If you do not already incorporate Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback into your balanced football diet, you need to run over to SI.com and have you a bowl. Typically, the “front” page is filled with one or two of the best performances of the week, like Andrew Luck’s game winning drive over the Green Bay Packers in their first game touting the #ChuckStrong bracelets or when Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos stormed back from a 0-24 deficit at halftime to overtake the San Diego Chargers. This week, all but two short paragraphs are an in-depth detailing of the St. Louis Rams tie with the San Francisco 49ers. If you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, follow the link to get the entire story. Here are some of the highlights,
On the two successful fake punts executed by Johnny Hekker and the St. Louis Rams special teams, including the pass from the Rams own endzone,
‘Then the Rams, at their own 33 with 5:23 to play, had a 4th-and-8. Fisher called for the fake again. “I didn’t think they could stop it,” he said, and Hekker, sure enough, threw a perfect spiral to a wide-open Lance Kendricks. Gain of 19. First down.
Two fake punts, one from the Ram 10, one from the Rams 33. Now that’s different. Who fakes a punt standing in his own end zone?’
On the flag for the illegal formation call on the St. Louis Rams after the 80 yard bomb from Bradford to Amendola to start off overtime play,
‘A flag. Illegal formation … on the other side of the play, having absolutely nothing to do with the play. Brandon Gibson, a fourth-year wide receiver, lined up two yards behind the line instead of on the line….
“I didn’t know what happened,” said a downcast Amendola. “All I knew is there was a flag. I mean, it is what it is. What can you do?”
Uhhh, line up properly. That’s what Brandon Gibson can do.’
Some of the players and coaches reactions after the overtime period had ended and everyone (well, mostly everyone) realized that the game was over,
‘At midfield, the coaches met and Fisher said to Jim Harbaugh: “Wow … Good luck … How’s your quarterback feeling?”
“That’s the weirdest feeling I’ve ever had at the end of a football game,” Amendola said. “We’re disappointed. We’re bummed. We left a lot of plays out on the field. But I think as a team we grew today…”
“In the long run,” said Fisher, “this will be a good step for our team. But it hurts a little right now.”
Youth and costly mistakes. That’s the headline. But the upshot is this: The Rams are not pushovers anymore. Three NFC West games this year: St. Louis, 2-0-1. Rams 60, Foes 40.‘
Again, shout out to Peter King over at SI.com for the work he puts into the Monday Morning Quarterback. This short story about the Rams/49ers game should give the rest of the league a nice taste of what NFC West fans had to go through, particularly Rams fans, on Sunday, in the most drama filled, confusing game of the season.
While we are still talking about MMQB, we should also throw in some more mentions about the St. Louis Rams from the piece. A couple of weeks ago, Ramblin’ Fan posted an article about the Fine Fifteen, a ranking of the top 15 teams in the NFL for that given week, which the Rams had finally made! That period was shortlived, losing to the Miami Dolphins the following week. This week, they are still not on the list, but the description for the San Francisco 49ers tells a story of a St. Louis team on the rise,
4. San Francisco (6-2-1). I really didn’t think the story Sunday was the failure of the 49ers, or them coming out flat. I thought the story was the Rams joining the ranks of the serious in the NFC West.
The St. Louis Rams get mentioned again in the award section… twice actually (sort of). In the “Dr. Z Unsung Man In The Trenches Of The Week” category, King gives an award for the greatest singular player or unit blocking performance of the week, usually on a game defining play. This week, the award went to Steven Jackson, for his monster block on Patrick Willis in the waning seconds of the game. This is what King had to say,
Sometimes the most important thing a back can do is enable the quarterback to have a chance to make a play. Pick up the blitz. Chip on the pass-rusher. And with 69 seconds left in a game the Rams trailed 21-17 at San Francisco, Jackson picked up all-world linebacker Patrick Willis and blew him up, giving Sam Bradford a chance to throw a two-yard touchdown pass to Austin Pettis. Best block of the day, and it came from a running back.
The other award went to the refereeing crew for the game, termed the “Goat of the Week.” They deserve the award for a number of reasons, thee late flag, misspeaking on the rules for overtime, etc., but they get the award for allowing 1:12 to run off the clock. In a final word in the piece, King gives his weekly Haiku, this time dedicated to the Rams and the 49ers.
‘A Rams-Niners tie.
Thought it would be boring. Not!
Line up right, Gibson.’