Sam Bradford and Danny Amendola carried the St. Louis Rams to victory over the Washington Redskins 31-28.
The Washington Redskins came into St. Louis feeling really good about themselves and their trade for Robert Griffin III having knocked off the New Orleans Saints in week one, 40-32. St. Louis was not happy they lost a heart breaker to Detroit in week one 27-23.
The game was marred by horrible officiating. The officials let this game get away from them early. There was extra curricular activity throughout that eventually had an affect on the end of the game.
Josh Morgan caught a 5 yard, 3rd down, pass from Griffin with 1:18 left in the game just inside the St. Louis 30, setting up a game tying field goal attempt. He got a little shove from Cortland Finnegan as he got up after the play and retaliated by throwing the football at Finnegan. Morgan was penalized 15 yards.
Washington lined up to go for it on 4th down, but after a St. Louis timeout they tried a 62 yard field goal that was no where close to making it.
The first half was an offensive battle as the two teams put up 37 points and 442 total yards. It would have been more points but the officials made poor calls on two potential Ram touchdowns, each time St. Louis inexplicably did not challenge and settled for field goals.
On one such missed call an angry Steven Jackson spiked the ball drawing a 15 yard penalty. Jackson did not return to the game. It is still unclear whether he was benched over it or had a hamstring injury. Former 7th round pick Daryl Richardson tok over and had an excellent game with 83 yards on 15 carries. He also caught two passes for 19 yards. Jackson finished with 58 yards on 9 totes.
The Rams had 264 of those first half yards but found themselves trailing 21-16.
Bradford found Amendola 12 times on 13 targets in the first half including one touchdown. The 12 catches ties an NFL record for a half. Amendola finished with 15 catches, for 160 yards, and the touchdown. Safe to say Bradford is thrilled to have Amendola back, who missed all of last year with a dislocated elbow.
Bradford finished 26 of 35, for 310 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT, and a 117.6 passer rating.
The game ended with a flurry of excitement. That started at the end of the third quarter.
Leading 28-23 former Ram linebacker London Fletcher picked off Bradford in the end zone. After three plays Washington lined up to punt and had it blocked by back up tight end Matthew Mulligan giving St. Louis the ball at the Redskin 24. Four plays later Bradford found the 28 -year-old Mulligan for his first career touchdown and what turned out to be the game winner.
After two punts for each team Rams cornerback Janoris Jenkins laid out tight end Fred Davis for a seeming fumble, recovery, and Rams touchdown but the officials called an incomplete pass. Soon after Griffin didn't see Aldrick Robinson running behind the Rams defense with 3:56 left in the game that could have given the Redskins back the lead.
Just as it looked like St. Louis was going to salt the game away, Richardson fumbled with 2:40 left giving Washington the ball at their own 41.
Rams fans felt the terrible feeling of recent years of another loss coming on, including last week when they failed to put the game away versus Detroit.
But what ensued was the previously mentioned completion and penalty against Morgan sealing the Ram victory.
Griffin finished the day 20 of 29, for 206 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, and a 86.3 passer rating. Alfred Morris had a second consecutive good game averaging 5.6 yards per carry on 16 totes for 89 yards.
It is amazing the difference in the Rams of 2012 compared to recent years. They play hard to the end of the whistle and the game. They help each other up and do not allow opponents to push them around. They did not fold when down 21-6 as they would have in recent years. They have game plans to help the weak offensive line which got weaker as the game wore on, losing two left tackles and was already without all-pro center Scott Wells.
Give a ton of credit to Jeff Fischer and their staff. the Rams aren't going to the playoffs or winning the division, but they can no longer be taken for granted.