St. Louis Rams move to 1-2 on the year, what it means moving forward


The St. Louis Rams had another win on their finger tips Sunday, but as they have in past, let it slip through those very fingers. The Rams let the Pittsburgh Steelers off the hook on Sunday and dropped to 1-2 for the season. There were a handful of opportunities during the game for St. Louis to take control, but they failed to capitalize and now find themselves on the brink of what could be a disastrous stretch.

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After a very promising start to the season, St. Louis has taken a couple steps backwards with their two recent losses. The first, a manhandling from the likes of the Washington Redskins who ran the football to the tune of almost 200 yards right down on top of the Rams defensive line. Then, in what many thought would be an offensive showcase by the Steelers, St. Louis held the Pittsburgh under 15 points but could not produce enough on offense to win.

It was clear the defense would need to carry this team in the early going, but with the offense only mustering 16 points in the last two weeks, it’s clear they will need to provide much more help.

The next two weeks see the Rams traveling to Arizona and Green Bay. Two NFC match ups with some very good teams. The Cardinals completely embarrassed the San Francisco 49ers in Week 3 to the tune of 47-7. Arizona not only produced on offense, they also received two pick-sixes from their defense that helped them on one of the best days in franchise history.  The Cardinals now lead the NFC West with a record of 3-0.

Sep 20, 2015; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver James Jones (89) takes the Lambeau Leap after scoring a 29-yard touchdown against the Seattle Seahawks during the first quarter at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

After that, the Rams head out to Lambeau Field to take on the Packers. Green Bay will take on Kansas City in Week 3 on Monday Night Football, but as of writing this, the team is averaging 29 points per game and Aaron Rodgers and company continue to boast an incredible 20 wins at home in the last three seasons. A lethal offense paired with a solid defense makes the Packers a Super Bowl contender in 2015, and a difficult matchup for almost any team.

After letting two games slip away, the Rams now find themselves at 1-2, with the possibility they find themselves at 1-4 heading into the Week 6 bye. This would mark the fourth consecutive year that the Rams would start below .500 through the first five week of the season. Through those four years, coincidentally with Jeff Fisher as head coach, their best finish is 7-8-1 in 2012. Needless to say this team has made a bad habit out of starting slow and finishing poorly.

Through three weeks the St. Louis defense has played well, but not spectacular. They have accumulated 13 sacks, limited opposing offenses to just 4.8 yards per play and has only conceded four first downs by penalty. The pass rush has provided plenty of punch and the secondary has come up big occasionally. However, the unit has allowed opposing teams to convert on third down almost 47 percent of the time and a 50 percent success rate on fourth down. This has lead to opponents average time of possession climbing towards 36 minutes per game.

Sep 27, 2015; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams tight end Jared Cook (89) is unable to catch a pass in the end zone as Pittsburgh Steelers defensive back Ross Cockrell (31) defends during the second half at the Edward Jones Dome. Steelers defeated the Rams 12-6. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Even after all the good the defense has done, outside of one game, the Rams offense has been almost non-existent. Their short comings on this side of the ball have only made things harder for the defense. The Rams have only mustered 42 first downs through three weeks. They have only five total touchdowns, have yet to break 100 rushing yards as a team in a game and are losing the turnover battle at -1.

This team and this fan base were promised a different 2015. Questions were going to be answered and this roster was going to compete for a play off spot. The irony of it is, that has been the report on this team for the last three years. Even more ironic, they have started, and ended each of those three years the same way, poorly. By letting both the Redskins and Steelers escape with victories the Rams have put themselves in a very tough position. It will take a herculean effort to come together and beat two of the best teams in the NFL, and save this season.