Sundays 37-27 loss to the New York Giants may have been the most disappointing St. Louis Rams loss in the Jeff Fisher era. Although the Rams only lost by 10-points, the game was never really close and for the most part, the Rams were out-played, out-coached, and simply out-matched. Embarrassing doesn’t even begin to describe it.
Over the past three years the Rams have consistently lost to teams that they shouldn’t lose to and to teams that they are more talented than. However, despite that talent the Rams have found ways to lose to the Vikings, and now Giants this year, the Titans and Falcons last year, and the Lions, Dolphins, Jets, and Vikings in 2012.
Yes, the Rams have made progress since the disastrous Steve Spagnuolo Era and have thankfully distanced themselves from the Scott Linehan-Jim Haslett collapse. However, after 47 games under Fisher the Rams can still crumble against a mediocre opponent. After 47 games, a fiasco like Sunday’s 37-27 loss to the Giants still occurs.
Good teams beat bad teams at home, and yesterday the Rams got their you know whats handed to them in their own building. It was sad to watch and it really made you wonder what direction this team is headed. Call it an over reaction, but how can you not react after a loss like Sunday’s. It was uninspiring. The team didnt look like they belonged or wanted to be out on that field.
This team continuously loses focus on the field which leads to self inflicted mistakes. Tavon Austin had a ball that bounced off his hands that lead to an interception, Scott Wells had at least three snaps that went high over Hill, one disrupting a goal-line pass play at the end of the first half, safety Rodney McLeod got trucked by Andre Williams in the middle of the field on a long run, and veteran defensive lineman Kendall Langford got flagged for encroachment on a punt, extending a Giants possession. On and on it goes, one disaster after another, week after week, year after year.
Under the Jeff Fisher regime, the Rams have established a clear identity. They are a sloppy team that keeps offsetting big plays with inexplicable blunders. They are physically tough, but their aggression creates as many costly penalties as game-changing defensive plays.
Fisher must establish, once and for all, that his franchise can play aggressively and smart at the same time. There are no excuses for enduring this type of failure after three years. Every team has injuries. Every team plays some young guys.
That’s not to say the Rams haven’t gotten better in the last three years. This latest draft class was especially strong. The Rams have gotten better talent wise, but its the culture and the things that they are allowed to get away with that causes these boneheaded mistakes.
The Rams looked better than some playoff-bound teams for much of the season’s second half, but its the games that they should win that they have troubles with. After finishing 7-8-1 and 7-9 in their first two years under Fisher, the Rams will have to upset the Seahawks at Seattle next Sunday just to finish 7-9 yet again. However, after just two weeks ago talking about finishing with a winning record or even 8-8, the Rams will most likely finish one win short of the last two years and finish a disappointing 6-10.