September 16, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams defensive end Robert Quinn (94) sacks Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) during the first half at the Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE
Fitting that the St. Louis Rams mounted an iron-willed comeback on the same day they set a new record for fake mustaches in one place in homage to Jeff Fisher. Fitting that less than a week after the local newspaper trolled fans with the question of whether or not the home team should have dumped Sam Bradford and drafted Robert Griffin III. The St. Louis Rams led by Jeff FIsher played one of the best football games at the Dome in a decade, beating RGIII and the Redskins in a come-from-behind 31-28 win.
Smothered and covered
That was a really impressive performance by the Rams defense. With just under five minutes left in the game, Washington had the ball, there third-to-last possession, and the Rams defense produced a stop, three hurries on RGIII, induced a penalty, forced an interception that was dropped and then a punt.
Throughout the game, they had Washington's passing options locked down in skin tight coverage. RGIII was going through his progressions and finding nothing, forcing him to run more than a few times. He was successful on his feet, scoring twice on the ground.
It was over when Cortland Finnegan nearly forced a fumble on Josh Morgan, who let Finnegan's chippy style get the best of him. He threw the ball at him, got the unsportsmanlike conduct flag and the Redskins missed a 62-yard field goal attempt to tie the game.
This was, in my opinion, the best game of Bradford's career. His interception was the only pock mark on an otherwise super star performance. He was 26-for-35 for 310 yards, 3 touchdowns and 1 interception. He was sacked just twice, compared to seven last year when these two teams met. Decisive and quick, Bradford found his receivers, mostly Danny Amendola, within a breath or two of getting the snap.
If you would have said prior to the start of the season that Wayne Hunter and Barry Richardson were the starting offensive tackles, it would been a laughing stock. Not so for the Rams , who turned to that duo when Rodger Saffold left with a knee injury. Playing with three replacements they gave Bradford more than enough time to throw the ball and open running lanes for the backs.
Almost a costly decision
Steven Jackson's day ended after he got a flag for spiking the ball on a play that probably should have been a touchdown. Fisher benched him, turning to Daryl Richardson, who ran like a man possessed. He was having a great game until late in the fourth quarter when he fumbled the ball, his team leading by three points. The defense came up big, but had the opposite happened there would have been reason to question Fisher's move.
Or maybe not ...
Steven Jackson had a hamstring issue, I'm told, which played a role in him sitting out much of the game. Wasnt just a benching— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) September 16, 2012
Yeah, this group was terrible. A joke any way you look at it, no matter which team you were pulling for here. The NFL has a real problem on its hands, and it needs to think less about endless profits and more about the integrity of the game.
This was a huge win for the Rams, their first home opener since 2006 that ended on this side of the ledger.
Celebrate Rams fans, you've earned it.