So, the Rams are 2-7 and are facing a road trip to San Francisco to face the 49ers. Let’s rundown where the Rams stand.
First and foremost, Steven Jackson is out again this week and is not even making the trip out west. He is instead seeing a specialist for his injured thigh. He practiced on and off this week and was looking good until his thigh did not respond after a full practice. Jackson is taking a lot of heat after signing his huge contract in the offseason after an extended holdout. I thought the fans should have laid off Jackson then and I still think we should lay off Jackson now. He has suffered through injuries over the past two years, but when he is full strength, he is the best player on the Rams and the only player that can make the Rams offense move. Without Jackson on Sunday, the Rams offense will struggle just as they struggled against the Jets.
To say that Marc Bulger has been struggling would be an overstatement. He’s been misreading defenses, misfiring to every wide receiver. Bulger is certainly hurt by the Rams decision to let Isaac Bruce leave in the offseason and the decision to “phase out” Torry Holt as he has lost a step or two. Bulger has been throwing to a full-speed Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce his whole career. This year Torry Holt is slowing down and the offense is featuring Donnie Avery, Keenan Burton and Derek Stanley affectionately known as the “Teen Squad” because they all wear numbers in the teens. Bulger has also been falling away from his throws as well, regardless of who he is passing to. Haslett has backed Bulger as his quarterback and the Bulger is signed to a long-term extension. Bulger is capable of playing great, but needs something to get his confidence back. He won’t get that confidence back sitting on the bench, so let’s let him play.
Moving on, the offense line is struggling. Injuries have not been a problem as much as 2007. Orlando Pace is aging and not playing up to his usual standard. Jacob Bell is not living up to his big free agent contract. Nick Leckey appears to be undersized to play at center, but won the competition in training camp. Richie Incognito is solid at right guard. Alex Barron is solid except for pentalties at right tackle.
The defense has struggled from the defensive line to the secondary. A few hilights have been the play of Ron Bartell, Chris Draft (now injured), Leonard Little (when healthy) and Chris Long. Adam Carriker hasn’t played up to his 1st round status this year after a strong 2007, Tye Hill has struggled mightily when he was not injured.
So, to follow up, the Rams always get a fight from San Francisco and they are fighting hard until fiery interim head coach Mike Singletary. The Rams need to match the 49ers passion or else they will get run over by the Niners rushing offense and good rush defense.