I really felt good about this one. I figured that we were the better team a few weeks ago and today we were at home. I know the injuries are a problem, but I really felt like the Rams were going to leave the Dome with a win. Obviously, I was wrong yet again. The Rams dropped their 9th game of the season with their 23-20 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.
There is plenty to be said about today’s game, but I’m going to discuss two sequences that I haven’t been able to get out of my mind. They are two sequences that I really feel explain everything you need to know about the 2011 St. Louis Rams.
The first one is the most obvious: The Patrick Peterson punt return. Coming into today’s game, Peterson had 3 returns for TD on the season, one short of the NFL record for a season. One of those three was to beat the Rams in overtime during the first meeting a few weeks ago. So, knowing all this, how is it possible that you let him do it again? Why would the Rams even come close to giving him a return opportunity? This is just basic stuff. When I saw him break free, I thought I was going to destroy my TV. I know the guy is very, very good, but come on. There’s no excuse for that to happen after he already did it to you once.
The second was a series that I think is a microcosm of the St. Louis Rams as we know them. The Rams are up 7-3, and they have the ball 1st and goal on the 3 with the first half nearing the end. A TD there gives you an 11-point lead, and with these two teams, that’s pretty comfortable. The Rams then moved back five yards after a false start and then Sam Bradford took a sack for -9, and the team settled for a field goal. Failing in those situations decides games. It’s the difference between winning and losing. The Rams have not been good enough at times like this, and it is a major reason why they are one of the most disappointing teams in the NFL.