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Feisty Rams' motto: "We're not done yet"

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  • Feisty Rams' motto: "We're not done yet"

    Feisty Rams' motto: "We're not done yet"
    By Bryan Burwell
    Of the Post-Dispatch

    SEATTLE - At the end of this mind-blowing, uplifting, heart-pounding, totally delirious Sunday afternoon, the only thing left to do was to add a little insult to injury. So there was the normally placid Isaac Bruce, out there in the middle of the formerly raucous, but suddenly silent Qwest Field, gleefully assuming the surprising role of the audacious agitator.

    Mere moments after Shaun McDonald had raced into the end zone with the game-winning 52-yard touchdown catch and the Rams had completed this exhilarating 33-27 sudden-death victory over the Seattle Seahawks, Bruce went racing across the field, laughing and shouting like a man possessed. He held his blue-and-gold helmet high in the air, pumping it fast and furiously (ah, there goes that phrase again), until he reached the 10-yard line near Qwest Field's southern end zone seats.

    It was there that Bruce could look out and see all the bewildered faces of these stunned Seahawks players and fans. They held their heads in despair. They slumped in their seats in disbelief. They pounded the stadium walls in frustration, or just milled around like lifeless zombies.

    So Bruce knew exactly what he had to do. He defiantly pounded his helmet onto the ground like he was some daring explorer and this tomblike building and all he surveyed was his conquered land.

    "We're STILL the (NFC West) division champs!" Bruce screamed, thumping his chest, waving his fist and shouting to the heavens. "You ain't won NUTHIN' YET!"

    This was the message of the day - maybe even the message of the entire season. Don't bury the Rams just yet. Before anyone in the NFC West starts planning any funerals for the Rams, who have won three of the past five division titles, it would be strongly advised to kill them first. And as this improbable come-from-behind victory showed, deposing the Rams won't be all that easy.

    "This is the kind of victory that can be a springboard for us," said Tyoka Jackson, as the Rams defensive captain hobbled around the visitors' locker room with a strained hamstring. "This is the kind of victory that can start us on another one of those runs we've been known to have."

    For most of the day, the Rams had played like a team on the verge of being banished into that dark and ugly athletic netherworld where has-beens and deposed champions go to die. For most of the day, the Seahawks played like the pre-season Super Bowl favorites most of the football world had them pegged to be. The Seahawks had rolled to a dominating 27- 10 third-quarter lead, and appeared to be on their way to their fourth victory of the season without a defeat.

    By halftime, it sure did look like the Seahawks were ready to finally stake their claim as the new kings of the NFC West hill, and emphatically shove the Rams right into the abyss. "You could feel it; you could see it out there that those guys thought they had the game in their hands," said defensive end Leonard Little. "You could see by the way they came to the line of scrimmage. It was their attitude. It was like, 'Yeah, we got this.' Well I guess they didn't, huh? It became a matter of what Coach Martz has been preaching to us all year. Resolve. He told us that we had a resolve in us that he could see. And this was the time for us to prove him right and we did."

    Call it resolve. Call it character. But victory like this showed us all that there's something here inside this Rams team that none of us saw before. Perhaps it's the lingering spirit of championships past, or better yet, the building spirit of championships to come.

    However you define it, when a team finds something deep down in its gut and finds a way to overtake an unbeaten, heavily favored foe on the road inside a rowdy stadium filled with a record crowd of 66,940 bellowing spectators, it bears attention. What we saw out here in the Great Northwest was the first sign that the Rams actually have what it takes to stay on top in the NFC West.

    This game wasn't about running or passing, balanced attacks or fast and furious ones. It was about the embattled Mike Martz never panicking. But it was also about his players making so many clutch plays when the rest of the world thought they were dead and buried.

    Perhaps it began at the start of the third quarter, when the Rams trailing 24-7, and most of Rams Nation holding its breath wondering how quickly Martz would lose his patience and start throwing the ball on every down.

    But on that first drive of the third quarter, Martz called five consecutive running plays and four more out of the first 11 plays from scrimmage. Even though the Rams failed to score on that first possession, it sent a message loud and clear.

    "It said to us that there was no panic," Jackson said. "It said to us that Coach Martz knew we could still win this game. And it said that it was time for us to start making plays."

    After the Seahawks took a 27-10 lead, the big plays came cascading from every direction for the Rams, beginning with an amazing leaping TD grab by tight end Brandon Manunaleuna to cut the lead to 27-17. The defense stepped up, forcing Seattle into a three-and-out offensive series. Then McDonald made his first big play of the game with a 39-yard punt return, followed by another Bulger TD pass to Kevin Curtis. And in the space of 2 1/2 minutes the Rams went from barely breathing to breathing hot and heavy down the flailing Seahawks' necks.

    Throw in a Little sack and a Jeff Wilkins field goal and the game was into overtime. And by then, the doubt had firmly set into the heads of the Seahawks. "When we got that field goal," said Torry Holt, a Cheshire-cat grin spreading wide across his face, "you could see their whole sidelines all doing the same thing. They all said, '(expletive).' That's when you knew the doubt had set in."

    A few minutes later, the game was over, and Holt was standing next to Bruce, joining in the defiant celebration. "All we wanted these folks to understand was that the crown is still on OUR heads, not theirs," Holt said. "I don't know if they thought we were too old or too young, but I think they know one thing for sure. We're not done yet. Not even close."

  • #2
    Re: Feisty Rams' motto: "We're not done yet"

    DAMN this feels good, really good. I cannot beleive it.


    • #3
      Re: Feisty Rams' motto: "We're not done yet"

      "We're STILL the (NFC West) division champs!" "You Ain't Won Nuttin Yet!"
      We'll that just says it all right there doesn't it! To all u hawks fans who think you're gonna steal our title... let today's game be a lesson for you! The Rams are, and always will be "The Best Show on Turf!"


      • #4
        Re: Feisty Rams' motto: "We're not done yet"

        The reports of our demise have been greatly exaggerated.


        Related Topics


        • RamDez
          Colossal comeback haunts Seahawks
          by RamDez
          Colossal comeback haunts Seahawks
          By Jim Thomas
          Of the Post-Dispatch
          Friday, Jan. 07 2005

          SEATTLE - Shaun McDonald had made his share of game-winning plays in high
          school and college. But not like this.

          "Not where I score, and the game's over," McDonald said. "That's something you
          dream of, and I'm glad I was part of that."

          Just five plays into overtime Oct. 10 at Qwest Field, the Rams faced a
          third-and-8 from their 48. The Seahawks sent seven pass rushers at Marc Bulger.
          Had center Andy McCollum not picked up a blitzing linebacker, Bulger probably
          gets plastered and the Rams lose. But McCollum picked him up.

          Meanwhile, McDonald saw the nickel back drop off him to rush the passer and
          adjusted his route accordingly. He ran a deep route right at - and right by -
          Seattle safety Terreal Bierria.

          "Marc put up a beautiful ball and I caught it in stride," McDonald said.

          McDonald's 52-yard touchdown catch meant sudden death for the Seahawks and
          sudden victory for the Rams. And it capped one of the biggest late-game
          comebacks in NFL history.

          McDonald remembers slamming the football against the stadium wall in the north
          end zone at Qwest and then getting pinned against that same wall by his
          delirious teammates. It was so much fun that McDonald was oblivious to the
          angry Seahawks fans in that end zone. But teammate Larry Turner wasn't.

          "I remember how (upset) the fans were," Turner said. "You could see the fans
          throwing (plastic) beer bottles, and ice cream cones. I just remember their
          whole crowd was thinking that they had the game won, and we just came back and
          surprised them."

          Boy, did they. After being dominated in the first half, the Rams still found
          themselves trailing 27-10 as the fourth quarter wound down. But a miraculous
          catch by tight end Brandon Manumaleuna with 5 minutes 34 seconds to play began
          the second-biggest comeback in league history in the final 6 minutes of a game.

          "I think (the pass) was for Isaac," Manumaleuna said Thursday. "But I got in
          the way of it. I didn't know (Bruce) was there until I saw the film. I just saw
          it in the air and went and grabbed it."

          With three Seahawks defenders in the area, no less.

          "Brandon's catch is the catch of the year by anybody's standards," coach Mike
          Martz said. "When Brandon made that catch, I don't think there was a guy on the
          sideline who had any doubt in their mind that somehow we'd figure out a way to
          win this thing. That was my feeling.

          "It was an amazing play. To me, that's probably right there with Isaac's Super
          Bowl catch, and Ricky Proehl's...
          -01-08-2005, 02:21 AM
        • RamWraith
          Martz puts emphasis on playing with attitude
          by RamWraith
          By Jim Thomas
          Of the Post-Dispatch
          Saturday, Nov. 13 2004

          Mike Martz began the week in a frenzy, and never really calmed down. He is at
          his wits' end over the current state of the 2004 Rams and is trying shock
          therapy to revive his team's fortunes.

          "I've never seen him like this," wide receiver Torry Holt said. "I hate to see
          him like this, because that tells us we ain't getting things done. But it shows
          me that he does care how we perform as a football team, and where we are as a
          football team.

          "So hopefully, we can go out there and give him a performance to kind of cool
          him down."

          Martz's tense, at times abrupt, and at times surly interchanges with the media
          weren't for show this week. The players got a similar - even stronger - message
          behind closed doors. He's tired of mistakes. He's tired of counting on players
          who aren't delivering. He's tired of missed blocks and half-hearted tackles.

          "After that meeting, it was a little quiet around here," Holt said. "Guys were
          a little more focused. Guys were a little more quick in their steps. If that's
          what it takes for us to get back on the winning edge, then I'm all for it."

          Which meeting? Monday's?

          "Every day, actually," Holt said, laughing.

          There is no time like the present, because if ever a season boiled down to one
          game, it's Sunday for the Rams. Seattle comes to the Edward Jones Dome in first
          place in the NFC West with a 5-3 record. The Rams are 4-4.

          Both teams would be 5-4 if the Rams win, but by virtue of their comeback
          victory Oct. 10 in Seattle, the Rams would have the tiebreaker edge. In
          essence, they'd have the lead in the NFC West.

          And what if the Rams lose? They would be 4-5 with four of their next five games
          on the road. Seattle would be 6-3 with their next three games at home against
          Miami (1-8), Buffalo (3-5) and Dallas (3-5). In short, that's not a pleasant
          possibility for the Rams, even with seven games remaining in the unpredictable

          "With all the problems we've had, we're sitting in a situation where if we can
          win one game right now, then we'll be OK," defensive lineman Tyoka Jackson

          "We've been pretty fortunate in that respect," quarterback Marc Bulger said.
          "We are not playing our best right now, but we are still in halfway decent
          shape in this division. We could've built a nice lead, but we didn't. But
          playing as bad as we have, and knowing that we could be tied for first place
          after this game, is a saving factor."

          But even Bulger concedes it's a dire outlook if the Rams...
          -11-13-2004, 07:04 PM
        • Nick
          [PD]: Ultimately, Rams must look in mirror
          by Nick
          Ultimately, Rams must look in mirror
          By Bryan Burwell
          Monday, Oct. 16 2006

          As the first wave of reporters came streaming into the chaotic Rams locker room late Sunday afternoon, any number of players were still trying to figure out what had happened to them in the final exasperating seconds on the Edward Jones Dome turf. Big Todd Steussie stepped over empty equipment bags, wads of ankle tape and sweat-soaked shoulder pads, stirring up heated debate and utter confusion about a controversial last-second call that led to Seattle's 30-28 victory.

          "I don't get it," said the giant offensive lineman, standing in front of a group of linebackers.

          "It makes no sense," he said, now huddled with a few fellow offensive linemen.

          "How does this rule work?" he said as he towered over a new audience of scribbling sportswriters.

          Everywhere inside the Rams' quarters, there were angry men like Steussie sorting through the various stages of a painful, self-destructive defeat. If you listened for a few minutes, you could hear things move swiftly from denial to anger, from anger to rationalization and from rationalization to depression.

          At first they wanted to cling to the idea that referee Ed Hochuli and his gang that occasionally couldn't see straight had conspired to do in the Rams with all those ill-timed penalty flags that went flying around most of the game. But ultimately, what finally dawned on them was the acceptance that ultimately this defeat had to go under the heading of self-inflicted wound.

          Tailback Steven Jackson said, "And now we have a bye (week) so we have two weeks to sit on this."

          That should give them ample time to glean every bit of frustrating and promising detail from this football game. We've watched six games turn out just like this, where the Rams battled right down to the last tick of the clock, giving us exciting finishes, hair-pulling anxiety, but most of all surprising evidence that they're capable of being a lot better than anyone could have imagined.

          The Rams are 4-2 as they head into their mini-vacation, and have shown an impressive resiliency. We seem to watch them every week make another improbable play that puts them in position to win ballgames, and that's the sort of trait that eventually breeds championship-caliber clubs by the end of the season.

          On Sunday, defensive end Leonard Little forced another game-altering fumble late in the fourth quarter, and forced thousands of spectators who prematurely started for the exits to return to their seats to witness this week's particular flair for the dramatic. With less than two minutes to go, the Rams produced that unlikely miracle comeback when Torry Holt flew under a perfectly thrown bomb from Marc Bulger, juggled it with one hand, hauled it in and raced...
          -10-15-2006, 09:55 PM
        • Nick
          Rams streak past Seattle
          by Nick
          Rams streak past Seattle
          By Jim Thomas
          Of the Post-Dispatch
          Sunday, Oct. 10 2004

          SEATTLE - Not only was Seattle in the NFC West driver's seat, the Seahawks had
          their seatbelts fastened and car keys in hand and had adjusted the rear- and
          side-view mirrors.

          They had dominated St. Louis for 3 1/2 quarters on Sunday at Qwest Field. With
          a 27-10 lead midway through the fourth quarter, they were poised to go 4-0 for
          the first time in franchise history and leave St. Louis wheezing in their

          Rams quarterback Marc Bulger had looked downright horrible, throwing three
          interceptions - just one shy of his career high. Seattle running back Shaun
          Alexander, en route to a 150-yard rushing day, was tap-dancing all over the St.
          Louis defense. And Rams wide receivers Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt had been
          bottled up by the young, aggressive, Seattle secondary.

          But then the darnedest thing happened. Against the NFL's No. 1-ranked defense,
          a defense that had yielded only 13 points all season, St. Louis scored 17
          points in the final 5 1/2 minutes of regulation, then won the game 33-27 on a
          52-yard touchdown pass from Bulger to Shaun McDonald.

          "I can't explain it," defensive end Leonard Little said. "This team has a whole
          lot of heart. Today we showed people that when you're down, just don't give up.
          Make plays and claw and scratch your way back into the game."

          Claw and scratch they did.

          Throwing into double coverage, Bulger connected with Brandon Manumaleuna over
          the middle with 5 minutes 34 seconds to play on an 8-yard touchdown pass that
          cut Seattle's lead to 27-17.

          Seattle went three and out, and after a 39-yard punt return by McDonald, Bulger
          threw 41 yards to Kevin Curtis for a TD with 3:30 to play. Lining up in the
          slot, Curtis split defensive backs Ken Lucas and Terreal Bierria for his first
          NFL touchdown. Seattle's lead was now 27-24.

          Seattle managed one first down after the kickoff, but was forced to punt after
          Little sacked quarterback Matt Hasselbeck on third and 5 from the Seattle 41.

          St. Louis got the ball back with no timeouts and 64 seconds to play at its 36.
          Completions of 27 yards to Isaac Bruce and 16 yards to Dane Looker gave St.
          Louis a first down at the Seahawks' 18 with 13 seconds to play.

          Out trotted place-kicker Jeff Wilkins - aka Money. His 36-yard field goal with
          8 seconds to play sent the game into overtime tied 27-all.

          The Rams won the coin toss in overtime, and needed only six plays to complete
          one of the more improbable comebacks in franchise history. A comeback that was
          fast and furious.

          -10-10-2004, 11:16 PM
        • RamWraith
          Seahawks vs. Rams: Hot rivalry with wild plot twists
          by RamWraith
          Updated 11/9/2006

          By Jarrett Bell, USA TODAY
          Set the TiVo.
          The St. Louis Rams and Seattle Seahawks meet at Qwest Field on Sunday, and if the game with first-place in the NFC West at stake is anything like most of their previous encounters in recent years, it will be worth a second look.

          "There's never a dull moment when we play them," Seahawks fullback Mack Strong says. "Something always happens."

          Like a game-winning 54-yard field goal as time expires?

          That's how the wild game ended when the teams last met in October at St. Louis' Edward Jones Dome. The Seahawks battled from a 21-7 deficit, fell behind again after the two-minute warning, then won 30-28 on Josh Brown's kick.

          The thing wasn't settled until referee Ed Hochuli explained that there is no automatic 10-second runoff for an illegal formation penalty which would have ended the game with the Rams on top as there is for a false start.

          Never mind Rams coach Scott Linehan's energetic celebration on the sideline, with the sight of that last yellow flag.

          Obscure loophole in the rulebook, Seahawks win.

          Says Strong, "It surprised me. I didn't know the rule. I really thought there would be a 10-second run-off."

          Strong remembers that game for its wide range of emotions. The Rams went ahead 28-27 on a 67-yard touchdown catch that receiver Torry Holt considers the most amazing haul of his outstanding eight-year career.

          Holt tipped the football, and never broke stride while reaching back and snagging it with one hand before racing to the end zone. It was his third TD as part of an eight-catch, 154-yard game.

          "I was hoping that we would go ahead and wrap it up," Holt reflected Thursday. "But as I look back on it, they were moving the ball all day and had time."

          Besides, it was Rams-Seahawks. Holt knows what that means.

          "When we get together," he says, "it's never over until 0:00 hits the clock. Anything can happen."

          DRAMA IN THE NFC WEST: Recent Rams-Seahawks history

          Like the second-largest comeback in the final six minutes of the fourth quarter in NFL history?

          That occured in October 2004, when the Rams struck for 17 points in the final 5 minutes, then won 33-27 in overtime on Shaun McDonald's 52-yard TD catch from Marc Bulger.

          "Of all the games I've played in this league, that's the one that leaves the most sour taste in my mouth," says Strong, in his 13th NFL season. "That was the turning point in our season. After that, we went into a downward spiral. We never did recover."

          The Seahawks made the playoffs that season, but were upset 27-20 in their postseason opener at home by the Rams.

          That game ended with...
          -11-10-2006, 04:57 AM