If we learned anything about the St. Louis Rams from the season opener against the Detroit Lions, it’s that the offensive line is one of the biggest question marks going forward for the rest of the 2012 season.
The offensive line suffered an onslaught of injuries against the Lions. On the injury report this weekwere guard Rokevious Watkins, left tackle Rodger Saffold and center Scott wells, who had foot surgery after suffering a brutal injury in the middle of the team’s 27-23 lost last week. Wells is expected to return later on this season, but with his absence, the Rams will struggle to find offensive cohesiveness throughout the year. The Rams now look toward the bench to fill the voids left by the injured—including newly acquired right tackle Wayne Hunter, who according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, is ready to play.
It is without doubt that the Rams need to find stability in the trenches if the team wants to win any games this season. Quarterback Sam Bradford was sacked four times for negative 25 yards. With Bradford’s history with injuries, taking that many shots from defensive lineman could hinder his ability to stay on the field this year. Bradford completed 17 of 25 throws, which is a great thing, but he only averaged 7.9 yards per pass. Bradford did not have time last week to make the throws deep down field because his line crumbled right before his eyes. It is sad because the Lions had a very patchwork secondary and the team should have been able to put up prolific passing numbers. As I said Wednesday night on the radio with Ramblin’ Fan’s own Nathan Kearns, the Lions secondary will be the worst set of defensive backs the Rams face this entire season. That doesn’t sound good for Bradford, his health or his quarterbacking abilities. You can attribute the offensive line as the unit that needs to improve the most in order for Bradford to increase his ability to get the ball down the field deep to receivers.
Not to mention the St. Louis Rams did not necessarily get it done in the run game. Collectively, as a unit, all four Rams rushers netted 25 carries for 77-yards with a measly 3.0 yards per carry. Ouch. It’s a given that the Lions have one of the best front fours in the NFL, but the offensive linemen were unable to get anyone blocked, or at least were unable to sustain a block, in order for Steven Jackson to break into the second level for a huge gain. Jackson’s longest rush was for nine-yards Sunday. He sends his regards to the Rams’ putrid line.
It’ll be interesting to see how the Rams offensive line takes care of business Sunday against the Washington Redskins. The ‘Skins are no slouches themselves because of the talent the team has on its depth chart. The Rams, up front, are patchwork at best and now the hog-mollies up front will have to defend against defensive end Ryan Kerigan, linebackers Brian Orakpo and London Fletcher and, occasionally, cornerback DeAngelo Hall, who is famous for sacking the quarterback on defensive back blitzes.
If the St. Louis Rams want to win this game, it will need to develop offensive stability throughout the game and then finish off the Redskins’ defense by sustaining blocks and by not getting beat on pass rushes… Bold Prediction: Redskins 31, Rams 13