- Ladies and gentlemen of Rams nation, what we have here is a winning streak. The Rams surged to a 20-3 win against Seattle on Sunday for their second consecutive win. With the victory, the Rams improved to 2-2 and are starting to reap the benefits of their long rebuilding process.
– By the time you read this, the Rams’ 2-2 record will almost certainly have them sitting tied with Seattle and Arizona atop the NFC West Division. Assuming the Cardinals don’t come back from a major deficit against San Diego, that will be the case.
– Now, the Rams turn their attention to finding their first road win next week with Detroit on the ledger.
– On the injury front, it was a pretty good day for the Rams all things considered. Coach Steve Spagnuolo said after the game that only CB Kevin Dockery was worth noting. He suffered a cut to the head on Seattle’s failed fake field goal try and later re-injured his hamstring later on. He did not return.
– One player many thought would be on the injury list for not playing was RB Steven Jackson. I don’t know how many times I’ve said it in the six-plus years I’ve covered his career but I defy anyone to find a more passionate, determined player in the league than Jackson. He didn’t practice all week but did a little bit of work to get his timing down on Friday. He pretty much determined then he was going to play. Not only did Jackson play, but he took on a full workload, carrying 22 times for 70 yards with three catches for 54 yards. He was the first to say he wasn’t at full speed today and it was clear, especially on his 49-yard screen catch and run. But it didn’t matter, what he didn’t give the team in terms of his usual speed and production, he more than made up for with heart and leadership. Treasure No. 39, Rams fans, he’s one of the greats.
– And to further illustrate that point, he passed Marshall Faulk for second place on the franchise’s rushing yards list with a 15-yard burst in the second half. Congrats to Jackson.
– Before I delve further into the offense, let’s take our hats off for the defense once again. The Rams held Seattle out of the end zone all together, allowing just a single field goal. This group has been building and building in recent weeks by excelling on third down, in the red zone and in getting takeaways. The performance hadn’t necessarily included the yardage totals. Until Sunday. Seattle had just 257 total yards on offense, with only 83 of those coming in the second half.
– Leading the charge are two of the Rams’ most grizzled veterans. DE James Hall and DT Fred Robbins have been outstanding.
– Hall came up with two more sacks Sunday to bring his season total to four on the season. He also forced a fumble. Hall has a sack in three consecutive games for the first time in his career.
– Robbins continues to regularly push the pocket and create pressure inside. He finished with three tackles, a tackle for loss, a quarterback hurry, two passes batted down and a fumble recovery.
– Make no mistake, James Laurinaitis and Oshiomogho Atogwe are leaders on this defense but it all starts with Hall and Robbins up front.
– Bradley Fletcher and Ron Bartell continue to shine in coverage. What a revelation that duo has been, especially Fletcher who many figured would still be recovering from an injury this week let alone coming up with an interception for the second week in a row.
– Speaking of that, how much better is the front four at generating a pass rush when playing with a lead? Hall said it himself, it’s like night and day.
– Much better performance today, run defense. Seattle managed just 64 yards on 24 carries, an average of 2.7 yards per attempt.
– It’s no coincidence the Rams were outstanding again on third down, holding Seattle to four-of-15 on third down, 27 percent. Likewise, the Seahawks’ lone trip to the red zone resulted in a field goal. Opponents have now traveled inside the Rams’ 20 five consecutive times with nary a touchdown.
– Back on the other side of the ball, rookie QB Sam Bradford continues to grow before our eyes. He had a career high 289 yards on 23-of-41 passing. He had two touchdowns with an interception for a rating of 84.3. Bradford’s lone mistake, the interception in the end zone was “all around bad” according to him. But here’s the thing…when he makes a play like that, don’t you find yourself reminding yourself that he’s only a rookie and things like that happen to rookies? He’s set the bar so high that we, at least I, often forgot he’s only been doing this for a month. Another strong performance by the kid.
– From the department of redundancy department: Mark Clayton is really good. He and Robbins might be two of the best offseason acquisitions in the league. Clayton finished with five catches for 72 yards and they all seemed to result in first downs.
– Hats off to the offensive line for another solid performance. And it should be noted that the tight ends and fullback Mike Karney are pulling their weight too.
– Outstanding job by the special teams. Leon Washington and Golden Tate got almost nothing in the return game. Great coverage and good kicking by Josh Brown and Donnie Jones. Jones, in particular, was excellent as usual. He punted seven times with an average of 45.9 yards and a net of 40.4. He pinned Seattle inside its 20 on four occasions.
– The Rams will enjoy a second consecutive Victory Monday tomorrow, with the usual day off Tuesday before getting back to the practice field on Wednesday. But if last week is any indication, there will be plenty of players in for a sneak peek at the Lions tomorrow. As always, thanks for reading. For now, enjoy another win, Rams fans.
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