The Rams entered the 2011 season as a chic pick to win the NFC West and crash the playoffs for the first time in seven seasons.
At 0-6, however, a playoff trip now seems like a pipe dream. The Rams appear to be stuck in an inescapable quagmire with no end in sight. Second-year quarterback Sam Bradford is out indefinitely with a high ankle sprain, the team boasts the league's worst scoring offense and the defense allowed Dallas Cowboys rookie DeMarco Murray to run roughshod for a franchise record 253 yards Sunday in yet another lopsided defeat.
Murray's performance appears to be the final straw for defensive end Chris Long, who became the first Rams player to publicly express displeasure with how the season has transpired.
"It was terrible -- flat out," Long said of the Rams' run defense, via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "We're going to have to see what was going on, but it was just terrible. It was terrible run defense."
Long added: "It's pretty embarrassing, yeah."
It's easy to understand Long's frustrations, as his football pedigree is one of the most proven in the league. He grew up watching his father, Howie Long, compete for playoff berths year after year with the then-Los Angeles Raiders. If it's not in Long's nature to accept defeat, then as a former No. 2 overall draft pick, it might fall on to him to establish a winning mentality in St. Louis.
It will take more than a few postgame comments to right the ship in St. Louis, however.