– Not a lot of people expected the Rams to bounce back from last week’s loss to Detroit with a home win against the mighty Chargers on Sunday. Not many gave them a chance to even make it close. But once again, the Rams continue to surprise with character, grit and will. Those were once again apparent as the Rams came away with a hard-fought 20-17 win against the Chargers at the Edward Jones Dome on Sunday.
– Real quick on injuries, the Rams had three guys leave with hamstring injuries that were serious enough to keep them from returning but none seemed too serious. CB Justin King, WR Mardy Gilyard and S Darian Stewart suffered those ailments and did not return. The severity of those injuries remain to be seen but it didn’t sound like any would cause major missed time.
– CB Ron Bartell suffered a wrist injury late in the game. It was unknown how serious that ailment was right away but it will be looked at more closely tomorrow.
– As for the game, the Rams couldn’t have come out with a better start. After the Chargers took the ball first, they managed one first down and the Rams immediately marched for a field goal. A 17-0 lead set the stage. But what you had to like the most was the differing ways in which the Rams opened and closed the game. They started hot, with big plays all over the place but they finished it with a hard nosed effort and clutch plays from veterans.
– First, a big tip of the hat to the Rams’ front four. Ends Chris Long and James Hall absolutely dominated all day. They spent the day in the backfield and even when they weren’t getting sacks (each of them had two), they were all over Philip Rivers.
– Hall had a blocked field goal late in the game to preserve the lead as well. It was not called a block on the official statistics but Hall said he got a piece of it after the game. The way he’s playing, whatever he says, goes.
– Another sack for Fred Robbins, as well. He was key to another strong performance by the run defense, as that group held the Chargers to just 79 rushing yards.
– Larry Grant also was credited with two sacks. All told, the Rams had seven sacks. It’s the first time in Rivers’ career he has been sacked that many times.
– Nice to see you, play making safety Oshiomogho Atogwe. Big interception early in the game to go up and take it away from Malcom Floyd in the end zone.
– As a defense, the Rams held San Diego to 287 total yards. That’s the same Chargers offense that was first in the league in total offense. San Diego was just four-of-12 on third downs as well.
– On offense, the Rams also got off to a quick start as Sam Bradford found a new target in former Mizzou WR Danario Alexander.
– You have to be so happy for Alexander to get on the field and make such a difference. He’s been through a lot, fighting through injuries and finding his way on the field. When he caught that touchdown, the place exploded. It was well earned for a great kid.
– Bradford was strong again, especially on third down. On the Rams’ drive for Steven Jackson’s 7-yard touchdown run, he was four of four for 46 yards on third down.
– Jackson battled and battled all day and with the game on the line, he came through to salt the game away. He finished with 109 yards on 29 carries with a touchdown. He’s now just 32 yards from being the Rams’ all time leading rusher.
– Great job, offensive line. When the game was on the line, they found a way to create room for Jackson to ice it.
– It shouldn’t be lost in the shuffle but Josh Brown’s 48-yard field goal provided the deciding points. A money kick for a guy who has been money in clutch situations but simply hasn’t had many clutch opportunities in St. Louis.
– Will go unnoticed but TE Billy Bajema made two really important first downs.
– That’s all for this one. Back tomorrow for “Wrapping Up” where we take a look back with the benefit of Spagnuolo’s hindsight and film watching. Enjoy this one, Rams fans.
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