The good news coming out of the Edward Jones Dome, where the St. Louis Rams lost 34-27 against their bitter rival in the San Francisco 49ers was that the Rams miserable 2011 season was finally over on the first day of 2012. The bad news was that the Indianapolis Colts also lost, which eliminated the Rams from contention for the number 1 overall selection in the 2012 NFL Draft. The Rams settled for the second overall selection as Rams fans ended the game looking forward the Black Monday and how owner Stan Kroenke will plot the future of the Rams franchise.
Back to the game, the Rams jumped out to a 7-0 lead through a scramble by starting QB Kellen Clemens, but the 49ers quickly matched them through a scramble by their quarterback, Alex Smith. Josh McDaniels and the Rams then called an offensive play that is the leader for the worst play of the season on 3rd and 3. The Rams third-string RB Jerious Norwood was lined up next to Kellen Clemens and the snap went directly to Norwood. Norwood ran right behind the blockers while Clemens ran right. Norwood stopped and skied the pass back to Clemens. Sadly for the Rams, two players were in the area of Kellen Clemens and the pass was intercepted. From that point, it was all 49ers until the Rams frantic comeback was derailed late in the 4th quarter through a holding penalty, a sack and injury to Kellen Clemens. Tom Brandstater threw incomplete twice thanks to a mis-communication and a drop by Danario Alexander.
This next week will be huge for the future of the St. Louis Rams franchise. Will Steve Spagnuolo be fired? Will Billy Devaney? Will Josh McDaniels move on to greener pastures? After this excruciating, painful season, the Rams have the No. 2 overall pick in the draft and lots of intrigue on how their reclusive owner will plot the future of the franchise.