Where can you possibly begin with the St. Louis Rams 37-7 loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday? It was a complete domination of the Rams, in every way shape and form. The Ravens beat them on offense, defense and special teams. The game was arguably the worst loss in Steve Spagnuolo’s regime with the Rams and sends the team to 0-3. The Rams really have no one to look at any more except the man in the mirror.
Here is a look back at some parts of the disaster that was on Sunday at the Dome.
Justin King: It is easy to blame King for the loss on Sunday, but it goes much deeper than him. The Rams gambled that they would not get killed by the injury bug this season in the secondary and they were wrong. Dead wrong. With Ron Bartell done for the season and Jerome Murphy also gone the Rams are forced to play King at cornerback. He is clearly not good enough to play in the NFL and the Rams should be looking at other options immediately. They simply cannot continue with King for the rest of the season. If you thought Sunday was bad with Joe Flacco can you even imagine what Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Tony Romo and Ben Roethlisberger are going to do to King the rest of the season? If the Rams weren’t so desperate I would support cutting him immediately. Rams General Manager Billy Devaney should be shopping a draft pick for help immediately.
Al Harris: As bad as Justin King was, what does this say about the 36 year old Al Harris that he is not starting? I know the Rams coaching staff has some issues evaluating talent, but if Harris can’t beat king out at this point, then what is the point of even having Harris on the roster?
Torrey Smith vs. Lance Kendricks: It is easy to pick on Justin King, but to have Torrey Smith explode on the Rams was adding insult to injury. The Rams could have had Torrey Smith in the second round of this year’s draft, but instead went with Lance Kendricks who was supposed to help in the red zone and help improve the offense. Then the Rams went with Austin Pettis and Greg Salas in subsequent rounds. Neither has been much of a contributor. Through three games Kendricks has four total catches and no touchdowns. Smith was better than that in the first quarter. You can’t make a final verdict on one game, but once again Billy Devaney looks bad on passing on a wide receiver.
Rams Front Seven Awful: Last season the Rams were a bend but don’t break defense. In 2011 they are nothing but break. The Rams defense right now cannot stop the run and clearly cannot stop the pass. They don’t get after the quarterback and don’t stop the run. That is a horrible combination. The Rams drafted Robert Quinn to help improve the pass rush and to this point has not been able to do much. They simply have to get better and get better fast.
Shurmur Better than McDaniels?: I never in a million years would have ever thought I would say this, but it appears that Pat Shurmur was much better with this offense than the new offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is. McDaniels was supposed to come in and invigorate the offense. Through three games the Rams offense has been awful. Sam Bradford looks lost and the offense has no traction. Supposedly Bradford was getting better. Supposedly the offensive line was better. Supposedly the wide receivers were better. Supposedly the system was better. None of that is truly better in 2011. Meanwhile Pat Shurmur has the Cleveland Browns with a 2-1 record. Shurmur was ultra-conservative because he had to be in 2010. Maybe he was further ahead than any of us gave him credit for.
Jason Smith: I think it is fair now to go ahead and say that Jason Smith is headed toward being a bust. Everyone keeps waiting for Smith to be better and it looks like he is never going to be better than average. On Sunday he was worse than that. It was so bad that Smith was actually benched for Adam Goldberg. This was the second pick overall. He wasn’t good enough to be the left tackle and now he can’t even play a full game. You don’t want to say bust after just two plus seasons, but your eyes don’t lie. He is simply not as good as the pick he was selected at.
The rest of the offensive line: Shame on Harvey Dahl and shame on all of us thinking that they would be better in 2011. Dahl has not been good and the rest of the line is regressing. As bad as Smith has been the rest of the line can share in some of that. The addition of Dahl has done nothing. Jacob Bell has been awful and Jason Brown gets worse. The Rams have invested a lot of money in this group and they have been nothing but a failure in 2011.
Sam Bradford: I know he is getting no help from his offensive line and his wide receivers, but Bradford is heading backward right now too. Bradford is getting the happy feet and throwing the ball faster than he needs to at times. This is a horrible situation for him and hopefully the Rams will have some help on the way for Bradford soon.
Every Free Agent Signing: GM Billy Devaney has to be in shock right now. Every single one of his major free agent signings is completely blowing up in his face. Guard Harvey Dahl is not getting it done. Wide Receiver Mike Sims-Walkers has 10 catches in three games and no touchdowns. Linebackers Ben Leber and Brady Poppinga have been non-factors and have been worse than the guys they replaced. Luckily the running back position has been better with Cadillac Williams and Jerious Norwood. But clearly this has been a disaster for Devaney. I don’t want to be a hypocrite, because I supported the moves, but thus far they have been almost to a man, a failure. What a nightmare.
There is no silver lining for what happened to the Rams on Sunday. The only thing you can hang your hat on, and you really have to squint for this, is that the Rams are in the NFC West and still have a very viable chance to win the division. They are two games back of the San Francisco 49ers, which is bad, but they have yet to play a division game and theoretically the schedule will lighten up later in the season. The key of course is to survive the first half. The Rams need a game and desperately. The Washington Redskins are next and the Rams are going to have to get that one. Heading into the bye at 0-4 is simply not an option.
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