After working hard over the last three games to erase plenty of bad memories, Rams fans saw a familiar sight on the field today. A tenuous early lead became lopsided laugher by the half, stop me if you've heard this one before.
The Rams aren't going to win a lot of games with this offense. Marc Bulger has lost himself, once again getting little help from an offensive line depleted after years of neglect. Having Steven Jackson back in the lineup for the Rams gave them a positive foundation heading into the game, but the line just couldn't open the holes for him and it was clear he wasn't 100%. Those two dropped passes he had just added to the meltdown on that side of the ball. How can Holt seriously feel like he's being cut out of the offense? His QB strikes out on most throws.
The defense will be a real strength of this team in the coming years. Right now, they're over their head, being asked to do too much with no help. In time of possession, the Rams offense was on the field just over 21 minutes; Warner and the Cardinals were out there for more than 38. Add to that, a constant advantage in field position thanks to the offense. (Can you imagine some of the scores this season without Donnie Jones punting?) I'm impressed with Chris Long. Like Jackson, Carriker and Little rushed back into the lineup without being 100%. Can't blame any of them, they're competitors, but with so many issues around them, playing banged up just exposes the team more. The secondary isn't good enough all around to run with an offense like the Cardinals.
A few things to think about:
- What about Bulger? Should the Rams start Green next week? (Is putting a QB in play behind that o-line akin to manslaughter?) Should the Rams dump him in the offseason, find a stop gap an draft a QB? It's not unreasonable to think that Bugler can pull himself back together - Warner's a fine example of that. But is it best for that to happen elsewhere?
- Play the young guys on the o-line? Good theory, but our biggest weakness seems to be at center. Let's trot out Romberg. Or, move Incognito to the middle, and put Greco in at RG. Let him start getting experience. He's NFL material and so much of our o-line isn't. I think with Bell, Incognito and Greco in the middle running lanes would be a little wider at least.
- Clearly any ideas of contention are way off base. So what do the Rams start doing for next season? Who goes, who stays, what's the team's priority in the offseason market?