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Goals for Rams: Get to high side of .500, build momentum
BY JEFF GORDON
STLTODAY.COM SPORTS COLUMNIST
Monday, Nov. 14 2005
The reinvigorated Rams played good enough to beat a lot of teams Sunday -– but
not the Seahawks, not in Seattle.
So where does this leave Team Vitt? Needing to win six of their last seven
games to outrun the massive pack of NFC wild-card contenders and reach
There is a chance the conference will beat it self up so thoroughly that a 9-7
team could earn a wild-card berth this season. That possibility was illustrated
Sunday, when the Vikings beat the Giants and the Packers handled the Falcons.
How many of you bet the NFC North teams to win those games?
Mix in the contender-on-contender action -– like NFC South hopeful Tampa Bay
edging NFC contender Washington on Sunday -– and you can see how the playoff
race could bog down.
Bur the Rams are 4-5. At this point, they must focus on the good things that
happened Sunday and build the mindset of a winner.
The Rams are a different team with Marc Bulger throwing to Torry Holt. Steven
Jackson is still a powerful weapon that balances the offense.
Wasn’t it nice to see Marshall Faulk finally used as a serious receiving
threat? He can still do some damage when he gets the ball in space.
We liked the use of the tight ends, too, right up to the point when Brandon
Manumaleuna fumbled the ball away.
So there is a lot there, despite the losing record. The defense still has
issues, but it should be good enough to earn a few key stops and force a
takeaway or two during the course of the game. From here on out, the defense
has to be just sturdy enough to allow the offense to win games.
Here is how the rest of the season plays out:
Arizona at home. The Cardinals are a mess. Old friend Kurt Warner threw the
ball around pretty good against the Lions on Sunday, but the Gridbirds
struggled to finish off their drives while the game was on the line. This team
doesn’t run the ball very well, either. So the Rams should bank this victory
and move back to .500.
At Houston. The Texans are truly dreadful. They cannot run or pass the ball
very well. The Dom Capers Death March is well underway. Fans in South Texas are
talking about which USC superstar to draft and which offensive genius to hire
as the next coach. The Rams should win this game and move over .500 at 6-5.
Washington at home. This will be a tough game. Coach Joe Gibbs got himself in
tune with today’s NFL. The Redskins are in the playoff hunt and quarterback
Mark Brunell is making some plays. But he will also make the big mistake when
pressured. If the Rams have all their weapons, this is a game they can win at
At Minnesota. This game looked like a lay-up a few weeks ago, but the Vikings
have steadied. Sunday’s victory was all about their special teams, which are
dangerous. Having talent like Mewelde Moore and Koren Robinson returning kicks
is unusual. If the Rams take care of business in the previous three outings,
this will be a huge swing game for their season. The Rams would need an
excellent road performance to prevail.
Philadelphia at home. We’re still trying to figure out if the Eagles will stay
in the playoff hunt now that the T.O. Controversy is over. Again, this becomes
a swing game if the Rams beat the teams they should beat. You always like the
Rams at home, especially against a team without a powerful running attack.
San Francisco at home. The Niners have become a train wreck, which makes that
season-opening loss all the more painful. If the Rams are in the playoff hunt,
they will win this game by a LOT as San Francisco focuses on the 2006 draft and
USC game films.
At Dallas. This will be a difficult challenge, obviously. We expect the Cowboys
to be in the playoff hunt in Week 17. We wouldn’t expect a Bill
Parcells-coached team to lose at home with something significant at stake. On
the other hand, if the Cowboys surge into the NFC East lead and have nothing to
gain at this point of the season . . .
No NFL team has an easier seven-game finish than the Rams. But first things
first: The Rams must tune up their offense and defense this week and prepare to
win their next two games in impressive fashion.
By getting to the high side of .500, the Rams could build momentum and give
themselves plenty to play for down the stretch. The Rams have squeezed into
previous playoffs through the back door and they can certainly do it again.
But their margin for error evaporated into the mist Sunday in Seattle.
Re: Goals for Rams: Get to high side of .500, build momentumOriginally Posted by RamWraithBRUUUUUUUUCE
Re: Goals for Rams: Get to high side of .500, build momentum
Now thats a pretty rosey forecast for the Rams,one that I dont share. I would love to share it dont get me wrong.Its just not going to happen.
The Rams looked so bad at time on Sunday that i entertained thoughts that some point shaving might be happening.I just couldnt believe we would lose to the hawks again so I started smelling fish,but then I remembered that the ocean was nearby.
Last edited by psycho9985; -11-14-2005 at 09:51 PM.My heart beats crazy and my blood runs wild
Re: Goals for Rams: Get to high side of .500, build momentumOriginally Posted by RamWraith
What was the best thing the Rams did against the Seahawks? Name the first thing that comes to mind...
Who would they have beat playing the way they did? The #2 offense in the NFL had less than 300 total offense yards before gaining 59 yards in the final minutes after Shaun Alexander had just scored a TD to put the game out of reach at 31-16.
A lot of teams? Maybe the Bengals, the Titans, the Saints and the Chargers...because they were all on a Bye week!
I'm all for home media giving props when they are due...but there is no way to paint this in a good light when the Rams needed this game to stay afloat in the NFC Playoff picture.
This reinvigorated Ram's defense also gave up 5 scores on the Seahawks' 10 possesions... a 50% scoring rate and allowed them to convert 10 of 15 3rd down conversion...____________________________________________
"Go for Broke" 442nd Japanese-American Battalion
Re: Goals for Rams: Get to high side of .500, build momentumOriginally Posted by HateradeBRUUUUUUUUCE