently good in coverage. Congrats to Fletcher on his first career interception.
– MLB James Laurinaitis was all over the place. He was a tackling machine as usual and was good in coverage, including a nice pass breakup in the first half.
– Some nice defensive statistics that made a big difference: the Redskins were 1-of-10 on third downs and 0-for-3 in the red zone. The Rams defense held their third straight opponent to 17 points or less. You can win a lot of games in the NFL with that type of production.
– Center Jason Brown awarded the game ball to coach Steve Spagnuolo for sticking with his team through thick and thin. Much deserved for the Rams’ leader.
– That’ll do it for tonight, Rams fans. The team has been given a “Victory Monday” and will be off tomorrow. But we’ll be here to put a bow on this one and wrap it up before moving on to Seattle week preparation. Have a good night and enjoy the win everybody.
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