The Saint Louis Rams finished the 2008-09 season with a 2-14 record, good for last place in the NFC West, one of the weakest divisions in the NFL. Still, there were some shining moments, some outstanding individual efforts and some optimistic trends that keep Rams fans encouraged about the future. There are plenty of reasons to start looking at getting some St. Louis Rams tickets for 2009-10, so don’t wait until the last minute.
The Rams opened up the season on the road versus the Philadelphia Eagles, one of the strongest teams in the NFC. It was a 3-38 blowout that did not portend well for the rest of the year. The next game, a home opener versus the defending Super Bowl champions, was similarly disheartening as the Rams lost 13-41 to the new York Giants. In their week five bye week, the Rams were 0-4 and were giving up an average of just under 37 points per game. However, they came out strong in Week six after their break, beating the Washington Redskins 19-17 on the road with a 49-yard game-winning field goal. The momentum carried over as the Rams beat one of the strongest teams in the league, the Dallas Cowboys, 34-14 at home. Even though the Boys were without Tony Romo, the game seems to have been- in retrospect- the highlight of the season for the Rams. The following week the Rams had New England on the ropes and forced the Patriots to come back in the fourth quarter.
Unfortunately the Rams couldn’t hold the tough play through to the end. They were beaten soundly by the Cardinals, Jets, 49ers and Bears in consecutive weeks. Four of the last five games were promising, though. Against the Dolphins, Seahawks, 49ers and Falcons the Rams lost by an average of just a field goal. The close games, in the end, killed the Rams. Despite their much-improved defense in the last few games, the Rams still ended up with only two wins in 2008-09.
Steven Jackson had 1,421 total yards, including 1,042 rushing yards (his fourth consecutive 1,000-yard rushing season) while scoring 8 touchdowns, despite only playing in 12 games. Tory Holt saw a decrease in productivity, although he was still a good fantasy football performer, acquiring 796 receiving yards, with no fumbles and 3 touchdowns. Kick returners Dante Hall and Derek Stanley were always dangerous, averaging over 20 yards per return.
Overall offensive and defensive stats were sub-par. The Rams averaged 14.5 points on offense and gave up 29.1 points on defense, ranking them 30th and 31st in those categories, and contributing to a -233 point differential, only surpassed by the 0-16 Detroit Lions. Mark Bulger threw 13 interceptions and was sacked 38 times. The Rams gave up a total of 2,475 yards rushing, and when their opponents threw the ball, the Rams couldn’t get much of a pass rush going.
Possible Offseason Moves
The Rams should get a good pick or two in the draft, which is one of the few good things about not playing up to your potential. They’ll need to grab some instant playmakers. If the Rams have one thing going for them, its explosive playmakers on offense- like Tory Holt and Steven Jackson. What St. Louis needs is some trench workhorses. Expect the Rams to grab the best available defensive player for their first pick, and then lots and lots of offensive and defensive linemen. If Bulger can get more time, and the Rams can shore up their rush defense, this team could see marked improvement next season. Could there be St. Louis Rams tickets for the playoffs available online? You’ll have to wait and see.