Big mistakes, line cost Rams big win
The St. Louis Rams went into Soldier Field in Chicago looking for a big upset win, but key mistakes sent the Rams packing as the Chicago Bears handed them their second loss 23-6. The story of the game is one that has become a common to the fans of St. Louis, penalties and offensive line play, and key wide receiving drops. Painful is the only way to describe what happened to the hopeful Rams, as they played a close game until the end of the last quarter. At the end of the day the Bears dominated the Rams in what could have been a much closer game then it was.
The Ram defense played very well led by two sacks by Chris Long, and the Courtland Finnegan single interception. Somehow the defense was able to hold the Chicago to only one offensive touchdown. That should be enough to win, but the defense spent most of the first half on the field, and became noticeably tired by the end of the half. The Rams were able to get pressure on Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, but only enough to force one interception, and allowing Cutler to rush for a 21 yard scamper that broke the backs of the Rams defense on third and long, leading to the sole Chicago offensive touchdown. It was key penalties which led to the Rams defensive demise. Two unnecessary roughness personal fouls, once on fourth down while the Bears were punting and again on third down which would have forced a punt, the Rams extended both drives which led to 10 converted points for the Bears. Without these penalties the Rams could have emerged with a three-point lead going into the second half.
Offensively for the Rams it came down to the offensive line. Quarterback Sam Bradford should have traded his spikes for track shoes as he was chased for all four quarters, as the Chicago defense only had to rush four to pressure Bradford. The Bears sacked Bradford six times, and was relentlessly chasing the Ram quarterback, giving the Ram offense little time to allow plays to develop. The Rams were unable to run the ball, as the Bears defensive line penetrated deeply on each snap, catching would be running back Steven Jackson in the backfield, and allowing the Rams only 59 yards rushing. The offensive line, missing four of five starters, played like the second string group that they are, and were no match for the powerful Chicago Bear defensive line. The poor play of the offensive line, and key drops by the St. Louis wide receiving corps like the Brandon Gibson drop of a perfectly thrown Sam Bradford pass on the 11 yard line, stopped the Rams from even reaching the Red zone.
Would have, could have, should have, is all you could say for the Rams, as they fall to 1-2 on the season. If we would have had our offensive line healthy, if we could have caught our passes and not made stupid penalties, then we should have won in Chicago on Sunday. Things will get no easier for the Rams as they will come back home to host the Seattle Seahawks in the Edward Jones Dome on Sunday. At least the Rams will have time to lick their wounds, and perhaps get a little healthier. The fans of St. Louis have plenty to be excited about, as the Rams are notably better under new head coach Jeff Fisher. They have played better than their record reflects, and you can clearly see the new attitude their head coach has brought to this team. No one in the NFL is taking a game against the Rams for granted, as this team will only become healthier and better as the season progresses.