The Hangover: First Place Rams?

Week 4: Seahawks (2-1) at Rams (1-2)

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One-legged Warrior

I woke up just now, and the events of the last twelve hours or so are a little hazy in my mind. I’m not sure how I wound up with a Mike Tyson facial tattoo, a pet miniature giraffe, or a first place Rams team after yesterday, but I’m so happy I don’t really care.

I remember going to the game, getting to the Dome fifteen minutes before kickoff and fighting through hordes of people. I remember walking in with a vague sort of dread in my gut that the Seahawks would come in and eviscerate the Rams’ hopes with an inexplicably good running game and seemingly unflappable Hasselbeck, like they have year in and year out during these dark days. I remember the kickoff… I remember yelling, lots of yelling… and I remember making my way down to the Dubliner after the game for celebratory beers and eats… but what happened in between seems like a bit of a dream. Help me out here, did these things really happen?

Did Steven Jackson really play on half a leg?

Steven Jackson’s performance today was just stunning. Not sure he took a stride longer than a yard all day and still he was huge factor.

He didn’t practice. That was no surprise. He didn’t even participate in warm-ups. No surprise there, either, considering I fully expected the big guy to ride this one out on the bench, recovering while the Rams did their best without him. But on the game’s first play, there was this dreadlocked monster wearing #39 crashing into the line of scrimmage? Can that be right? He played the whole game, and racked up 124 yards from scrimmage? Unbelievable.

Picture 4

Did the Rams really hold Seattle to just one big play? According to the box score, the Seahawks had seven drives of less than ten yards. That fits what the Rams have been doing to teams all season long so far, showing a toughness and tenacity, especially against opposing passers. But still, with the speedy, shifty Justin Forsett in the backfield and Leon “2-return-TDs” Washington returning kicks, and the Seahawks’ history of gashing our front seven with whatever scrubby running back they had on hand, I fully expected another horrifying replay.

I remember the Rams scoring first, the crowd lighting up on Brandon Gibson’s TD, and then Seattle going on the march. Forsett had runs of 11 and 12 yards, Hasselbeck was hitting his receivers, the refs were up to some funny business, and the Seahawks drove inside the Rams’ 20. But the crowd roared, the defense held and they came away with only a field goal? And Seattle had only 25 yards rushing the rest of the game? And zero points the rest of the way? Who are these Rams?

Bradford to Gibson

Did Sam Bradford really outplay a 12-year veteran? The gamebook sure says so, and except for one ugly interception in the end zone, Bradford might say so himself.

“Bad play, bad throw, bad read. Pretty much everything a quarterback can do bad, I did it on that play. I probably got a little excited, wanted to put points up.”

QB Sam Bradford on his interception in the end zone

But otherwise, this kid dissected a wholly different defense than the ultra-aggressive 3-4 D that the Redskins threw at him a week ago. He threw to establish the run, and he threw some more just for the hell of it. I want to spend more time on him this week, after watching the video, but Sam is the unquestioned man right now in St Louis. And his team is not only in first place, but their +25 points differential ranks third best in the NFC. No other team from the West is in the positive.

If even half the things I think I remember from this game turn out to be true in the light of day, I know Rams fans everywhere are going to be thrilled. This is a bright new world we’ve woken up to.

Now I just need to figure out what miniature giraffes eat…