The Rams played better in week 4 against the surging Buffalo Bills, but fell apart in the fourth quarter and second half as the Bills ran away with the game. The Rams came out flying and were able to score 14 points in the first half and take their first lead of the season. The Rams offensive line played better in spurts, but were unable to keep new quarterback Trent Green off the turf.
The Rams came out fast with very aggressive play-calling by offensive coordinator Al Saunders and scored on a 37 yard end around by rookie wide receiver Donnie Avery. The Rams mostly kept the ball on the ground with Steven Jackson and soon Jackson was able to get into the end zone himself on a 29 yard touchdown run in the 2nd quarter.
The Rams defense played slightly better in the first half and were able to keep the Bills out of the end zone for the first half. The Rams pass defense was gashed on a few occasions, but the Rams were able to generate pressure on the Bills play caller, Trent Edwards. The Rams defensive line was bolstered by the return of defensive end Leonard Little, who had 2 sacks. Rookie Chris Long also added a sack. The Rams were able to generate pressure with the blitz and rattled Trent Edwards in the first half.
The second half was a completely different story as the Rams tackling woes and trouble with wide receivers continued. Starting corner back Tye Hill left the game in the first half with an injury and new Ram Jason Craft was exposed in the second half. The Rams could not run the ball in the second half as Buffalo focused on stopping the run. Trent Green tried to bring the Rams back, but he threw a third quarter interception that was returned for a touchdown.
The Rams followed their standard 2007 and 2008 script in which they were able to keep a game close in the first half and possibly hold a lead at half time, but were blown out in the second half and especially the fourth quarter. Even though the Rams came out with more fight at the start of the game, they still were unable to sustain that fight in the second half. The Rams were also unable to regain their fight when they were pushed by Buffalo.
What does this mean for Scott Linehan? The Rams were competitive for two, maybe two and a half quarters, but at the end of the day, the Rams were more than doubled up by the Bills. Boos still rained down on the Rams from the seats of the Edwards Jones Dome. So, even as more things changed in this game, plenty of things stayed the same for the Rams in 2008. The Rams are still 3-17 in their past 20 games, and that is a very bad sign for Scott Linehan.