It's safe to say that the Rams have found a new identity in their two-game winning streak. Perhaps better said, they've found an old one.
After opening the season without a known commodity starting at running back, the Rams invested heavily on the perimeter to prepare for an aerial assault helmed by an efficient Sam Bradford. Bradford then averaged 45.5 passing attempts per game through the month of September, but only had 17 points per game to show for it. The Rams were a team that constantly found itself behind in games, throwing to catch up. Moreover, the team didn't have a single rushing touchdown in any of Bradford's starts.
Against the Chicago Bears, though, the new-look Rams showed that they've perfected a much different approach. Backup Kellen Clemens dropped back to throw 24 times, and completed only 10 passes. But he handed off a total of 29 times to a dynamic trio of players in Tavon Austin, Zac Stacy, and Benny Cunningham, and got a total of 261 yards and three touchdowns out of them. The result, despite a series of officiating gaffes that kept Chicago momentarily alive, was a 42-21 blowout win.
This follows a trend that started in a 38-8 demolition of the Indianapolis Colts before the bye. In that game, Kellen Clemens dropped back to throw only 18 times and handed off to running backs 37 times, getting 138 yards and a score. That's better than a 2:1 ratio in play-calling favoring the run.
Nine completions = 38 points. Ten completions = 42 points. That's an eye-popping 4.2 points per completed pass over two games.
While Bradford was quarterback, he completed 159 passes and his team scored 156 points, resulting in a very different math. No one will argue that Clemens has played the position better than Bradford, though. What we have here is not so much a quarterback controversy, but a controversy of offensive philosophies.
What we also have is a two-game win streak and a 5-6 record that, but for some questionable red zone plays against Tennessee and Seattle, could be 7-4 and second place in the division. What we have is a team that has discovered its identity in the absence of its franchise player.no comments