In light of yesterday's OTA fight night recap, I felt compelled to talk about the worst aspect of our 2013 performance last year.... The penalties. I don't mind losing if we are playing hard. I mind losing by playing stupid and we did that way too much last year. Judging by the Britt/Johnson scuffle (which led to two more "scuffles"), we are on pace to keep up last years trend.
I wanted to share this website http://www.nflpenalties.com
The Rams finished as the second most penalized team in the NFL last year. I know we want to be Number 1 in everything but this is not one we should take. (I know the Hawks were the most penalized but the won the Super Bowl and we finished last in our division) We averaged 7.69 penalties per game costing us an average of 63 yards per game. This site does not show penalties that resulted in first downs. I just remember seeing a lot on third down to extend drives that should have ended.
We led in the stupid penalty categories. Here are a list of penalties we led (or co led) the NFL in last year. My hope is that Fisher and Williams clean these up. Based on yesterday we are off to a bad start.
These stats are based on penalties per game. Rams v NFL average
Personal fouls .563 v .296
Illegal use of hands .438 v .281
Unsportsmanlike conduct .313 v .221
Taunting .188 v .109
Illegal blindside block .063 v.007
There were only six NFL players ejected last year. Two were Rams (Long and Langford). For those blaming penalties on us being young... Look who got kicked out.
When we weren't penalized for talking trash we were busy getting burned because we were talking it. We finished 6th worst in defensive pass interference penalties with a total of 9. We also gave up an additional 242 passing yards per game (19th worst in the NFL)
I am all for young players playing with passion. I want edge, but not at the cost of winning games.
I almost took my 3 year old to see the Rams play the Panthers. I'm glad I didn't. That was a winnable game where our players bad attitude cost us the game (and I'd argue our starting qb). The only penalty I saw that was "worth it", was Dahl going after Mike Mitchell for gloating over Bradford after the late hit that tore Bradford's ACL.
That late hit took place after 3 quarters of poor sportsmanship that we played into. Long was already thrown out of the game and JJ had already been burned by Steve Smith. That was a winnable game until Bradford went down.
My ask this year is play hard but play smart. Playoffs and Beyond in 2014.
Am I alone feeling this way?