Rams-Texans: Alone at the Bottom (or the Top)

I give the Rams credit for their fight today — they brought more to this game than either the Texans or the 30,000 or so fans in the half-filled Edward Jones Dome expected. Fans walked into the stadium talking about Christmas shopping, and left talking about a play here, a play there, and a win that nearly was.

With the Rams’ loss and the Buccaneers’ decisive win against the wallowing Seattle Seahawks, the Rams are now alone in the bottom of the league, and the top of the draft board. Billy Devaney, you are on the clock. Based on this game, and how much an effective pass rush could have turned the tide, put RamsHerd in the camp for drafting the monster DT Ndamukong Suh.

The Rams’ undermanned defense seemingly had an answer for everything the Texans could offer — except for the connection between the unhurried Matt Schaub and the unstoppable Andre Johnson. The two combined for fully half the Houston offensive day, with 196 yards receiving. It could easily have been more, but for a very conservative gameplan. While Johnson was doing the work of shaking his man (often Bartell, as he, Justin King, and the newcomer Gorren were the primary cornerbacks to see time), Schaub calmly stood stood within his pocket for counts of five, six, seven seconds or more.

Giving Spagnuolo a true pass-rushing threat gives this Rams defense a chance to do more than just fight.