The St Louis Rams played their hearts out against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, sending the game into overtime and losing by a field goal. Today quarterback Marc Bulger said that it was an emotional halftime speech by teammate Steven Jackson that inspired the team to “step up” and cover the daunting, yet manageable 4.5 point spread.
“At halftime, we were up 10-6 and getting ready to go back out on the field when Steven stood up and said a few words to us,” said Bulger. “He told us to while we could all sense the game slipping away from us, that we should keep fighting and make sure that, if nothing else, we cover the point spread. He told us it was only 4.5 points and that it was well within our reach, that some of our remaining and most loyal fans maybe had put money on us to cover, and that we had to do our best to have their back on their foolish decision. He was very fiery and emotional. It had an impact on me. I wanted to cover that point spread for Steven. We all did.”
Jackson ended his speech by guaranteeing the team would cover the point spread, a bold statement that lit a fire under his teammates.
“He was like ‘We WILL cover the point spread. That is a promise!’” said receiver Donnie Avery. “Then he punched the water cooler and kicked over a table and didn't even get hurt. I tell you I was pumped. We were all screaming and yelling. Coach Spagnuolo wrote ‘4.5’ on the white board and we exited that tunnel like a pack of wild dogs. If it wasn’t for that speech we probably would have lost by at least six, and that would have made for a somber plane ride home.”
Still, Rams players admitted that they were nervous when the game went into overtime and the Jags won the coin flip, creating the possibility that Jacksonville could score a touchdown and win by six.
“While some of our fans may have bet on us to cover, I'm sure none of them bet on us to win," said defensive end Chris Long. "We didn't want to screw them and make being a Rams fan even worse for them."
"We knew Jacksonville could easily break a big play against us at any moment," said defensive end Leonard Little. "So I huddled the defense together and said, ‘Guys, this is it. Remember what Steven said. We’re on the doorstep of covering the point spread here but let's try not lose by more than a field goal. We can do it!’ Then I barked like a dog because it’s something I saw Ray Lewis do once. I think it may have helped.”
Jackson dedicated the point-spread covering to all the bettors who didn’t believe they could do it.
“Nobody believed in us except the people in that locker room and a few degenerates and delusional Rams fans,” said Jackson. “Nobody! But that’s fine. We like it like that. And this Sunday, we’re going for two we're going to cover another point spread! Who are we playing? The Colts? Oh, well maybe we'll just shoot for keeping the game under the total points line. Our offense will do it's part, I know that."