The St. Louis Rams’ trip to London was quite an experience for all of the players and the coaching staff included. After the game took place however, it was an experience that many of them will want to forget. The Rams were thoroughly dominated by the New England Patriots on the field on Sunday and have plenty of areas to work on during the upcoming bye week.
What became apparent fairly early in the contest was that the Rams were simply going to be outclassed in this one. New England came in with a terrific gameplan and executed it to perfection using timely runs to mix up the play calling and keep the St. Louis defense on its heels. Blown coverages again plagued the Rams as there was clear confusion in the secondary on numerous occasions for players who though they had inside help or a safety over the top when that just wasn’t the case.
The defense seemed to experience a real letdown in the second half as they came out of the locker room with very little fire and looked demoralized. That lack of intensity translated into gaping holes in the rush defense and even more yardage piled up by the Pats.
This learning experience didn’t come without one positive on that side of the ball however as linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar was the driving force. He played ferocious defense roaming sideline to sideline and making all kinds of plays while setting a great example to the younger guys on the roster.
Offense was also a bright spot for the Rams as quarterback Sam Bradford was super-efficient completing 23 of 31 attempts. For a team with a makeshift offensive line, this was definitely encouraging. He did throw a late interception, but that was only after the outcome had long ago been decided.
Also heartening was the fifth straight game with a catch for 50 or more yards by rookie speedster Chris Givens. He and Bradford have gained quite a rapport with one another that will only continue to build during the second half of the season.
Although the final score of 45 to 7 may be a bit dispiriting, the Rams head into the bye with plenty of work to do and some real legitimate reason for optimism. Having this litmus test wasn’t the most pleasant experience in the lives of anyone on this Rams’ roster, but now they turn the page and look to come back stronger following the week off.
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