Around the NFC West: Rams worse than imagined

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch assesses the sheer magnitude of the Rams' opening-game futility. Four of five offensive linemen had false starts in the first half, and the team converted zero times in 11 third-down chances. He thought the Rams looked worse than the team that went 3-13 last season.

Also from Thomas: Receiver Drew Bennett and defensive end Leonard Little left the game with injuries. Little's hamstring problem could become a big issue for the pass rush.

Bernie Miklasz of the Post-Dispatch begins his post-mortem this way: "And with the first overall pick in the 2009 draft, the Rams select ..." Worst of all, Miklasz thought the Rams didn't try very hard. He thought they had no pulse.

Bill Coats of the Post-Dispatch says Steven Jackson took a huge hit and came back for more, one of the few positive signs for the Rams on a dreadful day.

Also from Coats: Those who cover the Rams never saw a defeat like this one coming. Coach Scott Linehan: "I think discouraged is not a very good word. I refuse to use it. I'm very disappointed, though. We've got to use it as motivation to not go back here. We expect to play a lot better next week."

More from Coats: How about that Rams secondary? The Rams gave up five pass plays of 25 yards or longer.

Steve Korte of the Belleville News Democrat hands out grades following the Rams' 35-3 defeat. The highest grades were C-minuses for the receivers and special teams.