Stedman Bailey runs away with NFC special teams player of the week


There wasn’t much doubt that the NFC special teams player of the week for Week Seven was going to go to a member of the Rams.

The only question was which one. Would it be Benny Cunningham, who had a 75-yard kickoff return to set up a score and caught the pass on the fourth quarter fake punt that helped ice the game? Would punter Johnny Hekker get it for delivering that pass? Or would it be wide receiver Stedman Bailey for taking a punt 90 yards for a touchdown while the Seahawks chased Tavon Austin on the wrong side of the field? The league went with option No. 3.

Bailey, typically a blocker for Austin on returns, was all by himself on the right side of the field when Jon Ryan’s punt settled into his hands and he sprinted down the sideline for a score that lifted the Rams to a 21-3 first half lead. Most of the rest of the players were on the left side because Austin and a crew of blockers went that way while the ball was in the air and the coverage team failed to notice that the ball failed to materialize anywhere near them.

There’s no award for assistant coach of the week, but it’s hard to imagine giving a fictional one to anyone but Rams special teams coach John Fassel given how much value the Rams got from those units in the 28-26 win

8 responses to “Stedman Bailey runs away with NFC special teams player of the week

  1. Fisher pulled the trigger, but Fassel had coached the special teams to prepare those plays.

    That misdirected punt return was the greatest fake-out special teams play I’ve ever seen.

  2. Pretty impressive that was his first ever punt return in a football game (any game not just NFL).

  3. No question the special teams play was exciting and made the difference in the game. There is a limit to how far trickery will carry a team. The Seahawks dominated the rest of the game and would have easily won were it not for the two special teams plays. Unfortunately, it is unlikely Fisher can pull a “rabbit out of his hat” each week to pull off such an upset. But, for us Rams fans, the game was a refreshing break from a dismal week (LCS and MNF) and a horrific decade.

  4. That was simply the best special teams play I have ever seen. Austin’s acting job was a huge part of it – wish he could have gotten ‘co-‘ award. He even fell on his butt backing up like he missed the ball.

    But great play all around. Should be a highlight play for years to come.

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