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Tears of Rage

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What has become of the St. Louis Rams 2014 season? Once darkhorse playoff contenders, they appear destined for yet another top ten draft pick in 2015.

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Rams 2014 pre-season was filled with plenty of hype, some of it even coming from the national media outlets. My how the times have changed, a plethora of injuries and missed opportunities now have our beloved Rams at 2-5 and all but eliminated from playoff contention.  While technically not eliminated yet, the Rams odds of making the playoffs are beyond long.  This season the Rams have developed a special knack for building up your hopes, just to crush them with baffling mistakes and misfortune.

Shout out to Arin for inadvertantly giving me the idea for this article as she was live tweeting from the Jeff Fisher press conference.  Her tweet immediately made me think about the song Tears of Rage by The Band, and how it should be an article on TST, so thanks to Arin and give her a follow on Twitter!

The Rams have had an incredible amount of roster change since the preseason.  The IR list is stacking up with projected starter after projected starter.  In todays NFL the most important players on any team are the QB, people who protect the QB, people who catch things the QB throws at them, and people who try to disrupt said QBs.  The Rams have their starting QB, LT, WR1, and a top 10 DE on their IR.  Sure Chris Long will return from the IR, possibly in the not so distant future, but his absence from the defense has surely been felt.  Yeah, Austin Davis has done well for an undrafted kid playing in his first meaningful NFL experience, but it hasn't translated to many wins.  While the Rams string of bad injury luck (or poor planning in regard to "injury prone" players) has contributed to their 2-5 record, it has been other failures that incite the most rage in Rams Nation.

The continual stream of missed opportunities, ridiculous penalties, and oh so agonizing defeats.  The Rams players and coaching staff have yet to assemble even 45 minutes worth of quality play in any single game.  For the most part, they have provided roughly 25 minutes of good or very good football (vs SF and DAL), mixed in with the balance of very bad football.  Of course in the NFL if you don't play a full 60 minutes, it doesn't matter how well you played the first 20, you are going to get beat.

Perhaps it was unrealistic to expect the youngest roster in the NFL, with several injury related question marks at key positions, to compete for a playoff spot in the toughest division in football.  Still, even if we knew better it was hard not to get swept up in the hype of Sack City, and the potential mauling rungame Zac Stacy and Greg Robinson could team up to provide.  Jeff Fisher and Les Snead have done a good job of changing this roster from one of the most talent depleted in the NFL, to one brimming with high potential YOUNG players.  The thing they haven't done yet, is turn that potential into production on the field.  Whether it is Brian Schottenheimer's inability to utilize Tavon Austin (or any offensive weapon for that matter), or Greg Williams' decision not to start Aaron Donald at the beginning of the season.  There has been head scratchers all around, and then in true Rams fashion, they will put together a gameplan that allows them to spring an upset (SEA) and leave everyone guessing "Where is THIS every week?".

Perhaps the run of bad luck will cease following the Chiefs game.  Maybe the Rams will be competitive in all their remaining games, perhaps spring an upset or two, and build some momentum towards 2015.  All I can say is, as fans of possibly the hardest to figure team in the NFL, there are bound to be plenty more tears of rage.  Thanks for reading and as always, Go Rams!