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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Race for NFC West is on ... if Rams win

    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    11/12/2006


    SEATTLE To have any realistic chance of winning the NFC West title, don't the Rams have to win Sunday at Qwest Field?

    Rams receiver Torry Holt took on the question like he does defensive backs: Head on, and with purpose.

    "Absolutely, we have to win this game," Holt said. "We have to win this game to have a realistic shot of keeping this season alive. We need to win this game to have a realistic shot of having any type of confidence, any type of drive, to finish this season."

    That's about as blunt as you can make it. Then again, why tiptoe around the obvious?



    Just 2 games ago, the Rams appeared poised to get over the hump as a football team and establish themselves not only as an NFC West contender, but as a legitimate NFC title contender.

    At halftime of their Oct. 15 home game with these same Seattle Seahawks, the Rams had a 4-1 record and a 21-7 lead. The offense was on target, the defense was clicking. It was all coming together at just the right time.

    But they got smacked down in the second half, with the help of a 10-second runoff that wasn't, and a spirit-crushing 54-yard field goal by Josh Brown as time expired. The result was a 30-28 Seattle victory, and the Rams haven't been the same since.

    Following their bye week, the Rams dropped contests to San Diego and Kansas City. The promise of 4-1 has become the desperation of 4-4. A Rams victory Sunday would put both the Rams and the Seahawks at 5-4, and the race is on. A Rams loss would put the Seahawks at 6-3 and the Rams in the rear-view mirror at 4-5.

    "We'd certainly like to be in a better position that we are now," coach Scott Linehan said. "You never want to lose a game. ... "

    Much less three in a row. But here they are. When the Rams were in the midst of the three-game winning streak that pushed their record to 4-1, Linehan cautioned about overreacting to the team's good fortune. Now that things have gone south, he's still preaching the same message.

    Or as Rams receiver Isaac Bruce succinctly put it: "When we were on the winning streak, we didn't allow our heads to swell. So our heads won't shrink losing three games."

    Maybe so, but it seems clear that the team's spirits are sagging. A message written on the locker room greaseboard at Rams Park reads: "Get the swagger back!"

    All week, Linehan stressed the importance of practicing with more intensity and tempo, because he wants the team playing that way Sunday. To even casual observers, it seemed obvious that wasn't the case at the start of the San Diego and Kansas City games.

    The Rams trailed 14-0 late in the first quarter in San Diego two weeks ago, and were down 17-0 early in the second quarter last week against the Chiefs. The last thing the Rams want this Sunday is a "three-peat" of slow starts.

    "We're struggling now, but I've been on a couple bad teams around here, that had multiples injuries and collapsed on themselves," quarterback Marc Bulger said.

    Bulger doesn't think that will happen this season.

    "We know in here that we have too many good players," he said. "Too much character. We're going to come back fighting this week. I can't promise a win, but we'll definitely have a better showing than we did (against Kansas City)."

    Seeing is believing. Once again, the Seahawks will be minus star running back Shaun Alexander (broken foot), who also missed the Oct. 15 game in St. Louis. This time, they'll also be missing star quarterback Matt Hasselbeck (sprained knee), who engineered the second-half comeback at the Edward Jones Dome.

    But Alexander's replacement, Maurice Morris, is coming off a career-best rushing performance. And Hasselbeck's replacement, Seneca Wallace, is looking more comfortable at quarterback. Besides, Qwest Field remains one of the toughest places for visiting teams in the NFL, with some of the rowdiest fans.

    "Their fans are pretty bad," said linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa, who returns to the lineup after missing two games with a broken hand. "They're not like St. Louis fans. St. Louis fans are real good fans. But they're something else out there in Seattle."

    The image of debris-tossing Seahawks fans after the Rams' 2004 overtime victory remains fresh in Tinoisamoa's mind.

    "Yeah, I'm lucky I haven't gotten hit with anything," he said. "And they were just yelling some obscene stuff. It was nuts. That's fun stuff, though. You love to play in that stuff as long as you don't let that affect you. Because after all is said and done, you win that game, those people will still be there, and they can't do nothing but throw something at you.

    "You just want to win so you can shove it back in those fans' face. 'Yeah, we did this to you. ... Told you so. Now go home and sulk about it the whole week. And it's going to rain today.' "

    By the way, rain is in the forecast Sunday in Seattle.


  2. #2
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Race for NFC West is on ... if Rams win

    Quote Originally Posted by RamWraith View Post
    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    11/12/2006


    SEATTLE To have any realistic chance of winning the NFC West title, don't the Rams have to win Sunday at Qwest Field?

    Rams receiver Torry Holt took on the question like he does defensive backs: Head on, and with purpose.

    "Absolutely, we have to win this game," Holt said. "We have to win this game to have a realistic shot of keeping this season alive. We need to win this game to have a realistic shot of having any type of confidence, any type of drive, to finish this season."

    That's about as blunt as you can make it. Then again, why tiptoe around the obvious.

    At halftime of their Oct. 15 home game with these same Seattle Seahawks, the Rams had a 4-1 record and a 21-7 lead. The offense was on target, the defense was clicking. It was all coming together at just the right time.

    But they got smacked down in the second half, with the help of a 10-second runoff that wasn't, and a spirit-crushing 54-yard field goal by Josh Brown as time expired. The result was a 30-28 Seattle victory, and the Rams haven't been the same since.


    Qwest Field remains one of the toughest places for visiting teams in the NFL, with some of the rowdiest fans.

    The image of debris-tossing Seahawks fans after the Rams' 2004 overtime victory remains fresh in Tinoisamoa's mind.

    "Yeah, I'm lucky I haven't gotten hit with anything," he said. "And they were just yelling some obscene stuff. It was nuts. That's fun stuff, though. You love to play in that stuff as long as you don't let that affect you. Because after all is said and done, you win that game, those people will still be there, and they can't do nothing but throw something at you.

    "You just want to win so you can shove it back in those fans' face. 'Yeah, we did this to you. ... Told you so. Now go home and sulk about it the whole week. And it's going to rain today.' "

    By the way, rain is in the forecast Sunday in Seattle.
    If the Rams don't come out fired up I'll be shocked. You have enough reasons in this post alone. Not to mention the rivalry and Divison implications. :r

  3. #3
    UtterBlitz's Avatar
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    Re: Race for NFC West is on ... if Rams win

    "Their fans are pretty bad," said linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa, who returns to the lineup after missing two games with a broken hand. "They're not like St. Louis fans. St. Louis fans are real good fans. But they're something else out there in Seattle."

    The image of debris-tossing Seahawks fans after the Rams' 2004 overtime victory remains fresh in Tinoisamoa's mind.

    "Yeah, I'm lucky I haven't gotten hit with anything," he said. "And they were just yelling some obscene stuff. It was nuts. That's fun stuff, though. You love to play in that stuff as long as you don't let that affect you. Because after all is said and done, you win that game, those people will still be there, and they can't do nothing but throw something at you.

    "You just want to win so you can shove it back in those fans' face. 'Yeah, we did this to you. ... Told you so. Now go home and sulk about it the whole week. And it's going to rain today.' "

    By the way, rain is in the forecast Sunday in Seattle.
    I am with Pisa on this one. Their fans are obnoxious. I hope the Rams shut them up this game.

    Maybe it is too much rain that darkens their world. Bring on the rain.

    :seasux:
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  4. #4
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    Re: Race for NFC West is on ... if Rams win

    the RAMS will win today, the defense will show up and Bulger will throw for 400 yds and 4td's.

    ps.
    travis fisher will have an interception today,really i mean it.

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