Scott Kane-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
Leading the NFL with 12 out of 12 field goals made, rookie Greg Zuerlein remains perfect on the year, and the rest of the league is quickly taking notice.
Congratulations on once again achieving a .500 record, Ram fans, and over a dreaded division rival, to boot.
Much like last week, the offense lacked firepower and consistency, forcing the defense to do just enough to keep them in the game, which is exactly what they did. Seahawks rookie quarterback Russell Wilson was rattled and frantic often, fleeing from the pocket and tossing three interceptions into the waiting arms of Rams defenders.
Nonetheless, the week's game ball unequivocally goes to the special teams unit, particularly the field goal unit. We'll get to that soon enough.
This was a huge victory for the young Rams, who have recently been the cellar dwellers of the NFC West. Winning the first of their six divisional matchups on the year will go a long way towards cementing a new culture and changing their perception in what is quickly becoming one of the league's best divisions.
One key test for St. Louis will be - as always - learning to win away from home. Both of the team's wins have come in the Edward Jones Dome, while their losses have occurred on the road. Yet, that doesn't matter right now, because, on a short week, the Rams will have the opportunity to continue their home undefeated streak when the Arizona Cardinals visit Thursday.
Now, on to the links.
Rams report card - Overall, the Rams played a respectable game, doing just enough to hold on to a one-score lead late in the game. On offense, key first-downs were made in important situations, but not in great volume. Also, the unit failed to reach the end zone once, despite reaching Seattle's one-yard line. Despite forcing several turnovers and allowing only 160 yards through the air, the defense largely struggled, especially against the run. One week after minimizing Chicago to 3 yards per carry, the Seahawks' Marshawn Lynch and Robert Turbin gashed the front-7 with ease. Tackling drills should now be a top priority in practice. The coaching staff and special teams were the only facets to come away from the performance with an 'A' grade.
Rookie kicker breaks Rams record - twice - At risk of jumping the gun, if Jeff Wilkins was "Money," then "The Leg" is gold. Greg Zuerlein narrowly broke the Greatest Show on Turf kicker's record by 1 yard when he boomed a 58-yarder midway through the first quarter. That was awesome, particularly for fans who are so high on the rookie kicker (Zuerlein was nonchalant as if it was merely the norm), but he wasn't finished yet. What would typically be a punting situation for any other team - after starting with the ball in the second half - was turn into points when Greg legged the ball 60 yards through the uprights. Don't get too excited; at this rate, this record won't last.
Mike Sando's Wrap-up - This was the first time this season that Sando analyzed a game' outcome from the the Rams' and their opponent's standpoint. He notes that both Sam Bradford and Russell Wilson suffered interceptions due to miscommunications or mistakes by their receivers. Sam continues to hold onto the ball too long at times. While noticeably improved over last week, St. Louis' power running offensive philosophy still lacks a consistent burst; although, much of this can be blamed on the offensive line, which was frequently manhandled by Seattle's front. Should fans expect Steven Jackson to be back to true, healthy form by Thursday?
Fake Field Goal showed Rams coaching edge - Fans have been expecting it, fans have been waiting for it and fans finally saw it in St. Louis' lone touchdown. John Fassel's heralded special teams philosophy of trickery and deceit was used in affect when rookie punter John Hekker took the hold of a chip-shot field goal, only to subsequently stand upright and toss the ball to a waiting, wide-open Danny Amendola near the edge of the end zone. Glimpses of the coaching staff's willingness to take chances on fourth-down were shown in preseason, but this time it meaningfully helped win a game.
Gregg Williams watched Rams game in person - Indefinitely suspended and short-termed (former) Rams defensive coordinator, Gregg Williams was in attendance during yesterday's contest. As the father of Rams linebacker coach, Blake Williams, it comes as no surprise that he still takes an interest in the team. In fact, this may only further raise questions of Gregg's involvement with the franchise in the future. Does anyone have doubts as to whether Gregg had a pencil and paper in hand throughout the game, or if his notes will eventually find their way to Blake?
Seahawks fall in poor offensive showing - Have a look at the flipside of this game's outcome. The Seattle Seahawks now fall to 2-2 on the season, equal to the Rams in standings; however, they also drop to 0-2 against NFC West opponents with their loss to Arizona. That is a pivotal wildcard tiebreaker statistic, should both teams continue to be so competitive going forward. Don't be shocked if there is a new signal caller behind center in Seattle the next time these two teams meet, or sooner, for that matter. The Matt Flynn chatter may heat up after Russell Wilson's poor showing.