|ESPN.com: NFC West||[Print without images]|
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
The Rams' upset victory over the Redskins at FedEx Field gave new coach Jim Haslett the victory he needed to rebuild the team's confidence and restore quarterback Marc Bulger.
The feeling before the game was that St. Louis needed to perform well enough, even in defeat, to suggest things might be different with Haslett taking over for the fired Scott Linehan.
This outcome was better than anything the Rams could have imagined. Bulger, benched by Linehan in a desperation move, bounced back from a hard hit and made a critical throw to rookie Donnie Avery to set up the winning field goal.
Josh Brown, the Rams' marquee addition in free agency, bailed out hot-headed guard Richie Incognito, whose 15-yard penalty turned a potential chip shot into a 49-yard try. Brown needed to make that kick for the Rams to salvage what's left of their season.
The Rams struggled on offense for much of the game. But they played well enough on defense to keep the game close and give them needed hope.
The Rams, widely regarded as the worst team in the league before this game, might not be the worst team in the division depending on what happens in other games today. That's a huge step forward for Haslett and the organization.