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St. Louis Rams vs. Seattle Seahawks: Recap & Game Notes

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In the preseason I said to R.E.L.A.X... and this was the reason. The Rams opened up and more...

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The Rams really opened up the play books in week one. This game should have been a blow out. I saw a Seahawks team that simply made impact plays instead of consistently moving the chains. The Rams, however, moved the chains all game long...

  • LT Greg Robinson is not looking so great. His poor play from the preseason has carried over into the regular season. I tend to believe he has a case of the yips. He performed well in the first two games of the preseason and practice, but after getting beat pretty badly on a couple of snaps he appears to now be thinking too much as his feet does not move. On the first play of the game, WR Tavon Austin should have had at least had 20 yards, and that's if he didn't score from 90. The one issue was Robinson's missed block. If you watch the play again, you see everyone down field has their man locked up. There was nothing but daylight and an injured safety in Earl Thomas 20 yards deep. In a one-on-one situation in open field, my money is on Austin. Robinson also allowed a sack and some pressures, and he allowed a lot of penetration in the first half. He was better in the run the second half.
  • Speaking of Tavon AustinI predicted he would go straight West Virginia Mountaineer on that ass. He did. Austin burned Seahawks CB Richard Sherman in the worst way, and QB Nick Foles under threw him. Either way there should have been a pass interference call on Sherman in the end zone putting the Rams on the one yard line. The refs truly blew that call as it was not even close. His punt return  was effortless. The most impressive play was his score while running from 16 yards out. He showed great vision, cutting ability, and patience. He cut the ball back with no holes, set up his block on Thomas, and showed off that burst on the cut off the block. Excellent job.
  • Another pregame prediction was that WR Stedman Bailey would have the catch of the game. He did. It was a timely one. With Sherman draped all over him, with what should have been another pass interference, he reeled in a great catch while taking a well timed blow from Thomas. Not very many people hold on to that ball with so much contact from two defenders. Also it was a helluva throw from Foles, as he demonstrated flawless touch and accuracy.
  • Nick Foles had a good game. He was everything Jeff Fisher wants from his QB. He managed the game extremely well. I will not nitpick his game as he displayed courage and toughness all game long sitting in the pocket and taking a couple on the chin. He was very patient back there and did an excellent job working the pocket to buy time.
  • RB Benny Cunningham reminded folks that he has a unique skill set. He rarely allows the first guy to take him down, albeit a broken tackle or shaking the guy out of his shoes. Cunningham has extremely quick feet and he understands how to use them to his advantage in the open field. His ability to come out of the back field and makes plays is one of the most valued factors in a back in today's NFL. Make no mistake about it: if Cunningham doesn't play, Rams don't win. He was my personal player of the game as he continuously bailed the team out on third down and kept the chains moving. Not even Isaiah Pead could piss away his efforts.
  • The rookies looked good on the line. Jamon Brown carried over his strong camp and preseason. Rob Havenstein looked solid, and aside from a bone head false start Rodger Saffold was the best lineman on the field. Tim Barnes allowed some penetration but overall he was solid.
  • The Rams finished with only four penalties for 30 yards. That is a very low number, and shows some improvement, at least so far. Still quite a bit of season left, but the penalties were not as dumb as they usually are. Also they didn't come in the absolute worst situations. Let's hope they can keep it up.
  • Jared Cook came up big in the pass game, but he still wasn't worth watching when blocking. I watched him try to block a LB with his back to him on a run play. That's all I'm choosing to say about him. Lance Kendricks looked good blocking. Actually he looked angry as he was getting after a few guys regularly. And it'd be remiss to not mention his game tying touchdown.
  • Frank Cignetti was freaking awesome. In the words of Tavon "hey I'm balllllin, I'm Frank Awwwesome!" Cignetti was creative, smart, and unpredictable. He got Austin involved in creative ways, but he also fooled everyone on several occasions when you're almost certain Austin was getting the ball and didn't. He drew up some great decoy plays and they really paid off.
  • The defense was awesome and it started up front. On the last play of the game, I literally said out loud, Aaron Donald is going to get credit for that tackle because he's Aaron Donald - and he did - but that was all Michael Brockers. Brockers was playing possessed all game. He had penetration on the vast majority of his snaps. That's not to say Aaron Donald wasn't his usual self. He was unstoppable as well. He just made more of the highlight plays, aka sacks. The point here, is the Rams might have the most disruptive interior starters in the NFL. It's a toss up between STL and Buffalo. Robert Quinn and Chris Long we're amazing as well. Quinn had two sacks, yes that's true, but it was the little things they did. They were setting the edges all game long allowing nowhere for Russell Wilson or Marshawn Lynch to run.
  • The secondary played their best game under Jeff Fisher in my opinion. They were disciplined, didn't have any mental lapse, and good tacklers. Janoris Jenkins basically elimated one side of the field. He was playing some air tight coverage for most of the game. Evident by the lack of pass attempts his way. Tumanine Johnson had what is likely to be one of the best interceptions of the year. I mean there's not much to say here other than, WOW! And how about a round of applause to Marcus Roberson. He came in and did his thing making good, solid, open field tackles. He didn't back down from Jimmy Graham, in fact he shut him down when he was on him. And he had a couple of nice break ups. Rodney McLeod elimated every deep pass Wilson looked for. There were 6 times by my count he was looking deep but McLeod was in position and took away the opportunity. Positioning isn't a stat so it goes unnoticed, but McLeod had a great game in that regard.
  • The linebackers and safeties might have had the best game. It's really a close call between them and the line, a very very close call. They were filling running lanes like all pros, all game long. They were covering Jimmy Graham allowing him absolutely nothing (except for the touchdown T.J. McDonald gave up). Alec Ogletree and James Laurinaitis were making tackles all over the field. This was the best I have seen this core look from beginning to end in quite some time.
  • Gregg Williams has this unit playing fast and hard. All eleven guys are consistently running to the ball and gang tackling the opposition. He drew up some stellar blitz, and he is doing a good job of finding ways to get everyone on the field, while running plays that works to that eleven's strengths. However, he does have to calm down a little on his blitzing as he created a few running lanes from excessive use of a few of them. Outside of that, this was a well coached game.
Good game by the Rams, and a great win. The Rams are officially undefeated...