Robert Quinn‘s breakout season has hit a wall over the team’s last two games. Quinn has been the St. Louis Rams‘ wrecking ball flying in from the blindside of opposing QBs and ending drives with a hammer fist to combine a sack and fumble into one play. To say that the athletic Quinn specializes in getting to the QB and forcing the ball out of their hand would be an accurate statement. He is still within reach of the Rams modern day sack record of 17 set by Kevin Carter.
Currently he is leading the NFC with 13 sacks and six forced fumbles. His six forced fumbles put him at the top of the stat sheet across the NFL. Only trailing Robert Mathis by 2.5 sacks for the league lead puts Quinn in a good spot if he can come up with a few huge games rushing Drew Brees, Mike Glennon, and Russell Wilson. Brees and Wilson are going to be aware of Quinn at all times so he will have to explode off the end and rely on the Rams’ soft zone defense to force them to hold onto the ball. If St. Louis were to mix in more tight man coverage at the line then perhaps Quinn and company would actually have more time to get to the QB. The defensive philosophy hasn’t changed all year so it’s not likely that it will change over the last three games.
Let’s get back to a positive spin on the story. Quinn has already blown away all of his numbers from last year when he racked up 10 sacks, one forced fumble, and 24 tackles. More importantly for the Rams’ defense he has grown as a run defender locking up 37 tackles this season with three games remaining.
In order for Quinn to bring home the first ever Deacon Jones Award and his first Defensive Player Of The Year award he will have to explode to take the sack lead over Mathis. Failing to take the lead over Mathis will ultimately result in Quinn failing to take home both awards. Even if he can’t bring home the awards St. Louis has to be happy with the explosion of development he has displayed in his third pro season.