Well, it wasn't all that fun to watch. And it wasn't all that fun to break down.
The Rams struggled to defend the Packers' aerial attack as Aaron Rodgers picked his way throughout the game to an impressive final stat line. On the other hand, the Rams never found a solution for their offensive woes, especially in the final portion of the field.
Moving forward, there are three things that worry me above all else:
- Offensive identity
The Rams are passing the ball more than they're running it. Why? I understand the need to move the ball in big chunks, but we shouldn't kid ourselves in regards to the WR unit. When we have games like this when the combination of Steven Jackson and Daryl Richardson are moving the ball at such an impressive rate (4.65 yards per carry), shouldn't we lean on them more? And when the passing game is so evenly distributed, if there's no go to guy in the air, why not lean on our go to guy on the ground?
- Defensive strategy
I get it. Bend, don't break. It worked for the first half to a decent degree. But after giving up that touchdown to open the second half, don't we need to get more risky? Is it fair to stick with that plan knowing how hard it was for our offense to put points on the board? Sure, if you're playing Arizona and they keep dropping back giving time for Chris Long and Robert Quinn to get to the QB, that's great. But if the passing game is built on dump offs and quick passes? That's hard to defend when you're conceding those plays in the first place.
- Youth movement
The 2012 St. Louis Rams are a very, very, very, very young team. That means ups and downs in a generally upward trajectory. So I'm willing to accept a performance like we got from Janoris Jenkins today. It can be a learning lesson that can benefit him moving forward. At the same time, it's nice to see Michael Brockers have such an obvious impact, both in the running game as well as the passing game. But to have so many rookies and second-year players in roles that demand consistent performance is tough. It means the veterans have to step up. And it also means those rookies have to learn faster than their peers on other teams in the league.
It is what is, man. Sucks to leave the Ed with a loss, but so be it. On to London, where the Rams have a chance to put an international stamp on their franchise and climb back to .500 before the bye. If they do, the bye greets them with a chance to look at the second half of the schedule and think about how to make a playoff push. Fail to do so, and those thoughts about how to help the offense in the offseason become even more prevalent.