posted on December 17, 2012 01:04
Chris Long said on TheITDRoll.com Morning After Friday [AUDIO] that Sunday’s game against the Vikings was the most anticipated home game of his NFL career.
30 minutes into the most anticipated game of Long’s career, the Rams were down 30-7.
How would you describe it?
One step forward. Two steps backward?
Michael Brockers summed it up best in talking to Charlie Marlow on the Fox 2 Postgame Show: “Missed opportunities.”
You can say that about the game. And you can say that about the season.
The Rams had one of the dominos they needed to fall for that incredibly slim window to the playoffs, but by the time the Bears lost for the fifth time in six games, the Rams were already dead.
It’s tough to pin a 36-22 loss on just one play in the first quarter…especially when Adrian Peterson went off for 212 yards and Sam Bradford gave the Vikings 10 points…but momentum swung on one huge play early on.
After the Rams had been stopping Peterson in the backfield and keeping Minnesota out of the end zone play after play, the Vikings were down to 3rd down and goal. It looked like the Rams’ defense was going to hold the Vikings to a field goal when Robert Quinn busted through the line and had Christian Ponder in his grasp. But, he went up too high around Ponder, allowing him to get away, and he broke free for a touchdown run.
“That was on me,” said Quinn.
And that was the beginning.
The Rams did respond and tie it up on a great throw by Bradford and a tough catch by Brian Quick…but after that, it was 23 straight points from the Vikings.
On the next play from scrimmage, after holding him to eight yards on eight carries in the first quarter, the Rams let Peterson break free for 82 yards.
But, Peterson is going to do that. He may be having the greatest season at running back in the history of the NFL. He’s within 294 yards of Eric Dickerson’s single season record.
As good as the Rams have been against the run the previous three games, it wasn’t particularly likely that they’d be able to do to Peterson what they did to CJ Spiller/Fred Jackson last week, Frank Gore two weeks ago, and whoever the hell was playing for the Cardinals three weeks ago.
But, there’s getting beaten by a great running back…and then there’s giving up 212 yards.
“We got the result we deserved,” said Chris Long.
Offensively, you could sum up the game with the Rams’ next possession following Peterson’s 82 yard run.
1st and 10: Sam Bradford takes off and runs…but doesn’t slide and takes a hard hit by Antoine Winfield.
2nd and 1: Despite the fact that the Vikings had not stopped Steven Jackson at this point, Daryl Richardson is in the backfield…and loses a yard despite a perfect short yardage situation for Jackson.
3rd and 2: Bradford fumbles the snap. The Vikings recover and kick a field goal.
Going up against Adrian Peterson is like going up against Tom Brady. You know you’re not going to shut him down.
But, what took place on that series of plays for the Rams were three self-inflicted wounds. Bradford needs to slide. The coaches need to have Jackson in there on second down. And Bradford just inexplicably fumbled the snap.
That wasn’t Adrian Peterson. That wasn’t the Vikings. Those were all on the Rams.
The same difficult-to-defend mental errors that cost the Rams a win in San Francisco cost them on that series, and the snowball just started rolling down the hill from that point forward.
Bradford threw an indefensible pick six on the next series to make it 24-7. The Rams’ offensive line gave up two sacks on the next series for a quick three and out. And, then the cherry on top, down 27-7, Chris Givens was wide open down the near sideline for a touchdown…and Bradford overthrew him.
By the end of the mess, the Rams were down 30-7…at the half.
It was all but over…and The Dome emptied out on Fan Appreciation Day.
So, what kind of review did Long give to his most anticipated home game?
“That sucked,” said Long.
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