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Thread: Road just gets harder for Rams
Road just gets harder for Rams
By Roger Hensley
QUESTION: The Rams are 0-2 and the schedule offers no relief in the near future. The Packers (1-1) come to town this weekend, then the Rams have to travel to San Francisco to take on the division-leading Niners (2-0) before coming home again to face the 2-0 Vikings. Do you see any chance that this team doesnít begin the season at 0-5? If so, what has to happen?
Itís up to the lines. The Rams offensive line has too many breakdowns that kill drives and scoring chances. The defensive line has one sack in two games and is doing nothing to disrupt the QB. As long as the Rams continue to get slapped around up front, the losing will continue. They need better game management from the coaches. And someone ó anyone ó has to step up and make some plays. There is a critical shortage of playmakers on this team.
Iím not saying that it will happen, but anything can happen in this league. Ask Pittsburgh. Ask Green Bay. Ask New England. Ask Tennessee. But for the Rams to spring an upset in the next few weeks, they need more productiion from their offense, and fewer mistakes overall.
The Packers just lost at home to the Bengals, so they certainly donít look unbeatable. And Iím not sold on the ***** just yet. So, I think those two games are winnable. Of course, thatís predicated on the the Rams being better ó maybe a lot better ó than theyíve shown so far.
To win a game, the Rams must muscle up on both lines. The franchise has invested plenty in its linemen and we saw some progress on that front during Sundayís physical game. The defensive front must establish a pass rush without blitz help. If it can do that, it will allow the Rams to be more effective when they do blitz. The front seven must also toughen up against the run. On the offensive side, the Rams must continue improving its run blocking and pass protection. Pound Steven Jackson on the ground and through the air, eat up some clock, force some more turnovers on the defensive side ó the Rams CAN win a game by making some basic improvements.
A victory will be tough, but I suspect the coaching staff knew that coming into the season. It all starts up front. Marc Bulger needs better protection, and the run defense, particularly in the front, needs to step it up. If the Rams improve in those two areas, they level the playing field a bit and give themselves a chance Any Given Sunday.
KEVIN WHEELER (Host of ďSports Open LineĒ on KMOX)
Well, thereís always a chance they could win one of the next three games but I donít think itís likely. The Packers and Vikings are clearly better teams than the Rams and itís hard for me to see them dropping a game to the offensively challenged Rams. The home teamís best shot to win one of the next three will be in San Francisco, even though the Niners are off to a solid start. Mike Singletary is doing good things in the Bay Area but I still donít trust Shaun Hill at QB and a weakness like that to exploit (QB) is what the Rams would need to pull off the upset. This may not please a certain segment of the fans, or the Ramsí coaching staff for that matter, but this is a building year and whether these guys win from week to week isnít what matters. Whatís important is that the franchise gets progressively better as the season goes on regardless of what their record is.
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