Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE
Penalties? Bad Timeouts? Bad Defensive End play? Is this 2011 all over? Or 2010? Or 2009? Or...any other previous Rams' season?
We've hashed and rehashed and rehashed the rehashed hash the Rams presented to us on Sunday. Above all else, my disappointment with the team is on the shoulders of Coach Fisher. That was a game that a good coach will be the difference between a win and a tie.
With Fisher's long years of experience, he was brought in by St. Louis to win them games, not just be close or to not lose as bad. Coach Fisher's mistakes came out in three very obvious ways:
1) The penalties. How does a disciplinarian coach not fix the penalty problem during a bye week? The Rams have 43 penalties in four games now. 43! The 8-1 Atlanta Falcons have just 32 for the entire season.
2) The Worst Timeout Since Chris Webber. What Coach Fisher was thinking when he called that timeout is just unfathomable to me. You have three timeouts and are on the two yard line! You have all the time you need to score! Let the clock run down to three seconds, then call the timeout. That takes up almost half the time the Rams ended up handing to the 49ers on a platter.
3) I haven't seen this one mentioned like the other two have, but the lack of a defensive coordinator really hurt the Rams for a second consecutive game. Alex Smith is looking to throw the ball, so when a passing down comes up, the ends can sell out trying to get up field and kill the quarterback. But when Smith got knocked out, and Kaepernick came in, and was clearly not as comfortable with the system as Smith, the DEs can't be rushing themselves out of the play, leaving huge running lanes for Kaepernick to run through again and again. His legs were the difference between stopping San Francisco and letting them convert on several occasions. If the Rams had a proper defensive coordinator, maybe the adjustment would have been made.
Alright, enough complaining! On to the links
A few words from a player who played in the first ever NFL tie - Really interesting article. All the things Armstrong says describe not just the players, but how a lot of us fans feel, too. "A tie? What a waste of time...."
NFC West has the best quarterbacks in the league - If you buy into QBR (the new ESPN quarterback rating stat), then the NFC West teams have had easily the best quarterbacks in the league over the last three weeks. Interesting, but not sure I totally buy into it. Especially since several of the NFC West bye weeks have fallen in that three week period.
LA Times says that this week should be Tebow Time - I think Tebow is one of the worst quarterbacks in the league, but this article kinda has a good point: what do the Jets have to lose? Sanchez is rapidly regressing. The team is going nowhere. Why not give Tebow a start or two so at least you can tell the fans you gave him a shot.
Other NFL News
The Rams' game wasn't the only one messed up by the refs - These guys aren't nearly as bad as the replacement refs were, but a lot could still be done to make them a LOT better. This seems like an easy fix, where the replay official must tell them to go on with the extra point, rather than having the replay official tell them NOT to go on with it so there can be a review.
The ridiculous Emmanuel Sanders fake injury has been fined - I, personally, don't think this is nearly as egregious as the crap the Giants pulled on the Rams last year, but at least the Giants weren't dumb enough to do it in a huddle and on a nationally televised game.
Hines Ward doesn't believe in a Leftwich-led Steelers team - I'm with him on this one. They'll be able to beat bad teams still, but can't compete at the top of the league with Leftwich at QB. And with both Ravens' games coming up in the next 19 days, Big Ben's injury timing couldn't be worse. Personally, I love Ravens-Steelers games. Other than the Rams, it's the thing I look forward to most in the NFL. Here's hoping Big Ben can return for the second one..
As always, thanks for the read and have a Ramtastic day!