For some stupid, uncontrollable reason, I still let Rams games drive me crazy. It makes for 16 long Sundays. That being said, I enjoyed yesterday’s loss. One game, small sample size…yes. But, there were enough promising signs in this game to take away a positive approach.
But I’m not going to sit here and praise millionaires for their effort. I’ll leave that for Steve Spagnuolo. The NFL is still a win/loss business.
The defense had a whirlwind of a day, ultimately not enough. The unit intercepted Matt Stafford three times, including one for a touchdown. They also allowed three separate 80-yard touchdown drives. The Lions’ game-tying score took all of five plays in under 2 1/2 minutes. The 27-year old defensive play-caller Blake Williams put little pressure on Stafford as he marched the field en route to victory. Allowing 429 yards of total offense is not acceptable. The huge chunks of yardage opposing teams find in the middle of the field has to be addressed.
The curious case of Sam Bradford continued. Chris Long told the media after the loss, “Detroit has a talented quarterback, but we’ve got a pretty damned good quarterback right here. Sam gave us a chance to win. But we couldn’t make a play.”
Fair enough…but when does damned good translate into great? Bradford again looked uncomfortable at times in the pocket. He missed an open tight end for a TD on a critical 3rd down, and completely blew an opportunity when rookie WR Chris Givens blazed by the depleted Lions secondary.
I’m not overlooking the fantastic ball to Brandon Gibson for the 23-yard go-ahead touchdown, or his 10 passes for 1st downs.
While maybe not a fair comparison, watching Peyton Manning on Sunday Night had me wondering if Bradford would ever have just one game where he shows the complete command of a huddle like Manning. Both were #1 overall picks.
Is Bradford capable of throwing for more than 198 yards and a TD, especially against a vulnerable Lions secondary? It’s expected from a former #1 overall pick.
Moving on … Quick Hits:
When you win the turnover battle (+3), field goals won’t cut it. It took Cortland Finnegan taking it 31 yards to the house for the Rams to score more than 3 points off a turnover.. The offense must capitalize more often.
Greg Zuerlein has a boot, and clearly not just at Rams Park.
Rookie DT Michael Brockers’ absence was felt. Very little push from the interior. Brockers was facing double-teams during pre-season, Jermelle Cudjo was not.
7th round pick Daryl Richardson needs more carries. He had two for 20 yards Sunday. Steven Jackson rushed 21 times for just 53 yards (2.5 average)… Simple math here. In no way am I criticizing Jackson, the run blocking was a joke and give credit to Detroit’s defensive line. However, a guy who has rushes of 11 and 9 yards on two carries might need to see a little more action.
Finally, the penalties. Total of 7 for 65 yards. As Mike Martz would say, “Ya, we’ll fix that.”
The Rams have their work cut out as RG III and the Redskins visit the Dome next Sunday. RG III had a successful debut throwing for 320 yards and rushing for another 42 while defeating New Orleans on the road.