Linehan finally responded to critics this week who have been hammering him for his offense's second half collapses. In comments made to the media Linehan made it clear that decision making on the sidelines was anything but conservative.
Looking at the play by play, there were definitely more aggressive plays in the second half against Atlanta than it seemed like, even a number of throws to the middle of the field, a place TST has criticized Linehan for turning into a tumble weed filled ghost town. Execution was an obvious problem, as the Rams suffered through what seemed like innumerable three and out possessions. That, in turn, put the defense on the field for more time in the second half that helped the Falcons put points on the board. Better use of Jerious Norwood with short passes and outside runs on Rams' blitzes as well as more accurate passing from fill-in Chris Redman almost got the Falcons back into the game.
I don't think a lack of commitment by the players factors into the poor second halves, so I was a little surprised in seeing the headline of the story linked above noting that Linehan wanted the team to develop a more "killer instinct" to finish the games with more of an exclamation point rather than a question mark. (Is that a mixed metaphor?) Maybe play calling wasn't the issue in the way that we've been assessing it - with just cause, mind you - recently, but the Falcons clearly did a better job adjusting to the Rams offense.
Really, the more this season goes on, the more mind boggling it becomes. Blogging isn't hard because the Rams are 3-9; Blogging's tough because reconciling what you see from one play, one quarter, one half, and one game to the other can be so vastly different for what seems like no reason.
Of course, the Bengals, this week's opponent, have been a riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in pads and shiny tight pants themselves this season. One week Carson Palmer looks like Carson Palmer, and another week, like week 13, he looks like Joey Harrington. Nevertheless, the Bengals offense still has some decent overall numbers. Bengals blog Cincy Jungle has a nice primer ahead of this week's game.
Surprise, surprise, the music suggestion box at Rams Park had all kinds of hilarious suggestions last week, so rumor has it anyway.
Bulger is not a sure thing to play this week, according to Jeff Gordon.