Anybody wearing blue and gold on Sunday should have appropriately donned a bright red clown nose to complete the uniform.
The Rams’ 30-15 loss in Carolina last Sunday is the latest setback in what’s becoming a tumultuous 2013 season. The oddities in which this team continues to shoot itself in the foot are embarrassing. Apparently if they can’t feast on the Blaine Gabbert or Matt Schaub types, it’s a total gong-show.
A porous pass defense continued their horrid stretch of football allowing Cam Newton to complete 15-of-17 passes for 204 yards. Trumaine Johnson had his worst day as a professional, while Janoris Jenkins had his head spinning trying to defend Steve Smith. Combined they allowed 10 of 11 passes into their coverage for 144 yards and a touchdown. They each had a defensive holding penalty, too.
The game itself will get overshadowed by Sam Bradford’s season ending knee injury, but make no mistake — the Rams have a ton of maturity issues.
Start with Jenkins, the cornerback with a troublesome laundry list. After the game, Smith said if he ever saw Jenkins on the street, “he’d bust him in the f****n’ mouth”. Smith beat him for four catches, sixty yards, and a TD. The corner also missed two tackles, one of which led to a touchdown. Apparently Jenkins was talking trash on Smith’s wife. Great.
Then there’s offensive guard Harvey Dahl. Dahl, known for his physicality, earned two 15-yard type penalties including one where he apparently thought Mike Mitchell was to blame for Bradford’s injury. Dahl looked like a mad man on a kill hunt despite the injury coming on a complete freak play.
And don’t forget about Eugene Sims. Sims, a part-time player, took over at left defensive end when defensive captain Chris Long got ejected for throwing a punch…let that sink in. Sims decided to start throwing punches down 15 points with two minutes left in the game.
Brian Quick, the 33rd overall pick in 2012, dropped a pair of passes including a sure-TD that subsequently resulted in a field goal. The other was a easy first down on the Rams second offensive possession. He also added a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty to his afternoon.
Tavon Austin lost a fumble across midfield on the drive immediately following a defensive safety. The score was 7-2 at the time and the Rams had momentum.
A Jake Long tripping penalty nullified a Tavon Austin 63-yard catch-and-run TD.
The litany of fundamental problems are shocking and disturbing — and the forecast gets murkier with Bradford shelved for good.
5 Crucial Plays
- First play of the game, Bradford has his arm hit by former teammate Quintin Mikell on a safety blitz and his deep pass is returned for a “pick-6”. CAR 7 STL 0
- 4th-and-1 at CAR 1, Brian Schottenheimer calls for the predictable play action flank pass to the tight end. If I know the play is coming — so does the defense. CAR 7 STL 0
- Austin FUMBLES at the Carolina 35-yard line CAR 7 STL 2
- 3rd-and-11 at STL 23, Newton finds Ted Ginn Jr. for 22-yard gain. Trumaine Johnson gave him way too much cushion and one play later, Mike Tolbert ran in for a 1-yard TD score. CAR 17 STL 5
- Carolina’s 8-play, 73-yard TD drive at 5:22 in the 3rd quarter. The Rams had just cut the deficit to eight points when Cam Newton engineered the game-changing drive.
The Rams have serious vacancies at safety, quarterback, left guard, and right tackle. Other than that, who can’t wait for Seattle on Monday Night Football?