NFC West High Energy Player of the Week

October, 19, 2010
10/19/10
3:03
PM ET
NFC High Energy: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

A look at a player who gave his team a significant boost in Week 6.

The St. Louis Rams knew they needed to pressure San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers in Week 6.

[+] EnlargeJames Hall
G. Newman Lowrance/Getty ImagesJames Hall had two of the Rams' seven sacks of Chargers QB Philip Rivers.
They probably never banked on sacking Rivers seven times.

Veteran defensive end James Hall made two of those sacks, giving him a team-leading six this season. Those sacks weren't what gave Hall the edge over other candidates for NFC West High Energy Player of the Week. It was the fourth-quarter field goal he blocked during the Rams' 20-17 victory that set him apart.

The Rams had lost close games to Arizona and Oakland this season. They had beaten Washington and Seattle by double-digit margins. The Rams hadn't proved they could win a close game until Sunday.

Blocking Nate Kaeding's 49-yard try with 8:18 remaining proved critical. The Rams, leading 17-10 at the time, took over at their 39. That meant they needed only about 30 yards of offense for a field goal try that would force San Diego to score on two possessions. Josh Brown's 48-yarder made it 20-10.

Hall wasn't even drafted out of Michigan in 2000. Little has been handed to him. He's largely a self-made player and it shows in how he approaches the game at age 33.

The Detroit Lions signed Hall as a rookie free agent, developed him into a starter, rewarded him with a new contract and watched him collect 11.5 sacks in 2004. Hall had 10 total sacks over the next two seasons, so the Lions had to figure the defensive end's best years were behind him.

They traded Hall to Rams following the 2006 season. Hall has 17 sacks in his last 36 games for the Rams.

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