Rams ride Quinn's 3 sacks to win over Bucs

Bucky Dent, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

ST. LOUIS -- It's not very often that a player from a 7-8 football team gets a ride off the field.
Then again, St. Louis Rams defensive end Robert Quinn hasn't been your ordinary player in 2013.
Quinn's three sacks, including one on the game's final play Sunday, gave him a team single-season record of 18 as St. Louis notched a 23-13 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday at the Edward Jones Dome.
Moments after concluding a post-game interview on the field, Quinn was carried off it by teammates Chris Long and Will Witherspoon as the remnants of a crowd of 54,423 cheered and chanted "MVP!"
"I was just hoping they wouldn't drop me," Quinn joked.
Although the Rams have been out of playoff contention since early December, Quinn continued to burnish his credentials for NFL Defensive Player of the Year. To go along with his 18 sacks, Quinn also has an NFL-high eight forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
Tampa Bay (4-11) did everything it could to protect rookie quarterback Mike Glennon, running the ball with undersized back Bobby Rainey even though he was held to 37 yards on 20 attempts. It used backs and tight ends to help left tackle Donald Penn double-team Quinn.
But when the Buccaneers fell behind by two scores with 3:15 left in the game after St. Louis placekicker Greg Zuerlein boomed a 48-yard field goal, they had to go to Plan B.
Quinn nailed Glennon for his 17th sack with 1:55 remaining, tying Kevin Carter's 14-year old team record. When Glennon couldn't find a man downfield on the last snap, Quinn swooped in behind him and notched the record-breaker.
"It's hard to get 17 sacks in a season," Quinn said. "It's a great honor to have (Carter's) record. We've still got one more game. I'm going to see if I can push it a little bit."
Rams backup defensive end William Hayes won't be surprised by anything Quinn accomplishes.
"I've played with a lot of great players over the years," Hayes said. "Believe me, this kid is special. He can do anything."
Led by Quinn's performance, St. Louis allowed just 170 yards -- half coming on Tampa Bay's only touchdown drive in the first quarter -- and 14 first downs. Glennon absorbed a considerable amount of punishment, taking seven sacks and getting hurried on seven other throws.
"You feel bad for the young man," Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano said of Glennon. "And you feel bad for the offensive line, too. They were trying their best, but we just didn't get it done."
The Bucs led briefly after Rainey's 1-yard run gave them a 7-0 advantage with 6:31 left in the first quarter. But the Rams scored two touchdowns in a 1-minute, 44-second stretch early in the second period and never trailed again.
Rookie running back Zac Stacy, who pounded out 104 yards on 33 carries, jumped over from the 1 with 13:48 remaining in the half to tie the game. After Rainey lost a fumble to Hayes at the Tampa Bay 27, rookie wide receiver Stedman Bailey cashed it in on the next play, taking a beautifully executed double-reverse the distance for a 14-7 advantage.
Bucs kicker Rian Lindell nailed field goals of 35 and 32 yards to draw his team within a point, but Zuerlein finished the scoring with three field goals. With Quinn and the St. Louis front seven dominating, that was all the scoring they needed.
Glennon completed 16 of 26 passes for 158 yards. Rams quarterback Kellen Clemens connected on 16 of 20 attempts for 158 yards.
However, the latest chapter in Quinn's record-breaking season topped the marquee.
"You can't get that many sacks by yourself," Quinn said of his record. "You've got to get a lot of help from your teammates."
NOTES: St. Louis WR Tavon Austin (ankle) missed his second straight game, while RG Harvey Dahl was also declared inactive due to a knee injury. ... Tampa Bay SS Mark Barron (hamstring) and LG Carl Nicks (foot) led its list of inactives. ... Rams LT Jake Long (knee) was injured on the team's first drive and didn't return to the game.

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