For those of you who don’t follow the NFC West all that closely, you might think that title is a typo. The Rams can’t possibly be in first place in the division, right? Wrong. Thanks to Sunday’s 20-3 win over the Seattle Seahawks, the St. Louis Rams are now tied with the aforementioned Seahawks and the Arizona Cardinals atop the division with a 2-2 record. The game Sunday was extremely impressive, and I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but I think this team might be a serious contender for the division title. I think the San Francisco 49ers are still going to make a run, but their loss to the Falcons today that dropped them to 0-4 really hurts their chances. The Cardinals aren’t impressive, and if Seattle looks anything like the team we saw today on a regular basis, they aren’t very good either. I’m not saying the Rams are going to win it or even that they are the favorites, but I do think they are a real contender.
Now, on to the win. For a recap, let’s look at my keys to the game from yesterday’s post to see how the team fared in those categories.
Home Cookin’- Check. The Seahawks are not a good road team, and they proved that yet again today. I know that being at home is a boost for NFL teams, but it’s pretty crazy how they become a completely different team depending on whether they are home or away. It’s important to take care of business at home in division games, and the team did just that today. The Dome was rocking all day long, which was great to see.
Mr. Washington, I Presume?- Check. Seattle return man Leon Washington pretty much single-handedly won the game for the Seahawks last week, but the Rams did an outstanding job keeping him in check. I was very impressed with special teams as a whole today, as Josh Brown got back on track and Donnie Jones proved why he is the best punter in the NFL. Washington and punt returner Golden Tate didn’t have much room to operate, which was big.
(No?) Action Jackson – Here is one I missed on a bit. I didn’t think SJ39 would go, but he proved once again today that he is the consummate professional. He battled through the injury, and although he wasn’t as explosive as usual, he still finished with 70 yards on the ground and 53 through the air. He is the man. That’s all that needs to be said.
Sam The Savior – Check. Sam Bradford just continues to impress and amaze. This guy doesn’t look at all like a rookie, and other than the awful red zone interception, he was outstanding. Chalk that pick up to a rookie mistake, and I have no problem with that. He finished 23-for-41 for 289 yards and two touchdowns. I’ll take that every week.
Tight On The TE - Check. John Carlson, who has killed the Rams in the past, was pretty much a non-factor today. He had one catch for 15 yards. Yep, that’s it. The defense in general was very good, especially in the second half, and a big part of that was shutting down Carlson.
Put Matt On His Hassel”back” -Major Check. In my opinion, this was the biggest key to the game. The Rams have struggled to get a consistent pass-rush all season, but they put pressure on Matt Hasselbeck all day. They finished the game with 4 sacks, and James Hall had two of those. He looked like the Hall of old today, and he proved that this defense is pretty good when they can generate some pressure on the opposing QB. David Vobora had a big sack, and my boy George Selvie got himself one as well. Seattle managed just four first downs in the second half, which was the difference in the game.
Overall, great performance by a team that really looks to be heading in the right direction. There will be some bumps in the road, but the future in bright in the Gateway City.
Stay tuned for a more in depth look at specific players tomorrow, where I will admit I was wrong about a couple of guys. That’s right, I will admit I was wrong. It will be a monumental, first-of-its-kind occurrence, so don’t miss it.
Topics: Arizona Cardinals, David Vobora, Donnie Jones, Edward Jones Dome, George Selvie, Golden Tate, James Hall, John Carlson, Josh Brown, Leon Washington, Matt Hasselbeck, NFC West, NFL Week 4, Sam Bradford, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Special Teams, St. Louis Rams, Steven Jackson