Sitting at 0-6 and staring 0-7 right in the face it can be difficult to look ahead. But the Rams have to do just that. My advice would be to actually look past the Saints, this week’s opponent, and start thinking about week nine in Arizona.
I understand rule 1 in sports is to not look ahead, prepare for today’s game…who you are playing this week. But let’s be honest after watching New Orleans take the Colts behind the woodshed last week do you really think any amount of preparation is going to stop the Saints from coming to town and marching all over the Rams. I’ll spare you the anguish of think it over…it’s not.
No, to avoid going to that “dangerous” place that no NFL players admits but we all know exists…Complacency. At 0-8, with the playoffs out of reach, the reality of a woefully disappointing season lingering over head and the daunting task of slowing the offense juggernaut that is New Orleans it would be easy to check out. Understand me here, I am not suggesting the Rams lay down…just look ahead one week to Arizona. To when, for the first time all season they might be able to take a collective breath.
Based on their level of play through six weeks I do not feel comfortable proclaiming the remaining schedule easy. But it is easier. Minus the landmines of Pittsburgh, San Francisco on the road and yes, even Cincinnati, the schedule is much more favorable than the gauntlet they were forced to submit to in the season’s first eight weeks.
The second season starts in a week where the Rams go from here is up to them. They can roll over and die or they can fight for the division. Giving yourself something to play for is not to be taken lightly. The NFL is a tough, punishing league and players need to find motivation somewhere (other than money) to keep them mentally sharp and at their best week in and week out. The same can be said for the coaching staff.
As was the case the last two seasons, all players and coaches are on notice. Starting in Arizona everyone has nine games remaining to convince Mr. Kroenke they should be here next year. There may not be any sure wins on the schedule but that does not mean there are not winnable games. Teams often play tougher against their division and with the Rams still having all six division games ahead of them there is something that can still be salvaged from this wreck of a season.
Let’s take a look at the numbers.
22nd in offense with 19.3 points per game & 339 yards of total offense.
28th in defense with 25.5 points allowed per game & 388 yards allowed.
27th in offense with 16.2 points per game & 308 yards of total offense.
9th in defense with 20 points allowed per game & 291 yards allowed.
27th in offense with 16.2 points per game & 263 yards of total offense.
11th in defense with 21.3 points allowed per game & 355 yards allowed.
5th in offense with 27.8 points per game & 303 yards of total offense.
2nd in defense with 16.2 points allowed per game &336 yards allowed.
17th in offense with 19.3 points per game & 327 yards of total offense.
4th in defense with 18.5 points allowed per game & 279 yards allowed.
19th in offense with 21.6 points per game & 383 yards of total offense.
3rd in defense with 17.4 points allowed per game & 279 yards allowed.
The second season starts November 6th at Arizona. What the Rams do next and where they go from here is up to them.