After his Rams pounded the Jets 34-14 last Sunday, the offense-minded Mike Martz was playing defense.
He's been doing it all season.
The Rams are the NFL's only unbeaten team at 6-0 and they'll probably be favored in every game from here on. So they have a shot at going 16-0 and becoming the second unbeaten team of the modern era.
Miami, which went 14-0 in 1972, was in St. Louis in Week 3 and lost 42-10, so the Dolphins won't be able to do what they did to the 1985 Bears, handing Chicago its only loss after the Bears started 12-0.
The Rams almost certainly will lose -- it has to happen in a 16-game season. In 1998, the Broncos were set for a showdown in Miami, but stopped in the Meadowlands on the way and were beaten by Kent Graham and a mediocre Giants team. That's what happens in the NFL.
And three of the Rams' wins could have been losses: a 20-17 overtime victory in Philadelphia the opening week; a 30-26 loss in San Francisco in which the usually reliable 49ers receivers dropped several catchable balls; and that 15-14 win over the Giants two weeks ago in which the Rams got help from both the New York offense and the officials.
It was that Giants game that has Martz so worked up.
Not only did the New York defenders, who knocked Marshall Faulk from the game and sacked Kurt Warner six times, suggest the Rams were "a finesse team," but the media in St. Louis, New York, and around the country echoed them.
So when the Rams arrived at the Meadowlands to play the other New Yorkers, Martz was in a feisty mood. By the second half, he had pulled out all the gadgets, including Az Hakim running an option, then lateraling to Trung Canidate on a 56-yard touchdown play. And Canidate running 12 yards up the middle for a touchdown with Warner lined up at wide receiver.
Then, leading 31-7 late in the third period, the Rams tried an onside kick, which they recovered.
Why, Martz was asked, would he call that when the game seemed well in hand?
"You always try to grab an advantage," he replied. "The Jets scored 21 points very quickly against Miami last week. They could have done it again."
They could have, but they weren't going to.
Martz is a very bright man, and a good coach. He can be very informative and very amiable and will openly evaluate talent, particularly quarterback talent, for outsiders.
But he seems to have adopted the "us-against-them" attitude that goes with coaching in the NFL.
Last January, for example, Baltimore's Brian Billick declared that no questions were to be asked of Ray Lewis, his best player, about the murder charges lodged against Lewis the year before.
A couple of months later, asked if he was play-acting or talking from his heart when he made that statement, Billick replied: "A little of both."
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