– With the biggest game of the year hanging in the balance, Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo put it on his defense to come up with the plays needed to get a win. And much like that group did in Denver little less than a month ago, it came through when it was needed most.
– On a day where big plays were the order of the day it was the Rams making the ones necessary to emerge victorious with a 25-17 win at the Edward Jones Dome on Sunday.
– Real quick on the injury front before we get to some quick thoughts: Rams DE Eugene Sims was the only Ram to suffer an injury, hurting his knee early in the game. But Sims battled through it, returned and finished the game.
– First, since it was fan appreciation day, I want to take a moment to commend the fans for their work on Sunday. It was as loud and intimidating an atmosphere as this place has been in the seven years I’ve covered the Rams. Great work by the fans. It was no coincidence that the 49ers were penalized eight times for 87 yards.
– It is the hallmark of any Spagnuolo defense for the front four to provide the pass rush and push to allow the rest of the defense to do what he wants. Never was that more evident than Sunday. The Rams front four dominated from start to finish with ends James Hall and Chris Long terrorizing both San Francisco quarterbacks and Fred Robbins and Gary Gibson pushing up the middle.
– Excellent work in coverage by the Rams as well. Aside from a big play here and there, it was up to the task.
– Danario Alexander sure brings a spark to the offense, huh? The kid simply took over the game on that fourth-quarter drive that extended the lead to eight points.
– Rams RB Steven Jackson had a difficult time against San Francisco’s stout run defense but let it not be overlooked that he was outstanding in blitz pickups and allowed Sam Bradford time to throw.
– Speaking of Bradford, simply a brilliant, brilliant performance from him in the second half. He finished the day 28-of-37 for 292 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions for a rating of 107.
– In the process, Bradford set a rookie record for most completions, passing Peyton Manning.
– Excellent effort from the rest of the Rams receivers as well. Brandon Gibson made some big plays, catching three balls for 69 yards. Robinson added three for 25 and made the deciding touchdown catch.
– And what more can we say about Danny Amendola? He had eight catches for 53 yards and a monstrous kick return to set up the field goal to ice it late.
– Tip of the cap to the offensive line for its pass protection. That unit responded with a strong performance after two difficult weeks.
– I’d be remiss not to mention the job done by K Josh Brown. He hit on all three of his field goal attempts and was successful angle kicking deep to the corner to keep San Francisco KR Ted Ginn locked up.
– So now it’s pretty simple. The Rams travel to Seattle next week to face the Seahawks. The winner claims the NFC West Division and a home playoff game. In the locker room, the Rams didn’t want to celebrate much but that’s only because they know what lies ahead.
– It’s going to be a fun week, Rams fans. Buckle up and enjoy the ride. Thanks for reading.
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