After three losses I think we’ve discussed often enough what the Rams need to do to win a ball game. St. Louis has been pretty consistent over the course of the first three games with the things they are doing to sabotage a win. For fear of boring you to death and sounding repetitive I’m inclined to avoid rehashing those things in this article. However, for the sake of new readers let’s review shall we?
The Rams’ failure to execute in the red zone in their first three games may be the main reason for their 0-3 start. In the loss to the Giants two weeks ago the Rams failed to score TD’s on three occasions when inside the their opponents 20 yard line. In their first game of the season against Philadelphia St. Louis was one for two in similar situations.
If a failure to execute in the red zone has been the main reason for the Rams’ slow start then fundamentals, or the lack thereof, is running a very close second. St. Louis has displayed a serious inability to perform proficiently in areas that a coach should not have to teach at this level. Poor pass protection, dropped balls and mental lapses on offense and defense have been major contributors to the team’s inefficiency this year.
I think it’s safe to say that this week’s game against the Washington Redskins is a must win for the St. Louis Rams. I know it’s still early in the season but this game qualifies as a must win because if they fail to win at home this weekend the Rams risk a catastrophic beginning to their season. They enter a much needed bye week after facing the Redskins to regroup for a grueling three game stretch. The Rams travel to Green Bay and Dallas in the two weeks following their off week. They return to the Edward Jones Dome the following week in a game against the New Orleans Saints. If St. Louis fail to gut it out and come away with a win against the Redskins they face a potential 0-7 start. A must win? I’d say so.
To say the Rams have had a rough start to the season would be stating the obvious. Things could turn around in this weekend’s game against Washington as running back Steven Jackson and WR Danny Amendola are scheduled to return from injuries. Running back Cadillac Williams has done a decent job as Jackson’s replacement but does not present enough of a threat which allows defenses to cheat a bit and protect mainly against the pass. Additionally the Rams’ inexperienced corps of receivers have not fared so well in Amendola’s absence. Dropped passes and poor routes have contributed largely to the teams’ offensive struggles.
Even with the return of Jackson and Amendola the Rams will have to improve on pass protection and give Bradford time to throw down field.
They have allowed a total of 11 sacks this season and have been manhandled by their first three opponents. Bradford was sacked 5 times by the Ravens defense last week. The offensive line will face another tough challenge in this game as you can rest assure that Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett will give Brian Orakpo, Ryan Kerrigan and company the green light to go after Bradford and disrupt his rhythm.
I’ve been slow to criticize the Rams’ defense because they have been put in some very tough situations due to starting field position by their opponents and other variables that have factored into the final score of the first three games. However, after last week’s debacle against the Baltimore Ravens I would say it’s clear that the defense is regressing and is simply being outplayed. The Rams’ defense is second in the league in points allowed (32 a game) and giving up 426.3 yards per game (also second worst in the league). Ravens’ quarterback Joe Flaaco passed for a season high 389 yards in last week’s game against the Rams. The defense is dead last in the league against the run (174.3 yards per game). If win #1 is to take place Sunday the defense will have to surrender far less than those gaudy numbers above.
About the Author
Written by Chaz Ingram
During his lengthy career Chaz has worked in various areas of the media. As an actor he has appeared on such shows as "Less Than Perfect" "CSI New York" and "Outlaw". He's performed on stage in such plays as "West Side Story", "The Wiz" "Oliver" and "Sugar". He has also landed roles in several commercials most notably as a reporter for "NFL Legends" and as a model for Ameriquest Mortgage. Chaz's extensive background in the broadcast industry has given him invaluable experience in several areas of the business. His work as an assignment desk intern as well as in the news and sports departments at the local ABC and NBC TV stations in St. Louis, MO has given him experence on various levels of news production. Chaz is a former host of of his own radio show "The Spirit of Chaz", where he was also writer and producer at KXEN in St. Louis. As a Marketing Consultant at KSDK-TV (NBC) Chaz was a major contributor to the station's #1 position in overall sales in the St. Louis market. At KEZK radio he was awarded "rookie of the year" for his achievements in sales. The St. Louis Business Journal recognized Chaz as one of their "40 Under 40" awardees for his work in the community with youth. Additionally, St. Louis public Schools recognized him as "Role Model of the Year" in 1995 & 1996. He is the recipient of the 1989 edition of "Outstanding Young Men of America". Chaz currently resides in Los Angeles where he owns Nicolexis Inspirations a motivational and life coach company.