Probably, it's best if we just move on from the disappointment we experienced Sunday; that game was the perfect epitaph to the season. But I just can't leave well enough alone, and there's something bothering me about the difference in the two halves the Rams played.
Looking at 3k's postgame report card, I noticed readers overwhelmingly picked the coaches as really boffing the second half of the game. Though, for me, something other than the use of Jackson stands out as the most painful example of the team's failure of leadership.
You didn't know much about Jason Craft until Sunday; he was just another replacement level player to fill in for a beleagured Rams secondary. Then, on defense, the Rams employed a three man front and a corner blitz from the nickle package with Craft on the line. Through the first half it worked like a charm. Seahawks QB Seneca Wallace was thrown off his game, the Seattle o-line too. Craft forced two fumbles and sacked Wallace in the midst of all that.
And then the second half started... I'll let taiko explain the frustration.
The coaching staff gets the gas face from me, for failing to counter the adjustments that Seattle was making. They put together a fine first half … really, pretty phenomenal. We acted like a real football team. But to see it unravel so quickly, and let Seattle back into it on the first drive of the second half, that was ugly.
So what was the difference? Well, just look at Jason Craft's second half. The Seahawks saw what was happening and started blocking Craft. Adjusting to the three man front couldn't have been that difficult since the week before they almost beat the Patriots and their 3-4 defense. And guess what happened in the second half? They ran, opened the field a bit, gained 247 total yards and scored on four of their five possessions of the second half, three field goals and a TD. (Don't discount the Rams offense's willingness to help the cause either.)
One team made adjustments and the other team didn't. Was there no strategy to get to the Seahawks once they inevitably started picking up Jason Craft and the 3-man fronts? How can that be? This is the kind of stuff that makes me wonder about the coaching situation here. I think Haslett's a stand up guy who genuinely wants to and knows how to win. In terms of the total package he's a huge upgrade at head coach compared to the Rams last four years, and he's definitely got a raw deal in terms of the players he has to work with. BUT, how can the Seahawks pick up the plays and make the right adjustments and the Rams not? How can this happen against an equally bad 2-win (now 3) team? It's hard to blame the players, lightheaded or not, for that kind of gaff.