Monday, September 14, 2009

Oye...! My Rams...

The 28-0 shutout Seattle pitched against us was entirely the fault of our offense. Anytime you see the punter come on the field when it is 4th and short on the enemy 35 yard line, that shows the coaches have no confidence in the offense at all.

The defense did a solid job. The shutdown and cutoff a number of scoring opportunities that would have made this loss dramatically worse. My hats off to O.A. for that terrific interception that shutdown a sure-fire touchdown drive. It also made Matt Hasselback very cautious for the rest of the game. My hats off to James Laurinaitis who played a hell of game. Nice fumble strip! You cut off another scoring opportunity for the Seahawks.

The special teams did their job well. They even made a few stand-up and shout plays. That was a tremendous pin around the goal line in the first half. Loved it. We have a tremendous punter, and we have a tremendous kicker. Josh should not have missed that field goal, and we should not have been shutout, but this was a bad day for a good man.

Folks, our offense sucks. There is still no sign of solid pass-protection. There is still no sign of good run blocking. Bulger has no confidence at at all. Our new and expensive all-pro center executed a really nasty long snap which cost us. Donnie Avery had big problems holding on to the football. We committed a lot of stupid penalties. Donnie also erased a great run by Steven Jackson with a flagrant hold. Incognito scored another knock-out punch and a 15 yard personal foul with it. I'll admit, he had one hell of a straight right lunge-punch. He knocked that Seahawk defender right on his ass. Still, Richie will get a powerful FedEx envelope delivered to his locker soon. Merton Hanks will be giving some of Incognito's money to charity.

The classic Safety man John Lynch (who had the color analysis on this game) defended Incognito as "a very good player, who just did a selfish thing." I am almost sure I don't know what the hell he is talking about, and I've been a Ram fan for 30 years. I think Incognito is the biggest case of Roid Rage I have ever seen. Just test him and see.

Furthermore, there is no sign of the West Coast offense in St. Louis. Last time I checked, the West Coast was about throwing the football to your main back rather than handing it to him in the I-Formation. It is also about spreading the ball around to 8 different receivers, in all corners of a 30-40 yard zone. I saw no sign of this yesterday.

Basically, the defense couldn't stay off the field because the offense could not stay on the field. With unlimited time and opportunities, Seattle eventually put together 4 touchdown drives. Don't get too excited Seahawks. You were 4 for 20 in scoring position yesterday. You are still rebuilding.

The one small sign of hope is that Jason Smith did start, and Jason Smith made no overt mistakes in this game. He acquitted himself well in this game.

I don't know, perhaps I am a foolish hommer. Perhaps I have no empirically justifiable reason for saying this... In the set position, the Rams' offensive line did look like a collection of good, hard, strong men. They look good, they just don't play good. Still, somehow, somewhere in the back of my mind, I got the feeling that this unit just might mature into something great as the long season wears on. I sure hope so. We cannot win (ever) without a great O-line.

This is going to be a long, hard year of learning for our O-line.