Friday, December 22, 2006

5 Questions with the Rams

It's Week 16 and our suffering is almost over. This week the Redskins travel to St. Louis to take on the "Greatest Could Be Worse Show on Turf" St. Louis Rams. Here to answer our questions about the Rams is Van Ram of Turf Show Times. You can read my answers to Van Ram's questions at this link.

Curly R: The Rams came out strong, winning 4 of their first 5 games. Then they went on a streak of 7 losses in 8 games. What went wrong?

Van Ram: If you go back and look at those games one thing that really stands out is the turnover ratio. The Rams defense – which has been our biggest weakness this season – played aggressive, mistake-free football and forced key turnovers that the offense were usually able to capitalize on with a score of some sort. At the very least, the turnovers kept the defense off the field. In the wins over Arizona and Green Bay, late game turnovers foiled opponents’ drives that would have given them the last chance to score in regulation.

Curly R: Marc Bulger, Torry Holt and Issac Bruce have had great careers with the Rams, but this team hasn't surfaced above .500 in three seasons now. Is it time to blow up the offense and go into rebuilding mode?

Van Ram: The offense is fine. It’s been mediocre at times this season, and has had to suffer through some big losses (i.e. Orlando Pace) this season too. Bulger’s 29 and Holt’s 30, so they have some good years left. Bruce is long in the tooth and I suspect he’ll retire after this season. Kevin Curtis is a solid receiver, who will be more than just a replacement for Bruce. The defense desperately needs the overhaul. Outside of Leonard Little, Will Witherspoon, and Pisa Tinoisamoa, there’s very little talent on the line. Trading one of those players you mentioned is off the table, so the biggest part of our rebuilding will come via the draft and free agency.

Curly R: The Redskins signed former Ram Adam "Arch Deluxe" Archuleta to a ridiculous contract worth $10 million in guaranteed money. He's been a huge bust this year and has been relegated to special teams duty. Any chance the Rams might want him back? Please?

Van Ram: No thanks.

Curly R: The St. Louis Cardinals football team left town for Phoenix in 1987. The L.A. Rams came to town in 1995 and kept the Rams name and logo. Was there any movement to restore the Cardinals name and logo to the St. Louis franchise. I can think of nothing cooler than having a baseball and football team in the same town have the same name and mascot.

Van Ram: It was cool to have both teams named the “Cardinals” back in the day, but I don’t think there was any organized effort to force a name change when the Rams came to town. There are still LOTS of area football fans that remained loyal to the Cardinals.

Curly R: The Rams have shown flashes of brilliance, but have tossed up some huge stinkers to the Cardinals and the Niners (twice). Is there any hope of beating the somewhat-revived Redskins offense and defense?

Van Ram: There is such hope. With Bulger and those receivers the coaches will be looking at that Redskins secondary that gave up so many big plays this season. The catch here is the new offensive line. Pass protection hasn’t been their strong suit, so the pass rush could really wreck havoc on the Rams. The line has blocked well for Steven Jackson these last few weeks, so the threat of the run could really keep them off the pass rush.

For the ‘Skins offense, let me offer you one word of advice: run. The Rams run defense has been terrible. They stepped it up against the dysfunctional Raiders offense, so perhaps they’ll be buoyed by their success. When Santa rolls down the chimney for this game he might bring lots of offense for fans of both teams. Coaches on both sides will be hoping he doesn’t bring them a pink slip.