No the season is not over, and no the season is not a lost cause. However the time to worry is here and more importantly the time for apologies is over.
I am hearing a lot of talk about “it’s only 3 games” and “it’s a long season” and “there is a lot of football left to play”. All true and valid points. However, what exactly has this Rams teams done to inspire confidence. As a fan, what have you seen from Spagnuolo and McDaniels to lead you believe the next thirteen games will be different?
This team is not going 0-16, but they are not going 9-7 either. In all reality, another 7-9 season at this point would have to be deemed a success. This issue doesn’t lie within the difficulty of their schedule. Many expected a 1-2 record at this point so a 0-3 is not that far off. How the Rams got to 0-3 is the issue.
I do not pretend to have all of the answers or the audacity to act as if I could GM an NFL franchise. I do however, in 100% certainty, know what I have seen three games in to the 2011 campaign and can say with that same level of certainty that it is poorly coached, sloppily played and terribly unorganized football.
I want to be sure it is clear that I am calling out the coach, players and GM. As noted above the fashion in which this team has fallen to 0-3 is much more disheartening than the record itself. Three examples that come to mind:
First: On the second play from scrimmage the call was TE Lance Kendricks on an end-around that resulted in a loss of eight yards.
Second: 25 penalties for 262 through three games. 8 for 117 against the Ravens.
Third: 2009 number two overall draft pick LT Jason Smith being moved to RT after one season and again being moved, this time to the bench.
One only has to watch the games to see this. After the Eagles the Spags and co had apologies. There was no training camp. Philly is a strong veteran team, the Rams are young and will make mistakes.
Against New York the apologies were there, “We know we can play better” and the Rams were in the game if it were not for mistakes. The play calling took a step in the right direction. Unfortunately only between the twenties as what took place in the Red Zone was lacking to put it mildly.
Then the Ravens came to town. Oh did they ever come to town. While QB Joe Flacco and Torrey Smith continued to beat CB Justin King like he stole something, franchise savior Sam Bradford spent so much time on his back that starting RT Jason Smith found himself on the bench and Bradford found himself longing for his days behind his Sooner O-line.
His quote after the game, “what the hell happened here?” Team Captain Steven Jackson chimed in with “We’re not playing up to the level that is in this locker room.” Well no offense Captain, but no shit.
The Rams are three games into the season which is the equivalent of thirty-one games into a baseball season. The upcoming Redskins game marks the Flag Day of the football season. Plenty of time to take stock and lock at what you have. No more apologies. Please, no more apologies. Get angry, get better, get after a QB, and get disciplined. But most importantly…get a win.