If you ever thought the “24 hour rule” was some cliche line, well consider this: The same afternoon in which the Rams took down a divisional rival, they began game planning and watching film on another, the Arizona Cardinals.
Welcome to Thursday Night Football on the NFL Network. Typically, players get Monday off following a victory on Sunday, but instead, it was more like a typical Wednesday. Tomorrow is only Tuesday, but for Rams players it’s a Friday. Confused? The NFL is schedule driven, players and coaches get into routines that rarely change…but scratch everything for Week 5.
Quickly, some notes on the Seahawks game…
Greg Zuerlein is amazing. Special Teams coordinator John Fassel had a mission to find the best kicker in college, and I think he’s passing that test. Zuerlein set a St. Louis Rams record with a 58-yard field goal only to break it with a 60 later in the game. He’s the only kicker in the NFL to have two FG’s in one game over 55 yards.
St. Louis won the turnover battle, and now lead the NFL in interceptions (8). Bradley Fletcher’s pick sealed the game. Turnovers are important for any defense, but especially when the offense is sputtering.
Steven Jackson’s groin is clearly getting better. His cuts were 10x cleaner, and ran well considering how good Seattle’s defensive line is and how patch work the Rams offensive line is.
The Rams offensive line did a respectable job. Had everyone wondering what Seattle pass rush left Aaron Rodgers forgetting his own name. Bradford was only sacked twice. The only beef I have is on the Rams’ last offensive possession, when they got completely run over on a 3rd-and-1 that would have clinched a victory.
The Seahakws rushing attack, led by Marshawn Lynch, netted 179 yards. Coach Fisher had a few reasons for their success:
I thought Seattle had two questionable play calls. Both inside the Rams’ 15 yard line, on 3rd down, on drives that RB’s dominated. They passed on a 3rd-and-2 and a 3rd-and-4 … both led to field goals. They ran it down the throat all day, and then left the final touches to their rookie QB. Hm..
The Cardinals are 4-0, and I’m not buying into the hype. The defense, coordinated by Ray Horton (a finalist for head coach in STL), is fast and athletic. CB Patrick Peterson (above) has emerged as a top corner in the NFL. Of course, well all remember his gut wrenching punt returns last season.
They’re allowing just 15.2 PPG, but like the Rams are giving up way too much total yardage (357/game).
Breaking down the four wins…in a minute:
Seattle should have beaten them in Week 1, but failed to score on what seemed like 20 opportunities in the red zone on the final possession. They had a solid road win at New England, but benefited from Patriots K Stephen Gostkowski sending a 42-yard game winning kick wide left. They killed Philadelphia, but Philly put the ball on the turf three times, including one for a TD. And finally Sunday, they escaped with an overtime win at home against Miami. Put simply, anyone who watched this game knows Miami pissed it away.
So there you have it; the Cardinals are the worst 4-0 team I’ve seen. I don’t like QB Kevin Kolb, and the rushing attack is skeptical.
The Rams should and will win this football game.
Considering the short week, Cortland Finnegan said bluntly that players will have to take it upon themselves to independently study film and get mentally prepared for the game.
Check back for the 5-keys tomorrow.