“Don’t call it a come back…” That may be the best way to sum up the St. Louis Rams performance in the last two games, seemingly the complete opposite of a franchise on the rise. A sensible person could look at Sam Bradford’s performance and think that the Rams were in complete control of the game, but that was definitely not the case. Tom Brady and the plethora of talented receivers destroyed the St. Louis secondary. The Rams front four were not much better, finishing their first game of the season without a sack.
Tom Brady had a very Brady-esque type of night. He went 23 of 35 for 304 yards and 4 touchdowns, including two to Gronkowski and two to Lloyd. The Patriots running attack was stuffed by the St. Louis defense for most of the game, but pulled out some big plays in the second half to keep the chains moving. Stevan Ridley ended his night with 15 carries for 127 yards and a touchdown, including a huge 41 yard burst later in the game.
The Rams did nothing to prevent the big play, even helping the Patriots keep their opening three drives alive with costly pass interference penalties on Bradley Fletcher. As much as Rams fans would like to complain about the calls, they were not the reason St. Louis lost on Sunday. There was no coverage underneath, poor tackling on the receivers, and no pass rush to get Brady out of his rhythm. The defense had no answer for Gronkowski, Jenkins, Dahl, and Mikell were getting burnt all over the field, and there were absolutely no adjustments made at halftime to stop the bleeding.
To make matters worse, the special teams unit was off tonight, with Hekker shanking a couple of punts and muffing the hold on a field goal try earlier in the game that resulted in a turnover on downs near midfield. Chris Givens was a bright spot in the offense, scoring on a 50 yard touchdown pass on the first drive of the game. However, he left soon after that drive, heading to the locker room with an apparent foot injury and take any chances of a Rams comeback with him.
The good news for the St. Louis Rams is that they will have an addition week to rest up and get healthy, as they head in to their bye for Week 9. Danny Amendola, Wayne Hunter, Rodger Saffold, and Scott Wells are all expected to be back and healthy for the Week 10 matchup against the San Francisco 49ers. Hopefully, their return with be the spark that starts a fire under the quickly fading St. Louis Rams. Keep an eye on the Rams as the trade deadline approaches…