Remember our pregame script for this game? “The St Louis Rams hang tough early, fall behind at halftime, begin making mistakes they can’t recover from and ultimately succumb to the Baltimore Ravens”
That all happened in the first quarter. Except for the “hanging tough” part.
This was a loss that Steve Spagnuolo and the Rams will have a very hard time washing away. There will be blame to go around, on players and coaches alike. The Ravens, looking much more like the dominant Week 1 version of themselves, set a franchise record for total yards in a game and turned a lively crowd at the Edward Jones Dome into a crypt in a matter of minutes.
Three long touchdown passes to the same receiver (lightning-fast Torrey Smith, making his NFL debut) over the same cornerback (lightning-fast but technique-poor Justin King) will do that.
The Rams never displayed the kind of intensity needed to pull off a “David vs Goliath” upset. Their offense was shallow, slow and soft early, eschewing the hurry-up vertical game that had been so effective against New York the week before. Why? I can’t even begin to tell you.
This game defies rational analysis. The Rams flat-out sucked for an entire half of football, top to bottom. Then when they finally got their offense on track, they showed a maddening patience with the clock ticking away on the faintest of comeback hopes. Sixteen third-quarter plays, with the team down 30-0, produced a mere seven points and bled eleven minutes off the clock.
The final score is fittingly embarrassing. The Rams had the fight taken to them in their own house, and could not find a response until a positive outcome was out of reach.