ST. LOUIS — The toughest part of Robert Quinn’s day was surviving the ride to the locker room.
“They hoisted me off,” the Rams defensive end said. “I was hoping I didn’t get dropped.”
Quinn got three sacks to break the franchise season record and take the NFL lead, too, as St. Louis beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 23-13 on Sunday.
Controlling Quinn and the rest of the St. Louis pass rush had been a Tampa Bay priority.
“I’m anxious to watch the tape because I want to see — with some of the things we had in place — how the heck they didn’t slow them down more than they did,” Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano said. “We’ve got to find out why.”
Fellow defensive ends Chris Long and William Hayes waited just inside the tunnel to the locker room and scooped up the 264-pound Quinn.
“I’ve never seen anybody like him,” Long said. “He deserves it. We don’t just carry any jack wagon off the field.”
The Rams wore throwback jerseys from their Super Bowl title season and Quinn outdid one of the stars from that team. He has 18 sacks, 11⁄2 more than Houston’s Robert Mathis for the league lead, and broke Kevin Carter’s mark of 17 in that 1999 Super Bowl season.
“You almost want to peel your eyes back and watch like a fan,” defensive tackle Michael Brockers said. “You think, ‘How did he do that?’
“You see that flash of 94 go past and you think, ‘Oh snap, that quarterback doesn’t know what he’s in for.”’
The Rams won without left tackle Jake Long, who injured his knee on the first series. Coach Jeff Fisher believes Long tore a right knee ligament, adding, “We are anticipating the worst.”
Zac Stacy rushed for 104 yards on 33 carries and a touchdown, and two other rookies also had big games for the Rams (7-8), who matched their victory total from last year. Stedman Bailey scored on a 27-yard reverse, and Alec Ogletree forced two fumbles.