The 2010 season is over for the St. Louis Rams. Losing to Seattle is a familiar feeling for the Rams and their fans in recent years, but playing Seattle in the last week of the season for the NFC West title and a trip to the playoffs is completely new.
Going from a 1-win season to a 7-win season should be a satisfying end. Still, it stings. This was not an unwinnable game for the Rams. After a fluky start, the defense settled in and played exactly like you would have expected this unit to play with the season on the line.
That wasn't the case on the other side of the ball, where the Rams offense confirmed that their recent inability to score points was indeed a trend and not an anomaly.
Not a good night for the coaches. Steve Spagnuolo was openly questioned on national TV about being too conservative, a meme underscored by the lack of a challenge to Laurent Robinson's grab on the sidelines early in the game. The no-huddle offense was nowhere to be seen until it was too late. Terrible decision making.
But it was easier to understand the coaches' reluctance to do anything but throw ugly short passes while watching the awful pass catching ability of the Rams receivers. Hell, even Steven Jackson miffed a ball he should have had, adding even more ugliness to the Rams short passing game. Danario Alexander, who fans have been clamoring to be more involved in the offense all season, was a more egregious offender than Laurent Robinson usually is. No more piecemeal approaches to wide receiver; get some talent at that spot.
The officiating didn't help things either. A blatant offsides by Aaron Curry that somehow went unseen was just one of many things preventing the Rams offense from ever establishing a momentum, making the decision not to use the no-huddle offense even more bewildering.
You should be disappointed. I am.
Nevertheless, it's hard to think of the 2010 season as a disappointment. Competing for the division title when 6 wins was seen as optimistic six months ago is no small feat. Another year of experience for a core of talented young players, epitomized by Sam Bradford, and a productive offseason for the front office and scouting department, will raise the bar much further.