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Iffy Calls, Iffier Defense: Week 6 Breakdown

Live by the last minute rush, die by the last minute rush.

Like the string of games this season, this one went down to the wire. It even had a late game forced turnover recovered by the Rams. Holt made an unbelievable catch, so unbelievable, that if the Rams had won the game headlines around the country would have mentioned it.

However, unlike the Packers or the Cardinals, the Seahawks are the kind of team that tightens up when the game's on the line, and it cost the Rams the game in spite of their late rally. Of course, the refs helped, unintentionally, helped the Seahawks out a little bit with the mysterious illegal formation call that didn't carry a 10-second runoff with it. In spite of that call, which was a stroke of bad luck that was bound to catch up to the Rams, had the defense been able to stop just one of those bigger yard gaining plays that got the Seahawks to the Rams' 32 on their last drive, it would never have been an issue. Seattle would have never gotten close enough to kick a field goal to win the game.

Overall, the Rams didn't play a bad game. The offense was far better than Seattle's, and easily ranks among the league's best. The Defense, however, was inconsistent, a classic tale of two halves. Youth showed on the secondary when Hill ot called for the 22-yard pass interference in the second half, no matter the questionability of the ref's call. And when the three defense backs got burned on a Hasselbeck pass to Jackson, who they had in triple coverage, it was clear that they have some work to do in the bye week. In fact, the whole defense has to work harder to adjust better to offenses who themselves are capable of adjusting throughout a game, offenses like the ones the Rams are going to see in the weeks coming out of their bye.

Here's the real baffler from the game, what the hell was Linehan thinking by making the inexperienced Kevin Curtis our kick return man yesterday? I realize that J.R. Reed doesn't have the speed to make a top return man. Linehan et al get credit for trying to make key tweaks to the special teams, signing Kacyvenski immediately helped stop the bleeding on the kick off team. Another move like that for a return man could really help out. And it sounds like they will, according to Jeff Gordon in the Post-Dispatch online forum, "Look for the Rams to address that position immediately."

Still, this game hardly shuts the door for the Rams playoff hopes. This is good team, and if they can adjust and steal a game or two in the upcoming weeks, there will still be Rams football to watch come January.