Rams 17, Lions 10: It's a win!

The St. Louis Rams narrowly pulled out their first win of the season against the equally lowly Detroit Lions. It's a good way to head into the bye week, where hopefully head coach Steve Spagnuolo can instill some discipline into this team. 

Question: Do you give the game ball to Steven Jackson or to the penalty prone Lions? I had a feeling we were heading to over time (or a last minute win by the Lions) when a Louis Delmas pass interference penalty gave the Rams a new set of down that they quickly exploited with Jackson carrying the ball 42 yards on two carries to find the end zone for his first rushing TD of the season. 

Jackson ran hard all day, and more than once we saw him drag a pile of Detroit defenders to eek out a few more hard-earned yards. The man carried the Rams otherwise shoddy offense. With the score notched 10-10, there were a few series that had you wondering if this wasn't the makings of 0-8, especially with Pat Shurmur still so committed to the passing game, despite his best player being SJ39. Thankfully, they stayed with Jackson enough for him to pick up the team and carry them to their first win of the season. 

Stay thoughts and random observations:

 

  • Did the offensive line actually get better in run blocking once Setterstrom came into the game for Bell? Something to think about going forward. 
  • Marc Bulger is done as a Ram, at least once this season is over he is. RIght? He's got to be. He was awful today. He had time and couldn't find receivers (not entirely his fault). He made throws that were easily batted down. Against a better secondary, he might have been intercepted 3 or 4 times today. Josh Brown was a better QB today, and now has one third of the TDs Bulger does on the season. How do the Rams pass up on a QB in the 2010 draft?
  • Randy McMichael is done as a Ram too. Oh sure, he'll finish out the season, if he can stay healthy, but you can pretty much guarantee this guy isn't going to be resigned. Good riddance. 
  • The defense struggled with the screen pass. Is part of that the effect of losing Will Witherspoon
  • I like Clifton Ryan, but I think it's a problem that he's the Rams best DT.
  • Chris Long had a sack, but an otherwise unimpressive day. I'm not willing to call him a bust just yet because he's playing with a pretty bad defensive line. With more talent in the middle and a switch to the left side, he should find his groove in the NFL. 
  • Why is the defense not tackling well? Players who can't tackle should be weeded out of the defense.
  • The offense looked awful. Did I say that already? Once again they took penalties to put them in bad situations, not often, but enough to put them in third-and-long twice. They converted just 25% of their third downs. They also failed to convert any of their three trips to the red zone. 
  • Jason Smith looked good, not perfect, but good. I want this kid at LT now. 
We'll have plenty more about the Rams first win, and lots to talk about as we look back on the first half of the season as the Rams head into their bye next week. 
It's a win, and a win is a win, ugly or not. The most important thing now is to see how the team responds when they come out of the bye week.
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