By David Demarco, Editor
It was almost too easy to write off the Rams on Monday Night Football against the visiting Seahawks. The Rams were riding a roller-coaster of a 3-4 season, the offense was dramatically improving along with Sam Bradford who was on pace to set career highs in passing yards, touchdowns and several other categories. After Bradford tore his ACL against the Panthers, the season looked all but over for the young and improving team.
The Rams prepared for one of the most seemingly lopsided match-ups of the season in primetime. Although the score stayed close, the start looked ugly and regrettable for now starting quarterback, Kellen Clemens, with a pair of interceptions. The Rams defense stepped up big and slowed down the brutal run first Seahawks defense, holding premier running back Marshawn Lynch to 23 yards. Ram’s pass rushers Robert Quinn and Chris Long teamed up for a pair of three sack performances on Wilson, keeping him under pressure the entire night. On the offensive side of the ball, Zac Stacy and Daryl Richardson picked up the slack combining for 178 yards on 34 carries.
The Rams seemingly dominated in the most important aspects of the game. Defense, rushing, yards per play, third down conversions and time of possession were all dominated by St. Louis. On paper the Rams looked to run away with the win but the three red zone possessions that did not turn into touchdowns held the Rams back 9-14 going into the final drive.
Clemens and the Ram’s offense turned it up with just a few minute remaining, effectively driving down the field with a mix of runs and clutch passing places in the face of pressure. Clemens showed poise and played with confidence as he led the Rams down the field.
The Rams reached with red zone with barely any time on the clock. After an incomplete pass to Austin Pettis on first down, the Rams handed the ball off to Richardson to eat up four yards and get closer to the goal line. After St. Louis burned a quick timeout, Clemens threw another incompletion on a free play marked by a Seahawks off-sides penalty. Facing another third down the Rams handed the ball off to Richardson for no gain, putting the Rams in a fourth and goal at the one-yard line. Fisher rolled the clock off to four seconds before calling a timeout for the Rams to get ready for the final play of the game.
As expected the Seahawks came with pressure and Clemens got rid of it fast. The ball sailed over the head of Brian Quick, ending the game. While this marks as the fifth loss for a Rams team, the team showed plenty of fight despite the absence of their leader, Sam Bradford. Dominating nearly every aspect of the game, the Rams were held back by only a few things. A pair of Clemens early interceptions served as the only turnovers of the game. The Rams also failed to score any touchdowns despite four trips to the red zone.
The Rams showed plenty of fight. For a team without their franchise quarterback in a division with two perennial playoff caliber teams, games like this will be good enough for now.