I never thought that I would refer to the 2011 Rams as “hapless.” Four games into the season they have more than earned that label with an 0-4 start and nothing in sight to suggest otherwise. The Rams lost to the Redskins 17-10 on Sunday at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis. Washington, no offensive juggernaut themselves, had plenty of room for error due to the Rams’ usual inefficiency and gameday blunders.
With QB Sam Bradford coming off a spectacular rookie of the year season and a consistent 1,000 yard rusher in Steven Jackson as well as a proven receiver in Danny Amendola the Rams entered 2011 with much promise. After barely missing the playoffs in 2010 St. Louis went 4-0 in the regular season to further fuel a sense of hope for Rams fans in 2011.
In recent years – particularly the 2009 season – St. Louis fans have been reminded of the “old” St. Louis Cardinals football team who had very few winning seasons during their 27 seasons in the city. However, none of those teams finished with fewer than four wins in a season. The city reached a new low in wins when the Rams finished the 2009 season at 1-15. Gone are the days of Kurt Warner, Marshall Faulk and the “Greatest Show On Turf.”
In 2010 the Rams drafted Bradford in the first round of the Draft and went on to finish 8-8 which restored hope to a desperate fan base. After another embarassing defeat on Sunday that hope is all but gone. Granted there are twelve games remaining in the season but considering the dysfunctional state of this team, the lack of enthusiasm and defeated spirit there is absolutely no reson to believe it will turn things around or produce the type of season that St. Louis fans expected in 2011.
The Redskins were seemingly handing out early Christmas gifts to the Rams in an effort to lose the game, but the Rams were having no parts of it. Washington fumbled the ball on three occasions but the Rams were unable to recover any of them. In the fourth quarter QB Rex Grossman threw not one, but two TD’s in the fourth quarter. Rams’ CB Justin King intercepted Grossman and returned the ball 50 yards to Washington’s 31. The Rams were unable to convert the tournover into a TD and settled for a 32 yard Josh Brown FG.
Grossman was later intercepted by linebacker James Laurinaitis who returned the ball to the Redskins 19 yard line! The series started with an incomplete pass. Then two sacks followed by a penalty. The Rams faced a fourth and 30 from the Redskins 39 yard line and were forced to punt. In what is becoming commonplace Rams rookie WR Lance Kendricks dropped a pass in the end zone and St. Louis had to settle for a 32 yard Josh Brown field goal.
Later in the quarter the Rams squandered a perfect opportunity to score when James Laurinaitis returned another interception to the Rams’ 19 yard line. The series started with an incomplete pass, two sacks and a penalty. The Rams faced a 4 and 30 from Washington’s 39 and punted. Rams’ WR Lance Kendricks drops a potential TD pass for QB Sam Bradford
Once again dropped balls, penalties and poor blocking contributed to the Rams’ demise. On three occasions the Rams were in the red zone and three times they committed penalties that set them back. On two of those occasions the penalties put them out of field goal range. Twice Bradford missed TD passes in the end zone. He was also sacked a total of 7 seven times and hit another ten times in the game as linebackers Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan reaped havoc on the Rams’ offensive line. Bradford has now been sacked 18 times during the first four games.
Mistakes have riddled this team and the fans’ frustration with their inability to execute the fundamentals became clear when during Sunday’s game against Washington fans cheered sarcastically as a Rams’ punt returner properly executed a simple fair catch after a couple of failed attempts. Fans can deal with losses when there is genuine effort and execution but lacking fundamentals is simply unacceptable.
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.