Rapid Reaction: St. Louis Rams
October, 28, 2013
By Nick Wagoner | ESPN.com
ST. LOUIS -- A few thoughts on the St. Louis Rams' 14-9 loss to the Seattle Seahawks:
What it means: The Rams dropped their second prime-time game to an NFC West opponent at home and fell to 3-5 despite a stellar defensive performance that gave them a chance to win in the fourth quarter.
The Rams failed to finish what would have been a game-winning drive as quarterback Kellen Clemens threw incomplete on a puzzling fourth-down play call at the goal line.
Clemens made his first start in place of Sam Bradford and struggled to get anything going in the passing game. The Rams failed to find the end zone despite consistently solid field position.
We knew the loss of Bradford to season-ending knee injury was going to hurt the Rams’ ability to win games and this loss does nothing but reinforce that fact.
Stock watch -- up: The Rams defense played the way everybody believed they could at the beginning of the season. The line, led by end Robert Quinn, was essentially unblockable, and the Rams were all over Russell Wilson the entire night, to the tune of seven sacks.
There was a disappointing hiccup that went for an 80-yard touchdown when Janoris Jenkins couldn’t make a play on the ball, but otherwise it was a thoroughly dominant performance that kept the Rams in the game.
Stock watch -- down: Clemens was pretty much as advertised, so maybe it’s unfair to say his stock is down. He made a few plays with his legs and flashed his ability to extend plays, but he was also inaccurate, indecisive and had a pair of costly interceptions.
All told, Clemens finished with a quarterback rating of 36.8.
Stacy impresses: Running back Zac Stacy appeared to have one of his stiffest tests in this one against Seattle’s sixth-ranked run defense. That defense didn’t provide much resistance as Stacy hit the century mark for the first time in his NFL career, finishing with 134 yards on 26 carries.
Stacy earned high marks earlier this year for solid outings against dreadful run defenses such as Jacksonville and Houston, but his effort against Seattle seems to indicate the Rams have indeed found something in the rookie from Vanderbilt.
What’s next: On a short week, the Rams will have to recover to take on coach Jeff Fisher’s former team, the Tennessee Titans.