Rams Entice Redskins; Win 1st Home Opener Since 2006

Unfazed by competition, Jeff Fisher seemed appalled by a question asking if his team would step up to a chippy opponent, in this case Washington.

The game was out of control. 18 total penalties, including SIX of the 15-yard type. Every Whistle ensued a scuffle.

The replacement referees were BRUTAL as Hawk Harrelson would say.

Of all the calls/non-calls … The officials allowed Jeff Fisher to challenge a play that is not reviewable. Per FOX’s Mike Pereira:

“Situation: St. Louis had the ball, second-and-1 at the Washington 1-yard line with 9:09 left in the second quarter. Washington led 14-3.
Rams running back Steven Jackson rushed for no gain. He fumbled on the play and it was recovered by the Redskins. St. Louis challenged the fumble ruling and the play was reversed.

This should never have happened. A coach is not allowed to challenge a play when a turnover is ruled on the field. It’s an automatic 15-yard penalty. Also, depending on when the challenge flag came from St. Louis coach Jeff Fisher, the play likely shouldn’t have been reviewed anyway. If Fisher threw the challenge flag before the replay official initiated the review, then a review is not allowable by rule. If the review is initiated first, before the challenge flag is thrown, it’s still a 15-yard penalty, but you can review the play.”

Jackson clearly has ball across the goal line.

And a few others…
Washington had a drive extended when a back judge threw an unnecessary roughness flag on Eugene Sims after the Rams defended a 3rd and 18 play. The drive resulted in a TD.

They blew a Steven Jackson TD run … just check out the photo.

Just atrocious for both teams. Washington argued this hit should have been a 15-yarder for hitting a defenseless receiver.

Enough about the zebras…
I wrote after the loss last week the offense needed more Darryl Richardson. When Jackson left the game with a strained groin, Richardson picked up the slack rushing for 83 yards on 15 carries, including a 53-yarder. But, the dude has to hang onto the football. He resembles Trung Candidate Chris Johnson with his lightning fast speed.

Fisher’s biggest offseason acquisition was paying big money to cornerback Cortland Finnegan, who defines the word chippy. The return is paying immediate dividends. He returned a Matt Stafford pass for a TD in Week 1, and set up a field goal before halftime by swiping a pass from RG III. He also did just enough to push WR Josh Morgan over the top, and essentially cost Washington the game.

Now, the story of the day: QB Sam Bradford. I think there was some overreaction on both ends of the argument. I wrote that Bradford needed to play better, period. I don’t think its unreasonable to think Sam needed to step up. What did we see against Washington? Bradford rolling out to both his left and right. Bradford not afraid to tuck it and run (3 rushes, including a long of 12 yards). Nobody with a clue said Bradford was a bust, but in year three its time to start showing improvement. He threw 6 total touchdowns in a dreadful 2011. He already has 4 in 2012.

Bradford threw some absolute money balls yesterday. I mean, darts right on target. He completed 26 passes to six different receivers, finding Danny Amendola 15 times. 15 of the Rams 23 first downs came via the air.

Now, some negatives.

1) 7 penalties for 60 yards is still too high.
2) Bradford threw a pick in the end zone.
3) The Rams were 2-6 (33%) in the Red Zone, and just 2/4 with “goal-to-go”.

It’s evident that the Rams have a chance to compete in every football game this season. Will they win? Nobody knows. But the days of getting embarrassed seem like an eternity ago, and its only Week 3. I like the Rams chances in Chicago this Sunday. Have our buddy Jay Cutler throw 4 picks, and win the ballgame. Looking forward to covering the game at Soldier Field.

Quote of the game:

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