Defensive end Robert Quinn came into the game two sacks behind the Rams’ franchise record for most sacks in a season and a sack and a half behind league leader Robert Mathis for the Deacon Jones Award. At the end of the game however, Robert Quinn would be ahead of both.
Quinn was carried off of the field by teammates Chris Long and William Hayes after his ecord setting performance which included three sacks. Quinn now has 18 sacks on the season, breaking the Kevin Carter’s franchise record, and leading the Rams(7-8) to a 23-13 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers(4-11).
The Buccaneers got things going on a one-yard touchdown run from running back Bobby Rainey. The Rams came back however with a touchdown run of their own from rookie running back Zac Stacy who had 33 carries for 104 yards and moves 42 yards from breaking 1,000.
The Rams defense then came back with the first of their many big plays of the day. Rookie linebacker Alec Ogletree stripped Rainey forcing a fumble and set up great field position for the offense.
On the next play offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer got creative and called a double reverse to rookie wide receiver Stedman Bailey. Bailey took the reverse 27 yards and scored the touchdown, the first of his career, putting the Rams up 14-7.
Bailey finished the day as the Rams leading receiver with 44 yards which included catches in big moments. Bailey has impressed coaches this season and found his way on the field more and more. He certainly has given himself a future on this team.
The Rams coughed the ball up two times of their own in the first half, which included once on the three yard line by Kellen Clemens and once at midfield by Zac Stacy. The defense did well though and only allowed a field goal in the process.
Rams blunders kept the Buccaneers in the game, but unlike so many times before, the Rams overcame their mistakes and earned a well deserved victory. Greg Zuerlein kicked a couple of field goals in the second half and the defense kept the Buccaneers in check sealing the victory with nothing more fitting than a Robert Quinn sack.
On a side note, the Rams big free agent acquisition, offensive tackle Jake Long, suffered a non-contact knee injury in the first quarter. Coach Jeff Fisher mentioned during and after the game that the team is fearing the worst and believe that he tore his ACL.
With the win the Rams move to 7-8 and have matched their win total from last season with their backup quarterback under center for the majority of the season. What’s even more impressive is that this team will have a chance to beat last year’s win total next week and go 8-8 for the first time since 2006.