It seems that the majority of people on TST's, especially the kids and authors (those that actually bother to login during baseball season) resent being told the truth about the state of the Rams. Well somebody's got to tell it like it is even if it disrupts the false overly optimistic harmony that has gained a lock on this website. I've noticed alot of the oldtimers have quit posting and commenting. I guess they either got banned or weary of arguing with foulmouthed kids and pie-in-the-sky optimists.
EVERYBODY wants facts and stats only. There's absolutely no room for experience, intuition or even common sense around here most of the time. It does no good to tell everyone something like; "Detroit may be a trap-game."
As Joe Friday used to say; "Just the facts Ma'am." And even when facts or figures from sites like NFL.com are provided, they are always disputed or questioned.
I'll go on record, if not already, that "my" Rams have sucked for years and I'm NOT happy about it. From Martz/Linehan/Spags, or Zygmunt/Devaney, or Marc Bulger, Alex Barron to Mardy Gilyard/David Vobora, we are NOT a good team. And we haven't beaten a good team in two full seasons. Our current regime has managed to win 8 of 24 games in two years. And that includes winning 7 games last year against the 2nd weakest schedule in the NFL and within the worst division to ever play fb since the NFL/AFL merger in 1970.
Even as everybody is thinking, "but we went from 1-15 to 7-9 in one year." That's amazing! Bow down and kiss the feet of the FO, the coaches and the players. Not me. I REMEMBER how we could've as easily been 4-12 as 1-15. I still "think" idiotic coaching decisions ultimately resulted in us losing to the Skins, Jags and Texans in 2009. Then last season, we had the Cards beat in the opener, except for a lousy play by a lousy player, i.e. the famous Ryan fumble return for a TD that turned into a touchback. We also had a chance against the Raiders in game 2, but Fred Robbins got an inane roughing the passer penalty that ran out the clock. And, it also seems to me that our highly paid kicker missed gimme FG's in both of those games. Fact? So who's proud of those two games???
Then, we win two games. Convincingly over the Skins and most satisfying of all, finally beat the Sh*thawks after 10 straight losses. I am insanely happy with respect to the Rams for the first time in years. But my joy is tempered by the FACT that losses in the 1st two games may come back to haunt us. You know, sorta like a missed extra point always does? I also write a post about my fear that the upcoming Detroit trip may be a trap game. I hoped we'd win by 3, but somehow we lost by 38. An untimely and highly questionable onsides kick started our misery that day.
So without boring everyone to death, we win some more games and we lose some more. Both the Rams and Seahawks beat a surprisingly poor San Diego team. Along the way we also blow games that were "in th bag" to Tampa and SF. Does anybody need to hear again about the inability of our offense to get a 4th quarter 1st down or that our defense gave up 1st downs on 4th and 18 in those games? Win either of these games and we're NFC West Champs.
Then we ran into a string of games that clearly showed we were NOT a good team. We suffered blowout losses to the Saints, Falcons and KC. The worthless Denver Broncos and coach McD roar back for 20 2nd half points and we have to recover an onside kick to seal a 3-point victory. It was uplifting to send Mike Singletary packing for a new career and also to finally defeat the Cards.
But, we had blown soooo many chances to lock up the division. So it all came down to a trip to Seattle to play Coach Carroll and his 2nd string string QB for the NFC West Chanpionship. We were actually favored by 3. But who doesn't remember what happened??? Sam wasn't on his game. Our receivers couldn't catch balls laid right in their hands. Our defense allowed Seattle to score enough points to win on their 1st drive and also let them keep the ball nearly all the 1st half. And our beloved coach put together a game plan that allowed SJax 10 whole touches. So we ended up scoring 2 FG's and getting embarassed on national TV by a 6-9 team that had given up a ton of points all season. That mockery left a burr in my arse and it's still there.
Now all together apologists; tell us what a great season it was with it's storybook ending. It sucked for me! I think back to so many "what if's." What if the middle of our O-Line, especially at the OG positions, had not caved back in on SJax so many times? What if any of our OLB's could have even played average ball - rather than letting outside runs and passes get turned into 1st downs? What if Bobby Carpenter, playing for Miami and Detroit, didn't have better stats than ALL our OLB's? What if Chris Long had made more than 29 tackles? What if we'd had two quality DT's instead of one? What if SJax had someone to spell him not named Darby or Toston? What if Sam had actually had a #1 WR to throw too? What if Spags had not made so many lame-brain decisions at critical times and what if he had any clue about clock management?
Our weaknesses should be obvious to a 5th grader. But, after 3 drafts and 25 total picks plus 2 free agencies, why do we still have so many gaping holes in our line-up? In two years, picking 2nd and 1st overall, we managed to acquire three "apparent" stars; JL, Sam and Saffold. That's 3 outta 18 picking at the TOP. Not too good in my eyes. Jason Smith turned out to be your average RT with a potential for concussion problems for a mere $33M. Fletcher and Dahl are workable. Murphy, Gilyard, Onobun, etc. are likely short-timers. At least four 2009-2010 picks have already been cut.
Now come 2011. We not only have needs, but bad needs, at OG, OLB, DT, Safety and RB. We also have a star QB with no #1 WR. Remember, SJax is a year older, DT Fred Robbins is 34 and Safety Atog is gone to DC. A guy named Greco could not beat out a very subpar OG named Goldberg. Our worthless crew of OLB's got us beat in more than one game.
Now I'm no GM or Head Coach or DC or OC, but intuition and common sense tell me I've got big holes in critical places all over my line-up. In 2010, against the 2nd weakest schedule in the NFL, opponents exploited our weaknesses at OLB and DT and now we've got a big hole at Safety too. So we draft DE Robert Quinn. Despite his potential for health issues, I'll spot 'em that one. Hall is getting old and will soon have to be replaced at DE.
But after taking TWO TE's in 2010, we reach for another one with our 2nd pick. Is that an admission that HoHo and Onobun were mistakes? It goes without saying that Bajema and Fells are worthless. But, there were more critical needs for the team. Yes I've heard the tired old argument that we're no good in the red zone. That's a fact Jack. But with questionable OG's and one aging RB, is another TE gonna make that much difference? Enter 3rd and 4th round picks at WR. Ok, swell. But we needed a #1 WR. We've got bad and mediocre ones aplenty. Why not get a #1 WR and see what happens with Clayton, Avery and Amendola? The remainders are either cripples, brainless or just plain bad. They're taking the train. So in all likelihood we wind up with 2 #2 and 2 #3 WR's and no #1. Unless somehow a 3rd or 4th draft pick turns out to be good enough to be a true #1 WR ala Fitzgerald, Crabtree, Rice. Pretty darn unlikely. It's most probable we still have a star QB with a cadre of #2 and #3 WR's, but maybe a good TE or 5.
So now, unless something "wonderful" happens in FA, we go out to play the 2nd toughest schedule in the NFL, including the last four SB Champs, with holes everywhere in our starting line-up. Ask yourself... who's gonna be our:
1. #1 WR
2. OG's except Bell
5. b/u RB
6. DT except Robbins
I just can't figure how we have had 3 full drafts and two FA's and still have so many gaps? Can you? I'll go on record right now saying we'll be dang lucky to make 7-9 this year. I'd actually guess 5-11 is more likely. Mike Vick will pummel our OLB's with running and passing. The Giants and Ravens will feast on our weak interior O-Line. No need to even mention what GB will do to us. So that's why I'm negative and NOT happy.
With love, sensitive RamChop. Yecch.