Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Plays that shaped the Rams' season: No. 2
By Nick Wagoner
ST. LOUIS -- A week after losing starting quarterback Sam Bradford to a torn ACL, the St. Louis Rams caught no breaks in hosting the Seattle Seahawks on "Monday Night Football" in Week 8.
To the surprise of many, present company included, the Rams managed to keep it close on the strength of a stout defensive performance and the power running of rookie Zac Stacy. Making his first start of the season, quarterback Kellen Clemens struggled to get much of anything going against Seattle's top-ranked pass defense but appeared to catch a rhythm on the final drive as Stacy's running opened things up down the field.
Stacy repeatedly gashed the Seahawks all night, posting 134 yards on 26 carries and the Rams found themselves with a chance to steal the win as time ran down. After failing on three shots to take the lead, the Rams had fourth-and-goal at Seattle's 1 with four seconds left.
Given Stacy's performance, it seemed like a no-brainer that the Rams would at least use him as a decoy on the final play if not hand him the ball outright. Instead, Rams offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and Clemens later said they got a zero-blitz look in which the Seahawks were set to bring the house. So Stacy split out wide to the left alongside receiver Brian Quick in the slot. Stacy was followed by Seattle linebacker Bobby Wagner with cornerback Brandon Browner on Quick.
With no threat of the run, Seattle brought the house at Clemens, who let the ball go as soon as he received the snap. The throw landed harmlessly as Quick struggled to get to the corner of the end zone to end the game. Seattle won 14-9 and the head-scratching play call denied the Rams their best chance at a second win in the NFC West division.