Rams Aaron Donald: “We were thinking run” in OT


That’s the St. Louis Rams Pro Bowl defensive tackle Aaron Donald and he’s talking about the final play of the 34-31 overtime victory the Rams earned on Sunday afternoon when Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch was stuffed for no gain on a 4th and 1 to end the game.

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Donald and company dominated the Seahawks offensive line all game long. Quarterback Russell Wilson was under duress early and often as the Rams tacked up six total sacks. Donald would get two of the six with Robert Quinn, LaMarcus Joyner and Eugene Sims splitting the other four. The St. Louis defense came to play on Sunday and stepped up in a big way in overtime to bring in the first win of the year.

"“We were thinking run,” Donald said. “It’s short yardage and we know they’ve got Lynch back there and we knew they were going to give it to him.”(ESPN.com)"

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll seemed surprised by Lynch’s inability to get the first down in overtime saying they had been churning out two to three yards per carry all game long. A team vilified for opting to pass instead of run on the goal line in the Super Bowl eight months ago will have another tough pill to swallow with this short yardage debacle.

However, it wasn’t an easy road for the Rams Sunday. They watched an early lead, as much as 11 points, evaporate on a late surge by Seattle. The Seahawks would score 18 points in the fourth quarter, including a strip sack of Nick Foles by former Philadelphia Eagles teammate Cary Williams who would recover the fumble for a touchdown. It would take some very late heroics from Foles and tight end Lance Kendricks to tie the game in the final minute.

Sep 13, 2015; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams quarterback Nick Foles (5) is stripped of the ball by Seattle Seahawks defensive back Cary Williams (26) during the second half at the Edward Jones Dome. The Rams defeated the Seahawks 34-31 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive back Dion Bailey, starting in place of Kam Chancellor, was lined up on the outside with Kendricks. Kendrick put on the moves and Bailey stumbled leaving him wide open for a 37-yard catch and run to bring St. Louis within an extra point of tying the game. Foles put faith in his tight ends all day as they amounted 127 receiving yards on seven catches. He spoke about the look he had at the end of the game.

"“It was a matchup I took,” Foles said. “Lance gave a little move and ran right by him.” Bailey was just trying to shake it off post game. “I was just too flat-footed, tried to open up and fell down. At that point I’ve got to tackle him and live to fight another day.”(ESPN.com)"

As if the last second heroics weren’t enough to send fans of either team into a frenzy the Seahawks opened the overtime period with an apparent onside kick. Rams special teamer and depth wide receiver Bradley Marquez recovered the kick with a fair catch signal on the 49-yard line, but drew a flag for invalid fair catch signal. When the ball touches the ground on a kickoff players can no longer use the fair catch signal to field it, hence the flag. This would normally result in a re-kick. However, after a quick huddle by the officials the call was corrected.

After review it was clear the ball never touched the ground and the fair catch called for by Marquez was valid. Carroll and the Seahawks said the plan was never to execute an onside kick, but rather a pooch kick that was botched.

"“We didn’t execute the kick right, simple as that, we were kicking the ball way down the field.” Carroll said. “We were kicking the ball in a certain area of the field. We didn’t hit it right, and so we just mishit it. … We were kicking the ball way down the field.”Steve Hauschka said “The result wasn’t planned there, I mishit that kick. We were supposed to kick it downfield further than that, but yeah I mishit it. I take the responsibility on that, putting our team in a bad situation there starting overtime.(ESPN.com)"

Hauschka’s kick traveled 14 yards before finding Marquez waiting on the 49-yard line. This would lead to a 22-yard catch by Stedman Bailey, who was covered by Richard Sherman and took a heavy hit from Earl Thomas, but hung onto the ball to set up what would be the game winning field goal for the Rams.

It would appear that the St. Louis defense is everything it was advertised to be. They earned this win, along with some gutsy plays from quarterback Nick Foles that cannot be ignored. They opened up 2015 with a big win, not only in the division, but also against a legitimate Super Bowl contender.