We will hear the refrain again after the Rams 31-13 loss to New Orleans that “the Saints are a more talented team.” Or that “the correct team won the game.” To that, I say “bull.” The more talented team doesn’t HAVE to win, and this game is a perfect example.
1) Well-drilled teams finish off drives to finish off games. Sam Bradford’s two interceptions to Malcolm Jenkins, one of them a pick six, were the reason for this loss. If Bradford finishes those drives, a 31-13 loss turns into a 27-24 Rams advantage. Steven Jackson, who never fumbles, fumbled…and the Rams allowed New Orleans to score a TD on that drive. Don’t tell me the Rams didn’t have a chance in this game…they just didn’t do the most important thing in football…protect the ball.
2) After his fumble, Jackson was a beast. He exhibits exemplary effort. I felt bad that after Jackson’s first fumble in 500-plus touches, I was yelling at the TV “don’t fumble,” when he touched the ball. Even with the fumble, Jackson wasn’t the reason the Rams lost the game.
3) D’Marco Farr talked last week about the Rams and their slow starts on defense. It’s hard to figure out, but it’s a problem. In all three games of the road trip, the Rams defense was run over in the first quarter. In this case, the Rams allowed 148 first quarter yards, 197 thereafter. For a Steve Spagnuolo defense to have those problems is alarming, and surprising.
4) With all due respect to the Rams coaching staff, targeting Danario Alexander one time is ridiculous. The Rams have one gamebreaker in their receiving corps, and he’s it. Not utilizing him is a recipe for failure. It’s simple…in the games in which Alexander has been part of the offense, the Rams have scored 30 points. In the games he wasn’t, the Rams didn’t even get close to 30.
5) Bradford’s chasing down Roman Harper on what they both thought was a fumble was a telling statement about the Rams quarterback. As we know, he’s intensely competitive, and simply isn’t going to give up. With #8 as their quarterback, the Rams are going to have a chance to win every game he plays for them in the future. The guy has everything you’re looking for in a quarterback…leadership, physical tools, competitiveness and desire. Even in defeat, he did something quite impressive that had nothing to do with playing quarterback.
The Rams can win their last three and win the division at 9-7. Without Matt Cassell, I’m not sure Kansas City can score a single point on offense. The Rams had San Francisco beat there, and Seattle may lose out after their loss to the 49ers. They play Atlanta and go to Tampa Bay before wrapping up with a home game against the Rams.