2012 St. Louis Rams Offense by Quarter
The initial question asked whether the Rams lacked offensive consistency early in games.
The Rams are best in first quarters relative to other quarters in terms of how many points they scored relative to expectations. The chart shows this as expected points added (EPA).
The Rams' offensive drives rank ninth in average distance (35.6 yards) for first quarters. The rankings are 29th for second quarters (24.1), 25th for third quarters (26.7) and 11th for fourth quarters (33.1).
However, the Rams rank only 29th in first-quarter time of possession (7:37 on average). Their averages increase as games progress, peaking at 8:26 in fourth quarters.
One theory we've kicked around recently holds that the Rams might be best when following a script early in games and when forced to play aggressively late, and that their play drops off in between as they go into a "play-not-to-lose" mode. It's just a theory.