Pick a play where it the outcome could have been different for the St. Louis Rams. From missed field goals to 247 penalties, the Rams had their chances to win Monday's game against Seattle. None of those stand out more than what happened on the final play of the game. Brian Schottenheimer happened.
St. Louis ran the ball all night. The only team yet to score a rushing touchdown produced 200 net rushing yards on 37 attempts, 5.4 yards per carry. Zac Stacy had the butcher knives sharpened on his bowling ball, rolling through what used to be the league's stingiest run defense for 134 yards on 26 carries.
Stacy left the game late with an ankle injury, but came back in for the final play ... the final play where Schottenheimer had him lined up wide, leaving Pass Master 2000, Kellen Clemens, with an empty backfield on fourth down at the one-yard line.
Naturally, the call came for a pass, because no Rams receiver had dropped a ball or quit on a route through four quarters of football.
Here's the play
Why is that the call?
The Rams got to this particular set of downs because they ran the ball. Daryl Richardson snapped off a 10-yard run on second-and-five from Seattle's 16-yard line. They put the ball in Kellen Clemens' hands on the first down; incomplete.
On second down, the Rams ran it again, for no gain.
Stacy was out of the game at this point, having suffered an ankle injury earlier on the drive. He was getting it checked out on the sidelines; his status unknown.
On second-and-six, Richardson gains four on a run over the right guard. On third-and-two, Clemens throws an incomplete pass, but it doesn't matter thanks to a Chris Clemons offsides call. Half the distance to the goal line, third-and-1, Richardson runs up the middle for no gain.
Zac Stacy re-enters the game on fourth down. He would have been in for the third down, but confusion on the sideline left him watching.
Schottenheimer spreads out the formation on fourth down. Jeff Fisher said after the game that the play was designed to give Clemens options, take advantage and see what Seattle's coverage presented. Clemens had a decent enough game, but he is still a backup quarterback.
Why would the Rams put the ball in the hands of a backup quarterback on the most important play of the game?
Man, that was the most Schottenheimer thing ever. Trying to outsmart, outcute the defense and you fuck yourself in the face.— Sean Newell (@dontforgetmac) October 29, 2013
I'm just glad the rest of America can now say they too have witnessed the magic that is Brian Schottenheimer. #MNF— Kristine Reese (@kristinereese) October 29, 2013
I am willing to contribute cold hard cash to a fund to pair Brian Schottenheimer and Dez Bryant on the same team. Any team.— Chase Stuart (@fbgchase) October 29, 2013
If Brian Schottenheimer's dad weren't Marty he'd be selling insurance— Bobby Big Wheel (@BobbyBigWheel) October 29, 2013
Brian Schottenheimer didn't disappoint on that call.— Dan Hanzus (@DanHanzus) October 29, 2013
Tonight was my camel back straw for Brian Schottenheimer.— Joe McAtee (@3k_) October 29, 2013