Well, it wasn’t the greatest football game ever played, but the Rams defense stepped up in a big way as they defeated the Carolina Panthers 20-10 at the Jones Dome. The defense forced four turnovers in the contest, and quarterback Sam Bradford tossed 2 TDs an came away with a quarterback rating over 100. As usual, this is kind of my first reaction, and a more detailed post will come tomorrow.
Before I talk about the game itself, let me mention the Isaac Bruce number retirement ceremony was very nice. Ike is a class act, and I liked what the Rams did for him. I was there, and it got a little emotional watching the old highlights.
Now, I felt like the offense was still awfully conservative again, and it’s getting to a point where I’m not exactly sure who to blame. It looked like there were some plays that were designed to stretch the field, but for whatever reason it didn’t happen. My guess is that it comes down to a couple of culprits: A) The coaching staff isn’t calling enough plays down the field, B) The wide receivers aren’t getting open down the field, or C) Bradford isn’t trusting himself enough to throw the deep ball. I highly doubt that C is the problem, and my guess would be that it is a bit of a mixture of the first two. Bradford completed just under 30 passes today, but he threw for less than 200 yards. That’s not adding up.
Defensively, the guys were flying all over the place today. There was still a little bit of a lull tackling the ball-carrier in the second half, and I have no idea why that happens every weeks, but it’s hard have much negativity when talking about this group. They forced 4 turnovers, and they really shut down the Carolina running game completely. I don’t know if we just made them look bad or if they are really that bad, but this defense is certainly establishing themselves as legit.
The Rams are 4-4 heading into their bye week, and I don’t think we could have hoped for much more heading into the season. Realistically, this team could be 6-2, but I’m completely thrilled with where we are at. This division is still up for grabs, and we are right in the thick of it.