Quick Thoughts On The St. Louis Rams Win Over The Seattle Seahawks


Oct 19, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; Seattle Seahawks fan holds up a sign during the second half against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome. St. Louis defeated Seattle 28-26. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Many in Rams Nation woke up this morning to a strange feeling, being able to celebrate a victory on Monday. Not only did the Rams manage their first home win of the season yesterday, they did it against their division rivals, the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks. Despite always keeping the games close, the Rams have struggled to pull out wins versus Pete Carroll and Co., having bested his squad only once in the Jeff Fisher era. With that in mind, we’ll have to see how easy these quick thoughts flow out…

1. The opening thought has to go out to head coach, Jeff Fisher, and special teams coordinator, John Fassel. The duo pulled off arguably the best “complete” special teams performance of the year, with the beautifully engineered “fake” punt return, and the fake punt that essentially iced the game for the St. Louis Rams. It takes a special kind of coach to trust his players, most of which are second or third year talents, to make those types of plays in unfathomably clutch situations. Good job, gentlemen.

2. After lambasting Austin Davis performance last week against the San Francisco 49ers, it is only right to give him his due after Sunday. Davis went 18 for 21 against the vaunted Seattle secondary, completing 85.7% of his attempts and tossing two touchdowns, with no interceptions. Not much was asked of Austin Davis, but when his name was called, he delivered. His clutch spin move-shovel pass deep in the redzone might have been the most underrated play of the game, and helped set up the now-famous punt fake.

3. However, Davis wasn’t the only young stud on offense that showed up on Sunday. Tre Mason and Benny Cunningham were both spectacular in the Rams backfield. Mason handled the majority of the rushing duties, taking 18 carries for 85 yards, including a touchdown. Cunningham stole the show on special teams and in the passing game, leading the team in receptions and yards, while also managing 104 yards on kickoff returns.

Les Snead said during the offseason that the Rams were going to play “the hot hand” in the backfield this season. Seems like he is sticking to that…

4. Keeping in that same “youth takeover” trend, Greg Robinson was unarguably the best offensive lineman on the field yesterday. Robinson allowed zero sacks, zero hurries, and zero hits in 51 snaps, and completely dominated Brandon Mebane, one of the top interior defensive linemen in the league. Robinson might not have been ready to take the field earlier in the season, but he certainly seems to have found his footing now that he is in the starting lineup. Here are two examples, courtesy of @seattlerams, a must-follow on Twitter if you are a Rams fan:

5. It wouldn’t be right to mention “one of the top interior defensive linemen in the league” without bringing up Aaron Donald. The rookie cannonball not only graded out tops among Rams defenders yesterday, but tops among all defensive tackles in the league in Week 7. However, that isn’t an anomaly. In fact, Donald is currently graded as the top interior defensive linemen in the NFL this season, after pumping out an impressive five pressure, four tackle, five defensive stop stat line on Sunday. And that was only his second start of the year…

6. After Aaron Donald managed his second sack of the season, the floodgates finally opened for Sack City, with the Rams defensive line recording a takedown in two of the next four snaps. Russell Wilson was under duress for the entire night, with St. Louis defense managing three sacks, five hits, and 17 hurries by the end of the bout. Hopefully, that is a sign of things to come.

7. The St. Louis Rams were also impressive against the run, even with Russell Wilson managing some big gains on broken plays. Marshawn Lynch took 18 carries and managed a meager 53 yards on the ground, good for 2.9 yards per attempt. That performance comes on the heals of allowing only 38 yards on 16 carries to Frank Gore against the San Francisco 49ers last week. The St. Louis Rams, particular since starting Aaron Donald, have been under-the-radar impressive against the run as of late. Luckily, the Rams won’t face off against many more running quarterbacks this season, unless Peyton Manning decides to come out of his shell in Week 11.

8. However, it wasn’t all rainbow and unicorns on Sunday. Alec Ogletree was tasked with the job of  “shadowing” or “spying” Russell Wilson, and failed miserably for much of the second half. While it may have been too much to ask for one player to contain the Seahawks’ dynamic signal caller, Ogletree has struggled all year to find his footing in the second level. Gregg Williams is a brilliant defensive mind, and will hopefully make some adjustments to get the promising young linebacker back on track in the Rams up-and-coming defensive unit.

T.J. McDonald also struggled yesterday in coverage, allowing a perfect 158.3 QB Rating when throw at in coverage. It wasn’t just on Sunday though, with McDonald allowing a touchdown in all but two games this season, and struggling to stay consistent against the run. To be fair, Gregg Williams is asking a lot of the young safety, moving him all over the defense, and forcing him into some tough matchups against tight ends, slot receivers, and even running backs. No one should be panicked, with McDonald just now rolling over the “one year” mark of his career, in terms of games played. Hopefully, he can settle in as the season rolls on.

9. A special hat tip has to go to the “Mountaineer Brothers,” who pulled off arguably the best overall play of the season on Sunday. Instead of wasting time explaining it, just watch…

10. We had to save the best for last. In this case, that would be Johnny Hekker, who made the throw of the night DEEP in St. Louis Rams territory to essentially seal the win for the good guys on Sunday. Hekker is currently sports the 4th-highest QB Rating in the NFL (118.8). Oh yea, and he is pretty good at punting the ball, as well…

Bonus: Two penalties for 20 total yards. The St. Louis Rams would win a lot more games if their final penalty count looked like that more often.