It had to end sooner or later. Unfortunately it ended against the despised 49ers. Realistically it was to much to ask of our young beloved Rams to win out the rest of the season and sneak their way into the playoffs, but I am almost relieved. When Sam went down it was basically the end of the Rams season, or at least it should have been. But they kept playing and surprising, to the point where even though we knew they didn't have a shot, they still left a small glimpse of hope that they would somehow do it. Now we can sit back and relax, and just enjoy the game, leaving the burden of aggravated losses behind us.
I was pretty mad yesterday. At the end of the game I was cursing the Rams offense up and down (and with good reason because lets face it, they were terrible), but then I asked myself what I really expected. Is it fair to expect Kellen Clemens, a career backup (and not a very good one at that), to come out and lead us to the playoffs when our golden boy Sam Bradford hasn't done it yet? Is it fair to ask our 'no-name' receiver corps to step up and make miraculous and spectacular catches? Is it fair to ask Zac Stacy, a 5th round sleeper pick, to run for 100 yards and a TD every game? The answer is no my friends. The Rams had a nice little streak, but they just aren't good enough to be elite....yet.
I mean, think about our offense on paper. The 9ers top 4 receivers are Boldin, Crabtree, Manningham, and Davis. I don't care what team you root for, if you watch football, you know those names. The Cards have Fitz, the Panthers have Smith, Lions Megatron, Seahawks Tate/Harvin (recently), Dez Bryant, Andre Johnson, Desean Jackson. Almost every team in the NFL has their "franchise" WR. The Rams don't. Givens hasn't played up to par this season (and lets be real even at his best he has nothing on the aforementioned names). Tavon is great but he's a rookie. Cook drops more balls than he catches. Quick and Pettis (are they the same person?) have been nowhere in sight. The Rams have better WRs than in recent years past, but they need that one player that will be a game changer. They need their own Megatron or Andre Johnson. Maybe they'll get one with their 2 high draft picks.
Zac Stacy has been unbelievable this season, especially given his minimal expectations. However, he is still a rookie (and not named Eddie Lacy). He isn't going to grind defenses for 100 yards a game...yet. He isn't going to score and put this offense on his back every game....yet. Don't get me wrong the potential in Stacy is scary. He reminds me of a young Jackson. Add Cunningham to the mix and the Rams have a promising 1-2 punch in the run game. It has to mature, but the pieces are in place.
I won't talk about Clemens because we all know what he is. A Backup, playing like a backup.
Schotty needs to go. I don't care if we beat the Colts and Bears 250 to 0. 2 games doesn't make up for a season of terrible play calling and execution. Remember we won those games because of Special Teams and Defense more so than offense.
We got a nice little taste of reality yesterday. The Rams are vastly improved, but were not there yet. Our defense was great yesterday. Take away the penalties and we may have a completely different game. A couple play-makers is the difference between greatness and mediocrity. If we end up having a top 5 pick (potentially top 3 at this point), I say don't trade it. At some point we have to stop being the youngest team in the league, and stop our rebuilding ways. If we have the 3rd pick (which we do at this time), take the best receiver in the draft. Not a Tavon Austin or multiple line-up kind of player. The best overall traditional wide receiver. Someone who will come in and make plays day 1 and can turn into our franchise receiver. If make another RGIII-esque trade, we'll forever be stuck in the rebuilding phase, always taking young players out of college and trying to mold them for the NFL.
Next season should be a good one.