2007 Rams, 2010 Browns…WTF? The 2011 Rams should have been a game where The New Orleans Saints dominated from start to finish. Only seven days off the 62-7 spanking of the Colts, we got shut out for nearly three quarters of football. Instead of showing the NFL that we are a team in the hunt for another title, we showed the league that we have some serious problems. When an 0-6 team runs all over you and your offense can’t run for more than 60 yards in a game, you have some issues. The defense bent and bent again. The offense sputtered and sputtered some more. We gave up 6 sacks, 323 net yards….183 on the ground and 31 points. We gave up a blocked punt and threw another two interceptions, one resulting in a pick-six. They went for it on fourth and two TWICE and got both of them!
All of that being said, I don’t even really care about the loss. I can handle 5-3 in the lead in the division. There is lots of football yet to be played. We have two division games in the next two weeks and have the opportunity to start to peel away from the NFC South. It’s not the tick in the “L” column that upsets me. What leaves me spinning in my sleep and snarling at my cup of coffee this morning was the seeming lack of energy on our side of the ball.
Where the hell is the fire? Where is the hurry up offense? Where is the occasional no huddle? Why are we running on first down when it’s netting us nothing? Where is the half time adjustment? Where is the tackling and the ball-hawking? Why aren’t OUR GUYS getting fired up on the sideline and getting in each other’s faces about missing plays and missing assignments? Why don’t we match the energy of an 0-6 team. They have nothing to lose…and we have a lot to lose! Why weren’t we fired up for this game? Where was our Jimmy Graham moment? Where was the big hit from the defense to get the crowd out of it? Coach Payton didn’t leave the booth during half-time. I would love to hear that he hobbled to the locker room just in time to give his team a lashing after a scoreless half. It would have been symbolic!
I’m not writing the Saints off. We have a great team. When we play well, no one can stop us. We were close to beating the reigning champs, but we lost to a Bucs team that we should have man-handled and a Rams team that is going to call this their shining moment of the year. If we want to be champions again we can’t lose to teams like that. We need to dominate them. It is my personal belief that all we need is some fire in the belly! I believe that the only reason that we lost yesterday is that they wanted more than we did. Not that we didn’t want it….they just wanted it more. And that’s all it is…who wants it most and how hard are you willing to fight for it!!