Rams post shutout?

By Steve Reynolds  |   Monday, December 18, 2006  |  Comments( 4 )

St. Louis Rams
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Victory, decisive and unrelenting, was garnered by the Rams Sunday. So dominant was their win, the Rams allowed nary a single point to be posted by their opponents. Rams fans across the nation can rejoice in the exaltation of glorious victory before reading the recaps and realizing:

It was only the Raiders.

Raider Nation members who were able to post bond in time for kickoff were treated to a war between two teams that were desperate not only for a win, but for anything positive with which to build upon for next season.

The classic confrontation for who's less inept was waged on Sunday in the home of all things silver and black. As it turns out, the Rams were the team that was able to avoid losing and pulled out a quasi-decisive 20-0 victory over an even more hapless foe.

Marc Bulger observed, "Around halftime, we figured out they were struggling on offense." Thus, with an insurmountable 6-0 lead at the half, the Rams began running the clock out with the tandem rushing attack of Steven Jackson and Matt Turk.

OK, so Turk is the punter, but this detail just goes to show that on a day where even the Rams special teams can get away with big plays, St. Louis could do very little wrong. The Rams' defense was stout for a change, holding Justin Fargas to a mere 43 yards rushing and harassing the Oakland quarterbacks all day. The Rams flashed the turnover-happy, defensive dominance unseen since opening day against the Broncos. However, in reality, they shouldn't think they've even begun to fix their broken defense, because:

It was only the Raiders.

In all fairness, the Raiders aren't actually that bad: They lost a closely contested battle with the Chargers, nearly beat the Broncos and Chiefs, and lost to the Texans at home...

OK, maybe they are that bad.

The only thing Steven Jackson truly had to fear Sunday afternoon was nearly being showered in yellowish-brown liquid by Black Hole members who flung cups of, one hopes was only beer, at the running back after each of his touchdown runs.

Even with an injury-riddled O-line that featured only a single man playing in his starting spot, the Rams' offense played well. Bulger absorbed a few too many sacks, but they were more often than not a result of his holding the ball too long. The line opened up holes for Jackson and St. Louis protected the ball all afternoon. However, the Rams' offense was guilty of far too many penalties (I can't recall, but I believe Alex Barron was flagged for a false start walking to the huddle).

For possibly the first time this year, the Rams played reasonably well in all three phases of the game. Players and fans alike can feel good about a St. Louis team that walked away with its first decisive victory of the season. Indeed, the Rams finally have a performance from which to build upon for the remainder of the year, as well as next season. However, let us not forget to temper those joyful feelings with a healthy dosage of reality, folks, because, after all:

It was only the Raiders.
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