Reflections on Rams Gut Punch Loss

Now that the dust has settled and my anger has subsided a bit, we can think about the Rams loss a bit more rationally.  Here’s some thoughts in a semi stream of consciousness fashion.

  • Sam Bradford is still a rookie and finally played like one.  He was not as accurate as he has been or he should be in the future.  All of his audibles to quick passes were thrown to receivers that couldn’t get open while Steven Jackson was running like a man possessed.  Any audible to a pass did not work out.  This brings me to…
  • The Rams need a dynamic deep threat in their wide receiving corps.  Defensive backs do not fear the speed of the Rams wide receivers, so they are able to play bump coverage.  Bump coverage limits Bradford’s quick passes directly to the receivers and makes the quick throws harder to complete as they have to go down field.
  • The Rams lack depth in their secondary.  As soon as the Rams got hit by the injury bug in the secondary, the defense struggles started.  With corners that can be left 1 on 1, the Rams are able to do more blitzing, which helps their defense.  Without the confident corners, the Rams are forced to stay in coverage and wait for the other team to slowly move down the field on them.  Without their top 2 corners, the Rams defense was vulnerable.
  • The Rams coaching staff needs to get learn how to play with a lead.  The Rams have had very few leads in the second half in the last few seasons.  But, they have had enough to know better than how they coached over the past two weeks.  Two weeks in a row, the Rams have tried to sit on a lead after halftime, making little effort to continue to press.  The Rams time management strategy at the end of the first half seemed aggressive at the time, but allowed Tampa Bay to have enough time to get a field goal before halftime.  The Rams coaching staff trusted their defense to get the job done, but injuries prevented the coaching staff from calling the game they wanted on defense.

This one certainly hurt and the post-game ranting and raving was good to get everything off all of our chests, but there will be plenty of time for the reasoned (or not so reasoned) analysis of the Rams’ problems.


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