Before the season started, it was so easy to have high hopes. Yes, there were several reasons to be excited. For one, Sam Bradford was coming off from an impressive rookie campaign in a "dink and dunk" style offense that seemed to throttle his true talent. The Rams brought in Josh McDaniels as offensive coordinator which seemed to make sense as this move would seemingly unleash Bradfford's inner beast ability.
The Rams defense also had improved last season, which helped the Rams come within one game of winning the NFC West. The drafting of Robert Quinn this season was also exciting as this would give Chris Long mush needed outside pass rush help, limiting double teams. Yes the Rams defense, while not addressing some holes, SHOULD have been better.
Another important note was one Steven Jackson was finally feeling himself and 100%. Not to mention, the Rams were also extremely active in free agency, signing a plethora of qualty free agents, including quality backup Cadillac Williams who showed some decent signs in the preseason. Yes, Billy Devaney and Steve Spagnuolo were looking like geniuses while the 49ers sat on their duffs, as if they had not been notified the lockout was over.
Fast Forward to week 13. The Rams sit at 2-10 while the 49ers have clinched the NFC West at 10-2. My oh my how things have changed. It's pretty strange that the first play of the year pretty much told the entire tale of the season that was to be Steven Jackson injured himself on a non-contact 40+ yard TD run. Bitter sweet.
After the jump, let's take a look at the weirdness that was...
Not that it was all to blame, but Injuries killed this team. Yes, if this weren't the NFL, the Rams might be eligible for FEMA disaster relief. It was really that bad. Danny Amendola, 11 cornerback injuries (yes 11.. maybe it's 10.. honestly, does it matter?) including both starters Bradley Fletcher and Ron Bartell.
And let's not forget about Jermome Murphy, who never even got to see a single snap as he broke his ankle while making a crushing tackle on... oh wait, he landed funny on a divot on the field... what?!?
Let's see... the aforementioned Steven Jackson fluke sidelined him a couple weeks, along with Sam Bradford's high ankle sprain that held him out a few weeks, and has even showed it's ugly head once again as he sat out the 49er game.
Even the rookies got involved in the action, as WR Greg Salas had a season ending broken leg, just as he appeared to be coming into his own.
Heck, Salas even obtained another injury while on injured reserve:
Just burnt the hell outta my tongue drinking hot chocolate... Smh... >:(
Yes, it's really that bad.
The Rams offensive line has also suffered it's share of injuries as Rodger Saffold (who let's face it, has struggled this year) also was done for the season as he tore his pectoral muscle while making a critical block during... oh wait... it was while lifting weights. Amazing.
And let's not forget the ankle injury he suffered on the same play Sam Bradford obtained the high ankle sprain, just feet from each other... talk about CRAZY.
And let's not forget about Jason Smith who suffered yet another concussion on a play that didn't look all that bad honestly... a light bump in the noggin off knee on the way to the ground. Fluke after fluke after fluke.
Then there is Denario Alexander, a promising WR battling for playing time after 7 knee surgeries... too bad that knee couldn't hold up... oh wait, it was a hamstring injury. Huh?
Cadillac Williams, who was coming off a bad knee injury himself injured his back and missed time. He walked off the field during the Packer game, but then had to be carted off. WR Mark Clayton who returned from a season ending knee injury that occured last season, simply wasn't ready so the Rams placed him on IR for the season as well.
Mike "Uh Oh" Hoomanawanui also had several injuries which is nothing new.
With all of the injuries, it's amazing we won 2 games this season. It will be interesting to see what changes will be made by Kroenke after this hellish season is over. It can't end soon enough.