Sam's Silver Linings - Week Ten
Technology is a wonderful thing – unless you’re counting on it to record the entire Rams – whiners game (including overtime) – while you are at work. Suffice to say I did get to see most of the game. Thanks to the NFL’s rules, and the limits of technology teamed with my own screw-up, I was able to come home from work at 12:45 AM Monday morning and see the game. Most of it, anyway. You see, for some reason, the recording stopped with 24 seconds left in the 4th quarter.
It seems like the replacement refs were back in action in Candlestick Park this weekend. Missed penalties, bad calls, and blatantly stupid mistakes by zebras were common. One minute and twelve seconds disappeared from the game due to incompetence. Kaepernick scored a TD while his foot was out of bounds. It seemed as though fate played a role in the game by making sure that the officials did everything they could to allow as many flags as possible to be thrown.
Unfortunately, this game was not injury free. Even though I do not like the whiners one little bit (and that is being gracious to say it that way), I also do not like seeing any player going to the locker room during a game. I haven’t heard anything about the condition of Alex Smith (other than he may play against the Bears on Monday), but I am hoping that the concussion is not serious.
The bye week did wonders for the Rams. After coming off of three losses in a row, the entire team needed time to reassess their play. It seems that the time they had was exactly what was needed. We faced a team that was flouted as the number one defense in the NFL, and we smacked them around a lot more than anyone expected. We faced one of the most dominant offenses in the NFL, and we were able to hold them down better than anyone would have thought reasonably possible. Since 2006, everyone in Rams Nation would have seen this tie as being equal to a win. This season – we aren’t satisfied. We know we could have, SHOULD have won. However, one stupid penalty changed it all from a 3-point win to a tie. We should be proud – no one expected the Rams to even score a TD this game, and we came away holding our own and exposing the whiners for what they really are – a team full of disrespectful hype and false bravado.
Now, for this week’s “Silver Linings”…
1. Steven Jackson: Say what you will – Steven is NOT done yet. If you remember Hulk Hogan back in the 90’s, you’ll remember how it seemed like he was going to lose every time he got in the ring – but, once he got mad, and he held up his hand and it began the “shake”, you knew Hulk was going to win. Well, if you watch that play when Jackson got his helmet ripped off, you will see a look that will remind you of Hulk Hogan – once Steven gets that look you know he will run over everyone to get that yardage.
2. Danny Amendola: One stupid penalty negated an 80-yard play. Still, we saw once again what difference one man can make to the team. We need to find a way to get all our receivers to play at his level.
3. Brian Quick: OK, so it was only one reception. But, to be fair, it was one reception we needed at the right time. Thanks to his catch, the whiners were dumbfounded. An early strike like he gave us propelled our confidence to a higher level. Let’s hope this is a sign of things to come.
4. Sam Bradford: I wish people would just shut up with all the talk about Bradford not being the answer for the Rams at QB. Look at his performance during the game – he was able to put the ball right where he wanted to – even in double coverage. Compared to his first season, the ball is a little slower coming out of his hand, but his accuracy is much better. Sam does have what it takes to be an elite QB in the league, except one thing: a corps of wide receivers that can match his talent and ability.
5. Jo-Lonn Dunbar: I am very impressed with the one hit he made on Alex Smith. Hard, accurate, and very intense. I love his level of enthusiasm. I don’t know what drives this man to play like he does, but I like it. He is a very important part of what drives our defense.
6. The defense: Three stripped balls, holding San Francisco to only two successful third down conversions, and holding the whiners down to a tie seems like a successful day to me.
7. Johnny Hekker: WOW. Not one, but TWO fake punts! And not only did he attempt them, he succeeded at both of them! Yes, he did have the one punt that would have embarrassed a third grader, but he made up for that blunder.
8. Michael Brockers: His numbers may not show it, but he was a very big reason why the defense was able to slow down San Francisco. His high-motor method of play is the perfect complement to Chris Long’s ability to pressure a QB. Brockers is definitely a great addition to our front four.
9. Kendall Langford: He was able to stop Gore. The whiners supposedly have a great ground game, and Gore is not anyone to take lightly. Langford was able to stuff the run more than once.
10. Lance Kendricks: It wasn’t the longest reception, it wasn’t the prettiest reception, but it was a great one. The pass from Hekker to Kendricks on the fourth down was a thing of beauty to Rams fans. Notice I didn’t mention Isaiah Pead. I don’t understand the underachiever mentality in the NFL.
Next week, we face the Jets at our house. Since the Rams took an ass-whooping performance to San Francisco, I expect the bar to be set high for this week’s game in the dome. The Jets are a team that is in the same place the Rams were several years ago – in the process of falling apart. Don’t expect it to be a cakewalk, but do expect the Rams to continue their high level of performance.
Be proud, Rams fans. Represent your team by wearing that Blue & Gold with pride. The Rams are no longer the bottom feeders of the NFL. We are on the road to greatness once again, and the statement we made in San Francisco proves that.
Now, to set the DVR to record the game AND add on an extra hour just to make sure I get the whole game…