By Kasey Mcknelly @Cmcknelly
Rams 37 Buccaneers 32
Never say die!!
Many factors seemed to be against the Los Angeles Rams in Tampa Bay on Sunday. They battled the uncontrollable external challenges, temperatures, hot and humid, reaching 90 degrees and a weather delay for lightening in the area with 2 minutes left to play in the game. They also have a 3rd week of the season curse, not winning in week 3 under the leadership of head coach Jeff Fisher.
In the end, none of that mattered. The LA Rams win on the road in Tampa Bay 37-32. The LA Rams defense, better known as Mob Squad, continue to make their dominance known throughout the league. The “Mob Squad”, under the direction and leadership of DC Gregg Williams continue to consistently remain fierce. This week was no different. This week they were able to show the world that they are a cohesive squad.
The physical defense was faced with an injury to DE William Hayes and penalty that led to the ejection of DE Eugene Sims in the first half of the game, creating a need for both Fisher and Williams to get creative in the “bag of tricks” and the plays they called. This is not the first time this season that the Rams defense have had to adjust when a player was ejected.
DT Aaron Donald was ejected in the season opener at San Francisco. On Sunday Donald was able to show his flexibility and raw talent by switching from DT to DE. He was on the field for 77 of the 90 snaps, making the big plays that he is known to make.
Ethan Westbrooks the undrafted DE out of West Texas A&M had the best game of his career thus far on Sunday. Westbrooks was on the field 73 of the 90 snaps. He was able to show his ability to adjust on both sides. Westbrooks put the Rams defense on the board with a 77 yard fumble recovery. DE Robert Quinn created the sack that led to the stripped ball being recovered by Westbrooks.
Quinn ended last season on IR and has since had back surgery, but it’s clear that he is back and just as dangerous as ever. The Mighty Quinn leads the NFL in forced fumbles with 18, since the start of the 2012 season. The battle on Sunday ended with Quinn tackling Winstrom inside the 10 yard line.
The Rams offense was present and making plays this week. The Rams were on the scoreboard the first possession of the game when QB Case Keenum connected with WR Brian Quick for a 44 yard TD, the Rams first of the season. The Rams also ended this competition with a 43 yard TD to WR Tavon Austin.
These were not the only 2 touchdowns for the Rams. RB Todd Gurley helped the team with 2 rushing TDs, each from about the 1 yard line. Who says the Rams can’t score TDs? Keenum seems to be settling into a rhythm. He made some big plays that resulted in TDs and with each play he seemed to be more relaxed and more confident as a leader on the field.
Sunday’s game in Tampa Bay was a true TEAM victory, it shows that the Rams are coming together and working as a team. There are some areas that will continue to need improvement but at this time the Rams are leading the NFC West. Next week the Rams move on to Bruce Arians and the Arizona Cardinals.
Featured image of Westbrooks courtesy: @jjlewis06
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