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Bernie: Rams are numbingly bad

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  • Bernie: Rams are numbingly bad

    KANSAS CITY, Mo.

    There is hope, Rams fans. There is absolutely hope because I am sitting here in the Arrowhead Stadium press box early Sunday evening, high above the field, and I’m looking across the parking lot to Kauffman Stadium.

    There will be a World Series game played at Kauffman on Tuesday night, and if the home team can win it, Game 7 will be played on Wednesday. And for as long as this October ride lasts, an entire town of wild-eyed, overjoyed people will be wearing blue, hanging banners and signs, and putting costume crowns on their heads.

    After failing to make baseball’s postseason tournament for 29 consecutive seasons (1986 through 2013) the Kansas Royals will have the chance to win a World Series at home, a few hundred yards from the spot where your Rams just absorbed a punishing 34-7 beatdown administered by the KC Chiefs.

    So that is why there is always hope of a Rams turnaround.

    The Royals show that anything is possible.

    Just don’t ask me to predict if the Rams’ revival will occur in your lifetime. I can’t even tell you where they’ll be playing.

    I don’t believe the year of the Rams’ next winning season is listed in the Mayan calendar, but I’ll double check.

    Maybe your grandchildren will be able to enjoy it.

    As for the present day …

    The Rams are 2-5 on the season and have lost four of their last five games after a 1-1 start. The trail will only get bloodier over the next month, with road games at San Francisco and Arizona, a home game against Denver and a road contest at San Diego.

    The Rams franchise is now 45-105-1 since the start of the 2005 campaign. Pardon my mixing of sports here, but that’s 151 games, or nearly enough to add up to a full major-league baseball season.

    So basically, the Rams are cousins of the 1962 New York Mets (40-120), or maybe the 2003 Detroit Tigers (43-119). Or, closer to home, the 1939 St. Louis Browns (43-111.)

    This is where we are.

    And there isn’t a thing anyone can do about it.

    I could sit here and write another angry column, the spittle flying as a I knife away at the keyboard, demanding the firing of coach Jeff Fisher, the ouster of GM Les Snead and the dismissal of the offensive and defensive coordinators.

    Yeah, and what’s the point? No one is getting fired. And it’s not as if the team owner will pick up the phone to answer questions about his team and his plans and this whole mess.

    We’re stuck in an endless cycle of losing, caught in a draft of increasing alienation. I prefer disengagement over distemper. Frankly, the Rams aren’t worth the rage and the risk of high blood pressure that comes with it.

    That’s why I dropped a ’62 Mets reference in here; sometimes, a team is so bad it almost becomes comical. I’m not suggesting laughter here. I know many of you are passionate about this football team. But goodness, don’t have a heart attack over it.

    After using a satchel of magic tricks to upset the Seattle Seahawks last Sunday, the Rams had a chance to come to Arrowhead and get a little something going. Put together a two-game winning streak to signify that things were on the upswing. You know, a small serving of hope for the people.

    The day began promisingly enough for the visitors, with a crisp opening drive of six plays, 65 yards and a touchdown for a 7-0 lead.

    That’s all, folks.

    There’s your highlight. Kansas City outscored St. Louis 34-0 over the final three hours of conflict.

    “It’s disappointing,” Fisher said. “We had a great week, a short-lived bit of momentum, and weren’t able to put two in a row together.”

    After scooting out for that 7-0 lead, here’s what the Rams did on their next eight possessions: 33 plays, 51 yards, six punts, an interception, a missed field goal.

    The Rams’ offensive line was overrun for seven sacks, which overwhelmed the young starting quarterback, Austin Davis. He had no chance.

    The special teams allowed a 99-yard kickoff return to open the second half, and the rout was on. The big play was set up by a shanked kickoff from Greg Zuerlein, who also missed a 38-yard field goal that would have given his team a 10-7 lead. Zuerlein’s leg has gone crooked, at least in terms of accuracy.

    Coordinator Brian Schottenheimer’s dull, uncreative offense managed only 135 yards after the opening series and could do little to stay on the field and give the Rams’ defense a break. The defense finally collapsed in the second half.

    On the offensive side, faulty preparation was apparently a factor.

    “We struggled all across the board,” tight end Lance Kendricks said. “It was loud out there. We couldn’t get the signals out. We couldn’t get the personnel out. So the game wasn’t really flowing for us as it may have for them. But that’s on us. We’re professionals. We play ball, too. We have to be ready for that type of stuff. I just don’t think we were ready for everything they threw at us.”

    Seven more Rams players limped their way out of this game, including starting offensive linemen Jake Long, Rodger Saffold and Scott Wells. And an eighth Ram, defensive end William Hayes was on crutches after the game.

    If the Rams aren’t good enough to play or win consistently when healthy, they have no shot at any sustained success with so many players missing.

    To that end, I have empathy for Fisher and his staff. It isn't a fair fight right now, with the injuries chewing up a marginal team.

    And of course, some of the pain is self-inflicted. The Rams committed eight penalties Sunday.

    That’s about the usual quota, right?

    “It’s frustrating,” defensive end Robert Quinn said. “To beat a Super Bowl champion (Seattle) and then come in and perform like we did today is not what we want.”

    It’s not what anyone wants — not if they care about the Rams. I don’t know if I’m just numb to it by now. Or if I’ve just accepted the reality. The Rams lose … and lose … and lose.

    So why would we expect a different outcome, except for the occasional Sunday surprise?

    I’m sorry to disappoint readers who expected me to go on the attack today. Maybe next time. But on another bloody Sunday I just didn’t have it in me to rage against this broken-down machine.

  • #2
    Re: Bernie: Rams are numbingly bad

    Kendricks "It was loud out there." Shocking revelation about playing in Arrowhead. No reason to prepare for that in advance.

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Bernie: Rams are numbingly bad

      “We struggled all across the board,” tight end Lance Kendricks said. “It was loud out there. We couldn’t get the signals out. We couldn’t get the personnel out. So the game wasn’t really flowing for us as it may have for them. But that’s on us. We’re professionals. We play ball, too. We have to be ready for that type of stuff. I just don’t think we were ready for everything they threw at us.”

      A shot at the coaches and his QB is what I got from that.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Bernie: Rams are numbingly bad

        Originally posted by MauiRam View Post
        KANSAS CITY, Mo.

        "We have to be ready for that type of stuff. I just don’t think we were ready for everything they threw at us.”

        The Rams committed eight penalties Sunday.
        Same thing every week. We should hire someone to handle that stuff. I can't believe we just send players out there to do things randomly.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Bernie: Rams are numbingly bad

          Originally posted by general counsel View Post
          Kendricks "It was loud out there." Shocking revelation about playing in Arrowhead. No reason to prepare for that in advance.

          ramming speed to all

          general counsel
          That was my take here. Yet, many of you guy's still are in Fishers corner. The above comment by Kendricks pretty much sums up the ineptitude currently being displayed by the "coaching" staff.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Bernie: Rams are numbingly bad

            I stopped believing in Fisher about 2 yrs ago.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Bernie: Rams are numbingly bad

              You don't have to be a die hard follower of the NFL to know that the Chiefs hold the record for loudest crowd noise in a stadium.

              That's got to be something you prepare for during the week
              @EssexRam_

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Bernie: Rams are numbingly bad

                Can we just make Bernie's entire column come up in asterisks like the *****?

                Comment

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                • r8rh8rmike
                  Bernie: Rams' Problems On Road Are Beyond Crazy
                  by r8rh8rmike
                  Bernie: Rams' problems on road are beyond crazy

                  BY BERNIE MIKLASZ
                  Monday, November 15, 2010

                  SAN FRANCISCO • The most honest answer of the day came from Steven Jackson, who was asked to explain the Rams' baffling, mysterious, incomprehensible and maddening inability to win on the road.

                  "I really don't know," the Rams running back said.

                  Jackson wasn't being flip. He really doesn't know. No one dressed in the blue and gold knows. Those horns on the Rams helmets ought to be tweaked and redesigned to look like question marks. It happened again Sunday at Candlestick Park. The San Francisco ***** were the latest to do a Jack Bauer on the Rams, somehow wriggling free for a bewildering, ridiculous, against-all-odds escape that defies logic, sanity and simple explanations.

                  This time the drama and torment carried over into overtime, with the ***** prevailing 23-20.

                  The Rams have been analyzed. And psychoanalyzed. They've done some good things on the road, playing very well for long stretches of game time. Other than the mess in Detroit, road wins have been within easy reach, almost in the Rams' hands. But three times the Rams were denied, and depressed, losing by two at Oakland, by one at Tampa Bay, and by three at San Francisco. They led two of those games at the half and were tied at halftime Sunday.

                  The ***** had no business winning Sunday. They allowed five sacks, were 0 for 11 on third downs and committed 14 penalties for 105 yards. But when the ***** needed to make a play, they all but borrowed Cody Ross and Edgar Renteria from the San Francisco baseball Giants to get it done.

                  And the Rams haven't won a road game in the NFC West since Nov. 18, 2007.

                  Three years.

                  And counting.

                  "A game is a game," guard Adam Goldberg said. "I think that's something that you (media) guys make a little more out of than we do. I don't know about you, but the players, we really don't care if we're at home or on the road. Obviously it's nice when you are at home playing in front of your fans but it's not like we think playing on the road is a huge disadvantage. It's not something that we put much thought or concern into."

                  Huh?

                  Did someone conk Mr. Goldberg on the head during Sunday's matinee?

                  Look, the Rams are in second place instead of first place in the NFC West because of this particular losing habit. These road losses are significant. They aren't random events, or a fluke. This has become a trend. A pattern. And these Rams' yack jobs away from St. Louis are why the Seattle Seahawks lead the division with a 5-4 record. The Seahawks — a seriously flawed team — are 2-3 on the road. The Rams are 0-4. Hence, Seattle (5-4) has a one-game lead on the 4-5 Rams.

                  Someone should show the math to Goldy. Unless the Rams can...
                  -11-15-2010, 06:26 PM
                • MauiRam
                  Rams show comeback potential ..
                  by MauiRam
                  BY BERNIE MIKLASZ

                  ARLINGTON, TEXAS • When the Atlanta Falcons zoomed to a 24-3 lead over the flabbergasted Rams last Sunday, I could sum up my feelings in one word: ballgame.

                  As in, “Game Over.”

                  The attitude of resignation formed over several years of watching a mostly hopeless team that couldn’t score, couldn’t prevent scores, couldn’t fight back, couldn’t come back.

                  Between 2007 and 2011, the Rams played 80 regular-season games and won only 15. That’s the worst five-year record by a team in NFL history. I’m sorry to bring up harsh memories, but I’ll make it all better in a little while.

                  During those dreadful years of absorbing so many Sunday smackdowns, the 15-65 Rams trailed at halftime in 46 games.

                  They lost 45 of them.

                  Yes.

                  The 2007-2011 Rams had a 1-45 record when losing at halftime.

                  If the Rams were down at the half, you could have left the stadium and gone home, or clicked the remote to another game. Or you could have cried or thrown a shoe at the TV set.

                  But if you were hoping for a comeback, it was a lost cause.

                  Now here’s the good news: that’s all changing under head coach Jeff Fisher. He’s bringing the Rams back as a franchise. He’s also bringing them back in games.

                  The surprising Rams made it interesting last week at the Georgia Dome but ultimately came up short, losing 31-24. There are no moral victories. But with Fisher, there are comeback victories. And that’s something new.

                  The Rams were losing at the half in 11 of Fisher’s first 18 games as head coach. But they’ve manage to rally and win four of the 11.

                  The Rams have trailed at the end of the third quarter 12 times in 18 games but came back to win four of the 12, including the 27-24 victory over Arizona in the 2013 opener.

                  So when the Rams and Dallas Cowboys kick off Sunday and the visiting team gets off to a slow or dysfunctional start, do not break the flat screen TV, do not be grumpy with family members, and do not lose hope.

                  The comebacks don’t mean that the Rams are a Super Bowl contender or that Fisher’s work is done. They’re still trying to get over .500; Fisher is 8-9-1 since taking over in 2012.

                  The comebacks do represent an obvious sign of progress, especially considering that the Rams have the NFL’s youngest team for the second consecutive season.

                  And the Rams offense — loaded with skill-position players ages 25 or younger — is looking capable of putting up a flurry of points when the team falls behind.

                  It’s a small sample, but the Rams are averaging 25.5 points per game. Their 51 points through the first two contests is the most by a Rams team in the opening two games since 2000.

                  The Rams’ average of 19 points in the second half ranks fourth in the NFL. Their fourth-quarter...
                  -09-21-2013, 10:45 PM
                • r8rh8rmike
                  Bernie: Loss Is Disturbing In Many Ways
                  by r8rh8rmike
                  Loss is disturbing in many ways

                  Sports Columnist Bernie Miklasz
                  ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
                  11/30/2009

                  From the moment Steve Spagnuolo was hired as the Rams' head coach to partner with new general manager Billy Devaney, I've preached patience. The new leaders were put in charge of cleaning up the NFL equivalent of a toxic spill. And it would take a lot of time, hard work and smart decisions to get it done.

                  Those who thought the Rams had a chance to win between seven and nine games this season and contend for the playoffs were more delusional than optimistic.

                  I didn't expect much, and I'm not asking for much.

                  All I wanted to see, really, were signs of progress in 2009. And shouldn't this team be getting better, even if the gains are incremental and modest? Instead, the Rams are getting worse. Is there any justification for that?

                  With Sunday's 27-17 loss to the visiting Seattle Seahawks, the Rams became the first St. Louis NFL team to post a 1-10 record after 11 games in a season. That covers 43 seasons of St. Louis NFL football, 28 with the Cardinals and 15 with the Rams.

                  This was a winnable game. It was sitting there at 7-7 in the second quarter, and the Rams were only down by seven late in the third quarter. The Seahawks came into The Ed with a 3-7 record and didn't appear to be highly motivated. But as most opponents do, the Seahawks pounced on the Rams' mistakes and sloppy play and bullied the Rams with a physical rushing attack. Taking over, Seattle opened a 17-point lead before the Rams scored a so-what TD with 44 seconds remaining.

                  The Rams had shown improvement by losing in overtime at Jacksonville, winning at Detroit, and taking the undefeated New Orleans Saints down to the wire with a chance to win. But the Rams didn't build on that brief spell of not-so-hideous football.

                  Instead, they're regressing.

                  And I don't think that's acceptable.

                  "This game was a big step backward," Rams defensive end Chris Long said. "I think we've got a long way to go, so we can't afford to take these steps backward."

                  Agreed. After the game, I asked Spagnuolo if he thought his Rams were slipping and getting worse. After saying he wouldn't cite injuries as an excuse, Spagnuolo sort of did just that.

                  "The one thing we've got to remember, and I'm not going to use this as an excuse, so bear with me here," Spagnuolo said. "But we have gelled. Since the first time we played Seattle (in the season opener) until now, I believe it's a different football team.

                  "But we're fighting some injuries right now at some key positions. So the dynamics of working together and getting better and better at certain things, maybe it takes a step back. But this is professional football and guys got to go in there and play....
                  -11-30-2009, 04:39 PM
                • r8rh8rmike
                  Bernie: Loss Will Help Rams To Start 2013 Hungry
                  by r8rh8rmike
                  Bernie: Loss will help Rams to start 2013 hungry

                  5 hours ago • BY BERNIE MIKLASZ, Post-Dispatch Sports Columnist

                  SEATTLE • The Rams’ final game of the 2012 season became an ideal way to make the turn to the future. A defeat is never positive, but a 20-13 loss to Seattle was the right way for the Rams to go out.

                  I will explain. And no, I wasn’t conked on the head by an overly aggressive Seahawks fan. I say these things with a clear head.

                  The Rams played well enough, and tough enough, to know they can square up and trade blows with a Seattle hit squad that could be the NFL’s best team. Knowing that they can throw down with this unholy beast in Seattle is healthy for the young Rams’ confidence.

                  The Rams (7-8-1) weren’t a winning team in 2012. They were not a playoff team. There will be no parade, or party favors. As of now, the Rams don’t have one player deemed worthy of inclusion on the NFC Pro Bowl roster.

                  Obviously, there is much work to do. They still operate with a talent deficit. But the Rams are no longer every bully’s favorite flunky. In 2012 the Rams gave notice that they will no longer serve as the litter box for the NFC West.

                  “I think those guys in that room can stand up and look people in the eye and say, ‘Hey, the Rams are back.’ And that’s what we wanted to accomplish this year,” Rams coach Jeff Fisher said.

                  For much of the day the Rams matched the Seahawks’ all-purpose ferocity but gave way at the end.

                  That’s OK — but in no way am I suggesting that losing is acceptable. Quite the opposite, really. Losing in this manner should be unacceptable to the Rams, and leave them unfulfilled.

                  Instead of coasting into the offseason with a winning record and a distorted sense of achievement, the Rams will feel the sting of knowing that they still carry the stain of a losing mark. The Rams will feel the hurt of knowing they lost games because of too many mistakes and a shortage of big plays. That’s why they couldn’t hang on and win in Seattle.

                  By losing the last game and coming up agonizingly short of the franchise’s first winning season since 2003, the Rams will be even more determined to make it over the hurdle in 2013.

                  At 7-8-1 the Rams will be less vulnerable to the blather of happy talk, and more resistant to false hope and hype. The 2012 Rams have no trophies to display. That 7-8-1 record is a welcome improvement, but it is made of tin.

                  There is nothing to celebrate.

                  Nothing, that is, except for a promising future.

                  If the Rams care deeply about winning and making the kind of commitment that’s necessary to develop something special, this defeat should motivate them. This is no time to take bows.

                  “Big-picture wise, good things happened this season,” Rams GM Les Snead said. “But because of those good things...
                  -12-31-2012, 09:42 AM
                • r8rh8rmike
                  Bernie: Rams Need To Hit Back
                  by r8rh8rmike
                  Bernie: Rams need to hit back

                  5 hours ago • BY BERNIE MIKLASZ, Post-Dispatch Sports Columnist

                  In the first half of the season the Rams moved up, then got pushed back. The NFL’s youngest team made obvious progress during a 3-2 start but couldn’t make it last. The Rams were taken down for three consecutive losses, then staggered into the bye week to stitch their fresh wounds.

                  Has the bleeding stopped?

                  The San Francisco ***** figure to let us know Sunday when the teams meet at Candlestick Park. This is a tough assignment for the Rams. The ***** have won their last 11 home games vs. NFC West opponents, and they haven’t lost a division home game since Seattle escaped football Alcatraz on Oct. 26, 2008.

                  “We’ve got our hands full this weekend,” Rams coach Jeff Fisher said Wednesday. “This is our biggest challenge to date.”

                  If the first five games of 2012 were an indication of how far the Rams had come in Fisher’s first season, the 0-3 crash reminded us of how far they still have to go.

                  The second half won’t be easy. Among the 32 NFL teams, only St. Louis and Cleveland have failed to win a game away from home this season, and the Rams will play five of their final eight on the road.

                  The *****’ style may seem familiar. They thrive on physical, punishing football. They want to hit you early and often. By the time the game is over, San Francisco’s opponents are likely to have more bruises than yards, more injuries than points.

                  On offense, the ***** lead the NFL in rushing yards per game and are No. 1 in the league with an average of 5.6 yards per rushing attempt. On defense, the ***** yield only 3.6 yards per rush, have given up only eight touchdowns from scrimmage and are allowing a league-low 12.9 points per game.

                  The ***** are nasty, tenacious and unrelenting. They’ll beat you up on the field, then beat you on the scoreboard.

                  Or to put it another way: The ***** play Jeff Fisher football.

                  The model used by second-year San Francisco head coach Jim Harbaugh is reminiscent of the approach implemented by Fisher in Tennessee. The ***** are what the Rams aspire to be. The ***** rebuilt their program by tearing down opponents. And that’s how Fisher plans to do it in St. Louis.

                  So that’s why I’m intrigued by this matchup, which gives the Rams a chance to reaffirm their commitment to physical football. If you want to play tackle football, then San Francisco is the right place to be.

                  I realize they Rams are still short on talent and depth. I realize they don’t have enough playmakers. The Rams are still under construction, and you’d have to be delusional to expect the work to be finished by season’s end.

                  But when Rams owner Stan Kroenke hired Fisher to take on the project of strengthening the league’s most pitiful weakling, I expected to see...
                  -11-08-2012, 09:23 AM
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