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Rams 31, Cowboys 34: Implosion

The Rams jumped out to an early 21-0 lead. They went on to lose the game.

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The first 24 minutes of this game were better than the Rams asked for. The two first offensive drives resulted in touchdowns while the defense held fast. The Cowboys' third usage of the ball saw Janoris Jenkins score a touchdown.

Those were good times, then.

Since those ancient moments of joy and excitement, the Rams did nearly everything wrong.

Scott Wells turned an impressive two-minute drill at the end of the first half into a Cowboys possession that would add a FG heading into halftime. The Rams would lose by three.

The Rams only drive of the third quarter ended with a third down play on which Kenny Britt refused to extend the ball for a first down before a 4th and inches Zac Stacy run was stuffed. The Rams would lose by three.

Jared Cook handsplattered an easy touchdown reception before accosting his quarterback because some people have difficulty taking repsonsibility. The Rams would lose by three.

Between the early 21 points and a last gasp touchdown by Austin Pettis, the Rams defense helped the Cowboys raze what was supposed to be a functional defense by going on a 34-3 tear. The Rams would lose by three.

Questionable calls happen. Your hope as a fan should be that they favor neither team, that in the end the foibles of the impossible job of adjudicating an NFL football game in real time to consistent success end up in equal failures that remove any blame from the adjudicators. That didn't happen today. The Rams faced a barrage of bad calls, and a ton of no calls that suggested that Robert Quinn was not held all game. The Rams would lose by three.

Now, St. Louis heads into the bye and the Octet of Pain with a losing record and a painful reminder of how crucial it is to play a football game for 60 minutes and not just the first 25.

Marathons are never won by sprinters. And the Rams aren't even supposed to be sprinters.

The Rams need to learn how to run this race, and they need to learn now.