The Rams needed to make a stand Sunday to show their fans – and themselves – that progress is coming with the New Regime.
They failed dismally. Some faces changed in this defeat, but familiar problems remained.
The Rams staggered to their 13th loss in a row and 30th in 35 games, falling to the Packers 36-17 in their home opener at the Edward Jones Dome on Sunday.
“I was disappointed with the result, but I wasn’t disappointed with the effort,” coach Steve Spagnuolo said after the game, repeating his familiar refrain.
With a horrific offensive start, the Rams fell behind 16-0 less than six minutes into the second quarter. They got a spark when quarterback Kyle Boller replaced starter Marc Bulger — who departed with a bruised shoulder.
The Rams fought back to cut Green Bay’s lead to 23-17 . . . and then their comeback bid ran out of steam.
The Rams got two TD receptions by tight end Daniel Fells, 163 total yards from Steven Jackson, 187 return yards from Danny Amendola and a 53-yard field by Josh Brown.
And now the bad news:
- Bulger and Jackson turned the ball over with first-quarter fumbles. Both mishaps put the Packers into scoring position.
- Brown had a 48-yard field goal attempt blocked.
- Despite his two TD passes, Boller finished with a dreary passer rating of 75.2. He misfired on 15 of 31 passes and threw a late interception.
- Working against the makeshift Packers line, the Rams front seven didn’t apply much pass pressure. These guys let Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers break containment and scramble for 40 yards and a touchdown.
- Overall, the Rams defense allowed 402 yards as Rodgers posted a passer rating of 126.9. He kept bombing away, hitting one big play after another in the Rams secondary.
“You try to bounce back after those big plays, but they kill you,” Spagnuolo said.
Top Rams wide receiver Laurent Robinson left the game with an ankle injury and starting safety James Butler suffered an MCL injury. Those injuries left a bad team even more shorthanded.
“Laurent had done some good things for us in some key situations,” Spagnuolo said. “We’ll have to have other guys step up.”
And Butler, Spagnuolo said, “he kind of runs the show back there.”
So the Rams, 0-3, sank to the very bottom of the NFL. The Detroit Lions won today, so there can be no team worse than this one.
Spagnuolo says he doesn’t want to discuss the past, but he has done nothing to this point to break the three-year pattern of failure.