Another loss, another set of questions, another list of disappointments.
The Rams came out of the locker room and were more prepared than any game this season. They quickly moved downfield after a touchback to the Packers' 28, setting up a key 3rd and 11. The Rams took a timeout to ensure the personnel on the field had the proper playcall...an inside draw.
It was gutless, conservative and entirely uninspiring, and it sums up this team pretty well.
A team that plays like everything is ok. A coaching staff that plays it safe when everything has gone wrong all season (in what is no longer a small enough sample size to write it off as an anomaly). An offense that moves in spurts but makes just enough mistakes to ensure that nothing comes of it. A defense with little DT talent, ridiculously low OLB athleticism and an undeservedly gaping hole at corner that presents too many ways for offenses to take advantage.
Some silver linings and a look ahead after the jump.
Maybe the most heartening aspect of this game was the semblance of an offense. The running game was incredibly effective, with Steven Jackson going for 96 yards and averaging 5.3 per carry. Cadillac Williams contributed to the effort well. The mix of Danario Alexander, Lance Kendricks and Greg Salas looked effective today at times, although Kendricks' impact was heavy earlier an non-existent late.
Defensively, the Rams lost this game entirely in the 2nd quarter. In fact, they only gave up 3 points in the first, third and fourth combined. Of course the Rams didn't score at all in those three periods and only put up 3 to Green Bay's 21 in the second, but that shouldn't mean the defensive effort should be ignored.
So now what? The Rams travel to Dallas (in a game I would go to if my daughter weren't being baptized next Sunday...thanks for checking the schedule on that one, wife) next week and welcome New Orleans in two weeks time. Yes, there is a realistic possibility that the Rams could open NFC West play in Arizona in week 9 with an 0-7 record.
Let this one settle. I expect enough Rams will find some positives about the best team in the NFL right now to be satisfied with this one. At the same time, it's yet another loss for a team that has yet to win a single game. And with each L comes more scrutiny. More pressure. And less satisfaction for a coaching staff and front office that has yet to deliver on the promises of 2011.