I have said several times on air and in print – “The Rams fans are the Most Valuable Members of that Organization”. Sunday – after the fans displayed excitement, joy, downright madness throughout the complete game despite a few boos at halftime – the St. Louis Rams players performed and gave their fan base, city, and each other hope of progress thru togetherness and team work.
The Rams have shown competitiveness, toughness and physical temperament over the 2009 team in the first two regular season games of this young 2010 season. Steve Spagnuolo and staff have taken the heat for the first two games against Arizona and Oakland (a two minute offense debacle, blocked field goal, missed field goal, dropped Interceptions and stupid penalties).
Yesterday’s 30-16 win over the Washington Redskins was not the perfect game in any phase – offense, defense or special teams. But what you did see was the fight, desire and determination by players and coaches. I must be honest. When Washington ran on the field, next to the Oakland Raiders, this is the best looking team overall in the NFL. The final outcome of this game just goes to show you that height, weight and speed mean a lot in this game, but teamwork and the will to WIN is a strong chemistry, and the Rams displayed that yesterday afternoon.
The Rams fought thru adversity on the field with a blocked field goal, interceptions, fumbled kick-off return and several plays of pure hell in the Red Zone just before half, where everything went wrong that could go wrong. The T.E.A.M took over in the second half and really came together! Despite more adversity in the second half, the Rams lost both offensive and defensive captains in Jackson and Atogwe. The team rallied behind Sam Bradford and a feisty, scrappy, more disciplined defense that was applying pressure and forcing a future Hall of Fame quarterback to make several mistakes down the stretch. Bradford made enough plays to make the difference in this game. A rookie quarterback that – again – played with poise and a short term memory. Ball control down the stretch, while fans, players and coaches watched the clock tick away.
I like the fact that Spagnuolo and Shurmur went for it on 4th and inches and then a few plays later put the ball in Bradford’s hands with just minutes to go on 3rd – 20. They called a naked boot, as Bradford faked the hand off and rolled out and completing the pass. Most teams would have ran the ball to be safe and kicked the field goal on 4th down. That is a call of a coach that just sent a signal to Ownership, Management, Rams Employees and their Fan base that they are hungry and trying to win every game.
Progress comes in many forms, and today the Rams quenched their thirst with a sweet victory over the Washington Redskins, a few more of those and everyone will be lining up for a taste of the Kool-Aid.