Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
    RamWraith is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Minnesota
    Age
    44
    Posts
    8,230
    Rep Power
    61

    Safeties Steal Win for St. Louis

    Sunday, October 23, 2005

    By Nick Wagoner
    Senior Writer

    For the better part of this season, the late-game turnover has been the bane of the Rams’ existence. Even in the past five meetings with the Saints, those end of game miscues have always seemed to go against St. Louis.

    But this time was different. This time the Rams were the team to actually benefit from a pair of late game turnovers for a surprising 28-17 win against New Orleans at the Edward Jones Dome on Sunday.

    The Rams’ win puts to rest a three game losing streak that has been plagued by lost turnovers and improves them to 3-4 on the year. It also puts St. Louis in a position to get back to .500 at 4-4 heading into its bye week two weeks from now. New Orleans falls to 2-5 with the loss.

    The win for St. Louis, though, was a welcome respite from the losses of the past three weeks. All of the things that have seemed to go against the Rams – lost turnovers, terrible field position, no run defense – came back to help St. Louis get where it needed to go.

    “It’s great finally to get in one of those games where we get a weird turnover or two like that and kind of put the game out of reach and we don’t have to go out there and watch them do the victory play,” free safety Mike Furrey said. “It was great, we needed this.”

    Nobody discovered the value of a “weird” turnover like Furrey did. With the Rams nursing a 21-17 lead and the Saints driving for another potentially devastating win, Furrey came up with one of the strangest turnovers of the season.

    On first-and-10 from the New Orleans 42 with two minutes and 10 seconds to play, quarterback Aaron Brooks fired a pass down the seam to tight end Ernie Conwell. Conwell appeared to come up with the catch, but was bobbling the ball as he fell to the ground.

    Safety Jerome Carter appeared to have his hand in the way, preventing Conwell from pulling the ball to his chest. As Furrey broke to the spot of the ball, he had designs on laying a big hit on Conwell, but then the ball appeared to be hanging there for him as if on a platter.

    Furrey plucked it out of Conwell’s hands before he could land and had nothing but green FieldTurf in front of him.

    “I just took off,” Furrey said. “I said, ‘I’m out of here.’ The next thing I knew I was standing in front of the wall and realized I had my first touchdown.”

    The timing couldn’t have been better for Furrey’s big play. The Rams and Saints have made a habit of playing close games, including last year with “SquibGate” and it appeared that they were headed for another one.

    Still, the Saints weren’t thrilled with the call, believing that Conwell had made the catch and was down by contact. But New Orleans had spent all of its timeouts and couldn’t challenge the play. Though the clock was under two minutes when the play ended, it was still not a challengeable play according to referee Mike Carey.

    “Because the play started before the two-minute warning, the booth only takes over after the two-minute warning. Even though it’s 1:55 on the clock, the two minute warning had not been given.”

    Furrey’s rise to the starting free safety has been enough of a surprise, but the fact that he made the play might have been even more of a welcome sight. After watching Michael Hawthorne struggle mightily the first few weeks of the season, just having a free safety in the proper position has been a big change for this defense in the past two weeks.

    “Mike Furrey is tough,” coach Joe Vitt said. “And he is going to keep battling. He comes on with the next play and doesn’t dwell on past mistakes. That’s what you love about him.”

    Furrey wasn’t the only safety to come up with a big play in the fourth quarter, though. With the Rams trailing 17-14 and 8:49 to play, strong safety Adam Archuleta came up with the Rams’ first defensive takeaway since the Tennessee game.

    On second-and-3, the Saints opted to run an end around for receiver Dante Stallworth. Stallworth ran to the left side of the field with most of the Rams staying disciplined in their lanes. The scorebook credited Dexter Coakley with the forced fumble, but he appeared to get help from defensive end Tyoka Jackson.

    Archuleta fell on the ball and the Rams promptly drove down for what turned out to be the winning 5-yard touchdown run by receiver Kevin Curtis on, ironically, a reverse.

    “That wins games, big, big turnovers,” Archuleta said. “It was a big fumble and obviously the interception. When you score on defense, 90 percent of the time you are going to win in this league. That’s one of the biggest parts of the game, turnovers.”

    For the first time in a while the Rams won that turnover battle, finished plus-one after coming up with nary a turnover during the three-game losing streak. For the defense, Sunday’s game was a chance at redemption after three extremely poor outings that saw the Giants, Seahawks and Colts lighting up the scoreboard.

    “It was like, come on, what’s going on here?” Archuleta said. “This is embarrassing, this can’t happen, regardless of field position or whatever you still have to have some pride defensively and we know we didn’t put our best game out there. We just had to come out and turn it around and make the plays when they are supposed to be made, be disciplined, be where we’re supposed to be and play hard.”

    It didn’t seem that the Rams were doing much of any of that in the early going. New Orleans jumped out to a 14-0 lead on the strength of a pair of touchdown passes by Brooks. In the process, the Saints made offense look extremely easy and it appeared that the Rams were headed to another blowout loss.

    With the situation as dire as it had been all year, the defense responded in splendid fashion. In the first quarter, New Orleans rolled up 145 yards, but in the final three periods, the Saints mustered just 187 yards.

    In fact, New Orleans best offense was a number of bad penalties by the Rams. St. Louis gave the Saints four first downs by way of penalty and had another pair of third-down stops erased by offsetting penalties.

    When the Rams finally stopped making those mistakes, the defense played as well as it has in quite some time.

    “After the first two series, the defense really stepped up,” Vitt said. “I think it is a credit to our players on how they hung in there. We were down 14-0 and they knew it was going to be tough but they hung in there and didn’t abandon anything.”

    One thing that didn’t get abandoned that has often been left in the dust is the Rams’ running game. Running back Steven Jackson had one of his best days as a pro, rushing 20 times for 97 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Jackson wore down the Saints defense, even though New Orleans spent most of the day loaded up against the run.

    It didn’t hurt the offense that it finally got some excellent field position courtesy of Archuleta’s fumble recovery and a 35-yard kick return by Terry Fair. Quarterback Jamie Martin did a solid job in place of injured started Marc Bulger, going 18-of-29 for 198 yards, but had no turnovers.

    Entering the game only New Orleans had a worse turnover ratio than the Rams and they left with that record intact.

    “We have talked to the team all week long about No. 1 protecting the ball, No. 2 creating turnovers, No. 3 in the kicking game, let’s get some returns,” Vitt said. “It’s something that our players bought into and we were able to get accomplished.”

    Nearly every Rams game this season has been determined by turnovers, only this time the Rams were the team to force the mistakes instead of making them.


  2. #2
    talkstoangels61's Avatar
    talkstoangels61 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Illinois
    Age
    53
    Posts
    954
    Rep Power
    11

    Re: Safeties Steal Win for St. Louis

    Yes he did!

  3. #3
    HUbison's Avatar
    HUbison is offline Superbowl MVP
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Kentucky
    Age
    40
    Posts
    13,565
    Rep Power
    145

    Re: Safeties Steal Win for St. Louis

    Conwell appeared to come up with the catch, but was bobbling the ball as he fell to the ground.

    Safety Jerome Carter appeared to have his hand in the way, preventing Conwell from pulling the ball to his chest. As Furrey broke to the spot of the ball, he had designs on laying a big hit on Conwell, but then the ball appeared to be hanging there for him as if on a platter.

    Furrey plucked it out of Conwell’s hands before he could land and had nothing but green FieldTurf in front of him.
    Mr. Waggoner, I believe I smell a little "home cooked" journalism. But hey, if the Rams signed my paycheck, I'd spin it this way too.....I don't blame ya brother.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

  4. #4
    HUbison's Avatar
    HUbison is offline Superbowl MVP
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Kentucky
    Age
    40
    Posts
    13,565
    Rep Power
    145

    Re: Safeties Steal Win for St. Louis

    the winning 5-yard touchdown run by receiver Kevin Curtis on, ironically, a reverse.
    Ok, admit it......is there anyone out there that DIDN'T have a little rectal pucker as this play began to develop?
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

  5. #5
    txramsfan's Avatar
    txramsfan is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, MO
    Age
    50
    Posts
    7,266
    Rep Power
    65

    Re: Safeties Steal Win for St. Louis

    Not me, I stood up screaming "touchdown" when it happened. Also screaming, "that's for you Mike Martz. That one was for you."

  6. #6
    HUbison's Avatar
    HUbison is offline Superbowl MVP
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Kentucky
    Age
    40
    Posts
    13,565
    Rep Power
    145

    Re: Safeties Steal Win for St. Louis

    Quote Originally Posted by txramsfan
    Not me, I stood up screaming "touchdown" when it happened. Also screaming, "that's for you Mike Martz. That one was for you."
    Good for you, tx, but I will admit that I couldn't take a breath until I saw Curtis had complete control of the ball.......it was all gravy after that.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •