Progress Not Always Pretty

The last time the Rams won on the road before Sunday was Week 10 a year ago after the Cleveland Browns botched a 22-yard game winning field goal.

Now before we pop champagne and get silly, the Rams beat the Arizona Cardinals, albeit a division rival, but realistically they are a horrible football team currently riding a seven game losing streak.

But, the young Rams needed a road win in the worst way, and they got one.

Jeff Fisher remained his stoic self Monday, and it served as a subtle reminder that the team is still 4-6-1, on the outside looking in at the NFL playoffs.

In fact, while congratulating Janoris Jenkins for his two “pick 6s”, he also had some criticism.

Jenkins got away with loose coverage on Larry Fitzgerald thanks to multiple horrendous throws from Ryan Lindley. But, take two to the house and change the game…it’s hard to complain. In the offseason, Jenkins needs to work on his return skills, because his speed and elusiveness has way too much potential to not utilize.

The defensive game plan in the first half was questionable, but the tackling from the unit was pathetic. You name ’em and he probably missed a key tackle Sunday.

As I alluded to in my “keys”, the Rams had a ton of success the previous game against Arizona blitzing. So why against a rookie quarterback would they devise a vanilla attack for the first 30 minutes?

Glad they fixed it.

Offensively, it was encouraging to watch Chris Givens get involved on the intermediate throws, as well as his fantastic 37-yard touchdown grab. His 3rd-down grab for 18-yards set up the game tying score.

The fact Danny Amendola even dressed was amazing, but his 38-yard catch had to be inspiring for the entire team. Chris Long seemed enthused congratulating the warrior as he got on his feet.

QB Sam Bradford had an interesting day. His stat line 8-17 for 205 yards, 2 TD 1 INT doesn’t scream greatness, but he was 5-8 (62.5 percent) on passes at least 15-yards down field, including both touchdown throws. His interception came on the same play the Rams scored to take a 24-21 lead in San Francisco. Unfortunately, this time Patrick Peterson and his 4.3 speed made a play.

Bradford showed poise coming back after Quentin Groves drove him into the ground…wait I thought that was a penalty? It is, and they missed it. If that’s Tom Brady…there’s laundry galore.

After the game, Bradford had this to say about Steven Jackson:

Does that sound like a QB ecstatic about a successful rushing attack? Jackson’s 139 yards paired with Darryl Richardson’s 32 controlled the game clock, especially in the fourth quarter with an 11-play, 7-minute drive.

Sam Bradford #8 of the St Louis Rams has the ball knocked out of his hand by Quentin Groves #54 of the Arizona Cardinals

I hope we’re seeing second-year tight end Lance Kendricks turn it on. His size and speed offer Sam a downfield threat over the middle. He actually has hands too, which is encouraging.

All things considered, the Rams won this game because they had four turnovers, snapping a 52-day drought. Let’s hope that streak continues next Sunday when they get another shot at those pesky 49ers at home.

Finally, I’m not concerned about Greg Zuerlein. He hasn’t had many opportunities lately on typical length field goals. Every miss has been from 50+ aside from the Miami Game.

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