– For one half Sunday at Soldier Field, the Rams simply couldn’t get out of their own way as they fell behind 10-0 and eventually 10-3 going into the locker room. But despite the mental mistakes, the pass protection breakdowns and the dropped passes, there was a point in the third quarter where the Rams had the ball and were moving it toward what could have been the go ahead points.
– But as they waited for the offense to kick into gear enough to score, it never happened and the Rams ultimately succumbed to the Bears by a score of 23-6. While it won’t have the “what if?” cache that the opener against Detroit could carry, this one was certainly winnable.
– More on the game after we hit the injuries real quick:
Coach Jeff Fisher said the Rams made it through the game relatively clean and actually made mention of the Rams getting healthier, namely on the defensive front.
That means that DTs Michael Brockers and Matt Conrath could be back in the mix next week. Brockers, in particular, seems to be on track. He actually went through a pre-game warmup workout with strength coach Rock Gullickson. It looks good for the prized rookie’s return sooner than later.
– Back to the game, Rams QB Sam Bradford lamented the offense’s inability to find any traction throughout the game. The first half, the Bears seemed to be on the field for most of the time, as they held nearly a nine-minute advantage in time of possession. In spite of that, the Rams were only one score down for the bulk of the game and never trailed by more than 10 until the interception return for a touchdown by S Major Wright to make it 20-6.
– So, what caused the offensive issues? Well, as is probably always going to be the case when you don’t ever venture into your opponent’s red zone, let alone score a touchdown, the blame goes across the board.
– Bradford missed some opportunities and squeezed the ball a bit long on a couple of occasions for sacks. His two interceptions weren’t necessarily mistakes so much as the by product of trying to make something happen. Regardless, he was the first to say that the offensive performance simply wasn’t good enough.
– It was a rough day at the office for the offensive line as Bradford was sacked six times. Those aren’t all on the front five but it still wasn’t good enough against a really good Bears front four. That group couldn’t provide consistent protection for Bradford and didn’t do much in the way of opening holes in the running game. There appeared to be some communication breakdowns as well, which is common with a group that hasn’t played together much.
– The pass catchers also didn’t have their best day as some key drops also denied the offense a chance to find a rhythm.
– RB Steven Jackson played through a groin injury but lamented not having a better performance in his opportunities. He didn’t seem to be at full speed on the occasions there was room to run, either.
– Rookie WR Chris Givens got his first NFL start and extensive playing time. He’ll continue to be more involved as the season goes on.
– Strong performance from the defense, which kept the Rams in the game by limiting Chicago to 274 yards of total offense.
– Another game, another pick by CB Cortland Finnegan. What an addition he’s been.
– Surprised to see CB Janoris Jenkins drop an easy pick early in the game. Could have really set the tone early.
– Not a surprise to see DE Chris Long get his first two sacks of the season. It was just a matter of time.
– Long’s teammates were disappointed they couldn’t help him and get more pressure on Chicago QB Jay Cutler on a consistent basis.
– In unofficial pressbox statistics, LB James Laurinaitis led the way with 11 tackles, all solo.
– It wasn’t a perfect performance as Chicago KR/PR Devin Hester got some opportunities, but Rams P Johnny Hekker did well enough and the coverage units got Hester on the ground without allowing a touchdown. That’s a win.
– Hekker did have one gem, a 56-yard boot that landed just out of bounds. It was pretty much the perfect directional punt.
– We are three weeks into the season and I’m running out of adjectives to describe rookie K Greg Zuerlein. Young G.Z. just doesn’t get fazed by any situation or surface. His two field goals were from a combined distance of 102 yards and he made them look like chip shots. The kid is special, not that we didn’t know that already.
– The Rams now get to work on Seattle, a tough division opponent that will come to St. Louis on short rest. No rest for the Rams, though, as they now dive into NFC West action against two of the league’s toughest defenses. They’ll look for ways to find that offensive rhythm they had against Washington so as not to duplicate what happened Sunday in Chicago.
– Thanks for reading, back tomorrow to wrap this one up with thoughts from Fisher and his day after game news conference.
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