The NFC West proved to be one of the toughest divisions in the NFL last season. The St. Louis Rams, who play in the West, are a young team that is trying to build on last year’s 7-8-1 record and improve this season. But so far, the team is starting to look like the typical St. Louis Rams of old.
The Rams went into Dallas this past weekend expecting to play a tough, but close game against the Cowboys. The game plan for the Rams’ front seven was to clog the line and shut down DeMarco Murray and the Dallas running game. Once the run game is taken out of the equation, Tony Romo was going to be pressured all game long, forcing him to make plays out of the pocket. The Rams’ pass rushing attack was going to be their key to victory.
Nothing went according to plan.
In a 31-7 victory, the Cowboys went out and had a field day. Murray chose to make this his breakout game of the season as he ran for 175 yards and a touchdown. Tony Romo also had an efficient game as he threw for 210 yards and three touchdowns. The Cowboys picked apart the defense and played a complete game.
On the other side of the ball, the Cowboys defense must have gotten a copy of the Rams’ defensive game plan as they pass rushed with authority and got to Sam Bradford six times. The offensive line had been doing a solid job of protecting the quarterback, and hadn’t surrendered a sack in four games, but Dallas was able to end this streak.
Normally a lot of blame comes down to the quarterback, but outside of the first game against the Arizona Cardinals, the new offensive weapons picked up during the offseason have done nothing to help Bradford. All season long they have dropped big passes when the ball comes their way.
It is still early in the year, but the first quarter of the season has almost come to its conclusion. The Rams face a tough challenge this week as they have a quick turn around and come home to face the San Francisco 49ers on a Thursday night game. The 49ers have not had a good start to the season and will go up against the Rams depleted on both sides of the ball. If the Rams want to turn things around and make a statement, the front seven cannot allow Colin Kaepernick and Frank Gore to run wild on them. Also the Rams’ offensive line will need to protect Bradford and the wideouts need to simply catch the ball.
Every team usually has a hiccup game where no one is on point. For the Rams sake, they are hoping that embarrassing loss against the Cowboys was just that.