It’s hard to know what’s going on with the Rams’ roller coaster performances. Over the span of the season we have seen inspiring play by every positional group on the team. We have also seen games and series of games that show an incredible lack of focus and even incompetence. Today we saw the latter. In between grimacing and shrieks of disbelief, I came up with 4 reasons why the Rams lost today’s contest.
1 QB Sam Bradford’s head was not in this game. He threw dangerous and off target passes over and over. Plus, Bradford seems to have no sense of the oncoming pass rush. His blind side is truly blind. It’s as if he gives it zero consideration, then time after time he coughs up the ball. His inability to make a good decision today fatally hurt the Rams.
2 The next reason was the poor play of the Rams defensive secondary on the right side of the field. I don’t think I heard CB Cortland Finnegan’s name called by an announcer all day long. The reason is that the Jets brilliantly stayed away from his side of the field. Instead, like every team in the NFL has learned to do, they attacked rookie CBs Jenkins and Johnson on the right side. This is a personnel issue so it’s a coaching issue. Neither of these two rookies are ready for prime time and should either receive support via defensive play calling or should be replaced by an athlete who can handle the gig. Jenkins showed promise earlier in the season, but the further we progress the more he regresses.
3 The third reason for the Rams loss was the collapse of the offensive line in the 4th quarter. Bradford had a terrible game, but he didn’t give up. In the 4th quarter he was still playing with all his heart, but apparently the O-line had given up theirs. For the entire 4th quarter he was under a lot of pressure and could hardly get the ball off.
4 Finally and most obviously, the Rams lost due to turnovers. You can’t turn the ball over in your own red zone and expect to win. The Rams had 3 turnovers and even when they didn’t turn the ball over artificially, the Jets often received the ball back with a short field. A few really good teams can overcome these self imposed wounds, but not the Rams and not today.
Outside of the defensive secondary I think the Rams have plenty of talent to be competitive; to win. They’re biggest problems are mental. With coach Fisher’s background you wouldn’t expect this to be an issue, but it is. The game ended today with a final score of Jets 27, Rams 13. Next week the 3-6-1 Rams will take on the struggling Cardinals at their home; an epic battle at the bottom of the NFC West. Let’s hope our beloved roller coaster is on the upswing. Go Rams!