This game reminds me a lot of the Detroit game from last year. And a little like every Rams game we’ve played in the last five years.
You get no kudos for beating the Rams. No accolades. It’s just something you have to do. Like cleaning up a messy kitchen before you make a big meal.
You LOSE to the Rams, though, and people start to write you off like you’re the Redskins or something.
This is a team that’s been in decline for quite some time. The last time they were good was way back in 2004 when they beat us three times, including in the first round of the playoffs thanks to our rediculously bad secondary. Starting in 2005 (when we went to the Super Bowl … sigh), we’ve yet to lose to the Rams, as their downward trajectory went into full spiral mode. Since then, their talent has either escaped the clutches of St. Louis, or has withered and aged like so many great teams do when they try to cling too long to “Competing”.
In 2009, the Rams won one game. In 2008, the Rams won two games. In 2007, the Rams won three games. Thought the Seahawks have had it rough? The Rams haven’t had a winning season since 2003! And they don’t look to be having one any time soon.
Getting down to brass tax, they’re starting a rookie quarterback. Their offensive line is chock full of nobodies. Their wide receivers are a cavalcade of losers nobody else wants. Their running back is a stud of all studs … but he’s nursing a groin injury and probably won’t play this week.
There, how’s that?
Their D-Line is nothing special, they’re pretty solid in the linebackers (kinda like we’re pretty solid in the linebackers), and the team’s best player is Free Safety Oshiomogho Atogwe (who’s also, not for nothing, a little banged up).
All important division game, vs. a team we’ve handled the last 10 times, with a lineup of losers either inexperienced or just plain bad = 1 Must Win. Can’t break it down any simpler than that.
It’s too early to say the Season Rides On This Game, but let’s face it, it kinda does. You gotta beat the teams you’re supposed to beat. Fail in that, and you might as well start looking to next year.