The St. Louis Rams have given us some disappointing losses in 2011, but Sunday’s 19-13 setback in Arizona is now at the top of my list. The Rams were the better team for most — if not all — of the game Sunday, yet somehow they managed to find a way to lose. It’s times like this when I wish we were allowed to say whatever we want here at Ramblin’ Fan, because an expletive-filled tirade is really the only thing I want to post right now. Since I can’t do that, let me just say this: You can’t win in the NFL if you can’t score touchdowns. It’s as simple as that. The Rams have shown the ability to move the ball consistently in almost every game this season, but they have been unable to punch it in and get the six points on a regular basis for all of 2011 and for pretty much the last several years. I don’t really know who to put the blame on. It’s hard to place it all on Josh McDaniels, because this problem was in place long before he got here. Should we blame Sam Bradford? As much as I hate to say it, I’m starting to lean that way. This offense has been incapable of scoring touchdowns regularly since Bradford took over as the starter. That’s not opinion, it’s fact. For whatever reason, the offense seems to stall when they cross midfield, and they settle for field goals on productive drives instead of touchdowns. Until this offense finds a way to to put up 7′s instead of 3′s, this team is going to struggle to win.
Now, on a less bitter note, I thought the defense was outstanding today. It wasn’t just that they forced safeties on back-to-back Arizona possessions — which I don’t know that I’ve ever seen before — but they absolutely shut down the running game for most of the four quarters.I really thought the secondary did a nice job again, and the defensive ends played well again also. I didn’t see much from the defensive tackles in the pass rush, but I thought they did a nice job moving the line on running plays for the most part. It really looks like this defense is starting to figure things out, which is pretty huge. It’s no secret that the offense is going to struggle, so the defense is going to have to keep us in games. I know Arizona isn’t the greatest offense in the world or anything, but Beanie Wells is a nice player who had absolutely no room today and Larry Fitzgerald is an elite receiver who was largely kept in check for much of the contest. He did catch the TD pass, but that wasn’t so much bad coverage as it was a great throw by John Skelton. More on the next page.