Power Rankings are the one useless analysis tool that all fans love to hate, especially if you follow a small market team that hasn’t been very successful over the last half decade. For that most part, we dismiss the rankings as arbitrary, useless opinions… and yet, we clamber for our team to break into the Top 10. Last week, the St. Louis Rams saw little-t0-no change in their rank, even after tallying a win after a dramatic 4th quarter comeback. This week, despite giving an NFC “favorite” a run for their money in the second half, there is little hope that the Rams will get a pass on their loss. So, how does the team rank this week?
The ingredients are there with the pass rush and the cover corners, but Sam Bradford has to put it all together on offense.
Jared Cook in Week 1: 7 receptions, 141 yards and two touchdowns. Jared Cook in Week 2: 1 reception for 10 yards. For this team to win, they need more Week 1-like numbers.
The first 18-plus minutes of Rams-Falcons went horribly wrong for Jeff Fisher’s crew. First, there was the opening scoring march by Matt Ryan and Co., then the bomb tossed by Ryan to Julio Jones, then Osi Umenyiora — how old is he, 60? — taking a pick to the house.
So what changed as the game went on? The strength of this St. Louis Rams team — the pass rush — got going. Meanwhile, quarterback Sam Bradford spread it around, hitting four different receivers on the Rams’ first touchdown drive and three receivers on the second — he even called his own number on scrambles. If Bradford can lift his play without the urgency imposed by a 24-3 deficit, working in tandem with a defense that promises to punish the other guys’ quarterbacks, we won’t be typing such long blurbs after losses.
Much like in the 2012 season, Jeff Fisher’s St. Louis Rams are a gritty team to deal with. In Week 2, the outcome wasn’t a positive one for the Rams, but the toughness they showed in fighting from behind against the Falcons is something to build on.
The pass rush of Robert Quinn and Chris Long is exceptional. If the safety play can improve—whether by scheme or personnel changes—the defense will be very tough to move the ball on.
The offense is good enough to make plays. As young players like Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey assimilate to the NFL, there may be growing pains, but there will also be big plays. Fighting for four quarters, even in a loss, is a great showing from this team.
Sam Bradford completed 19 of his career-high 35 passes (54 percent) 5 yards downfield or fewer Sunday. The worst team last year completed 58 percent of those throws (Jets).
St. Louis has the league’s youngest team, and it showed in a mistake-filled loss to the Falcons last week. The coaching decisions didn’t help. It’s going to be another up and down season for the Rams. At least St. Louis is on pace to repeat as the NFL’s most penalized team.