It's absolutely incredible watching the St. Louis Rams play at home. When comparing their level of play at home versus the way they play on the road, it's a night and day difference. The offense, defense and special teams all look like they have been given plus-100 ratings boosts.
Today, the Rams' win was fueled by an impressive performance from John Fassel's special teams unit. Greg "The Leg" Zuerlein kicked four field goals en route to a 19-13 victory over the Seattle Seahawks. He set a Rams franchise record by booting a 58-yarder in the first quarter and then went on to hit from 48, 60 and 24.
Yet the biggest play of the day for the Rams resulted in their only touchdown of the game.
On 4th-and-2 from the Seahawks two, Jeff Fisher called for a fake field goal with under two minutes to play in the half. Because Danny Amendola had been in on the previously play, he did not have to report as eligible, so what did St. Louis do? They snuck him out wide, quick snapped the ball and punter Johnny Hekker lobbed a touchdown pass to the uncovered Amendola.
For a team that didn't score an offensive touchdown all game long, there's nothing like pulling out all the stops. And even though Sam Bradford and the offense didn't score a touchdown, not all was lost. They actually managed to call a pretty consistent game all the way to the end. Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer called 27 run plays and 33 pass plays.
Sure, two of those were kneel downs at the end of the game, but Steven Jackson looked like a totally different player this week, especially in the first half. Jackson's 55 yards on 18 carries may not jump off the page at you, yet the explosion he showed on inside runs were the difference. In Week 3 there was no get-up off the ball, and at times he was seen icing his groin in between drives.
Rookie running back Daryl Richardson was also highly involved this week, which was a pleasant surprise following last week's disappearing act.
Bradford and the passing game looked mediocre more often than not, but it's hard to expect a top-flight performance against the best secondary in the league. I was impressed by the offensive game plan. It utilized the same quick-passing attack we saw from the Packers in the second half of Monday night's game.
The offensive line held up for most most part. There were a couple of unnecessary holding calls that shut drives down, yet Bradford was only sacked twice. That's a big improvement from last Sunday's six-sack debacle at Soldier Field.
Surprisingly, center Robert Turner was the biggest culprit today. Seattle's defensive tackle, Brandon Mebane, stole his lunch money on every play, which caused Turner to hold more than once.
Defensively, the Rams came up big when they need to the most. For the second time this season St. Louis' secondary stopped a rookie quarterback from leading a late-game charge downfield. Marshawn Lynch and the short passing game was effectively moving the ball down the field with less than three minutes to play.
However, Bradley Fletcher and the secondary put the clamps down on the 'Hawks final offensive play of the game.
Tight end Anthony McCoy slipped, and Fletcher was there for an easy interception that sealed the victory. Even with Seattle cranking out 179 yards on the ground, Fisher's club limited Darrell Bevell's offense to a 140 yards passing and 310 total yards.
Next up for the Rams are the red hot Arizona Cardinals on Thursday Night Football. If they want to make it two in a row, they will need their secondary to keep being the strength as they try to shut down Larry Fitzgerald.