Road record suggests this won't be easy game for Rams
By Bernie Miklasz
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Friday, Nov. 25 2005
For the Rams to be taken seriously and make it back to the NFL's elite level,
they'll have to start performing respectably on the road.
Even though the Rams travel to Houston to face the struggling and frequently
overmatched Texans (1-9) on Sunday, this game is hardly an easy check mark for
The Rams can't be trusted on the road. This has been an embarrassingly bad team
away from the Edward Jones Dome.
The Rams are 1-4 on the road this season and have lost the four games by an
average of 13.6 points.
And that's an improvement over last year.
The Rams were 2-6 on the road in the 2004 regular season and 1-1 on the road in
the 2004 playoffs. The seven road losses came by an average of 21.2 points.
Tack on their loss at Detroit in the 2003 regular-season finale and the Rams
are only 4-12 in their past 16 road games, and were pounded by an average of
17.8 points in those 12 losses. They lost five of the 12 by at least 20 points.
During this roadkill stretch, the Rams' four road wins were against Seattle
(twice), San Francisco and Arizona. They haven't won a road game outside the
NFC West since holding on 26-20 at Cleveland on Dec. 8, 2003.
We worry that Marc Bulger's career may be shortened by chronic
injuries to his right shoulder. Like Kurt Warner before him, Bulger
has taken a beating while taking those deep dropbacks in running the Rams
offense. But how good has Bulger been in his Rams career? Last week vs.
Arizona, Bulger reached the minimum of 1,500 career passing attempts needed to
qualify for the all-time NFL passer ratings. And Bulger debuted at No. 6 on the
list with a QB rating of 90.6. In NFL history, only Steve Young
(96.8), Warner (94.5), Peyton Manning (93.2), Joe Montana
(92.3) and Daunte Culpepper (91.5) have a better passer rating.
When's the last time Leonard Little made a big play?
With 12,129 rushing yards in his career, Marshall Faulk is idling in 10th place on the
NFL's all-time rushing list. He needs 115 yards to move ahead of Marcus Allen
into ninth place, and 184 to pass Jim Brown for eighth place. It would be nice
to get Faulk some more carries down the stretch.
Memo to Fox football analyst Neil O'Donnell: White guys can run. In
Sunday's Cardinals-Rams broadcast, O'Donnell said Rams wide receiver Kevin
Curtis "isn't the fastest" and basically labeled him as a possession
receiver. (Which is a polite way of saying a receiver is slow but tough and
sure-handed.) Actually, Curtis is the fastest Ram and is a threat to burn DBs
on long passes on every snap. You'd think these network guys would do some
homework instead of stereotyping players based on race.
This from John Czarnecki, FoxSports.com: "Mike Martz
apparently is upset with Steve Fairchild, one of his former
quarterbacks whom he elevated to his current position of offensive coordinator.
You can bet if Martz is working elsewhere next season as a head coach that
Fairchild will be the last assistant he will hire." ... Insiders in Houston
tell us the NFL Texans won't consider Martz for the head-coaching job if (as
expected) they fire Dom Capers at season's end. Why? The No. 1
concern is the health of QB David Carr and the fear that he'd be
injured in the typically wide-open Martz offense.