Its finally over. The 17 game losing streak has been snapped with the victory over the Lions! As the weeks passed on during the season this game was looking as one of the possibilities for a win. The win is surely welcomed, but it shouldn't be a huge surprise. Now you can say what you want about the Lions being without one of their best offensive weapons in Calvin Johnson, or even the fact that this was Matt Stafford's first game back from injury in which he missed two games; however that shouldn't take away the fact that the Rams got the job done today. It wasn't pretty at times. Like most Rams games this season there was a key turnover in the redzone, but St. Louis wasn't going to let it come back to haunt them today.
On the offensive side of the ball today the Rams played a pretty decent game. Steven Jackson was a beast out there again. He carried the ball 22 times for his season high of 149 yards. He also scored the winning touchdown late in the 4th quarter to break the 10-10 tie. It was Jackson's first touchdown of the 2009 season and it couldn't have come at a better time. The Rams were already into field goal range, but Jackson's 25 yard scamper would mean the Lions would have to score a touchdown in order to force overtime. I must add that I am pretty happy for Steven Jackson getting his touchdown. Not only because I have him in fantasy football, but there isn't another player in the NFL that deserved one more than he did. He has busted his hump every week as he is third in the NFL in rushing yards, but hasn't had many chances at scoring. So its good to see a guy get rewarded after putting forth such great effort to give his team a chance to win. One of the reasons that Jackson hasn't had many opportunities in the red zone is due to turnovers. It seems as if once the Rams enter this area of the field they self-distruct. Today the Rams only had one turnover, but it came at the Detroit 18 yardline when the Rams still had a 10-2 lead and could have started to put more pressure on the Lions offense. That drive in which Bulger was intercepted bothers me. With 1st and 10 at the Detroit 18, the offense passes on 3 straight downs - and intercepted on 3rd down - why wouldn't you give the ball to Steven Jackson once? He was breaking tackles on almost every carry he had. I'm sure the secondary for the Lions got tired of seeing him truck at them.
The Rams defense played pretty well, but they didn't have to worry about Calvin Johnson. Matthew Stafford didn't have a very good game as his completion percentage was under 50%. The Rams sacked Stafford twice and also caused an unlucky turnover that the Lions actually benefited on. James Butler intercepted Stafford in the second quarter. The Lions had the ball deep in Rams territory, but Butler got the interception just outside of the goal-line. He then went into the end zone to try to advance the ball but was tackled by Kevin Smith for a saftey. It was a dumbfounded play. Butler wasn't using his brain, he was thinkng of making highlight reels with hopes of a 100 yard return. Instead he makes sportscenter for a dumb mistake. Kevin Smith and Maurice Morris combined had a decent game rushing, but the Rams did a pretty good job of containing them.
The special teams of the Rams had a very key play in this victory. Not only did Josh Brown nail a 41 yard field goal to give the Rams the early lead, but he threw a touchdown pass as well. It was a perfect playcall as the Rams faked a field goal. Brown then threw the ball to hit Daniel Fells for a 36 yard touchdown late in the second quarter. I liked seeing the coaching staff gamble a little to prove that they wanted to win.
Overall I thought it was a great game. I was expecting a little more scoring due to the fact of how poorly these teams have played during the season, but a win is a win and I'll take it. The Rams have the upcoming week off as they have the Bye.