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Successful offensive drives rare for the Rams in '08; will '09 be any better?

Here's a number for you: .595

That's the Rams offense's drive success rate, which measures the percentage of the team's offensive drives that result in another first down or a touch down. Clearly in the "F" territory were a teacher assigning grades based on that percentage, and deservedly so. That's the second worst drive success rate (DSR) in the league, behind only the lowly Oakland Raiders. For the sake of comparison, the top DSR belongs to, no surprise, Indy at .757. Division-mates Seattle (.643), San Francisco (.661) and Arizona (.718) all fared better. 

The reason, one of them, for the Rams poor performance on offense has to do with their relative weaknesses on first and second downs, something discussed earlier this month, that reflect consistency and offense's ability to move the ball productively. Go back and look at the numbers on first and second downs, and you'll see the passing and rushing were equally troubled, a fact that has much to with the offensive line, among other things. 

Expecting a record above .500 may be too much to ask, but with improvements on the offensive line and if Bulger's progress is real, we should expect to see better results on first and second downs, translating to better numbers on overall drive success rates. That will make for a more competitive team and give them something to build on for future seasons.