There's really nothing to say about today's game against San Francisco.
The Rams showed up with two starters on the offensive line worth a damn, and one of them was hurt. Sam Bradford gimped around on the sideline as AJ Feeley got covered in red and gold. Steven Jackson averaged 1.8 yards per carry in the first half, and improved to a 2.0 yards per carry average in the second half. You know, garbage time yardage. Whatever.
The San Francisco defense is every bit as good as it ever has been, even with Patrick Willis sitting most of it out. They have lateral speed to shut down any play that tries to go side to side, and enough discipline to snuff any play that tries to go north south between the tackles.
Alex Smith looked composed, and hit his receivers in stride, and of those receivers, he has some underrated and fast weapons to work with. The Rams defense played hard and kept the Niners out of the end zone early despite having their backs to the wall. But they couldn't hold up all game, and a trio of long-standing self-inflicted wounds dealt a death blow to this team.
We present them as a gallery, only to spare you the gory details, we'll substitute sad paintings from the world of art.
1: The Rams just can't stop a pulling-guard run play.
Oh, god, that puppy dog is so sad. Why are you so sad, puppy dog? Did you step on something sharp on the beach? Is that why you're holding your paw up in the air? Does it hurt? I bet it does.
Just like it hurts every time we try to watch the Rams defend a basic pulling-guard running play with a seven man front. Time and again, our "don't think just get up field" defensive line winds up with nothing to tackle, and our linebackers flow toward the runner only to get met at the point of attack by a guard, a tackle, or both, running free.
St Louis gave up 144 yards rushing, and let Fank Gore set a new franchise mark on the ground. And four different 49ers players had running plays of 10 yards or more.
2: Craig Dahl gets beat deep.
Yes, that's a painting of the devil on the toilet. You almost feel for the guy, because this is obviously some sort of miserable side effect of living in a fiery pit with no green vegetables of any kind around. I don't know if you watch those evangelical cucumber cartoons, but it's pretty clear that all vegetables go to heaven.
Like I said, you almost feel for the guy, but then you remember: this guy is Satan. He steals souls. Him and Craig Dahl both.
When we heard that Darian Stewart was ruled out for this game, we knew at least one huge play would happen downfield where Craig Dahl just got lost. And it did. The Rams were lucky, in a way, that it didn't happen more.
3: An all-out Rams blitz fails to connect, and a big play erupts.
These days, in his quiet anonymous retirement, Elvis cries at pretty much anything. But back in the day, when he was living the Las Vegas lifestyle and loaded up with a pharmaceutical nightmare, his emotional state was particularly vulnerable to the lyrics of his own songs. He would get swept up in a moment, and the tears would start to flow uncontrollably.
The same thing happens to Rams fans when we see Ken Flajole dial up yet another all-out blitz on second- or third-and-long, only to not connect with the quarterback, and give up a massive play. This one went to Kyle Williams for a first down, which became a 56-yard touchdown run.
4: Remembering that it doesn't get any easier this year.
Oh god, I'm sorry, children. I didn't mean to ruin your spontaneous dance party by telling you that. But it doesn't get any easier from here on out. We have to watch this team in prime time in Seattle, and then they travel to Cincinnati, and then Pittsburgh, and then we get these San Francisco bullies back here to close out the season.
It's enough to bring tears to your eyes.