– We aren’t quite there yet but this might be a good time to buckle up your seatbelts or chinstraps or whatever cliche you want to go with because if the first quarter of the NFL season is any indication, the Rams are about to take us all on a wild ride.
– During a smashmouth, punch you in the face four quarters on Sunday at the Edward Jones Dome, the Rams once again answered every question that was posed to them by a stout, tough Seattle defense on their way to a 19-13 victory. The win improves the Rams to 2-2 with a chance to go above .500 for the first time since 2006 only four days away. There will be plenty of time to look into that in the next couple of days but for now let’s re-live what happened Sunday.
– Real quick on the injury front, DE Eugene Sims suffered a blow to the head and did not return to the game. Shame, too, because he was having a heck of a day. He finished with a sack and made some nice plays defending the run. The Rams missed his presence up front when he left.
– DT Michael Brockers tweaked his ankle but returned to the game. He’ll have to manage it with a short week but is expected to be fine.
– As for the game, there is so much to cover, it’s hard to choose where to start. But let’s start at the top with HC Jeff Fisher.
– QB Sam Bradford was asked after the game why the Rams have been able to learn to win games like this so fast under Fisher. Bradford’s response was simple “The attitude change that came with Coach Fisher.” Bradford said Fisher told the team a long time ago that it should expect to be in games like this all year. So far, that’s been prophetic and Fisher’s emphasis was on finding a way to win these games with a play or two late in the game. In just a few weeks since not making that play in Detroit, the Rams made it on Sunday.
– Speaking of that play, how about CB Bradley Fletcher? Now, let’s not get matters confused. Obviously, Seattle TE Anthony McCoy stumbled on his route on the final Seattle pass but there’s something to be said for two things for Fletcher: 1. Being in position to make the play. 2. Making the play. Fletcher missed some golden chances for picks in the season’s first two games. That could have played havoc with his mind. Instead, he put it behind him and he squeezed the most important one yet to seal a Rams victory. Hat tip to Fletcher for staying on the ground and not going for an unneeded return as well.
– Let’s stick on the defensive side of the ball for a moment: the Rams got big plays from both rookie corners as CB Trumaine Johnson made a heck of a play in jarring a ball loose and then making the play to catch it for his first career interception. CB Janoris Jenkins forced another INT as he hit Russell Wilson and forced a wounded duck that landed in the hands of Rocky McIntosh.
– Three more takeaways for the Rams defense and just four games into the season, Rams DBs have more INTs on the season than they had all of last year. Quite a turnaround in that secondary.
– After a shaky first drive, the Rams defense settled in and did an excellent job limiting the Seahawks. Even when Seattle drove the field, it regularly settled for field goals. All told, the Seahawks had just 319 total yards and were 2-of-9 on third down. The Rams even got off the field on a number of third and short situations.
– I would have started this blog with high praise for rookie K Greg Zuerlein. But, honestly, I just don’t know what’s left to say. He hit FGs from 58, 48, 60 and 24 yards. And, save for the 60-yarder, they all looked relatively easy. He’s so cool and poised. I have a feeling No. 4 jerseys are about to become a hot seller in the STL.
– Fisher stated a number of times that one thing the staff liked about P Johnny Hekker was his ability to throw the ball. That faith was rewarded Sunday as the Rams pulled off a beautifully designed and executed fake field goal for a 2-yard TD pass from Hekker to WR Danny Amendola. With so many moving parts on that play, it would have been easy for a mixup to stop its success. It didn’t and that’s a credit to all involved.
– Want to doff the cap for LS Jake McQuaide as well. He won’t get much credit but if he’s not perfect on his snaps, none of the above plays are possible.
– Rodney McLeod is fun to watch on coverage units, isn’t he?
– On offense, the Rams didn’t have the success they would’ve liked and couldn’t put the ball in the end zone but against an excellent Seattle defense, the Rams offense did enough to move the ball and get points (with the help of Young G.Z. of course).
– Credit to Bradford for standing tall in the pocket for most of the day and delivering perfect throws down the field. The Rams converted five third downs today, not an amazing number by any stretch. But here’s the thing: all five of those third down conversions were from third-and-10 yards or longer. Keeping those drives alive not only helped lead to points but also helped chew up valuable clock.
– It was just a matter of time before rookie WR Chris Givens and Bradford hooked up for a long pass. Think I might have read that somewhere this week. Self-congratulations aside, that’s probably something we should get used to seeing. Givens almost had another one later in the game.
– WR Brian Quick only made one catch in his most extensive work of the season but it was a big one, a 19-yarder on third down to keep a drive moving. He needs to get his feet in on the first ball thrown his way today but he’s only going to get more involved as the season goes on.
– Nice job by TE Lance Kendricks and WR Austin Pettis, both of whom kept drives alive on third downs with long catches.
– A pretty solid job by the O line all things considered. Bradford was sacked twice and hit a few others but for the most part, the Seahawks dynamic pass rush was mostly quiet.
– Strong running game in the first half by RB Steven Jackson who appeared to be closer to full strength this week. Tough sledding in the second half but there was enough run success there to at least keep the Seahawks off balance.
– Nice job by the fans in attendance today as well. Fisher made reference to the Edward Jones Dome being a hard place to play again now. It may be too early to declare that but things are well on their way. It was loud, loud, loud, especially in the fourth quarter.
– OK, that was a long-winded post but there’s much to get to. Be sure to keep an eye on the homepage with full post game coverage coming tonight.
– Hope you all enjoyed that one and thanks for reading.
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