The Rams defense started the game with… well, let’s just say it wasn’t pretty. The Seahawks, lead by running back Marshawn Lynch, marched down the field 80 yards to put up an easy 7 points.
But then the good Rams showed up for a majority of the game.
Here are a few quick hits from today:
1) In a surprising move by Coach Fisher, wide receiver Steve Smith (and running back Isaiah Pead) ends up on the inactive list making room for rookie Brian Quick. Along with fellow rookie wide receiver Chris Givens, Quick finally made an impact on the game. Givens hauled in a beautiful 52 yard pass from Bradford for a huge gain. Quick logged in his first NFL pass reception a well timed 19 yard catch. Good to see the youngin’s get some playing time and contributing.
2) I can’t talk about this game without mentioning the current front runner for Rams MVP, rookie kicker Greg Zuerlein. All he did was break Jeff Wilkins‘ 1998 57-yard record by punching through the uprights a 58-yarder. Then as if that wasn’t enough in the third quarter he one ups himself by launching a 60-yard field goal to extend the Rams lead 7-13. Zuerlein went 4 for 4 connecting on 58, 48, 60, and 24 yard field goals. All in all he scored 13 (1 point from a PAT) of the 19 Rams points.
3) For all the talk about Steven Jackson‘s groin he lasted the entire game: 18 carries for 55 yards. Not the most exciting stat line but Jackson came up with some bursts and critical drive extensions. If anything the threat of him breaking a long one kept the Seahawks defense honest.
4) John Fassel (Rams special teams coach) you are ridiculous! Here is the fake field goal/punter Johnny Hekker to Danny Amendola touchdown. Because punters are fantasy point scorers, too. By the way, Hekker’s QB rating was 118.8. Here’s a link to the genius call:
5) Defensive ends Eugene Sims and Robert Quinn came alive and put the hurt on the Seahawks rookie quarterback Russell Wilson and welcomed him accordingly to the Dome. Overall, the Rams held Wilson in check today. His stat line: 17 of 25 for 160 yards, 0 TDs, 3 INTs (LB Rocky McIntosh, CB Trumaine Johnson, and CB Bradley Fletcher) leading to a miserable QB rating of 45.8.
6) Yes, I’m enjoying the win but this next point does concern me: None of the 19 points came from the traditional Rams offense. Those 6 points from Hekker to Amendola count as a special teams touchdown. Bradford’s stat line from today: 16 of 30 for 221 yards, 0 TDs, 1 INT for a QB rating of 63.3. Nothing to write home about and for the most part the offensive line held up okay minus a couple of big blow ups that lead to two Seahawks sacks.
7) Rams rushing defense wasn’t so hot, even with the addition of defensive tackle Michael Brockers. It could have been worse but Marshawn Lynch just beasted them. 20 carries for 118 yards and 1 TD. His average yardage pick up was 5.9 yards per run. Yikes. He blew up blocks, avoided blocks, and sometimes just dragged defenders along with him as he kept picking up yards.
8) And last but not least, it’s great to have the real referees back on the job this week. Here’s looking at you, Mike Carey and crew. Welcome back, sirs.
From my game preview:
The Rams defense will have some fun and give Wilson a proper “Welcome to the Dome” greeting. He’ll take a few spills as well if Lynch doesn’t get rolling. I can also see cornerback Cortland Finnegan collecting his fourth interception in as many games.
Overall, this will be a closer match up than last week in Chicago. Something tells me this one will come down a winning performance from Greg “The Leg” Zuerlein.
I like the Rams to squeak this one out by 3 points. They win 23-20 and send the Hawks home on an unhappy flight.