The Rams squeaked out a victory on Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 19-17 after a late 4th quarter drive strung together by 3rd year QB Austin Davis in his first career start. After Greg Zuerlein kicked a 38 yard FG to capture a 19-17 lead, his fourth of the day, Tampa Bay got the ball back and began to move up field with no timeouts left.
Josh McCown threw a bullet across midfield to Mike Evans with .11 seconds left for a 29 yard gain; putting the Bucs in range for a long distance game-winning field goal. However, Evans was slow to get up. Trainers rushed out onto the field as the clock stopped at .08. In this situation, the rules state that if a player is injured with no timeouts available there will be a 10 second run off.
And just like that, the Rams pulled off a win in their first “away opener” since 2002. It wasn’t pretty, but it was greatly appreciated.
A few positives and negatives that I came away from this game:
– Austin Davis played mistake free football. And he played with fire and confidence, finishing the day 22/29 for 235 yards. No turnovers.
– Zac Stacy got the running game going thanks to improved play from the O-Line. Stacy finished with 19 carries for 71 yards and a rushing TD.
– Brian Quick is with out a doubt the team’s #1 WR and finally playing with consistency. I expect him to be the Rams first 1,000 yard WR since Torry Holt. He finished the game with 7 receptions for 74 yards
-TJ McDonald is continuing to thrive in Gregg Wiliams defense, as well as, special teams. McDonalds had a blocked field goal and a blocked punt that led to 3 points. He also delivered the ferocious hit to Mike Evans that was followed by a .10 second runoff. #AllGasNoBrakes
-Greg Zuerlein 4 for 4 and a game winner.
-The front 7 was gashed by Bobby Rainey in Doug Martin’s absence. Rainey finished with 22 rushes for 144 yards. Demarco Murray could have another career game next week against the Rams.
-Stacy coughed up a big fumble that could have led to points.
-5 penalties for 65 yards. Sadly, this is considered an improvement.
-Poor tackling. And as good of a leader as Laurinitis is, he is a liability against the run.
Next week the Rams come back home to face a 1-1 Cowboys team that was dominated by the 49ers, but played well against the Titans. In the past, Demarco Murray has shredded the Rams defense and I don’t see any reason for that to stop this Sunday. The secondary will also have their hands full with Dez Bryant and 2nd year WR Terrence Williams.
However, if the Rams can force turnovers from Tony Romo and special teams can keep playing as a Top 3 unit, the Rams can head into their bye week 2-1.