Monday, January 20, 2014
Plays that shaped the Rams' season: No. 10
By Nick Wagoner
ST. LOUIS -- St. Louis Rams defensive end Robert Quinn had long since established himself as one of the game's most feared pass-rushers when the Rams took on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in week 16.
Early in the week before the game, then Tampa coach Greg Schiano compared Quinn to the likes of Lawrence Taylor, pointing out that he'd do all he could to help his offensive line with Quinn with extra blockers but at some point Quinn would get some one-on-one opportunities. The previous week, Quinn wrecked the Saints' game plan in an upset win for St. Louis.
Determined to keep Quinn from doing the same to them, the Bucs sent the cavalry at Quinn to try to stop him from abusing quarterback Mike Glennon. For nearly all of the first half, that plan worked as Quinn managed a sack late in the second quarter but was otherwise held at bay with chip blocks, cut blocks, double and sometimes triple teams.
When the Rams finally opened a two-score lead in the fourth quarter, Tampa had no choice but to open things up and ask its offensive line to block one-on-one as it attempted to play catchup. It backfired almost immediately. Quinn broke through for two sacks on the Bucs' final two possessions, including one to wrap up the game and give Quinn the franchise's season record for sacks.
In a season that was already lost, the chance for teammates to carry Quinn off the field to chants of "MVP" from the fans allowed for the team to forget another missed shot at the postseason if only for that moment.