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Monday, November 21, 2011
Around the NFC West: Big Rams questions

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

The St. Louis Rams' futility Sunday and in general does not sit well with anyone in the organization.

I'd be interested in knowing what owner Stan Kroenke is thinking about the team's leadership following a the Rams' 24-7 home defeat to the previously 3-6 Seattle Seahawks.

The team is now averaging 9.9 points per game when Sam Bradford starts at quarterback. For reference, consider that Indianapolis has averaged 12.1 points per game with Curtis Painter starting. The Jacksonville Jaguars have averaged 13.3 points per game with Blaine Gabbert starting.

The Rams have not exceeded 16 points in a game with their starting quarterback in the lineup. That is troubling even though St. Louis has played a tough schedule and suffered quite a few injuries.

Bryan Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Rams fans cannot even muster anger at this point. Burwell: "There was a time in the darkest days of this franchise's decade-long slide into NFL irrelevance when the fans would linger around the end zone tunnel after losses and belch out the worst kind of public frustration at the Rams' failures. But now? Now they just leave. Quietly. It's not with a whimper, but with a disturbing numbness and a conditioned resignation to another lost season." Noted: Apathy is worse than anger for a sports franchise.

Jeff Gordon of stltoday.com says the beatings could be taking a toll on Bradford's psyche. Gordon: "Bradford’s difficult game also included five sacks, two lost fumbles, an interception off another tipped pass and 20 incomplete passes in 40 tries. Working behind a makeshift offensive line, the franchise’s prized asset suffered more physical and emotional torment. Bradford appears perilously close to succumbing to Battered Quarterback Syndrome."

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams' frustrations have reached new highs.

Also from Thomas: The Rams played much of Sunday with Kevin Hughes at left tackle.

Kathleen Nelson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams' defense played pretty well against Seattle. Noted: The Seahawks aren't very good on offense. Their quarterback, Tarvaris Jackson, appears limited by a pectoral injury and isn't a Pro Bowl passer, anyway. Their offensive line was missing two starters. Entering the season, the Rams would have expected their defense to dominate at home against such an opponent.

Nick Wagoner of stlouisrams.com says the team must find ways to score more points. Also from Wagoner: "Bradford discussed what the offense saw on tape of the Seahawks and noted that teams had great success going empty backfield and deploying four and five wide receiver sets. Unfortunately for the Rams, they couldn’t take advantage." Noted: The Rams' injury- and personnel-related problems on the offensive line and at tight end made any strategy risky. The team had been generating yardage on the ground more through scheming than blocking. The Seahawks knew this and felt good about their ability to stop Jackson.