Heading into Monday night, it was a good news/bad news situation for St. Louis Rams QB Kellen Clemens. The bad news was, he had to face the terrifying Seattle Seahawks defense in his first start since the 2011 season. The good news was, no matter how poorly he performed, almost all the entire city would have their minds elsewhere.
Unlike a politician who does something disgusting and prays for a bigger story to come along afterward to take the heat off, Clemens had the good fortune of a much bigger story occurring at the same time. The St. Louis Cardinals loss in Game 5 of the World Series was going to overshadow anything he did. For fans in St. Louis, it was like being shot, and then getting a paper cut shortly afterward.
With a career 4-8 record as a starter and a QB rating of 62.2, those who were paying attention were hoping for the best, but with tempered expectations. Neither the hopes nor the low expectations could be reached. Completing 15/31 for 158 yards, with no TDs and two INTs, Clemens stunk it up on a night when the Rams defense and running game definitely did their parts. The defense allowed just 14 points, had seven sacks and 10 tackles for a loss and the runners gained 200 yards on 37 carries, including 134 yards on 26 totes from Zac Stacy.
The difference in this game was the difference between Russell Wilson and Clemens. Despite running for his life the entire game, Wilson still managed to protect the ball and put it in the end zone — the two things Clemens needed to do, but didn’t.