There are plenty of reasons to be enthusiastic if you are a St. Louis Rams fan at this point in the season. The team had won more games than it did during the entire 2011 campaign by week five and things were really looking up under the new Jeff Fisher regime.
Now at the season’s midway point, the Rams are on the bye and on a three-game losing streak that has been marred by penalties and undisciplined football in a variety of aspects. Missed assignments and blown coverages have highlighted the losses for the squad and those areas must get cleaned up if they want to get back into the win column.
After being above .500 for the first time since 2006 following week five, the team’s rocky slip back to reality has been hard to watch. Fisher is still very high on his team despite their recent struggles though as he said: “No, we had high expectations and we didn’t meet them. We got to a point where we were 3-2 and looked back and said, ‘Gosh, if we would have made a play it would have been different.’ We’ve lost three straight now, against two very, very good teams. We’ve got to bounce back and find a way to win the next game.”
What the team has realized more than anything is that they are still a significant step below the league’s upper-echelon of teams. The defense ranked in the top 10 after their sixth game, but after contests with the Aaron Rodgers led Green Bay Packers and Tom Brady’s New England Patriots, the statistics have turned south.
While there are no excuses, this team has been depleted by injuries on the offensive side of the football as well. 21 different players have started on offense which is the highest total in the league to this point in the year. With that unfamiliarity comes unavoidable errors from procedure penalties to missed blocking assignments to incorrect routes being ran by receivers.
Now what the team needs most is to recharge its batteries during this week off and come back with a replenished lineup. As Fisher said, a win coming out of the bye would do a great deal for this club’s confidence and with a renewed sense of direction, that feeling of accomplishment and success from early in the year isn’t really too far away.
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