Quinn, Rookies Propel Rams To Win In Home Finale

Posted Dec 22, 2013

With less than a minute to play in Sunday’s 23-13 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, there ordinarily would be little to no drama as the Rams milked the final seconds off the clock to collect their fifth home win of the season.

Courtesy of Robert Quinn, Sunday was an exception.

Having already equaled the Rams’ single-season sack record of 17, held by Kevin Carter since 1999, Quinn wrangled Buccaneers QB Mike Glennon to the ground on the final play of the afternoon to claim the 14-year-old record as his own.

For his efforts, Quinn was carried off the field by fellow defensive ends Chris Long and William Hayes.

“It’s definitely a great honor,” Quinn said. “Kevin Carter was a great player. You can’t do it by yourself. A lot of credit goes to my D-line and defense to help me get to that number.”

Quinn finished the afternoon with his fifth multi-sack game of the season and his third three-sack game. His 18 sacks are also the most in the NFL this year.

“When you take into the consideration the history of this organization and the defensive linemen, the pass rushers, the Fearsome Foursome, all of that stuff, to set the single-season sack record is pretty impressive,” Head Coach Jeff Fisher said.

Prior to Quinn’s late-game assault on the Rams’ record book, the day belonged primarily to the rookie class of the Rams, who received stout contributions from first-year players on both sides of the ball.

Through the first four weeks of the NFL season, Zac Stacy and Stedman Bailey accounted for exactly one offensive touch, a four-yard carry by Stacy in the Rams’ season opener. Their progression within the 2013 season could not be more pronounced following Sunday’s win.

Stacy continued his pursuit of just the third 1,000-yard rushing season by a rookie in Rams history, as he finished Sunday with 104 yards on a career-most 33 carries. His 1-yard touchdown run in the second quarter was his seventh in as many games. His seven rushing touchdowns on the year are the most by a Rams running back since Steven Jackson ran for seven in 2008. Stacy remains just 42 yards shy of 1,000 for year.

“Our mentality coming into OTAs was that we wanted to make an impact,” Stacy said of the Rams’ talented contingent of first-year players. “With everything we’ve been through, not only as a team but as a rookie class, hopefully we just continue to keep the momentum going into next week and into the future.”

Few rookies are playing with a degree of momentum equal to Bailey, who scored his first career touchdown on a 27-yard double-reverse run early in the second quarter to give the Rams their first lead of the day at 14-7. Bailey also caught three passes for a team-best 44 yards on the afternoon.

Contributions from Rams rookies were not limited to the offensive unit, however. Rookie LB Alec Ogletree forced a pair of fumbles, his fifth and sixth of the season, which ranks him third in the NFL in the category.

“A lot of it just goes to their work ethic,” said QB Kellen Clemens, who established a career-best by completing 80 percent of his passes Sunday. “We’re fortunate, because some of these rookies still don’t know what they don’t know. We’re a team that unfortunately is not going to the playoffs, but you would not know it by the way we’ve continued to work and show up on Sundays, and a big part of that has been the contributions we’ve gotten from some of these young players.”

News and Notes

-T Jake Long was carted off the field with 11:29 remaining in the first quarter. Head Coach Jeff Fisher said the Rams are ‘anticipating the worst’ and suspect a torn right ACL for the four-time Pro Bowler.

-Stacy’s 104-yard rushing day gave him his fourth 100-yard game of the season on the ground.

-Ogletree forced two fumbles on Sunday, his fifth and sixth of the season. DE William Hayes was credited with the recovery on both fumbles.

-K Greg Zuerlein connected on all three of his field-goal attempts, including a season-long 54-yarder in the third quarter. He was also good from 25 and 48 yards, respectively.

-The Rams combined for seven sacks on Sunday, including the first of S T.J. McDonald’s career.

-Sunday’s win gave the Rams a 5-3 record at home in 2013, the team’s first winning record at home since 2010.