Jacksonville is establishing their identity as perennial "worst" team in the NFL. Seattle has established themselves as the team you don't want to play at home, and Minnesota has established themselves as the team that desperately needs a new quarterback. But, who are the St. Louis Rams? Are they a team that starts slow and gives up a big lead? Are they a team with a disappointing pass defense that ranks in the bottom 5 of the NFL? Or, are they a team that simply fights tooth and nail - a team with character and resolve?
It's almost impossible to truly picture what the Rams identity is so far. As many have stated, the Rams will likely improve as the season goes on. They are a young football team with a lot of potential. Unfortunately, the Rams will finish the first 25% of their season by next Friday. They will have rushed right through this first part of the season, and if they fall behind with a 1-3 record, it may be too big of a deficit to overcome in the NFC West to make the playoffs. The Rams cannot afford to fall behind with their record the way that they have on the scoreboards in these first two games. Fans will hope this team does quickly what many have believed they would do all along, get better.
It's an unfortunate set of circumstances Roger Saffold finds himself in again this year. He has truly earned the title "injury-plagued". Many of the reports about his knee have been optimistic, but as Jim Thomas notes below, it will likely still be several weeks before he gets back out on the field. Even after he returns, the knee will likely still be less than 100% - leaving the door open for further injury. At this point, it's sad to say the Rams have to treat Roger Saffold as a luxury when he's actually on the field, because they can't count on him to be there all the time.
Some reports on Saffold's injury overly optimistic. I'm hearing two to three weeks with an MCL injury to left knee.— Jim Thomas (@jthom1) September 18, 2013
Zach McCrite provides a tongue in cheek take on Bradford's proficient use of the no-huddle offense. As silly as it sounds, in the midst of the Rams horrible 2011 season that moment in which the Rams were devastating the Giants on that no-huddle drive during prime-time still sticks out to me. Bradford looks like a quarterback who enjoys off-balancing a defense, and being a step ahead. Why not give him more opportunities to do it? Fisher elaborated on the Jeff Fisher show (on 101 ESPN in St. Louis), and hinted towards the Rams eventually deploying this approach... eventually.
With that being said, should the Rams...
The Rams-Falcons was just as bad as we all thought it was, but also not nearly as bad as we all thought it was. The Rams made several big mistakes that couldn't have possibly hurt them any worse, and the mistakes happened at the worst possible times. The old saying goes, "bad things happen to bad teams" - in fact, I believe this was said about the Rams at one point - but the truth is the Rams are not anything close to a bad team, so they will have to minimize their mistakes to prevent these awful game-changing occurrences.
Many fans will likely agree.
Sam Bradford is becoming the face of the Rams. Look no further than the Rams improved passing offense. While many of the same frustrations are there from the past few years, there is no denying that this offense is much improved over what we have seen from the Rams in the last 5 years. Notice that Sam Bradford even ranks in the NFL's top 5 fantasy QBs.
Top 10 FF QBs thru 2 weeks (std scoring): 1. Peyton 2. Rodgers 3. Vick 4. Rivers 5. Bradford 6. Schaub 7. Luck 8. RG3 9. Ryan 10. Alex Smith— Evan Silva (@evansilva) September 17, 2013
The scariest thing Jeff Fisher admitted Monday during the Jeff Fisher show was that the Rams would have done better had the Falcons ran the ball more. Wait, what? Yes, that's right a team that was essentially made completely one dimensional was harder to beat one that embraced balance and complexity. The Rams better be hard at work working on that pass defense, because Dallas is going to bring more of the same. Dez Bryant may be a better receiver than Julio Jones, and Tony Romo plays between the level of Brett Favre and Chad Pennington depending on the series. So the Rams better implement some new wrinkles this week, or they can expect a lot of the same things they saw last Sunday.
Stay Classy Rams fans