September 16, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams tight end Matthew Mulligan (82) celebrates with fans after defeating the Washington Redskins at the Edward Jones Dome. The Rams defeated the Redskins 31-28. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE
The St. Louis Rams got their first home win of the Jeff Fisher era in dramatic fashion. Showing the grit and determination that have long been staples of Jeff Fisher teams (and have long been lacking from Rams teams) they overcame adversity including several mistakes injuries and a 15 point deficit midway through the second quarter. This team may not be talented enough to be a contender this season but they have already shown that they will be a much more entertaining team to watch in 2012 than they have been in a long, long time. Jeff Fisher has long been known for getting the most out of his players and instilling a never give up attitude in his team. Matthew Mulligan exemplified that this weekend with his blocked punt shortly after Bradford’s INT in the end zone. Mulligan then scored his first career touchdown a few plays later as Bradford found him wide open in the back of the end zone from a yard out. The St. Louis Rams defense then held the Redskins to a long field goal attempt following Daryl Richardson’s fumble as they tried to run out the clock. There are several plays from sundays game that these Rams recovered from that last years team wouldn’t have been able to.
The Seattle Seahawks managed to avoid adversity all together in their game against the Cowboys on sunday. The Cowboys fumbled the opening kickoff spotting the Seahawks an easy 3 points and a lead that they would never relinquish. Then the Seahawks special teams unit came up big again in the first quarter with a blocked punt return for a touchdown. The Seahawks didn’t need to overcome adversity on sunday, but they also didn’t give the Cowboys a chance to make the comeback. Russell Wilson was efficient going 15/20 for 151 yards and one touchdown with zero interceptions. The running game was effective churning out 182 yards at 4.4 yards per carry. With a 10 point lead and a stifling defense, efficiency is all the Seahawks would need from their rookie signal caller. The Seahawks will be a very consistent team this season, they will consistently score between 10 and 20 points behind solid defense and a bruising running game. They probably wont mount a double digit comeback any time this season, unless the defense and special teams provides the field position or scores points on their own. They also probably wont give up a double digit lead this season unless they get away from their gameplan and ask too much of Russell Wilson. After 2 weeks the Seahawks offense ranks last in passing yards per game and 7th in rushing yards per game, a pretty fair indicator of their offensive strategy as they develop their young QB. The Seahawks wont get big plays from their special teams every week and almost certainly not two of such plays in the same game again. However all the other teams in the division should take notice that if you spot them points early they will be very difficult to beat.
This wouldn’t be an article about football without at least mentioning the replacement officials. It is getting very difficult to sympathize with the NFL as it relates to the replacement officials and the lockout. The Monday Night Football game was a primetime showcase of why the NFL needs to pay their regular officials and get them back to work. The regular officials must have been sitting at home watching MNF and listening to Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden complain about the replacement officials with dollar signs in their eyes. While there was only a handful of blown calls the overall game management was ridiculous. This is probably where the replacement officials are the most deficient and it really showed up on Monday Night Football as the game spiraled out of the control. My personal favorite moment was when the referee referred to the Atlanta Falcons as “Red”. These officials are doing the best they can given the circumstances since the NFL has put them in a position where they have zero percent chance of succeeding, the NFL needs to bring back the regular officials so the next time I write an article complaining about officials I don’t have to type the word replacement over and over.