Sigh. Maybe the best analogy for these Rams would be a dog. You get the little guy (or girl), bring him home, and he craps all over your rug. You don't mind at first, because you figure he'll learn. It could take weeks, maybe even months, but eventually he's going to go stand by the door and wait for you to grab the leash so he can crap in your yard.
It's a happy moment, when that dog craps in your yard and not on your linoleum. Probably happier than it really should be. Then again, you've shown HIM. You're the master of this house and that beast will not be defecating where you walk EVER AGAIN.
The next day, he craps on the couch.
We all saw what happened in San Francisco. The referees/ 49ers were practically begging the Rams to wait by the door, exit stadium left and get treated to a juicy win. (Three TDs getting called back? Bitch about the terrible pass interference call at the end of the game if you will, but wiping 21 points off the board is a once-in-a-decade occurrence.)
Instead, the Rams dropped trousers and squirted all over Candlestick Park, continuing a three-year-old losing streak against division foes on the road. Considering the NFC West is the laughing-stock of the NFL, this might be akin to a dog taking a dump right in front of its doggie door... just disappointing on so many levels.
Will the Rams ever get to the point where we can get excited about their progress? I think that's the million dollar question that these excruciating road losses are asking. After all, the mere fact that the Rams even have the ability to ruin Sunday with terrible loss is worth something, right? A close November loss in 2007 to 2009 wasn't exactly cause to go to bed early and bring Monday closer, faster.
Still, as the road losses pile up for the 2010 team, it's hard not to get the feeling that we're going to be looking back in seven weeks and wondering just what could have happened if just one of the three brutal road beats had swung the other direction.
Because let's be honest here—the Rams have some glaring deficiencies at multiple positions (Kevin Dockery. Paging Kevin Dockery) and by getting to six or seven wins the Rams aren't doing much except ensuring a draft position where super-premium talents will be off the board. We can all wave the morale-boost flag with fervor, and in a way, it's true. But the NFL is a results-oriented business, and by improving, but not making the playoffs, all they've really done is make it harder to get to the next level in 2011.
I know, I know—the Rams aren't out of this thing, right? That's what you were going to say.
Technically, you're right. They're a game back of Seattle with one head-to-head matchup still to be played, so anything can happen. The Rams, however, have more games left on the road. And after years and months of taking dump after dump on our collective floors, they're going to have to prove they have what it takes to, well, take it outside.
Until they do, then it's not going to matter. After all, we've been pretty patient with this Rams team. Perhaps it's time to face the fact that some dogs never learn?