Live Grades, Analysis for Rams vs. Seahawks

Steven Gerwel@Steve_GerContributor IIISeptember 30, 2012

Live Grades, Analysis for Rams vs. Seahawks

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    The St. Louis Rams (2-2) were able to pick up a rewarding 19-13 home victory over the NFC West rival Seattle Seahawks (2-2). 

    The Rams defense allowed a lot of yardage, but they played a tough game and prevented Seattle from turning solid drives into scoring drives. 

    But the real key was the special teams unit, who scored the only Rams touchdown of the game and also produced four field-goals, including 58- and 60-yard attempts. 

    It wasn't pretty, but the Rams remained focused and will now have a chance to play for a winning record this Thursday against Arizona



    St. Louis Rams 19, Seattle Seahawks 13

Quarterback: C

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    Overall: C

    Sam Bradford moved the ball well in the first half but was unable to produce touchdown scoring drives. 

    In the second half, we saw Bradford lose some of his consistency and ability to move the ball. He had far too many incompletions and threw an avoidable interception. 

    Bradford completed just 16-of-30 pass attempts and was limited to just 220 yards and zero touchdowns. 

    The Rams need a big day out of Bradford this Thursday if they want to overcome the Arizona Cardinals and their vicious defense. 


    Fourth Quarter: B-

    Sam Bradford threw for 75 yards on the first drive of the quarter but as soon as the offense was inside the 10-yard line he failed to hit a receiver in the end zone despite having two opportunities. 

    Obviously it's not all on Bradford, but he has to have a larger presence in crunch time. 


    Third Quarter: D

    With only three pass attempts in the third quarter, there's not a lot to judge Bradford on. 

    But all three attempts were incomplete, and Bradford is not leading his offense downfield. He has to do better in the final quarter. 


    Second Quarter: B-

    Sam Bradford made some mental errors in the second quarter. 

    There was a miscommunication between him and Brandon Gibson, resulting in an interception, while he has produced some bad throws and has displayed questionable pocket awareness.

    He has been moving the ball well at times and is nearly on track for a 300-yard game with 146 yards in the first half, but he needs to get focused and take over the offense.

    Bradford needs to lead the team and finish drives, rather than relying on special teams to bail them out.  


    First Quarter: A

    Sam Bradford looked sharp in the first quarter after going 5-for-6 for 82 yards, including a 52-yard completion to rookie Chris Givens to close out the quarter. 

    Bradford has looked sharp and has been hitting his targets, even though he has been the victim of substandard line play as usual, which has already resulted in a costly sack in Seattle territory. 

    On the negative side, while the left guard was clearly to blame for the sack, you have to wonder if Bradford could have bought an extra second with a quick side-step or roll-out. 

Offense: D

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    Overall: D

    The Rams offense was able to move the ball just enough to get into field-goal range, which it was able to do five times (one time was a fake field goal, resulting in a touchdown pass). 

    But even though they did just enough to stay in the game, the unit looked completely overwhelmed. As a result, they were unable to produce a single touchdown, which is ridiculous for a professional team. 

    The offense will need to get its act together against an even more difficult Arizona defense this Thursday. 


    Fourth Quarter: C-

    The Rams offense was not productive in the final quarter. 

    In the first drive of the quarter, they sustained a long march down the field and it seemed the offense would finally end up with a touchdown, but it fell short once it neared the end zone and was once again forced to kick a field goal. 

    During the final drive, all the Rams had to do was move the chains with just over three minutes remaining in the game, but they failed to pick up a single first down and were forced to punt, giving Seattle another chance to win the game. 

    The offense was completely bailed out by the special teams and the defense.


    Third Quarter: D

    There's not much to say other than the offense was beyond awful in the third quarter. 

    Three drives in the quarter and not a single first down. They picked up a field-goal on the opening drive, but that was the result of great field position rather than solid offense. 

    Every score has been thanks to special teams. The offense has yet to score a touchdown, and that needs to happen in the final quarter if they want to put the game away. 


    Second Quarter: B

    At times, the offense looked absolutely dreadful in the second quarter, but a handful of key plays kept them alive. 

    Brandon Gibson had a costly formation penalty, but the offense was able to overcome. Robert Turner had a bad holding call that negated a touchdown, but that turned out to be irrelevant as well. 

    Meanwhile, key receptions by Austin Pettis and Brian Quick kept the Rams alive during the touchdown drive. 

    Also, Steven Jackson and Daryl Richardson have combined for 62 yards on the ground in the first half, which has been very helpful considering most teams haven't been able to reach that rushing total in an entire game against Seattle. 

    But still, the offense nearly blew a great drive due to mental errors. The blocking needs to be better and they need to finish drives without special teams bailing them out. 


    First Quarter: B+

    The offense has been moving the ball well for the most part. 

    Steven Jackson already has six carries for 33 yards, which is very impressive considering Seattle entered this game as the second-best run defense in the NFL

    The receivers have been running good routes and have been coming up with catches. 

    The offense collapsed on the first drive upon entering Seattle territory, and that's not acceptable if they want to win. 

Defense: B+

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    Overall: B+

    The Rams suffered by giving up major chunks of yardage on the ground, but this isn't fantasy football. They came up with the stops when it mattered, and that's what counts in real football. 

    With three interceptions and two big defensive stands to close out the game, it's fair to say that the defense had a very solid afternoon. 

    If the defense can have a repeat performance against the weak Arizona offense, then they'll have a shot at winning this Thursday. 


    Fourth Quarter: A

    The St. Louis defense was incapable of stopping Marshawn Lynch, who picked up 118 rushing yards, and Seattle was able to easily move the chains. 

    But while the chains were moving frequently, the defense came up with back-to-back stops during the final two drives of the game, which won the Rams the game. 


    Third Quarter: C-

    A Rocky McIntosh interception at the beginning of the quarter was viewed as a good omen, but it turned out to be one of the few bright spots. 

    Seattle has not been able to throw the ball effectively, but they have been running the ball down the Rams' throats. 

    At this point, Seattle is picking up yards on the ground in major chunks and the Rams have no answer. 

    On the positive side, the Seahawks were limited to only a field-goal after a long and promising drive. 


    Second Quarter: A

    The Seattle offense is not supposed to be a strength for them, but they are moving the ball far too easily at times due to poor tackling and mental errors. 

    Although, the Rams have limited their points and have come up with several key plays. 

    Defensive tackle Kellen Heard came up with a key sack after perfectly timing the snap count, while rookie corner Trumaine Johnson came up with and interception on the very next play. 

    On the final drive, a Eugene Sims sack killed any shot of Seattle scoring last-second points going into halftime, and instead gave the Rams offense a chance to end the half with a field-goal. 

    The defense has looked sloppy at times, but they were able to shutout the Seattle offense in the second quarter and prevent them from scoring. 


    First Quarter: C

    The defense was absolutely pathetic on the first drive. 

    Russell Wilson was untouched, completely, while the receivers were wide open and Marshawn Lynch was running rampant. 

    The defense did a much better job on the second drive after Eugene Sims and Janoris Jenkins made a big play on third-and-one, stopping Lynch in the backfield. 

Special Teams: A+

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    Overall: A+

    The offense was incapable of producing touchdowns against Seattle, so the special teams unit stepped up and scored their own touchdown. 

    Special teams is often overlooked, but they were responsible for every point the Rams scored against Seattle. 

    There's no other way to put it—special teams won the game. 


    Fourth Quarter: A

    After a very entertaining afternoon from the special teams unit, things cooled off a bit in the final quarter. 

    The only key play was a 24-yard field-goal by Zuerlein, who had a fantastic afternoon with 12 total points. 


    Third Quarter: A

    Special teams once again came up big with an onside kick recovery and a 60-yard field-goal by Zuerlein. 

    Some trickery on a kickoff return resulted in poor field position for the offense, which was one of the few negatives for special teams in this game. 


    Second Quarter: A+

    Greg Zuerlein's field-goal bailed out the offense in the first quarter, while holder John Hekker's arm bailed them out in the second quarter. 

    Just as it seemed the offense spoiled a perfect opportunity for a touchdown, they pulled some trickery during the field goal attempt and hit Danny Amendola for a touchdown. 

    And to add to the special teams production, Zuerlein was able to hit a 48-yard field goal to close out the half. 

    It was a phenomenal first half for special teams. Absolutely excellent. 


    First Quarter: A

    Special teams did not have a major impact for the Rams in the opening quarter, but kicker Greg Zuerlein's 58-yard field-goal to get the Rams on the scoreboard was huge. 

    We knew the St. Louis offense would struggle against the tough Seattle defense, so it's important that Zuerlein bails them out with his leg. 

Coaching: A

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    Overall: A

    Between the fake field-goal resulting in a touchdown, the solid defensive packages that contained the mobile Russell Wilson, and overall focus from the team, it's clear that coaching played a major role in today's game. 

    The Rams are playing with swagger and are beginning to learn how to put games away in the end. Next week will be a challenge, but there's no doubt that Jeff Fisher will have his team ready to play. 


    Fourth Quarter: A

    During the only scoring drive of the quarter, we saw a nice balance of run and pass plays, which allowed the offense to go downfield for a field-goal. 

    Also, the team remained focus until the bitter end, and it paid off. That's a result of solid coaching. 


    Third Quarter: B-

    The reverse call during the kickoff return was a bad call and gave the offense little chance to produce a solid drive. 

    On top of that, they have no answer for Marshawn Lynch an the Seattle run game. 

    The coaches will have to get creative on offense and toughen up the defense if they want to escape with a victory. 


    Second Quarter: A+

    The decision to fake the field-goal and take a shot at the endzone really paid off. It was a solid decision by the coaching staff, and it could prove to be the difference in the game. 


    First Quarter: A

    Some might question the call to run the ball on third-and-22 on the first drive, but that five-yard pickup by Steven Jackson could have been the difference between nailing that field-goal and punting the ball. 

    It was a good call, and it's the only reason why the Rams have any points.