Daily Grind 11.5

Considering the fact I don’t really have a job right now means I have nothin but time, and with Daily Grind Sports so close to reaching 40,000 hits — I am digging (back) in. So beware Newsfeedsand I’m not entirely sure where it’s going.

THE RAMS

I could honestly go through the archives and paste something here I wrote three years ago about this team. It’s been a hellacious ride of wash/rinse/repeat for damn near ten years. 10 YEARS I have tricked myself into thinking this team was improving. 10 YEARS of thinking THIS WAS THE YEAR!!

I was 14 years old for Christ’s sake. I suppose then I could argue I was naïve, but 24 years old, sorry, pal. Now I’m just fools gold.

But that’s exactly what the Rams found last Sunday when they took down San Francisco 13-10 on the road. The NFL is a wave of emotional swings. The regular season is only 16 games, so the whiplash from a 34-7 ass whooping at Arrowhead to the gifted box of single-malt from Colin Kaepernick in Santa Clara is quite intense.

And it is. Just ask the poor patrons at my house on Sunday who couldn’t believe how much I cared about a 2-5-football team, nonetheless any football team. If you think Scott Hanson goes crazy during quad-box mode on NFL RedZone, hell, visit the 6200 block of Dale next weekend.

Honestly, following the KC debacle, I was ready to ship this team to Los Angeles. Good riddance, leave me alone. Bring the NBA to St. Louis. But like everything, time heals.

Is Jeff Fisher a mediocre football coach? Perhaps. Does he teach an extinct style of play in the modern NFL? Signs point to yes. Will I still take “The Fish” into battle each Sunday? Absolutely. Especially with a roster that for three years running owns the “leagues youngest” title.

Typically each game has a turning point — and for the Rams, the turning point typically ensues a meltdown.

Let’s go back and look at those big swings:

WK 1 vs. Vikings: 6-0 MIN, 1:09 left in halfShaun Hill intercepted by Josh Robinson. Vikings take over on the Rams 35, score late TD, and win 34-6. (I’m assuming team goes into half worst-case down 6-0, potentially 6-3)

WK 2 vs. Cowboys: 21-7 STL, 42 seconds left in half. Austin Davis fumbles snap. Cowboys kick late FG. Two minutes into 2nd half, Dez Byrant scores 68-yard TD. Dallas goes on a 23-3 run, winning 34-31. Rams blow 21-0 lead.

WK 5 at Eagles: Opening driveBrian Schottenheimer’s offense (off the bye week) creatively starts with a 3-and-out Eagles block punt, score TD. Game. Over. PHI led 34-7 with under five in 3rd quarter before Rams staged valiant comeback. Lost 34-28.

WK 6 vs. 49ERS: Rams lead 14-3, driving late in 2nd half. Baloney OPI called on Jared Cook negates 21-yard conversion on 3rdand-9 (ball would have been @SF25) Forced to punt, leads to an 80-yard, gut wrenching, Brandon Lloyd TD. SF outscores Rams 21-3 in 2nd half, winning 31-17.

WK 8 at Chiefs: Will Hayes recovers a fumble at the Chiefs 14 yard line. Brian Schottenheimer’s offense goes 3-and-out for negative seven yards. Greg Zuerlein pushes a 38-yard FG wide right, KC scores 27 unanswered.

So for the folks negatively implying the team has three wins thanks to a clock runoff, fake punt, and fumble on the goal line — I see five games where things could/should have gone the other way.

But that’s the endless optimism from the guy who just wants to relive the glory days.

5 Thoughts on the Rams:

  1. Retire Kurt Warner’s #13. Let’s see during his STL tenure 2x NFL MVP, Super Bowl MVP, Super Bowl XXXIV Champion, 2x NFC Champion, 14,447 yards, 102 TD passes, 34-15 record. AND YOU CAN’T RETIRE HIS NUMBER. WOW. Stop it, now.
  2. Learn from what Torry Holt said when recognized on the field four weeks ago at home: “Get back to winning” Like it’s great to honor the GSOT team but these guys would probably like some company years from now, and at this point they won’t.
  3. Brian Schottenheimer is a complete joke. #FireSchottenheimer
  4. What exactly does the team have in Barrett Jones? 4th round pick in 2013 out of Alabama injuries have riddled his young career, but let’s see the kid play.
  5. Fisher has drafted eight defensive backs in three seasonsand he just traded two picks for safety Mark Barron. It’s safe to say this team needs more production from LaMarcus Joyner and something (anything) from Maurice Alexander.

BLUE NOTES

  • When Paul Stastny signed with the club he said Chris Stewart told him Vladimir Tarasenko could blossom into a 50-goal type scorer. Tarasenko is what the Blues, and basically any team needs to win a Stanley Cup. His production also has me perplexed (again) why Ken Hitchcock put Tarasenko on the 4th line two years ago against LA in the playoffs.
  • Jake Allen must recognize the carrot dangling in front of him is more like 24-carat. With all respect to Brian Elliott, Allen is the future and the future is now. Come playoff time, there is no “timeshare” in net, that just doesn’t happen. Allen was mightily impressive last Thursday versus Anaheim.
  • Carl Gunnarsson could really flourish playing alongside Kevin Shattenkirk.
  • In 25 games with Avangard (KHL), Vladimir Sobotka has 21 points (6 goals, 15 assists), registering a +14, and 77 shots on goal.
  • In 12 games, Steve Ott has 1 point (0 goals,1assist) registering four shots on goal and 15 penalty minutes.
    • Moral of the story: Sobotka > Ott.

A PICTURE SAYS IT ALL.

I snapped this picture during the Cardinals clubhouse celebration after eliminating the Dodgers in the NLDS.

Oscar Tavares shares a moment with Yadier Molina after clinching NLDS.

Oscar Taveras shares a moment with Yadier Molina after clinching NLDS.

RIP Oscar.

Thanks for reading.

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