TheFieldGoal: Rams routing by World Champion Giants 41-13
It was not long ago that the Rams were NFC contenders. What a free-fall this has been so far. Normally NFL teams make all sorts of personel changes from the end of one season until the start of the next. Usually, the worse team, the more the changes.
Though the Rams may never admit it. Some Rams fans felt that letting Martz go and Bruce , also was far more costly and it has cost the team more harm than simply keeping them and paying them. The once potent offense died and went when Martz left town. The Rams since then have gone from NFC contenders to NFL chumps, finishing in last place in every offensive and defensive stat.
But it's not just the losing that has the Rams fans angry. It's the way the Rams have lost early in 2008-09. Their once dominant offensive line, led by Orlando Pace is in shambles. They have scored no rushing touchdowns in two games. They have not reached the red zone.
The Rams,first must develop a winning attitude, second, the offensive line must adjust to changes and improve now. Third, the secondary can't afford to give up big plays.The Rams need better QB play. That's a lot to ask, but the Rams must improve in order to win against the forthcoming schedule competitors. The offensive line must get better collectively and take the pressure off Bulger, who keeps running for his life far too often on every down this season.
Sometimes, you have to tear something down in order to build it backup again. Especially with this Rams team this season.
Is Marc Bulger worth the deal? Is Steven Jackson a real bust? The Rams retooled offense by Al Saunders is starting to resemble the KC Chiefs. Bulger was 20 for 32 for 177 yards with a touchdown and an interception, and Steven Jackson had 53 yards on 13 carries.
The best part of the Rams offense is it's wide receivers.That's why the Rams spend money on Drew Bennett and Randy McMichael. That's why Bruce is gone. The return on this investment so far is horrible. Torry Holt is still the better receiver and real go to guy when it counts and he is thinking of retiring in Carolina. Can we blame him?
With the loss of Isaac Bruce , the Rams figure to be throwing downfield more this year. That's why the free agents were brought in. Drew Bennett to replace an Isaac Bruce, consider this option a total bust. Bruce proved in Seattle he still has game left under the right coach. That coach being Mad Mike in San Francisco.
Defense again is this years achille's heel. The Rams need better pass rushers to relieve the pressure on this horrible secondary. Last year it was Witherspoon as the lone impact. This season it's Witherspoon and Chris Long so far in two games. Where is Leonard Little?
The bright spots so far in 2008-09 have been kicker Josh Brown and punter Donnie Jones. Josh Brown kicked a pair of 54 yard field goals, matching the longest by the Rams franchise since 2001., and Jones averaged 57.6 yards on five efforts. Brown has been worth "Money". Jeff Wilkins would be proud.
It was ugly, it was embarrassing. When it was over- Eli Manning and company routing the Rams in the 4th Quarter. Eli Manning was 20 for 29 for 260 yards. Eli Manning threw three touchdown passes and the Giants sacked Marc Bulger six times while limiting the Rams to a fluke touchdown in the 41-13 rout on Georgia Frontiere tribute night.
With the dissapointment of the second week. The Rams embark upon Seattle, hoping to at least compete for a win and avoid 0-3.
As the constant rumors about Scott Linehan swirl with another loss. The Rams have not been anything but horrible since the recent coaching changes. The Linehan Era has been a lot to be desired. And granted it might not be all his doing. But that is the measuring stick by what NFL coaches are graded. The wins and losses. Linehan is in a no win position this season so far. If he continues to lose,the faithless hope management uses their powers to stop the bleeding and fire him. If he somehow gets this team rolling again with a couple wins, the same folks will say the Rams win in spite of Linehan's coaching.
Under the Linehan ruling, the Rams have been known so far for underachieving and placing record franchise lows in unwanted categories especially in the loss column. Whether a coaching shake up is enough, however is questionable.
Scott Linehan and staff have tried to be optimistic. The optimism starts with Steven Jackson. General Manager Jay Zygmunt gave in to the holdout and now this running back is subpar. He seemed happy after a 41-13 loss. Marc Bulger and Scott Linehan on the other hand were not so pleased with the team's performance in the home opener.
The real questions surrounding the Rams, though, is where will this team be after this season. The scheduling is difficult and the Rams have got to get it together real soon, or the fans may well start parking the Mayflower trucks that sent the Cardinals to Arizona outside the Dome.
Even if the Rams have the horrendous season of Miami a year ago or maybe the 1976 Bucs. The Rams can take solace in the fact they will set another franchise mark in the Linehan Era.
One of these weeks, we're going to wake up and Scott Linehan really was a bad dream for the Rams. For now we look forward to Seattle and maybe wake up with a win.