Thinking that we can't quite pin all of the Rams offensive miseries on the line's health crisis, I was somewhat relieved to find this piece of punditry over at Sports Illustrated, while surfing the net at the expense of my employers fall newsletter.
From Don Banks:
With 39 points in four games, the Rams are averaging less than 10 per game, and by anyone's measurement, quarterback Marc Bulger and running back Steven Jackson (who missed the loss at Dallas due to injury) are two of the biggest disappointments in the league in 2007.
The emphasis added is mine, and I call it to your attention mostly to underscore the point we've been making here that the offensive woes can't be pinned on the line and only the line. It raises another question in my mind. Are there play calling problems between the QB and the coaches? I tend to think that Bulger and the Rams receivers, mostly Holt and Bruce, have played together long enough that they know a few plays they can run on their own, like in the no-huddle or some situation requiring improvisation by the offense. Could micromanagement or disagreements resulting from it be part of the problem? I ask this knowing that we fans are privy only to so much, and unless things start getting really bad, we're not likely to hear about the internal power struggles.
Don't' discount the Cardinals defense too much just yet ahead of this week's division match up in St. Louis. Their defensive line gets some of the credit for beating the Steelers last week. Defensive tackle Darnell Dockett had three sacks last week and has a total of five and a half on the season. The Arizona game plan revolved around stopping Willie Parker and making Motorcycle Ben do the heavy lifting. They did that, limiting Parker to 37 yards on 19 carries while Big Ben was 17 for 32 with 2 INTs. That's exactly what they'll be looking to do with the Rams and Bulger and a passing game that was declared MIA four weeks ago.
It's a must win game (aren't they all at this point) but don't mistake it for a easy one.