Tipsheet: Rams nowhere near ready for prime time
BY JEFF GORDON | Posted: Monday, January 3, 2011 7:24 am

The Rams and Seahawks are 7-9 for a reason. They are mediocre teams – the best of a historically bad division, but mediocre nonetheless.

They didn’t do much to hold America’s attention Sunday night on NBC. Seattle’s 16-6 victory was woefully short on entertainment value . . . or even competent football for that matter.

Unless you are a big Charlie Whitehurst fan, there wasn't much to recommend. Even Seahawks owner Paul Allen seemed bored with the dreary proceedings.

The reviews of this fiasco were not favorable, as you might expect:

Gregg Rosenthal, Pro Football Talk: “Rams rookie quarterback Sam Bradford struggled all night. The Rams only had 63 yards of offense in the second half and 184 yards in the game. Danario Alexander dropped a pair of deep passes, and Bradford’s rough stretch run continued with an ugly fourth quarter interception. The Rams won’t get a playoff game after this surprising 7-9 season, but it doesn’t matter. They are the only team in the division with a franchise quarterback and they get a much better draft pick now. (Seattle falls from No. 8 to No. 21 at best. The Rams get No. 14.) Unless the goal is to lose in the first round, this Rams loss wasn’t a killer.”

Michael Silver, Yahoo! Sports: “(Steven) Jackson carried 11 times for 45 yards and gained 39 more on four receptions, and it’s ridiculous that St. Louis coach Steve Spagnuolo didn’t lean on him more. Instead, Spagnuolo put his team’s offensive fate in the hand of rookie quarterback Sam Bradford, who completed 19 of 36 passes for 155 yards and threw an interception. I know Bradford has done some nice things this season, and he may become a star in future years, but it would have made a whole lot more sense to try to pound the Seahawks – who have struggled to defend the run this season – on the ground with the physical, relentless Jackson.”

Mike Sando, ESPN.com: “The folks at USC must be pleased to know (Pete) Carroll and Reggie Bush are bowl-eligible. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New York Giants, not so much. Tampa Bay missed the playoffs despite going 4-0 against the NFC West and 10-6 overall. The New York Giants, 41-7 winners at Qwest Field in Week 9, also missed the playoffs at 10-6. Seattle would have to win the Super Bowl to finish this season with a winning record.”

Will Brinson, CBSSports.com: “Every team -- except for the ***** -- in this putrid division has been in a Super Bowl at least once over the last decade, and San Francisco has more than enough historical success to make up for their recent terrible play. It's also clear that the Cardinals are a quarterback away from not being horrible, and you could say the same for the Niners. The Rams could dominate the division once they find some actual playmakers who have hands, and the Seahawks, well, heck, they already won their division title. So let's not go and blow things up and simply take the top-six teams in each conference, because that defeats the entire purpose of having divisions. But it's absolutely imperative that the NFL determine some manner to re-seed the playoffs beginning in the next season.”

IN BASKETBALL NEWS

The Lakers are mess. Any team that loses to the visiting Memphis Grizzlies 104-85 needs to check it self, but when Kobe Bryant’s team does that – yikes!

This team has lost three of its last four home games, with each defeat coming by 16 or more points.

“We're not really playing together, and as a result, it's costing us,” center Andrew Bynum said. “Right now, we've got to be concerned. We have to be . . . Good teams are looking at us like we're soft.”

MYSTERIES OF THE UNIVERSE

Questions to ponder while the Rams go back to the offensive drawing board:

So will the Rams go for a playmaking wide receiver with the 14th overall draft pick?

Or will they go for a playmaking outside linebacker, a speedy running back, an offensive guard who can run block, a safety with superior cover skills, another big cornerback or a playmaking tight end?

Could Brett Favre ever have imagined leaving the NFL in such a humiliating fashion?

Are the Chiefs running off offensive coordinator Charlie Weis to hire Josh McDaniels?

MEGAPHONE

“This is the most somber winning locker room you'll ever see. And that's because we fell short of our goals . . . Knowing that we won but we didn't fulfill our own destiny and we came up losers on the day, it's definitely weird.”

Giants defensive tackle Barry Cofield, after his team missed the playoffs.