Not much to report from an anticlimactic and uncompetitive quarter of football, but that gives me a chance to pass along a couple global impressions from Sunday's contest with the Rams.
First, here's a brief site announcement. I'll be gone from midday Thursday to Saturday night. Alanya and I are camping in Olympic National Park.
Returning a Frozen Dove: Matt Hasselbeck has really struggled throwing short passes, both taking too long to pass and throwing the ball into the dirt. Passes to Julius Jones have been worth -32 DYAR, currently worst in the NFL among backs targeted eight or more times. That suckfest nearly cancels out Jones' contributions as a running back. Of course, excepting his one drop, Jones hasn't been to blame for the poor production. Maybe it's a feel thing, or a trust thing, but Beck was good short passer last season. I think the two figure it out and reverse the trend.
Chris Spencer, Steve Vallos and Adam Carriker: Carriker is among Saint Louis's finest talents. Against Seattle he recorded three tackles for a loss, two more tackles that prevented success and a pressure that forced an incomplete. Those six solo tackles were Carriker's first solo tackles of the season. In their previous two games, the Rams faced 63 rush attempts. Carriker managed only an assist. Some of that's on Spencer, who looks to be developing into an average center, a flop of a first round pick. Still average is tenable. Vallos is anything but. On Sesattle's final meaningful rushing attempt of the game, Vallos subbed for Floyd Womack. At the snap, Carriker bowled Vallos over and into the legs of Duckett, tackling Duckett for a loss of one. So, bust or not, it can get a lot worse.