I'm sure the feature picture shows how most Ram fans and players felt after the 31-13 Saints victory Sunday. It was a ugly game by the Rams standards there were just too many mental mistakes for the Rams to overcome. There are a lot of reasons for the Rams lost, but I think that VTramsfan said it the best.
We got beat by an outstanding football team (not just good, but outstanding) on their home turf, in our THIRD road game in a ROW (a rare occurrence I might ad) with a rookie quarterback who has no real targets to speak of due to injury and lack of talent. Period. End of story.
With that said how different would the game had gone if Bradford would have threw that touchdown pass to Brandon Gibson? We will never know, but even when the Saints were up 28-6 it was hard to turn the game off because this Rams team is different then last season. (more on that later.) With this out the way lets step back and checkout what we have learned about the Rams after last Sundays game.
The Rams defense is still pretty good.
It was looking like the Saints was going to runaway with this game before halftime, but the Rams defense held the Saints to just 14 points at half. The Rams defense line couldn't bring pressure, the DB's couldn't stop Drew Brees on a consistent basis but what defense has? On a couple of the down field passes they were just perfect throws that most DB's couldn't stop. That is the best pass offense the Rams will play this season, and they will get Ron Bartell back. I would be surprise if the defense allows a team to score more than 21 points on us for the remainder of the season.
Brandon Gibson will be a good number 2 reciever.
Everyone has been hard on Brandon Gibson this season, I guess you don't see what I see in him. He was drafted in the lower rounds came here and has been starting ever since. He has been one of the consistently healthy WR's that we have had in the last two seasons. B Gibson has had to face the best corners and has demanded lots of coverage on his side. Gibson had a pretty nice game Sunday with 67 yards and if Bradford makes that pass to him a TD also.
The Rams offense can actually move the ball.
I don't see how anyone could be mad at the offensive playcalling of this game. The Rams had four three and outs this game and two of them was because of long yardage, the intentional grounding and the Bradford sack/fumble. The Rams showed that they can throw deep passes and get the first downs by running. If the Rams can run their offense like they did this game instead of playing so conservative they could actually win 3 games in a row.
Steven Jackson is still a good running back.
Steven Jackson is still the best player on the Rams offense. He had a great all-around game and the most memorable play that I saw a Ram player make this season was when Sam Bradford fumbled the ball and Steven Jackson picked it up to stop the Saints from scooping and scoring. Jackson finished the game with 16 rushes 96 yards and 4 catches for 36 yards. The only negative to Jackson's game was the fact that he fumbled on what looked like a promising drive. If the Rams had kept the score closer than Jackson probably would have had a career game.
The Rams won't lay down for any team.
The Rams played this game like they were only down three points the whole game. The 2009 Rams would have laid down and took an ass-whooping, hell the Rams who got beat by the Detroit Lions earlier this year would have took the ass-whooping. These Rams fought to the bitter end against the Saints, and even though we lost it's nice to see that new mentality in the Rams, they are learning how to compete the next step will be win games against good teams.
Sam Bradford has hit slump
I know this isn't a positive thought but it is true Bradford has hit a slump. After the Broncos game Bradford play has started to slowly decline. In the last two weeks against the Arizona Cardinals and New Orleans Saints. Bradford hasn't thrown one touchdown and has thrown three picks, Bradford should have thrown five but he was lucky they were dropped(one in the beginning of the game in Arizona, and one in the 3rd quarter to the Saints). I think Bradford is going through the same phase that Manning has been going through late this season. A lack of weapons and a leaky offensive line is most likely the reason that Bradford has been playing bad lately. However you can't put all this on the team around him, I have seen more overthrows, passes behind the receivers, passes that went right to the defender, and just bad decisions by Bradford these last two weeks then I have this whole season.
The defensive line needs to be upgraded.
I guess 3K was right about the DL after all. The Rams never got anywhere near Drew Brees it was embarrassing to see our DL not even touch Brees for 57 minutes of the game. Chris Long only had one tackle, but the DL couldn't do anything this game. The Saints running backs always got to the second level when the Saints ran. The Rams got one sack against the Saints and our rookie safety Stewart got it. Should the Rams get a rookie DT or DE in the draft is the biggest question.
The Rams offense line is okay at best.
I haven't seen the Rams OL get manhandled like they were this game. The run game was effective, but to be honest Jackson just played better I didn't see anything in the run blocking that looked different than what they have been doing all season. The Rams pass blocking has been spotty this season but this was the worst that I have seen so far. Bradford got hit on almost half of his throws this week. Both of the tackles played horrible, and I seen so many holding calls by them that it was crazy. It got so bad that me and my buddy was watching the game, and we decided to just watch the OL for one drive. We saw Rodger Saffold get beat off the ball and hold the DE so that he didn't get to Bradford, and the very next play it happened to Jason Smith.
The Rams need playmakers on offense
I'm not going to go in depth on this issue because thats all that is talked about here on TST. The Rams really need to get a good WR, and thats the truth (yeah I know short and sweet).
The Rams can't win turning the ball over and not converting the turnovers into TDs.
The reason that the Rams have won six games this season, and have been in a majority of the games this season is because they didn't turn the ball over. Also the Rams can't win when they get a turnover or get into good field position and score field goals. If the Rams aren't playing a great team or a good offensive team they could overcome it, but if they want to prove they are a playoff team they can't allow teams to score TDs when they turn the ball over. Also the Rams had a chance to make it a game off of a Saints fumble on a kickoff, but Bradford threw the pick six and that was all she wrote.