When Bartell went down, I think our chances of a successful season went with him. Fletcher is a good #2, and we don't really have anyone that can be better than a nickel back behind him.
King has speed, but can't stay with anyone. Harris is just past his prime. Both players are role players, not starters. When you lose a guy like Bartell, he is almost impossible to replace.
Our defense was structured around having him there. We were relying on Bartell and Fletcher to supply the pass coverage while Dahl and Mikell were good run stoppers who could help make up for the weakness in our outside LBs. The defensive line is clearly built around our DEs.
With Bartell gone, our pass coverage is too weak. The defensive line is not good enough to put enough pressure on the QB to make up for it. We tried blitzing the Ravens, but they just picked us apart. Ron is a big strong CB who was able to get a good jam on the opposing team's WRs- we don't have that anymore.
The Rams are left in a catch 22 position. If they blitz, they leave one of their weaker CBs in a spot in which he is completely overmatched. If they don't blitz, that gives the opponent's WRs time to make double and triple moves which we can't handle.
Personally, I think they need to blitz less and hope that Long and Quinn can generate enough pressure without a blitz. Perhaps they can use more stunts to attempt to confuse the offensive (can we ask the other team each week to pick up Alex Barron and start him at LT?)
Unfortunately, I think our Rams just do not have the talent to succeed without Bartell.