In a game marred by poor officiating, untimely turnovers, and a ton of unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, the St. Louis Rams have captured their first win of the NFL season. Robert Griffin was forced to try and win the game with his legs, and failed to do so. He ended his night on an unimpressive 20 for 29 passed for 206 yards, which is heavily inflated by the 68 yards on the blown coverage.
The Rams started off on the wrong foot, with a fumble on the first pass completion from Bradford to Amendola. He more than made up for the fumble with a career night, tying the St. Louis Rams receptions record with 15 catches for 160 yards and a touchdown.
After another officiating botch that negated a Steven Jackson touchdown, the Pro Bowler was benched for the remainder of the game in favor of Daryl Richardson, the 7th rounder from the 2012 draft. Richardson took 15 carries for 83 yards, a 5.5 yards per carry average, and set the Rams up for a go-ahead touchdown pass from Sam Bradford. However, he also had an untimely fumble at the end of the game, which gave the Redskins the ball in great field position.
The ‘Skins drove down to within field goal range, but Josh Morgan threw a football at Cortland Finnegan eliciting a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, knocking Washington back towards the 50. They did attempt the 62 yard field goal, but it sail wide right from the moment it left the kickers foot.
So what’s the appropriate punishment for the Redskins Josh Morgan for that Hall of Fame moronic penalty? Top 5 dumbest penalty ever???
— Michael Wilbon (@RealMikeWilbon) September 16, 2012
The Rams dominated on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball. On offense, St. Louis upgraded their 3rd down efficiency, converting on 7 out of 12 attempts. Bradford played an amazing game, controlling the game through “kill” calls and changing the play at the line of scrimmage. Statistically, he may have had one of the best games of his life, throwing 26 of 35 attempts for 310 yards, with 3 touchdowns and a 117.6 quarterback rating.
Defensively, the Rams clearly rattled RGIII, allowing only 4 of 13 third down conversions, most of which came threw the legs of the Redskins quarterback instead of his arm. Griffin ended with a 86.3 quarterback rating, throwing for only a single touchdown in the contest. The defense was able to wrangle him down once on the field, courtesy of Robert Quinn, but forced him out of bounds for a loss on a number of attempts and got a ton of hits on the rookie. Most importantly, Cortland Finnegan welcomed RGIII to the NFL, by robbing the young star for his first interception of the regular season.
At the end of the day, the St. Louis Rams will take the win, in any shape or form. The defense continued their outstanding play, and the offense showed drastic progression, especially given the injuries to the offensive line. GO RAMS!
Next week, the Rams will try and maintain the momentum against the Bears in Chicago. The Bears are coming off a tough loss to the Green Bay Packers, where Jay Cutler had trouble against one of the worst defenses in the NFL. After playing against the lowly Indianapolis Colts in Week 1, Culter should be in for a rude awakening when he plays against his first “real” defense so far this seasons.