The last time the Rams played a game in Seattle with playoff implications, the Rams’ kicker was a member of a Seattle team that found itself on both sides of a rivalry that saw the two teams share the NFC West crown between 2002-2006.
Brown put his stamp on the rivalry with a pair of game-winning field goals against the Rams in 2006, in part knocking the Rams out of contention and vaulting the Seahawks to their third straight NFC West championship. Now in his third season as the Rams’ kicker, Brown is back on the cusp of the postseason with a view from the other side.
“It’s all about the situation,” Brown said. “The situation is that we’re the team on the rise and we’re starting to have some momentum and move forward and get the opportunity to become the leader of the (NFC) West again.”
While the situation here has changed, Brown notes that it’s simply another chapter in what has consistently been a competitive atmosphere between the two teams.
“Those are the two teams that have just been tooth and nail for the last 20 years,” Brown said. “It’s just one of those things that’s going to constantly carry.”
Brown has done his part to place the Rams at the cusp of a division title. Entering the final game of the regular season, the veteran kicker has matched his career high by converting 31 field goal attempts this year. That’s good for second in the league and first in the NFC.
Brown has also been as reliable as ever from long range, drilling three of his four attempts from 50 yards or more.
With the Rams standing just one win away from an 8-8 record and a division title, Brown is poised to make his fourth career playoff appearance and first as a member of the Rams. It’s a postseason track record that not many other members of the Rams roster can claim.
To Brown, the key to preparing for the postseason is simply to enjoy the moment.
“Just take everything to another level, but not to over-analyze things,” Brown said. “Naturally, your excitement pulls you into a new realm of focus and a new amount of energy, even though you’re exhausted and you’ve been going since July and August. The playoffs itself really pulls that out of you. But the only thing you can really say to anyone is to just enjoy this, because it’s the chance of a lifetime to meet the ultimate goal of our profession.”
The road back to that ultimate goal has been a longer one than expected for Brown. After joining the Rams as a free agent following the 2007 season, Brown envisioned being a part of a team that was a perennial contender, as it had been in the early portion of the decade.
That wasn’t the case right away, as the team struggled in a couple years of transition. The wait has only made this year’s success more enjoyable for Brown.
“I think when you’ve been where we’ve been, to be here, you really want to take a hold of the opportunity and you don’t want to let go,” Brown said. It’s just nice to be winning again.”