DC's "Unsung Hero"

ST LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 16: Tight end Matthew Mulligan #82 of the St. Louis Rams is congratulated by fullback Brit Miller #49 after catching a pass for a touchdown during the game against the Washington Redskins at Edward Jones Dome on September 16, 2012 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Sunday's home opener win - the first since 2006 - was an extremely exciting, yet odd game. The replacement referees, in large part, kept this game 'interesting' throughout. The Rams overcame adversity from the start, spotting the Redskins six with only eleven ticks off the clock in the first quarter. A win is indeed a win, and for the Rams it was well deserved. A great team effort deserves it's rewards.

There are probably about a 100 'game balls' that could've been handed out in the locker room after yesterday's victory. Sam Bradford had an extremely efficient game. Rookie Daryl Richardson carried the load, impressively, while Steven Jackson watched from the sideline. The collective defensive unit did a decent job of keeping RG3 from moving his offense with ease by applying constant pressure, and making big hits. There is, however, one unsung hero whose name isn't mentioned often, and should be…

Matthew Mulligan made several key plays in Sunday's game, but two that specifically can be attributed to the Rams win. I'll admit, Mulligan was one of the players that I didn't want to think would make the final 53-man roster. A bi-product of the Brian Schottenheimer acquisition, Mulligan is known primarily for his blocking ability….something that is going to come in handy with the Rams offensive line's youth, and inability to stay healthy. Kudo's to the coaching staff for recognizing talent better than I. But I digress…two key plays!

3:25 remaining in the 3rd Quarter, and the Rams find themselves down 28-23. The Rams march down field due to a determined effort from Daryl Richardson, as he breaks through two would-be tacklers - displaying his acceleration and speed - while carrying the rock 53 yards, placing the Rams in great position to take the lead at the six yard line. "Give it Richardson, and I don't care which direction you send him," I thought. Nope…wrong! Pass… right into the hands of former Ram London Fletcher. Gut-wrenching!

Would the defense respond? The Rams gave up only three yards to running back Alfred Morris on first down, Quintin Mikell made a big tackle at the line of scrimmage on second, and Bradley Fletcher nearly picked off RG3 on 3rd…effectively ending the drive. And then it happened. Matthew Mulligan busts right up the gut, blocks Sav Rocca's punt, and puts the Rams back in field goal position with a little less than two minutes in the third quarter.

Another exciting [19 yard screen] play from Richardson, and the Rams find themselves at the goal line as the quarter expires. As we returned from the TV timeout, I thought "Give it to Richardson, and I don't care which direction you send him." Nope…wrong again! In a beautiful play action, where Sam keeps his composure in the pocket, he finds Mulligan wide open under the uprights in the end zone. Nobody covers him, because nobody expects him to catch. Congratulations on your first NFL touchdown, young man! Your TD gave the Rams the lead that ultimately won us the game.

It may very well be the best combined 1:58 of Matthew Mulligan's career, but it may have also been the most important in Sunday's win. Great efforts by an unsung hero, in my humble opinion. Even if you didn't get a real game ball yesterday, you've made a believer out of me. Proud to have you in blue and gold.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Turf Show Times

You must be a member of Turf Show Times to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Turf Show Times. You should read them.

Join Turf Show Times

You must be a member of Turf Show Times to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Turf Show Times. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker