As a franchise-hell fan base, we needed this kind of hard fought win against the 49ers. I know this performance doesn't change the inevitable end of not making the playoffs (attempt at a reverse jinx), but damn it was good to see!
The defense and special teams have played instrumental roles in our three wins. At Tamp Bay, second year safety T.J. McDonald had a statement game with a clutch blocked field goal and team high five tackles. The last of those tackles was a huge hit on Bucs 1st round pick Mike Evans, which forced him to the ground with an injury and led to a ten second run off. Thanks NFL rulebook!
The Rams' special teams was the talk of the NFL world in their week 8 upset over the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks. With the aid of one of the most entertaining fake punt returns we’ll ever see, the Rams notched a 28-26 victory. As if that wasn't enough, St. Louis also added a fake punt as icing on the cake to seal the deal.
By no means did the defense play perfect in that particular game. There were way too many missed tackles and breakdowns, allowing Russell Wilson to account for over 400 yards of total offense. They were however relentless in their pass rush, racking up three sacks.
And last, but certainly not least, the 49ers. I hate the 49ers so it was a pleasure to see Collin Kaepernick get abused all game long. After eight sacks and a countless numbers of hits, the defense rose to the occasion and recovered a fumbled with two seconds left as Kaepernick attempted a quarterback sneak for the would-be go ahead score.
I say all of that to say this: If the Rams’ defense can consistently play anywhere close to what we saw on Sunday, they will keep the offense in games and give us a chance to win.
The defense is finally starting to gel. The special teams are pulling their weight as well. Now, it’s time for the 3rd and final phase to start putting things together. Rule # 76: No excuses. Play like a champion!