Why Rams Fans Still Shouldn't Be Excited
The St. Louis Rams won a game. Hoo-ray.
Now let me tell you why I'm not excited about it, and why you shouldn't be either.
|Steven Jackson runs for a 17 yard gain against a werewolf.|
Okay, wait. You know what? That's too quick. I should probably take a second to properly celebrate this victory. After all, whether it was pretty or not, a good game or not, or even watchable football or not, the Rams are not going to go 0-16 this year. That is pretty awesome.
Steven Jackson is the fucking man. That's really all there is to it. He's a goddamned beast. If he were a Marvel character, he would be Juggernaut. If he were a DC character, he'd probably be Doomsday. If he were a creature in Dungeons and Dragons, he would be the Tarrasque.
That's right, folks. You just read the single nerdiest reference ever made in a sports column. It followed two other painfully nerdy references, and immediately made them completely obsolete with its off-the-charts geek resonance. I'm proud of myself.
So three cheers for Steven Jackson and the Rams. They finally won a game.
There. Now that that's out of the way, on to the downer portion of today's column.Reason one not to be excited: It was the Lions, after all.
Look, it had to happen at some point in time. The Rams were eventually going to run into a football team even worse than themselves. It's sort of the old immovable object/ irresistible object debate: when two teams this bad meet up, is it possible for neither of them to win?
Now, don't get me wrong; I actually think the Lions are probably a bit more talented team than the Rams. Each team has one real game-changer; the Rams have Jackson, the Lions have Calvin Johnson, their all-everything wide receiver. Of course, Johnson isn't healthy at the moment, so the Rams have the edge there, but overall, I'm not sure I don't think the Lions are a better team. Really, though, it's tough to judge when you get down to this level.
Reason two not to be excited: The Steven Jackson Show needs a supporting cast.
Let's face it: the Rams didn't really beat the Lions. Steven Jackson and the middle of the O-line beat the Lions. Jackson rushed for 149 yards and added three catches for 17 yards. That accounted for right in the neighborhood of 45% of the team's total yardage. Like I said earlier, Jackson is a monster, and it's remarkable to see what he's managed to accomplish this year with almost no help whatsoever, but he simply can't put the team on his shoulders and carry them to victory every single week. At some point in time, the rest of this benighted offense is going to have to wake up and do something, anything, to justify being on the field.
Reason three not to be excited: Marc Bulger is still, sadly, Marc Bulger.
The Rams scored exactly one offensive touchdown on Sunday, and it came by way of the aforementioned Eater of Yards and Worlds, Steven Jackson. There was a touchdown pass thrown, but it didn't come from the hand of the Rams' quarterback. No, the only touchdown pass the Rams threw on the day came from Josh Brown, the Rams' kicker. I will say this: that fake field goal was a brilliant little bit of misdirection, and I take my hat off to whoever it was on the coaching staff who first thought up that gambit and to Coach Spagnuolo for having the requisite balls to call it. Nonetheless, I've come up with a new rule of thumb: when your place kicker has more TD passes than your quarterback, you probably had a bad day.
Bulger's overall line for the day reads as follows: 17/35, 176 yds, 0 TDs, 1 INT. That's a completion percentage of 48.6% and a passer rating of 51.6. Really, the one and only positive on the day from the quarterback position was how clean Marc's jersey was at the end of the day. He wasn't sacked a single time; was rarely even hurried, for the most part. And still those are the numbers. I just hope one of the college QBs separates himself from the pack before the draft, because the Rams need a new one, desperately. (And for the love of god, not Tim F. Tebow.)
So there you go. Three good reasons not to be at all excited about the Rams' win over the Detroit Lions. It was a crappy game between two awful, awful teams, and those of you out there celebrating the Rams turning the corner are just fooling yourselves.
And now, all that being said, I'll admit I'm a little stoked myself. The offensive line was brilliant (and after seeing how well they can play without Richie Incognito, I'm now hoping we can just end the Incognito Era in St. Louis), the defense played well, if unspectacularly (though the interception-turned-safety was one of the more entertaining plays I've witnessed in a while), and Steven Jackson is still the fucking man. So yeah, I'm a little excited. Even though I totally know better.