Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Hekker, Rice, Tate make trick passes pay off
By Mike Sando
A rookie punter's arm could be the difference between 2-0-1 and 1-2-0 records for the St. Louis Rams in NFC West play.
Johnny Hekker's scoring pass for the Rams against Seattle provided St. Louis with its only touchdown during a 19-13 victory in Week 4. Hekker completed two more passes Sunday, including one for a fourth-and-8 conversion during a go-ahead touchdown drive in the fourth quarter, to help the Rams force a 24-24 tie against San Francisco.
According to Mark Simon of ESPN Stats & Information, Hekker now has a chance to join Bob Parsons (1977) and Tom Skladany (1981) as the only players listed as punters to finish a season with at least three completed passes and a 100 percent completion rate. Parsons completed all four attempts for the Chicago Bears. Skladny completed all three for the Detroit Lions.
While Hekker was going 2-for-2 against San Francisco, the Seattle Seahawks were getting completed passes from receivers Golden Tate and Sidney Rice during a 28-7 victory against the New York Jets.
The left-handed Tate's pass to Rice produced a 23-yard touchdown even though the receiver's throwing motion made it look like he was throwing a javelin.
"After it left his hands, I give him a 10," Rice said. "It was a spiral, and I scored. Before that, I give him a two. His throwing motion was the worst. I thought we traded for [Tim] Tebow for a second."
Hekker looked more like a quarterback when he threw. That was the plan all along.