Given the exciting ending of the baseball game, my take on the Rams game has a baseball flavor: three early strikes killed the Rams.
To beat the best team in the NFL on Monday Night at their house the Rams needed to play a near-flawless game and get many lucky breaks. It actually almost happened, but then they struck out:
Strike 1 – The Rams did not score a TD after the gift fumble on the Colts' first kick return. We got stuffed on 2nd down from the 1 then Pace jumps offsides, we settle for a FG. Team starts thinking "we're being same old stupid-penalty Rams".
Strike 2 – Bulger got injured. This in all honesty sealed whatever slim chance they had, if any. Can't beat the best team in football on the road on Monday without your best players, such as Bulger and Bruce.
Strike 3 – The horrible "dual possession" crap call. The only chance the Rams had left was a "better lucky than good" win, and that was sucked out when the ref overturned the other (correct) ref on the goal line fumble that ultimately led to the Colts' first points. Not just a horribly incorrect call, but completely unprofessional behavior out of the head ref. The correct ref was frantically signaling Rams ball the entire time only to have the head ref – who coincidentally spent the entire game canoodling with Manning – change it. I thought it was an amazing moment when that initial correct ref even had the guts to signal Rams' ball in the jerk's face while the incorrect ref was pointing the other way.
Anyway, at that point it was clear that without their starting QB or luck, it was only a matter of time before the better, more talented team won. So it ended up as predicted but at least the Rams put up a fight first. I thought the team was very fired up thanks to Vitt and the offense came out aggressive thanks to Fairchild, but bottom line is Indy is a much better team. The Rams could have come out timid and rolled over, but they didn't. Sure, it's easy to rip on the defense, but come on – Manning/Harrison/Edge are the best. And did you see how many Rams cramped up? I lost count. They were cramping up because they were giving everything they got, so say what you will, at least they left it all out on the field. Something we haven't seen under Martz.