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Sam's Silver Linings - Week Eight
Wow. I expected to see the Pats come away with a win – the Rams have been banged up, we have new names on the starting roster, and the Patriots have been getting better each week. I didn’t expect to see the Rams get embarrassed. Of course, the officials were up to their standard favoritism (yes, I went there), making sure that every hold committed by the Rams, no matter how small, was flagged, and allowing much leeway for the Patriots numerous penalty violations. Of course, the very unfocused play by Bradley Fletcher resulted in numerous costly penalties throughout the game.
Even though our safeties have shown flashes of good play this season, during this game they showed reason for us to pick up some new names either through free agency or the draft. Fisher has done a great job this year getting our team turned around, giving us a winning attitude and some hope for the future. However, as I am fond of saying, you can’t polish a turd. We’ve faced some decent teams this year, and the defense has held up – this game, we weren’t able to keep up. Part of the reason for this is the offense of the Patriots is potent by any standard. The other part of this is favoritism. It seems that any time that someone in a Pats uniform whines, they get their way. If the officials were truly unbiased, made all penalty calls equally, then we would see the Patriots as a slightly above-average team, not some juggernaut that cannot be slowed down.
There was hope that Danny Amendola might play this past week; however, the Rams staff decided to be cautious, keeping him on the sidelines to make sure he has healed up completely before subjecting him to the unavoidable impacts he will get while on the field. The good news is that there is a very high probability that he will be on the field, fully healed up, for the whiners game. We also were distracted by talk of trading Steven Jackson, possibly to Green Bay, sometime before the deadline. Many of us, including me, would hate to see Steven in any other uniform. However, we all want him to have his shot at a ring. Jackson has expressed desire to stay with the Rams until he retires; yet I doubt that anyone, including Jackson, believes a 30 year-old running back can actually earn a $7 million dollar per year salary over the next few years. I doubt that Jackson will be traded. There are only a few teams who could really use him and benefit from his skills at this point in the season.
We have also heard rumors that Dwayne Bowe wants out of K.C. (who could blame him?), and that the Rams were one team that could use his services, while providing him with opportunities that aren’t available elsewhere. While this would be something that looks great on the surface, the cost of bringing him on board would probably be prohibitive, keeping him from wearing the horns – at least right now. But – can you imagine what our offense would be like once Danny returns if we had Bowe out there with him? Now, let’s take a look at this week’s “Silver Linings”.
1. Sam Bradford: During the first drive, every Rams fan around the world was sitting on the edge of their seats, wide eyed, thinking how fantastic our QB was. Well, he is – IF we can give him time and get our WR’s open down the field. But, in my opinion, the best thing about Sam this week was seeing him get up after that (unflagged) hit he took. When I saw him hit the ground, I feared that he had a severe injury to his shoulder. From what I have learned, it hurt, but did not cause any damage.
2. Chris Givens: This is what, five games where Givens has caught a 50 yard or longer pass? He has a long way to go to become an elite receiver, but as a rookie, he is showing progression at an admirable rate. I don’t think he will ever become a household name like Bruce, Ellard, or Holt, but I do think he will continue to learn and contribute for many years, becoming a respectable deep threat.
3. Bye Week: Not only will the Rams be able to lick their wounds, heal up, and recover, they will also have time to “reboot” their goals and attitudes. While no one can argue that football is a very physical game, it is also a very mentally tiring game. One missed tackle, one dropped pass, one penalty – that’s all it takes to change a player from having a winning attitude to feeling like there’s no reason to keep trying. Our bye week is coming in the middle of the season, so expect a refreshed mental aspect to come back in the game in the next game.
4. Jo-Lonn Dunbar: Nine tackles. NINE. That’s great. Dunbar was on fire. Too bad it was a futile effort. However, with his determination, I doubt that this loss will affect his desire to play at a high level the rest of the season.
5. Craig Dahl: Even though the “Rag Dahl” has had his share of questionable play this season, there are times when he shows why he is still in the NFL. This week he did it again. He was our #2 tackler this game. I still can’t figure out the “hot and cold” way he plays, but maybe Fisher can put a boot in his…motivation during the bye week.
Yes, this is a very short list this week. Due to a very pressing schedule at work, I am quite exhausted, so the brain isn’t able to process the information from the game efficiently. My DVR recording of the game also got deleted, so I was unable to see the last half of the game and had to depend upon highlights of the game I found online. You’d figure that since I work at Bass Pro, the majority of the business would be during the spring and summer, with deer season also being busy. Not so. It seems that millions of people think that Christmas time is when they need to buy things like “Bait Shop Birdhouse Kits” and “Chartreuse Hula Skirts”.
Since we have a bye this week, we can rest assured that the Rams will be back for our game with San Francisco ready to kick some booty and get back on track to add some more wins to the record. Have a great week, everyone.
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