By Jeff Gordon
ONLINE SPORTS COLUMNIST
Sunday, Oct. 07 2007

The Rams actually made some progress Sunday afternoon.

Rookie running back Brian Leonard ran for 102 yards, averaging 5.7 per carry.
Jeff Wilkins broke out of his perplexing slump by hitting all three of his
field goal attempts.

Fill-in quarterback Gus Frerotte threw touchdown passes to Drew Bennett, Torry
Holt and Randy McMichael while Marc Bulger got a little R&R on the sidelines.

Cornerback Fakhir Brown returned from his four-game suspension and intercepted
two passes. Rookie Adam Carriker blocked a field goal. The Rams sustained
pressure on the Cardinals quarterbacks and knocked Matt Leinart out of the game.

Coach Scott Linehan accomplished some things as a play-caller, in his first
game back at the offensive helm. The Rams put 31 points on the board Sunday
after scoring 39 points in their first four games combined.

“We changed the way we huddled up and we went with some quick cadence and did
all those kinds of things to help and we were able to move the ball,” Frerotte
said.

“We played hard, we put points on the board. We didn’t do that in the past so
many games. We moved the ball even with guys being out. We had a lot of
positives. I think there are going to be a lot of good things to look at on
tape.”

But still the Rams lost 34-31 to the visiting Gridbirds. They fell to 0-5 this
season and to 8-13 during Linehan’s regime.

So what happened this time? How could the Rams fail despite making significant
strides?

They made a few big mistakes. So did the officials, who made numerous calls -–
including one that was obviously wrong, according to the replays -- that hurt
the home team.

The Rams added significant names to their injured list (Jerome Carter, Todd
Johnson and Dante Hall) and found some different ways to come up short.

What can we say? This is just not the Rams’ season. Not even close. And as bad
as it’s been thus far, it could get even worse going forward -– because now the
schedule toughens up.

This season is shaping like an episode of the X Files. Strange and unfortunate
things keep happening.

“I’ve never been a party of anything like this on any level as far as not being
able to get a win, not getting a call, not consistently making plays.
Injuries,” Hall said. “Just never been part of anything like this.

“I couldn’t tell you what it is or put my finger on it. I don’t think anybody
can. That’s why we can’t get a win. It’s unbelievable what’s happening to this
team.”

The Rams had some fight in this game, but not a whole lot of luck. Just about
everything that could go wrong did go wrong.

“Eventually, if we keep our heads about us, the game does turn around,” Linehan
said.

We wouldn’t be so sure about that. This team appears doomed. It has regressed
back to where it stood before the Marshall Faulk trade turned the franchise
around in 1999.

Fans want Linehan fired. Fans want Jay Zygmunt and John Shaw gone, too. They
want Georgia Frontiere to sell the team.

They are expressing their discontent here on the Internet and they are backing
up their words by refusing to buy tickets. They do not believe the current
front office and coaching staff can clean up this mess and rebuild again.

“We have to get a win,” defensive back Ron Bartell said. “We have to do
whatever it takes to get a win.

“You can’t blame one side of the ball. You can’t blame the coaches. You really
even can’t blame the players. They are playing hard. Guys are fighting left and
right. We are really trying out there, but for whatever reason we are just not
getting it done.”