Scott Kane-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
The St. Louis Rams offensive line bent, but never broke against a powerful Seattle defense.
Remember a few days ago when the matchup between the St. Louis Rams offensive line, a piecemeal outfit that includes a pair of castoff tackles and a starting guard the team brought back after cutting, and the Seattle Seahawks defensive front gave you nightmares? Yeah, it did, admit it. You saw Sam Bradford pummeled, with the giant husks of neon adorned men piled on top of him.
But it didn't turn out that way. Bradford was sacked twice and hit just three times, according to the official press box stats. You could probably even pin one of those sacks on Bradford himself for holding onto the ball a little too long. No, the St. Louis Rams offensive line deserves a mountain of credit for disproving what should have been the most one-sided matchup of the week.
Peter King gave the Rams offensive line a little credit in his MMQB column:
Wayne Hunter, left tackle; Barry Richardson, right tackle, St. Louis. On Monday night against Green Bay, Chris Clemons and Bruce Irvin had six sacks of Aaron Rodgers. On Sunday in St. Louis, Hunter and Richardson held Clemons and Irvin to zero sacks, zero quarterback hits and one tackle.
Let's not oversell it either. The Rams averaged just 2.8 yards on 27 rushing attempts, which is even less than the 3.8 yards per carry Seattle's defense was allowing coming into this game. Thankfully, the Rams stuck with the run in spite of the stats to help the line in pass protection.
Seattle brought one of the best, if not the best, defenses in the NFL into this game. From front to back, it's a talented group that has stymied offenses far better than the Rams. Nevertheless, the Rams offensive line did exactly what it was supposed to do, or wasn't supposed to do depending on your perspective, and it was an essential ingredient for an unlikely win.