Have you heard the news? Robert Quinn is back! In fact, left tackles and quarterbacks are shuddering at the sheer right now. As if Aaron Donald wasn’t enough for opposing teams to worry about. After generating only three quarterback sacks in the first 10 games of the season, Quinn has doubled that over his last five games to bring his total to nine. In fact, he is tied with teammate Aaron Donald for the league-lead in quarterback sacks in that time (six). It’s not that Quinn was ever really gone, but injuries and a position change slowed him down. He’s actually only two quarterback sacks away from tying his second most in a season (he had 11 in 2012 and 2014). These numbers alone would make you think the old Robert Quinn is back, but there’s something different about this Quinn.
This is a Robert Quinn that is playing in games where the Rams are leading. Games that mean something and have playoff implications. Since being drafted in 2011, Quinn’s Rams have never finished higher than 21st in the league in points per game. They have, however, had three seasons that rank 29th or lower. Two of which they finished 32nd. For once, the Rams are protecting leads instead of trying to erase them. Forcing opponents to pass more, thus, creating more pass-rushing opportunities. Not to mention, wins. Wins that have been hard to come by his first six seasons. Did you see the passion he played with against All-Pro left tackle Duane Brown in week 15? That’s the play of a guy who is one game away from his first-ever playoff appearance after six consecutive losing seasons. An untapped passion that comes when the division is on the line in December.
Ever since the Rams drafted Aaron Donald in 2014, fans naturally wondered what he and Quinn would do together. A couple of injuries and seasons later they are starting to see what they’re capable of. That’s 12 combined quarterback sacks over the last four games, five less than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have all season. These are definitely uncharted waters for Quinn and the entire Rams organization, but his timing couldn’t be more perfect. Quinn has long 34-inch arms and explosive get-off, which led to 12 forced fumbles combined across his 2013 and 2014 seasons.
There’s no denying that seeing your hard work pay-off will bring about a new motivation and confidence unseen in a long time, the type of confidence that will keep opposing quarterbacks uncomfortable and off their game. The Rams are now one game away from a playoff motivated Robert Quinn in January.
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