Rams Trick Plays Lead to Shocking Upset of Seahawks (GIFs)
A slow start from the Seahawks (brought on by Friday’s shocking Percy Harvin trade) combined with a couple of brilliant Rams trick plays led to an NFL Week 7 outcome nobody (except that idiot in your office pool who doesn’t even watch football) expected: a St. Louis victory over Super Bowl champion Seattle.
The first trick play was nothing more than a slight of hand—a slight of hand that resulted in a 90-yard touchdown.
Midway through the second quarter, with the Rams already up 14-3, Seattle punted the ball from their own 40. And though their punter, Jon Ryan, kicked the ball to the left side of the field, Benjamin Cunningham didn’t let on that the ball was going that way. Instead Tavon Austin, the Rams designated punt returner, went to the right and acted like the ball was coming his way. And since the Seahawks’ punt return defense were too busy tracking St. Louis players to see the ball fly over their heads, they just went after the designated punt returner.
So when Benjamin Cunningham caught the ball on the left of the field, he did this:
And the Rams were happy:
St. Louis thus took a 21-6 lead into halftime thanks to the best trick play of 2014. However, as all seven people who actually follow the Rams could tell you, that 21-6 lead was absolutely no guarantee of victory. This is the same team that was up 21-0 on the Cowboys only to lose 34-31, the same team that was up 14-0 on the 49ers only to lose 31-17. So getting out to fast starts and then fading away the rest of the game is kind of their thing.
This time, though, head coach Jeff Fisher had a trick up his sleeve to prevent another collapse—a fake punt to be precise.
With just under three minutes left in the game and St. Louis clinging to a two-point lead, they had the ball on their own 18 on 4th and 3. It was too long to risk “going for it,” but punting would give Russell Wilson good field position and all kinds of time to get the Seattle in field goal range. So the Rams had to try something.
They tried this:
That’s punter Johnny Hekker with with 18-yard completion to Benjamin Cunningham for the first down.
Rams win 28-26. Seattle is officially “struggling.”