The St Louis Rams were a preseason dark horse pick by many to make the jump towards playoff contention. Instead, after starting the season 4-3, the Rams lost six of their last nine to end the season a disappointing 7-9. The franchise playoff drought is now extended to 11 seasons, and the team hasn’t had a winning season in that span either.
The question on everyone’s minds: What happened?
“First of all, a grenade went off in the O-line room, there was literally like five guys got hurt in two weeks,” said Rodger Saffold offensive tackle for the St. Louis Rams on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney show. “Then you got all these young guys trying to get in there and get adjusted, it’s nuts.”
Despite the tough year, the Rams did beat the Seahawks, who some consider to be the hottest team entering the playoffs, twice. Considering that the Rams also played the Seahawks opponent this weekend, the Minnesota Vikings, Saffold knows both teams and understands the blueprint for beating the Seahawks.
“Well actually you know, it’s all about being physical. Our games are extremely physical with that team,” said Saffold. “It can end up either way, in their favor or our favor. But, I know the last couple times we’ve started out really fast and because we put up points on the board–that’s not a team that’s battling from behind too often. We put them in a bind, stretch them out a little bit, then they end up making a couple more mistakes. Next thing you know, we’re up a couple touchdowns, which never happens in Seattle, and we end up coming out with a win. If somebody gets a big lead on this team, they could come back, but it puts them in dire straits.”
The Vikings weren’t even close to doing that in the first game between the two teams when Seattle romped to a 38-7 victory back in early December. With the rematch upcoming this weekend, Saffold thinks that first game between the two teams may have been a good thing for the Vikings.
“When we played Minnesota, we lost in overtime. I still think they’re a good team, I just think they were still trying to identify themselves,” said Saffold. “It’s really big to see how they’re going to fare against Seattle, but maybe losing like that to Seattle was good for them. I expect them to come out with a lot of fire; I expect that to be a huge game. What’s really scary is if Seattle ends up winning that game, I’m afraid that they might get on a roll. Even though they’re going to be going to a different team each week, I still think they’re the most dangerous team we have in the Wild Card.”
The Seahawks and Vikings kick off on Sunday afternoon 1:05 pm on NBC.