Originally posted on Rams Herd  |  Last updated 9/22/13
The last time Demarco Murray faced St Louis, he was a relative unknown. But then he turnstyled the entire Rams defense while shoving Emmitt Smith aside in the Dallas Cowboys record books.  You're forgiven if you thought this Rams team would be different. You're forgiven if you believed the hype. I did too. But now, after watching Murray get free runs inside and out for 175 yards and set up an easy day for Dallas; after watching Sam Bradford get ragdolled for six sacks and eight more hits behind our rebuilt offensive line; after watching the penalties pile up, the hype train has derailed. AP Photo / Tony Gutierrez "I can't explain it," Rams coach Jeff Fisher, on how poorly the team played Sunday. — Jim Thomas (@jthom1) September 22, 2013 We can, coach. The Rams are being coached to lose. In our pregame note, we worried that the Dallas defense was going to make life more dangerous in the pocket for Sam Bradford. By pressing our receivers at the line, they made Bradford stand in the pocket longer. And Bradford's 193-snap sack-free streak, longest of his career and one of the longest in the modern NFL, was more of a function of his ability to quickly distribute the football than a testament to a leak-free offensive line. What is frustrating to watch is that, schematically, the Cowboys are playing the same basic defense as the Rams. Just without the cornerback pressure at the line. As difficult as the Cowboys made life for Bradford today, the Rams defense could me making life that difficult for all opposing quarterbacks. But they won't. The cushion provided to receivers -- to the Dez Bryants and Devin Escobars alike -- is a fixture on gameday. And if it's a fixture on gameday, it must be a fixture in practice. If Jeff Fisher and the Rams are committed to the youth movement, they need to go all in, instead of coaching softness into their players.  That softness seemed apparent throughout the defense. The Rams were soft in their attack across the defensive front, allowing Murray -- who had one of the lowest yards-after-contact ratings in the league so far -- free running lanes. The myth of the "bend-but-don't-break" defense has been exposed by two halves of football against superior offensive teams. In consecutive weeks, the Falcons and Cowboys have outgained the Rams 440-179 in the first half. They have given up 23 first downs and earned only one. The myth of "bend-but-don't-break" is that yards and first downs don't have to lead to points. But the scoreboards read 21-3 and 17-0 at the end of those two halves.  When the defense can't get off the field, it creates an extra burden on Sam Bradford and the offense. The burden of constantly having to dig out from these leads is like an extra pass rusher or an extra man in coverage, neither of which the Rams need. Bradford is additionally burdened by having his offensive gameplan shoehorned into a huddle-run-huddle-short-pass-huddle-short-pass-punt mold. Throw in the home-cookingest referee crew in football, and the Rams are essentially playing 11-on-14 football.  In just four days, one of the two bullies of the division will be meeting us in St Louis, desprate to avenge a winless streak against the Rams. Four days is not a lot of time to get this train back on the rails. Especially not when the blueprint for attacking all three phases of the Rams has just been laid out in Dallas. 
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
The first time John Randle talked trash in the NFL
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Romo has no ligament damage, to resume training soon

Eagles rookie to join Kaepernick in protesting national anthem

Michael Phelps to be honored with unique Wheaties box

Woman suing Brewers after being struck by foul ball

Report: ‘Strong chance’ J.J. Watt will play in Week 1

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Broncos name Trevor Siemian their Week 1 starter

Report: Jets fielding calls for Geno Smith

Report: Bryan Stork fails physical, rights revert to Pats

Eric Berry signs franchise tender, returns to Chiefs

Brandon Jennings takes swipe at Reggie Miller's career

Report: Kaepernick facing ‘uphill battle’ to make roster

WATCH: John Randle on the first time he talked trash in the NFL

The hottest hitters in MLB heading into September sprint

Who has the most to prove at the US Open?

A sports history of not standing up for the national anthem

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

Six NFL quarterbacks the Cowboys must consider

Dwight Howard trying new way to improve free throw shooting

Eight players who have stepped up in NFL preseason so far

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: John Randle on the first time he talked trash in the NFL

The hottest hitters in MLB heading into September sprint

Who has the most to prove at the US Open?

A sports history of not standing up for the national anthem

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

10 great moments in the career of Roberto Duran

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker