So I go out of town for a couple days, expecting something to happen with the Rams after their third massacre in a row. Sure enough, something happened alright, but I'd be lying if I said it's what I expected. Marc Bulger benched was not the headline I had envisioned Sunday night, but that's exactly what it was so let's try and make some sense of it, if in fact there's any sense to be made.
Linehan and the Rams remain mum on the subject. There's an obvious attempt to send a message to the team, a demand for better play and a stark reminder that nobody is untouchable. I'm not quite sure how that works by benching Bulger, especially when the QB seems to be one of the Rams smaller on field problems. But, by now, I've given up on trying to figure out what goes on in head coach Scott Linehan's head.
At first I wondered f it's a matter of Bulger struggling with the playbook, unable to lead the offense in the direction that the coaching staff wants to take it. Looking at the results from the last three games and the preseason though, I think we can rule that out. A more logical explaination I wondered about, trickier to admit to the public though, was maybe the move saves Bulger's health for a time when the Rams have better play from their o-line...or for a trade. In-season trades are rare in the NFL and such a move would leave the Rams on the hook for a ton of money. However, a trade after the season is a distint possibility, when Bulger's wounded sensibility would demand a trade. If the Rams could get draft picks to go along with what's sure to be a top 5 first round pick next season, that would be a good move for the team. They need talent. Bad.
The real problem for the Rams offense, one of the real problems anyway, is the offensive line. Bulger's been sacked 11 times already this season; for comparison the Giants and the Eagles lead the league with 13 sacks each. A number helped by having played the Rams. Need more proof the o-line's struggling, just look at the Rams rushing numbers.
|Total rushing yards||Avg per carry||Avg per game|
Kind of hard to get the offense going when you can't even run the ball.
All of this, you realize, is academic. No matter out thoughts, Bulger's benched. All we can really do is see what happens now.