Stop me if you've heard this one before...
The Rams started the game auspiciously enough with a Donnie Avery fumble on a kick-return. The Rams defense quickly washed those horrible memories of recent Rams team away with a three-and-out. You can probably count on one hand how many red zone three-and-outs the Rams defense produced last season.
And then the offense came on the field. From there it's a familiar refrain. On the first snap of the first possession, Rams starting RB Richie Incognito gets flagged for a false start. After the defense put up another three-and-out (or did Seattle's offense just not have it's rhythm?), the second offensive drive crashed on the rocks of an Incognito unnecessary roughness. The more things change...
Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, not even the Keystone Cops themselves could have performed a better first quarter...first half really, except it got tragic by the half's dwindling minutes. A penalty for too many men on the field on a blocked field goal that would have made it 7-7 tells the whole story. That penalty made it 14-0. Worst case scenario, it would have been 10-0.
Throw in a missed 37-yard field goal and it suddenly it looks like something out of Cpt. Yossarian's imagination. Seahawks win 28-0, their first ever shutout of the Rams. And it could have been worse.
- It could have been worse.
- You spent your Sunday afternoon watching this game to through more than three quarters. I kept thinking my son would take his first steps and I'd be watching the fourth quarter of this game.
- Bulger had more time in the pocket than maybe ever. And he still couldn't make throws. Only part of that goes on Bulger's shoulders though. Even when he went through his reads...oh...so...slowly, there would be plays where no receiver was to be found
- The offensive line was shaky, at best. They did nothing in run blocking, except for getting runs called back. Coaches hid Steven Jackson after the first couple drives produced nothing, thanks in large part to the run blocking. C Jason Brown, with his pound to dollar contract, not only whiffed a call that resulted in a sack, he missed a snap because of crowd noise.
- I've been a RIchie Incognito defender because they guy can block, but his penalties made him such a liability he was replaced by Adam Goldberg before game's end. Let the John Greco era being.
- Was it the time on the field or was it a complete breakdown of morale? The defense had a bad case of the Charlie Browns as the second half went on.
- Rams defensive ends were MIA.
- So were players guarding Seattle TE John Carlson.
- Um, the decision to carry just three receivers. Help wanted in this department.
- Wasn't there supposed to be some sort of tricked out pass rush in Steve Spagnuolo's pimp my defense defense? The Rams seemingly brought nothing. Hasselbeck was hurried a couple times, but other than that the Rams finished the game with no sacks. Part of that was bad play from our defensive ends; part of that was playcalling.
- Speaking of playcalling...those of you thinking the Rams were a run first team got a rude awakening. The run got dropped fast with the chips down. and the playcalling got predictable.
- And that doesn't just apply to the running game with Steven Jackson. Where was the RB in the passing game? A few times I saw a runner open for a junk pass to move the ball a few yards, and nothing. The ball sailed elsewhere.
- It's strange to come away from this game, as 3k said in the comments, with some confidence in the defense. Go back through the box score. Four Seattle possessions in the first quarter ended in turnovers. The other was a punt. The breakdowns that came in toward the end of the game were to be expected. That's something to build on.
- The defensive tackles were not as bad as we might have thought. The defensive ends though...
- Laurent Robinson can make plays. If Donnie Avery hadn't been so rusty, Robinson might have had more to work with, but since he was the only guy who could threaten a first down (barely) he got enough attention to keep him under wraps.
- James Laurinaitis is a great addition to this defense. Let's not overlook a couple of mistakes; the rookie from Ohio State got duped on the play that made it 14-0, but he made some plays and generally looked in confident...even if his teammates didn't. He had a better game than Aaron Curry.
- Some players showed a little fire...mostly too little, too late. I'm stretching here. Mull this over and we'll have more later.