The Rams came out flat against the Dallas Cowboys and the Cowboys pounced immediately through a 91 yard touchdown run by DeMarco Murray. The Cowboys didn’t look back from there and the Rams made it as easy as possible for them. One of Head Coach Steve Spagnoulo’s tenets with his Rams defense is stopping the run and the Rams allowed 294 yards rushing. Again and again, the Rams defense is exposed as over again through the run to the left, right and middle. Fred Robbins has regressed from last year’s one year wonder. Justin Bannan hasn’t been the presence in the middle against the run the Rams needed. Chris Long and James Hall have been invisible or wiped out of the game by all the oppositions offensive lines. I can’t restate this enough. The Rams number 1 goal is to stop the run and they allow rookie DeMarco Murray making his first start to set the Cowboys franchise record for rushing yards with 253 yards rushing.
The Rams continue to fail at everything they touch. They brought in 3 new OLBs this offseason to improve their run defense and play against tight ends. By the 2nd quarter of the 7th game, they were back to Kehl and Chamberlain, the OLBs who failed at the end of last year. They make a great screen pass to Cadillac Williams, who promptly fumbles the ball back to the Cowboys. They pin the opposition inside the 5 yard line and allow a 91 yard run two plays later. It would take forever to list the players who have taken a step back this year, including every player on the defensive line.
Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo has had three seasons to build his ideal defense and this is what he gives the fans of the St. Louis Rams. You have a defensive head coach who’s defense is worst in the league by the traditional numbers and 2nd to last in the league by Football Outsiders DVOA. (Could be last this week after this beatdown.) The team, by all appearances has laid down and are incapable of playing hard for their head coach. It is not a stretch to say that Spagnuolo has lost this team full of less than NFL quality players and underacheivers.
The Rams started backup quarterback AJ Feeley who looked as out of sync and discombobulated as you would expect a backup quarterback to be with just 1 week of practice with the first team. The Rams also started Brandon Lloyd and Danario Alexander at wide receiver, two players that are best when they are going deep, however, Feeley has never had the arm nor the system fit to throw deep.
Needless to say, there will be a lot of Rams fans headed to the Dome next week (and a lot staying home) with eggs and tomatoes ready to take their frustrations out on another pathetic and sad Rams squad. It is not really about losing, because fans of the Rams are used to losing, but the way this incarnation of the Rams lose is really pathetic. They don’t present a challenge to good teams, instead rolling over within the 1st quarter and presenting no ability to pose a comeback.
At this point the finger has to point squarely at every player and every coach in the football operations part of the franchise. They have failed in drafting, developing, coaching, adjusting and everywhere in between. We all believed that we were past the dysfunctional time in the Rams history, but it looks like we are back there again. No player, coach, scout or executive should be able to escape scrutiny based on the play that they are putting on the field week after week and attempting to call it football.