Inexcusable Effort

The Rams had a chance to end a decade long trend of losing seasons. They had a chance to prove some sense of legitimacy during the final leg of the season. But once again, the Rams decided to sit in the same pathetic puke that’s plagued this organization for the majority of its existence in St. Louis.

In 23 seasons since relocating here, the Rams have endured 17 losing seasons. Four have produced winning records and twice the team finished 8-8.

I stopped listening to the garbage on terrestrial radio a long time ago, but a radio glitch somehow put 101 ESPN on the dial this afternoon. Two minutes elapsed before I’d had enough. D’Marco Farr was trying to make a point about losing with dignity. (Cue Sirius) The losing with dignity mantra is precisely why the Rams aren’t mentally tough enough to win meaningful games.

They played hard. They battled. They had a good week of practice. The refs screwed them. Odell Beckham Jr. spun the ball. We’re close. We know we’re better than today. We’re preparing for Seattle.

Oh shut the front door and don’t let it hit you on the way out.

Losing games has become a medley of excuses, a giant ball of bullshit propaganda… And nobody in the organization seems to have a problem with it.

The Rams are again trending down. Dominant wins against Oakland and Washington were quickly erased with home losses to Arizona and New York. The litany of problems included a few familiar self-inflicted wounds:

  • Secondary incompetence
  • Fighting
  • Penalties
  • Lack of offensive fluidity
  • Terrible offensive line play
  • Dropped passes
  • Turnovers

Just blatant mistakes that can’t happen at this level of football. Period.

THOUGHTS

The Rams pass rush has dozed off for two straight weeks. Granted, Arizona literally held them all game and was never penalized. But apparently if the pass rush falters, the Rams lose. When Gregg Williams sent additional pressure, Eli Manning attacked the secondary going 13-for-15 with a TD. Quarterback pressure is the greatest equalizer on the playing field, and the Rams need more consistency from that standpoint. You can’t be great one week and dormant the next. This is not entirely on the defensive line, it’s on the entire unit.

Scott Wells is the worst center in the NFL. Wells committed two more bad snaps on Sunday (he had two butt fumbles last Thursday), one on a crucial 3rd down on the final 1st half drive, which forced the 34-year old Shaun Hill to scramble right only to completely miss a wide open Stedman Bailey. Instead of a 20-17 game, they settled for a field goal and a 20-13 deficit.

Shaun Hill isn’t winning you football games. By that I mean his individual effort. Hill is a game manager, fine. But when the opposing offense nets 514 yards and scores 37-points, it takes more than a game manager at the quarterback position. I don’t want to pile on Hill, but were seeing why he’s a career backup.

Trumaine Johnson, a 3rd round pick by Jeff Fisher in 2012, allowed 136 yards and a touchdown on 8-of-9 targets to a mix of Giants receivers. And once again, the defense had two interceptions fall right out of their hands.

The Fisher Blueprint relies on turnovers, defensive pressure, great special teams, and a clock eating offense. The Rams had a -3 turnover ratio, 1 sack, a lost fumble on special teams, and the Giants won the time of possession by almost 10 minutes. Oh yeah, and nine penalties while New York converted on 8-of-17 third downs. Mercy!

Opposing teams think the Rams play dirty… and the Pope wears a funny hat. I would refer to it as playing through the whistle. I’ve seen Alec Ogletree’s hit on Beckham 20 times and though he finishes the hit, the contact was initiated in-bounds. But from there it escalates to a familiar mêlée that’s getting old. And then after the game– after an ass whooping in your own building, TJ McDonald has the urge to say Beckham Jr. is “the only guy they got”.

Right, Beckham had 148 yards of offense and 2 scores… so what about the other 370 yards?

Emotions flare, guys are fired up. GREAT. Win the game. Talking smack on the field only to walk off as perennial losers ain’t so cool.

After the game a colleague asked if I would axe Fisher or GM Les Snead.

After initially saying Snead, I kept coming back to Fisher because of the same trends that reflect Fisher’s 30+ year coaching record. Mediocrity paired with immaturity. The same shtick is getting old. Then again, we all know how great Hope and Change works.

ULTIMATELY

I’m really disappointed. I’m disappointed for the fans that pay good money to watch this junk. My Dad, a season ticket holder since 1995, deserves a better product than this. The Dome had a good vibe yesterday… In part because people are unsure of the future–and for the game to play out the way it did was all too typical. It was the same nonsense on a different Sunday during another losing season.

This just blows. And I’m tired of it.

Who can’t wait for a trip to Seattle?

Merry Christmas, folks. Stay sane in the zoo around town these days. Sweet Jesus it’s busy.

Thanks for reading.

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