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Lack of Talent Dooms Rams in Pittsburgh: Fan’s Reaction
On Saturday, Dec. 24, the St. Louis Rams were shut out for the second time this season in a 27-0 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. With the defeat, the Rams are tied with the Indianapolis Colts for the worst record in the NFL at 2-13.
Throughout the season, I've been able to pinpoint different reasons for the Rams' failures. It's easy for me to blame injuries, bad coaching and poor discipline for the team's problems, but that wouldn't necessarily be true. The Rams have dealt with all of those factors, but if there was one thing that I saw during the Steelers game, it was the lack of talent that hurt the team.
Some of the club's issues do come back to injuries, especially in the secondary. Yet, most of the Rams' defensive line and linebackers are healthy, but they still can't stop the run. The team doesn't have the speed to pursue opposing running backs on the edges, and there isn't enough size and skill in the trenches to stop runners going up the middle. The Steelers took advantage of those weaknesses early and often against the Rams, and injuries had nothing to do with it.
When I look at the Steelers, I see two talented speed receivers, Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown, who are able to get separation from cornerbacks and find holes in a defense's secondary. However, the Rams don't have that kind of speed. Brandon Lloyd is the best receiver St. Louis has to offer this season, but he's not a burner. Lloyd finds a way to get open, but you won't see him out run many defensive backs. The Rams didn't have that type of speed when Danny Amendola and Greg Salas were healthy, and they don't now. That's not a coaching problem. Steve Spagnuolo can't make his players faster.
There's a huge talent disparity between the two club's rosters, and in the end, that's what beat the Rams. The team didn't commit one turnover, and the Rams were penalized just four times in the game. However, without sufficient talent on both sides of the ball, St. Louis didn't stand a chance against a Pittsburgh team missing its star quarterback.
I'm not trying to defend Spagnuolo or the Rams players. This team should have performed better this season than it did. However, this team needs help up and down the roster. Hopefully, that will change with the 2012 draft class, but for the time being, the Rams don't have the talent to compete with most of the NFL.
Derek Ciapala has been a Rams fan since he was a child and the team was in Los Angeles. His favorite Rams moments include Flipper Anderson's 336-yard receiving night against the Saints in 1989, and their miracle 1999 run to their first Super Bowl victory. You can follow him on Twitter @dciapala.
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