posted on December 31, 2012 10:46
The Rams finished their season with a losing a record at 7-8-1. It was a fitting end to the season.
Let's dive in.
1. RAMS FINAL DRIVE WAS AN ABOMINATION
At the start of the drive, Sam Bradford was having himself a good ballgame. He was 23/34 for 232 yards and one touchdown, good for a passer rating of 95. This would have been Bradford's seventh game of the year in which he finished above the 90.0 threshold (otherwise known as "this quarterback played really well" territory).
Things went south quickly, however. Bradford completed 2/8 passes for 20 yards on the game's final drive. The final pass ended with a Richard Sherman interception. It was a great play by Sherman, who just swooped in and snatched the ball in front of the intended receiver Austin Pettis.
It looked like Bradford had Danny Amendola open but he seemed to make up his mind where he was going. This is hopefully something Bradford will expunge from his playbook in 2013. Bradford locks on to receivers in certain situations. If he's going for a touchdown, it's the new target Austin Pettis. If he's going for a first down on third down, he locks on Danny Amendola.
In the end, Bradford produced a sub-par 74.5 passer rating.
2. THE RAMS OFFENSIVE LINE PERFORMED WELL AGAIN
For the second straight game, Sam Bradford was not sacked. This follows a string of 30 consecutive games where Bradford was sacked at least once.
Unfortunately, Bradford's overall body of work in the two games isn't that great. He's completed 38/69 passes for 448 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions.
The offensive line did a good job in the run game for the most part. The trio of Jackson/Pead/Richardson combined for 18 carries and 73 yards (4.0 Yards Per Attempt) against a ferocious Seahawks defense.
3. WHEN IT COMES TO SACKS THE RAMS HAVE RUSSELL WILSON'S NUMBER
It might seem weird to read that but consider that Russell Wilson was sacked 25 times in 14 games in 2012 against teams other than the Rams. In his two games against St. Louis, he's been sacked eight times. The Rams sacked Wilson six times Sunday. It was their pressure that kept the team in the game for four quarters.
However, Wilson is so freaking good that he still completed 15/19 passes for 250 yards and one touchdown in Week 17. He also rushed for the game-winning touchdown and finished with 58 yards on 10 rushes.
4. NO ONE KNOWS HOW GOOD RUSSELL WILSON IS GOING TO BE
The Rams are in for a fight for the next several years trying to figure out how to defeat this guy. Yesterday, Wilson tied Peyton Manning's rookie record for touchdown passes with 26. He also rushed for four touchdowns during the season.
He finished the year with a pristine 100.0 passer rating. Bradford is stuck behind Wilson and Colin Kaepernick in the NFC West QB race.
Surround Bradford with more weapons in 2013 and the excuses will be thrown out the window.
Just to be on the safe side, the Rams need to draft a QB in 2013.
5. HOW ABOUT THOSE FORMER RAMS IN WEEK 17
Instead of harping on the Bradford situation, let's turn our attention to the former Rams who made headlines in Week 17. It's a cathartic form of celebration because regardless of the Rams quarterback situation, the team is on the right path. Given the influx of talent (and make no mistake, the team needs more talent still) and the 7-8-1 record, I trust that the Fisher regime will remedy the QB situation if and when necessary.
Steve Spagnuolo - The New Orleans Saints set a record in Week 17 for the most yards ever given up by a defense in a single season. The team also yielded 454 points, which is second worst behind the Tennessee Titans. In defense of Spagnuolo's defense, the Saints didn't have Will Smith, Jonathan Vilma or Anthony Hargrove for chunks of the season thanks to Roger Goodell's bounty ruling.
Pat Shurmur - The Browns lost and finished the season 5-11. After two years and 9 wins, Shurmur has been fired. Big shock there. What the heck were the Browns thinking when they hired him?
In a moment of Spagnuolo-ism, Shurmur beamed with pride in a statement released by the team:
"I am extremely proud of the players on this team, who I felt made tremendous strides and helped to make the Cleveland Browns relevant again. I am disappointed that we did not win more games, but I do know the Browns are on their way to becoming a consistent winner."
Relevant again??? Wow.
Keith Toston - Toston bounced around on the Rams practice squad and active roster during the Devaney/Spagnuolo era. On Sunday, Toston rushed for 74 yards on 17 carries for the hapless Jacksonville Jaguars. Goodness; things are bleak at the present moment for Mr. Lamping.
That's enough former Rams reporting. I'm feeling nauseous and having severe flashbacks right now.