St. Louis Rams: Quick Reaction to 42-21 Win

Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports

Oh my! The running game has come alive for the St. Louis Rams. They flat out destroyed the Chicago Bears' defense, rushing for 260+ yards. Zac Stacy had a great game until he left with an injury - 87 yards and a touchdown. Then in came a undrafted free agent named Benny Cunningham, and he never missed a beat, rushing for 109 yards and his first ever NFL score.

This game was marred by an incredibly bad call that brought the Bears to within six points of the Rams' lead. But the St. Louis offense responded, marching down the field on the shoulders of Cunningham and Jared Cook, who had his best game since week #1. Let's take a look at a few high points...

We all doubt referees at one point of another. In fact, I thought the crew for the Rams - Bears' game was doing a fair job, until a obviously wrong call allowed the Bears to score a touchdown. It was flat out wrong, with Michael Brockers hitting the Bears' Josh McCown cleanly, only to be called for roughing the passer. I know referees have a tough job, but all they need to do is look up at the huge big screen TV in the stadium and watch the replay. This flag should've been picked up.

Up_green_arrow_medium2_mediumThe Rams' defensive line had a very good day, despite the fact Chicago's Matt Forte rushed for 77 yards and looked very effective. Michael Brockers was a virtual rock all afternoon, and Kendall Langford recovered from early game hiccups to come on strong as the contest became a trench battle. The Rams' next tier of defensive linemen may be the most unheralded heroes of the day, as William Hayes, Jermelle Cudjo and Eugene Sims filled in ably all game.  This game showed the Rams came back from their bye week well rested, and on fire. If any opponent on the horizon thinks this unit is going to go quietly into the post season night, they better think again...

Up_green_arrow_medium2_mediumBrian Schottenheimer has taken some heat from me of late. The only problem for him after calling a great game against the Bears today will be: Why did you take so long? This offense showed latitude missing in earlier games this season. It showed finesse, with bullish strength. Jared Cook became a factor, and Tavon Austin became a "real deal" for any opponent to game plan in the future. Stedman Bailey saw a catch, and Kellen Clemens took tremendous heat all day while delivering in the clutch on patterns I haven't seen much of this year. Mr. Schottenheimer: Well played and called...

Up_green_arrow_medium2_mediumRobert Quinn and Chris Long have to be singled out just a tad for being so close to sacking Josh McCown at least 15 times. They were unceasing pass rush machines the entire afternoon. Quinn finally broke through late in the game for a sack-fumble-touchdown. Not to be out done, Chris Long didn't log a sack, but the pressure he maintained makes me recall a certain nickname from last season: "A Rolling Ball of Butcher Knives".

Up_green_arrow_medium2_mediumThe Rams now have a running back duo to make teams cringe. Defensive coordinators - who were hoping playing the Rams would be a respite - got a rude awakening today. Zac Stacy and Benny Cunningham are punishing running backs, with the speed and agility to break lose at any moment. One thing I have learned watching the NFL over the years, is that defensive linemen wear down as the season progresses. The idea of having to face these two "fresh legged" running backs down the stretch is going to make it tough for any team to think the Rams are one dimensional on offense.

Up_green_arrow_medium2_mediumKellen Clemens isn't playing like a back up quarterback. He's playing like a kid trying to win a backyard game, all the while with a huge smile on his face. Clemens has stepped up well beyond all my expectations after Sam Bradford went down to injury. He moves well in the pocket, and showed guts against a Bears' defense that had it's pass rushing ears pinned back the entire game. He found third and fourth read receivers, and hit them with Drew Brees-esk shots that were both risky, and fun to watch.

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