Sunday, October 30, 2011

Rams beat Saints 31-21 in the second biggest upset of the year

You are reading the blog of a pleased and relieved Ram-fan.  You are also reading the blog of an unhappy Bronco fan, but we will save that for a later time.

Some would say it was the biggest upset of the year, but I doubt that.  Many would say the Bills over the Patriots was the biggest upset of the year so far, but it doesn't look so big right now.  The Bills were just better than anyone gave them credit for being, and Patriots--as usual--were highly overrated.  I will save my blast at the great pretenders for another blog.

No sir, the biggest upset of the season this far involved the complete collapse of the Raven offense during out last Monday Night travesty.  The Ravens had no business losing to the Jags.  The Jags had no business wining that game, but win they did.  This was the biggest upset of 2011 season thus far.

We Ram-fans can enjoy the 2nd biggest upset for the moment.  After smoking the Colts 62-7, all the men of football--including me--were utterly convinced that the Saints had regained the form that made them SB44 champions.  The unstoppable offensive, the ultra-aggressive play-calling, the brutality to pour it on, it was all back in place in New Orleans.

Ad meanwhile, my Rams were winless and without our starting QB.  Our offense held just two cards in hand: one tired old running back and a freshly acquired receiver.  There was no chance we could keep pace with the offensive power of the Saints.  Everyone, especially me, braced for a massacre.

I decided to go to Dark Horse CrossFit gym this morning in Sherman Oaks.  I didn't want to watch the massacre in progress.  I had plenty of other reasons to go work out, but the lack of desire to see the humiliation was a good one.

When I returned home, my DirectTV tuner was still set for the NFL Network (212).  Of course, this was showing the NFL Scoreboard, and nothing else.  I nearly shit my pants when I saw that my Rams were leading 24-0 with just about 6 minutes to play in the 3rd quarter.  Surely this had to be a mistake.  No, it wasn't. had the same score, and it wasn't long before the Sirus voice on the HDTV began covering the most shocking upset of the day; the game everybody was watching.

As you know, the Saints began to pour it on, but they came up short 31-21.  You have to wonder if some of the World Series mojo the Cardinals had rubbed off on the Rams.  Let's hope that spirit has moved over to Edward Jones Dome.

There are a number of take home lessons from this game:

  1. For those of us who have been grasping at straws, trying to understand how a team that should have been improved could sink so low, this is gratifying win.  We knew we were better than the record--thus far--reflected.  This is a bit of proof.
  2. You have heard the poem "For the lack of nail a horse was lost.  For the lack of a horse, a Calvary man was lost.  For the lack of Calvary man a squadron was lost.  For the lack of squadron a battle was lost.  For the lack of the battle the war was lost."  
  3. For the lack of a Wide Receiver, our Rams lost the first 6 games of the year.  I am not kidding either. I am deadly serious.  Now that Brandon Lloyd is making insane catches for us, just look at what has happened.  Just one nail, on one horse shoe, on one horse, for one rider...  Now the offense can function and convert on key 3rd downs.
  4. When he's healthy, Steve Jackson is still a terrifying beast.  The Saints don't want to see him again any time soon.
  5. Our defense is as good as I said it was, and better.  I've been telling everybody it's not the defense's fault.  
  6. The fault lies on offense.  We just couldn't score or control the football.  Today we did both, and look at what happened.
  7. The defense made our 24 offensive points stand up, and they even contributed 7 more of their own.
  8. Many Ram fans are very sanguine at this moment, believing that this is a big turn around moment.  I would like to believe it, and I am a bit afraid of it, but don't jump to conclusions.
  9. Understand we had a big moment like this back in 2008 against the Cowboys.  We routed them worse than the Saints, and immediately won another game.  People were instantly talking about Jim Hasslet as the NFL Coach of the year.  Understand that we still finished 2-14 and Hasslet got fired that year.

Personally, I am a bit torn.  In theory, if we run the table, we can still win a good playoff spot, but how likely is that?  More than anything, I want Justin Blackmon of Oklahoma State.  If we are ever to capitalize on our investment in Sam Bradford and become a Super Bowl championship team, we will need another deadly threat receiver to go with Brandon Lloyd.  Blackmon is that guy.

You know it's going to take a high pick to land him.