Five observations from the Rams 27-13 loss to Kansas City on Sunday afternoon at the Edward Jones Dome…
1) I’m ticked off, I’m depressed. Pretty much every emotion I have is a negative one. And you know what? That’s a good thing. For the last three years, I’ve been completely emotionless about the Rams. I knew beforehand that they were going to lose, and simply went about my Sunday while happening to watch a game. Now, I get euphoric when they win and upset when they lose. I wish the community wasn’t so ambivalent about this young team. The folks that showed up in Blue and Gold were outstanding, even though there wasn’t much to cheer for. I’m disappointed that there aren’t more Rams fans that attend games. And you can give me the economy argument, but there sure were a lot of Kansas Citians that showed up.
2) I know coach Steve Spagnuolo will disagree, but after the first series of the game, the Rams offense went into a shell and didn’t re-emerge until the fourth quarter. On their first drive of the game, taking up the first half of the first quarter, the Rams gained 63 yards. In the second half of the fourth quarter, they gained 87. From the middle of the first quarter to the middle of the fourth, the Rams gained 44 yards. After their opening drive of the game until halftime, the Rams ran 20 plays for 21 yards. In the first quarter and a half of the second half, it was 17 plays for 53 yards. 37 plays for 74 yards during those three quarters. There were too many passes to the line of scrimmage, too many runs right into the teeth of the defense, and too little use of Sam Bradford’s $50 million arm.
3) Even with the offensive ineptitude, the Rams had a chance after scoring with 4:23 to go. Everyone in the Dome knew the Chiefs were going to try to run some clock by running the ball. And, Jamal Charles ripped off an 80-yard jaunt. That was terrible football. There’s no excuse for that. Spags needs to demand more accountability and consistency from his troops.
4) The Rams zone blocking philosophy doesn’t lend itself to “pounding the ball” against an opponent’s defense. They don’t come off the ball and maul people. So why not try to trap some people and let Jackson get to the perimeter? It makes more sense to me to try that, rather than keep trying to run between the tackles when the rest of the league knows that if linebackers are simply filling gaps, there isn’t going to be room for SJ39 to run. There seems to be inconsistency with the Rams philosophy…they have a bruising, inside running back…but they’re offense is set up for an outside speed back. Something’s gotta give.
5) As bad as Seattle has been lately, it’s hard to imagine that the Rams of the last two weeks can go in there and win. The Rams should beat San Francisco next Sunday at the Dome, but that day-after-New Year’s contest in Seattle, probably for the division crown, seems like an awfully tall order for this team that doesn’t compete well with competitive teams.