This game showcased why the St. Louis Rams are not a playoff team. At least not this year. With a chance to make up some ground in the Wild Card chase, and the Green Bay Packers giving them a little help handily beating the Chicago Bears, they faltered. So much for the Rams defense stepping it up in the second half of the season.
For once I can’t blame Sam Bradford entirely for the loss. He had a great game (other than his pick 6 and botched snap - expectations not terribly high for Bradford) completing 35/55 passes for a career high 377 yards with 3 TD’s and an interception. It was also the most passing attempts he has had in a single game since his first NFL game back in 2010. Brandon Gibson had another great game for the Rams, and Danny Amendola’s didn’t look too rusty in his return from injury. Steven Jackson had a good game, averaging 5.6 carries and finishing the day with 73 yards.
The entire Rams offense played well today, offensive line aside. Bradford was sacked 4 times on the day, which leaves me wondering if maybe they paid a little too much attention to Jared Allen. The offensive line at the very least kept him in check, rendering the prolific defensive end a non-factor for the most of the game.
As for the group on the Rams that is responsible for this loss. The defense. We all get it, Adrian Peterson is an otherworldly talent. Stopping him is borderline impossible. Letting him get 200 yards though, is unacceptable. They were able to shut down Christian Ponder, but then again who hasn’t done that this season? They didn’t force turnovers from the mercurial quarterback though, and that was the difference in this ball game.
The Rams playoffs hopes may have vanished with this game, but there is still a lot to play for this season. Like a lot of young teams they struggle with consistency, and seem to always play worse against middle of the pack teams like the Vikings. Hard to win games if you can’t stop the run, and that was certainly the case yesterday. Better luck next year Rams.