The St. Louis Rams pulled out a downward spiral on Sunday with a much-needed 34-20 victory over the winless Jacksonville Jaguars, but you probably wouldn't be able to gather as much from the reactions of fans. While SB Nation's Jaguars blog, Big Cat Country, were optimistic about the positive signs seen in the loss; SB Nation's Rams blog, Turf Show Times, wasn't as enthused.
In his instant reaction, Joe McAtee of Turf Show Times wasn't impressed with the team's victory:
The next three quarters were skittish, inconsistent and at often times just sloppy. By game's end, the Rams would lock in a 14-point victory that saw rookie RB Zac Stacy emerge as a legitimate starting option in the backfield for the time being. Austin Pettis' role in the offense is solidifying. And Sam Bradford had a decent effort to get his team a much needed win.
But this felt worse than the final score.
The playcalling throughout was inexplicable. Tavon Austin's punt return du jour was, yet again, nullified by just a wonderfully timely penalty, one of a half dozen the Rams picked up to maintain their league-leading infraction tally. Sam Bradford looked at times completely overwhelmed and underqualified. Flashes suggest there's still enough talent in there, but to look that bad against the Jags...
At Big Cat Country, much of the blame was placed on quarterback Blaine Gabbert, who finished 9-of-19 for 181 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. Outside of the poor quarterback play, Alfie Crow was able to find plenty of positives on both sides of the ball:
Right out of the gate we saw some explosive plays from young players. Ace Sanders had a punt return for a touchdown called back on a bogus penalty, then shortly after Justin Blackmon picked up a 67-yard touchdown on a catch and run. Tight end Clay Harbor showed some after catch ability and Cecil Shorts seemed to get things going. The big problem is the inconsistency at the quarterback position.
The Jaguars secondary was a big question mark in the offseason, but Will Blackmon has been a great addition to the roster. Sure he was beat a few times on Sunday down the field, but he made just as many if not more big plays on defense. It will be hard to see Blackmon coming out of the starting lineup when Dwayne Gratz comes back from injury.
The Rams will try to piece together a pair of wins in Week 6 when they travel to face the Houston Texans, while the Jaguars will face heavy odds against them when they travel to face the Denver Broncos.