After a long day, and a long drive back home, one may just say "They won. That's all that matters." While this is admirable, it is not possible for me to accept.
It didn't start well. After the first quarter I was having serious doubts over whether this team would ever be good again. The Rams only gained around 30 yards of offense and one passing yard, and a busted coverage lead to a TD by Justin Blackmon. Dreadful.
It's a good thing that the Rams had three other quarters. The team bounced back, and won a game that they absolutely needed to win. The team had energy again, and it showed on the field.
Other general notes.
- Zac Stacy looked decent in the game. He was able to get positive gains, and shorten second and third downs for the offense. That's all the team really need him to do. He and the rest of the running backs averaged four yards a carry, and were able to keep the Jaguars honest.
- How are the Rams continuing to get flags on punt returns? I have never seen a team with such an obvious problem such as this, and do absolutely nothing about it. It's inexplicable.
- The Rams were lucky that Blaine Gabbert played so poorly. It would have been a completely different contest if the Jaguars had any consistency from the QB position.
- I loved seeing the defense in the 4-2-5 and playing Rodney McLeod and Darian Stewart at the STAR position (hybrid linebacker/safety). It gives offenses another look to deal with, while also adding speed to the defense. It was used largely because of the absence of Cortland Finnegan, but I hope the Rams continue to use it in the future.
- Sam Bradford looked okay overall, but there were times when he looked very timid, and was again more than content to check it down fast.
- The offense has no idea how to use Tavon Austin. No idea at all. If this was really the plan the Rams had in mind when trading up to grab Austin, the pick is very questionable to me.
- The Rams have Chris Givens, Tavon Austin, Jared Cook, Brain Quick and others, but Austin Pettis is the leading WR? Great showing by him, but other guys need to step up. Givens was having trouble creating separation.
- Nice to finally see some passes thrown Lance Kendricks' way.
- The offense loves to use pre-snap motion, but it can make the play calls far too predictable.
- Great game by Chris Long, easily his best of the season. He had a mismatch, and he exploited it.
- Solid day by the defense. They held the Jaguars to 3/12 from third down. Granted it's the Jaguars, but it is always a good stat to have. They let up too many big plays in the pass game, and it won't get easier next week with Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins.
The Rams have a lot to work on over the course of this week to prepare for the Texans. The team won the game, but if it was any other opponent, I'm not sure the Rams performance would have cut it. Anyways, wins are always nice. Ending losing steaks is always nice. Enjoy it. Let's Ram It!