Sunday, September 26, 2010

Rams beat Redskins 30-16: Post-Game Article

The Rams were fired up during the start of the game against the Washington Redskins. Steven Jackson started things off with a beastly 42-yard TD run. But it didn't stop there; on the second drive, the Rams were inside the 20-yard line, and Sam Bradford rolled out of the pocket, hitting TE Daniel Fells in the corner of the end-zone. The score was then 14-0; but unfortunately, the Rams we have come to know over the past few years decided to show up, and for a while things were not looking good.

The game began to even out after a drive by the Redskins that resulted in a field-goal, which was their first score of the game. That drive was actually a solid showing by the Rams' defense (other than a pass-interference call on CB Bradley Fletcher), and it is a miracle that they held Washington to only a field-goal. But on the kick-off following the field-goal, the Rams' kick-returner Mardy Gilyard fumbled the ball, and the Redskins' QB Donovan McNabb threw a TD pass on the very next play; meaning that Washington scored 10 points in only 13 seconds of play. This made the score 14-10.

Washington then scored another field-goal in the 2nd quarter, making the score 14-13. The Rams then tried to put together their final drive of the half, but Jackson received a groin injury on the drive, forcing the Rams to play back-up RB Kenneth Darby. However, Darby came through for the Rams on the drive with an 8 yard reception, followed by a 13 yard reception by WR Mark Clayton, which put the Rams on the Redskins' goal-line. But after six attempts (because of a penalty against Washington) the Rams failed to punch in a touchdown to end the half. Then it got even worse. The Rams had to settle for a field-goal, but it was blocked. It was the second blocked kick on the season for the Rams, and on top of that, K Josh Brown also missed an important field-goal last week against Oakland. Needless to say, the Rams entered the locker-room at half-time to the sound of "boo's" from their home crowd.    

Even so, the Rams still went into half-time with a 14-13 lead, even after their pathetic final drive. But that lead didn't last, as the Redskins got the ball back to start the half, which resulted in a field-goal to give the Redskins a 16-14 lead.

However, even with Jackson out of the game, the Rams were able to take the lead right back with a touchdown. Despite a couple of drops by WR Brandon Gibson, Bradford was able to throw his way into the red-zone, causing Washington's defense to completely forget about the run. Darby took advantage of that, and following a solid block by Adam Goldberg, Darby scored on a 12 yard touchdown run to give the Rams the lead once again, making the score 21-16. Darby's touchdown run was the Rams' second touchdown they've scored in the 3rd quarter in the past 19 games. 

The Rams finished the 3rd quarter on a high-note, hanging on to the lead as the game progressed into the 4th quarter. They started the final quarter off well, as they put up a field-goal to start it off, making the score 24-16.  

The Rams' primary goal of the 4th quarter was to kill the clock; and despite the fact their star running-back was on the bench, the back-up's Darby and Keith Toston, with the leadership of Bradford, were able to do just that. They even scored two more field-goals in the process, making the score 30-16, and the game ended with that score.

It's been a long time since the Rams have been able to put the game on their quarterback's shoulders, and let him carry the team to a win. The Rams were unable to do that with Marc Bulger leading the team; but Sam Bradford not only carried the team today, he ran away with it. He continues to play better than anyone could have possibly expected a rookie quarterback to play.

The Rams are now 1-2, and they are now in 2nd place in the NFC West. They are only one game behind Seattle and Arizona, who have a two-way tie for 1st place. Meanwhile, the preseason division favorites, the San Francisco 49ers, are in last place with an 0-3 record. The Rams will look to move up in the division next week when they play Seattle at 12:00 PM in St.Louis.

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