Another week, another ignominious Rams loss. I'm beginning to think the league needs a Kevorkian rule; keep losing by lopsided margins and the commissioner pulls the plug on your season. It's getting hard to watch this team. If these guys were in charge of fixing the economy, I'd start stuffing bills in my mattress and pennies in my shoes. Only a loss to the Lions would have been more humiliating.
So many times watching this team over the last two years, after so many turds like this one, I've demanded answers and appealed to reason. No more. There's just no point. Until there's a sea change in the organization's zeitgeist, this is the rule, not the exception.
For me, mercifully, the game wasn't televised, so I'll leave my venomous sentiments to those who witnessed the massacre. The game sounded just as impressive on the radio as I'm sure it looked.
The game was a stinker on all fronts, but I gotta say, the Tony Banks Award for Excellence this outing goes to Marc Bulger. I was fully prepared to blame the Rams o-line, but they played pretty well, all things being relative with a 2-8 team. When it's this bad, there's plenty of blame to go around, but you can pin the lion's share of this mess on Rams QB Marc Bulger. The game ended with Bulger's fumble on 2nd down in the 2nd quarter set the 49ers up for a TD. That brillant sequence was follwed by a terrible interception by Bulger. The 49ers started two drives on turnovers inside the Rams side of the field, once in the red zone. At that point, 28-3, it became reasonable to wonder if the Rams were going on two weeks in a row where an opponent scored 40 points by the half. Turns out the 49ers only got 35. Crisis averted. Making it even worse was some fairly effective play from the QB in the second half...with the Niners in cruise control.
I don't see how you argue for sticking with Bulger next week.
The middle of the Rams defense did itself no favors with their inspired play either. DT La'Roi Glover spent most of the snaps he saw on his back. Glover's long in the tooth, a guy who served his time, playing admirably for a lost cause now. The disappointment is Adam Carriker, who hardly played like a first round draft pick. I don't think he belongs at DT, at least not without a bulky, NT-prototype next to him in the 4-3. Given the playmaking skills touted when he was a draft pick, maybe he'd be a better LB. That's two position switches in three years, though, not exactly a recipe for success. At the very least, I think the Rams should move him to DE, where he played better last year filling in for injured players. DE Leonard Little is the heart and soul of this team, by default, but taking nothing away from the man. Unfortunately, he's clearly playing hurt or just too over-the-hill, and that's dramatically reduced the level of effectiveness the Rams need out of one of their precious few leaders. More cause to move Carriker to DE.
And how could we forget about the injuries...just to make it really feel like a contemporary Rams game, there had to be injuries to good(ish) players. If this team loses Bartell for any significant amount of time, there could be a lot more blowouts. Pace and Incognito, well, let's keep our fingers crossed, those are our two best linemen.
Finally, there's Jim Haslett. His epithet for his time with the Rams might read, "He stuck with Marc Bulger as his starting QB." Though, I don't know; there was plenty of merit to the argument of leaving Bulger under center coming into this game (also plenty of argument against it). Haslett's early run seemed so promising. I can't imagine the odds favoring him at the helm next season, even though much of the problem lies with the player personnel. I think he'll be a fine coach, but if comes down the keepign Haslett and completely remaking this team, well, best of luck in the SEC, Jim. Much more than Haslett, the future of this team hinges completely on how the front office gets remade, and to do that right, Rosenbloom is going to have to show a winning commitment if he wants to get the best people for the job.
Alright, I can't think about the Rams anymore tonight. Why waste a perfectly good Sunday evening, right?
More fun tomorrow.