Have you figured out the St. Louis Rams yet?
When you thought that they were turning the corner to become a strong NFL team, they look anemic. But when you’re just about to call them the “same old Rams,” they turn around and play impressive ball against the San Francisco 49ers.
I’m really starting to believe that the Rams are improving and you can take Sunday’s road game in Buffalo as an example.
If the Rams had kryptonite, it was the AFC East. The Rams looked very poor in “home” losses to the New England Patriots and New York Jets. Of course, the “home” game against the Patriots was played in Wembley Stadium in London in a downpour, hardly “home” conditions for the Rams.
But, on Sunday, the Rams managed to take one from another AFC East team, Buffalo. And they pulled off another rally to do it.
Jeff Fisher has done a strong job of doing a quick rebuild with the Rams. The team’s defense is stout and the strongest point of the squad. Special teams also have been a key for the Rams this season. Greg Zurlein has won the NFC special teams player of the week award twice and Johnny Hekker has won it once.
Right now, the weak link is the offense, particularly the passing game. But it seems that the Rams are able to put things together at the right moments to pick up wins.
In the victories over the Bills and the 49ers, the defense deserves most of the praise, but they were able to keep the games close enough for the offense to be able to finally pull things together and win.
However, if the Rams want to be taken as a serious contender, they’re going to have to play much more consistently on offense. The defense and Zurliene won’t always be able to bail out the team in games.
The Rams still have an outside shot at making the playoffs if they can win their final games, starting with Sunday’s home finale against Minnesota. Winning out is going to be tougher than it sounds. The Vikings are 7-6 and have a very strong rushing attack with Adrian Peterson. The final two games are on the road at Tampa Bay and Seattle. And everyone knows that Seattle can be an extremely difficult place to win. The Rams had a chance to clinch a playoff berth there two seasons ago, but lost in Seattle on the final week of the season.
Folks should face facts and acknowledge that this probably won’t be the year the Rams return to the playoffs. But, with Fisher and company working hard to improve the team and its overall approach to the game, the time for the Rams to be taken as a serious postseason contender aren’t far away.