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Monday, October 15, 2012

Cruddy: Rams simply need more play-makers

Statistically speaking, the St. Louis Rams dominated the Miami Dolphins on Sunday afternoon in South Florida.  Unfortunately, the result did not reflect what happened on the field as the Rams lost 17-14 to the Dolphins.

Despite racking up 462 yards of total offense, versus just 192 for the Dolphins, the Rams were only able to muster 14 points and lost their third road game of the season. 

Quarterback Sam Bradford played well, throwing for 315 yards while completing sixty six percent of his passes.  The two-headed running attack of Steven Jackson and Daryl Richardson ran the ball tough and effectively for 128 yards on 23 attempts.   

So why the disparity?  Why the seemingly dominant performance yardage wise without any results on the scoreboard or in the win column?  What held the Rams back on Sunday in what should have been a win?

The Rams, despite using several draft picks on the offensive side of the ball the past two season, still do not have a game-changing play-maker for Sam Bradford to get the ball too in the red zone and convert field goals into touchdowns.  

The Rams do not have a guy who can make a freakish athletic play down the field.  I know Brandon Gibson made an incredible one-handed stab in the fourth quarter, but I am talking about a truly dynamic weapon.  A weapon that can turn a simple bubble screen into an eighty yard touchdown. 

The Rams are stacked with nice possession style receivers.  Receivers who can get open and make themselves available in space.  But that does not help you in the red zone, where the Rams scored just one touchdown in three visits, where space is limited and a superior athlete can rise above the pack and make the  play under pressure.  

Rookie Chris Givens shows flashes of being a nice down field receiver, but he looks more like former Rams second round pick Donnie Avery that he does explosive Baltimore Ravens receiver Torry Smith. 

The Rams other rookie wide receiver, Brian Quick, is a physical specimen, but he looks timid and lost when given an opportunity. 

Sure the Rams missed Danny Amendola on Sunday, but even Amendola is more of a possession receiver than someone who could break a big play.  

Sam Bradford played great on Sunday.  His offensive line did a decent job as well.  But until somebody can start making plays down the field and in the red zone, the Rams will continue to struggle in winnable games like the one they lost Sunday in Miami.