Being a St. Louis Rams fan is not an easy experience. You're going to suffer. A lot. And each week brings you new indignities and emotional lows that you didn't know were possible. It's kind of like we got invited to the coolest party ever, the NFL, but once we arrive we're told to park the cars and wash the cages out when the pole dancers are done.
The Rams are a flawed team on many fronts. And just like a horrible calamity where injuries abound, we need to prioritize where to focus our ire... that's where the Rams Triage Report comes in handy.
It's a quick weekly glance about what new abomination we've discovered with the Rams with the goal of putting it into perspective of what it means for the season as a whole. We can't prepare for specific catastrophes, but we can wrap ourselves in the warm embrace of knowing that we're prepared to deal with something bad.
Preseason Week 1- Vikings of Minnesota
Quick Recap: The Vikings were minutes away from the Super Bowl in 2009. The Rams were minutes away from 0-16. We expected to be beaten like a rented mule and the Rams didn't disappoint. 40K people payed regular season ticket prices to see Sam Bradford's debut and my next door neighbor play cornerback. From what I understand, she didn't do that bad. Three touchdown loss at home. The Rams haven't won a game at the EJD since it was built. I think.
Minor Attention Required:
A.J. Feeley's Quarterbacking
3-of-6 for 19 yards, 56 QB rating ... and the A.J. Feeley era beings! Jim Thomas of the Post-Dispatch of St. Louis reports that two incompletions were pick sixes ready gift-wrapped for the Minnesota defense, but they couldn't capitalize on them. The Rams seem to be destined to waste 3-4 games on A.J. Feeley to begin the season, so it would behoove this veteran QB to not totally suck in the preseason and justify his depth chart position. Then again, he's been through this before. Preseason games don't mean anything for the starter until week 3, so we can't get too worked up over game one.
Defensive Line Play
We've seen better penetration in virgin porn. At one point Sage Rosenfels actually prepared Yom Kippur dinner for 8 in the backfield before bouncing one off the turf in front of a wide-open receiver. The guy who washes the QB's uniforms was laid off at halftime. Etc, etc.
Amendola's Decision Making
Danny-boy busted a 90 yard punt return for a TD, giving the Rams their only points of the evening, so it's hard to put him on the Triage Report. BUT—he also fielded a punt inside the 10 and probably would have been dropped inside the five yard line if this was the regular season. He's got moxie; we like that. But the Rams are a bad team, and they've got to play the odds almost every time to have a chance to win. Kudos for what happened. Don't let it happen again.
Steven Jackson's Back
It's a meaningless game, yes. We all agree on that. But keeping SJ39 totally out of the game and not even giving him the starters customary 4-5 carries under the auspice of preventative maintenance is a red flag for those of us who aren't confident that serious back surgery is something guys come back from in the summer to play well in the fall. If the Rams don't have a fully capable Steven Jackson? Ooof.
Two Minute Drill
It's been over a year now, coach, feel free to implement one. Promise that we won't fault you for it. We actually would like to see it. Pretty much everybody else is running one, if that makes you feel better.
The Truly Offensive Line
Sans Jacob Bell, who sat out injured, that was the starting offensive line you saw getting whipped off the ball and allowing huge gaps through which big men ran to pummel Sam Bradford. You could almost smell the nervous sweat coming from Stan Kroenke's brow. Some simple math will tell you that the if Bradford would have played the whole game, he would have been sacked 12 times. TWELVE TIMES! This group features two super-premium draft picks and two high-priced free agents and, truthfully, should be one of the few strengths of this team. But against the Vikings, they looked meek and disorganized. This has to be priority one this week in practice.
Cornerbacks? Whose Got Cornerbacks?
You want to finally win your fantasy football league this year? Every week that an available QB is playing against the Rams, pick him up and play him. Someone else already got the starter? Pick up the back-up who'll be in the game before half-time. You thought I was kidding about my neighbor playing CB? Well, I was. But at this rate she will get a call sooner or later. You probably will too.
Pretty poor effort for the Rams. No offense, soft defense and an offensive line display of complete futility. I paid for three vacations in 2010 by taking the points against the Rams every single week in 2010. Vegas couldn't set the line high enough until about Week 13. Don't make the same mistake and not ride the lightning this year.