Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Hochman: No QB Means No Hope

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Hochman: No QB Means No Hope

Article excerpt

On Jan. 15, 2005, a spry ballplayer, fresh off his rookie season, turned 25 years old.

His name was Matt Holliday.

On that same date, Topher Grace hosted "Saturday Night Live" and "The Da Vinci Code" topped the New York Times bestseller list. And the St. Louis Rams played a playoff game.

Their most recent playoff game.

Eleven consecutive seasons now, the Rams haven't made it to the postseason, confirmed Sunday with Seattle's win. The Rams are officially eliminated from playoff contention, so I suppose this is the obituary of the Rams' playoff hopes.

Now, the Rams could very well win at Seattle and San Francisco, finishing 8-8, and then you'll hear about momentum for St. Louis heading into next season (assuming the Rams play in St. Louis next season). "They won their four final games! Case Keenum could be the answer!"

No. No. Stop it. No.

Whether the Rams finish with six, seven or eight wins, this season was a failure.

We can talk about Jeff Fisher, and how it's historically inexplicable that he'll probably keep his job after four seasons without playoff football.

But the Rams' problem is the man he and the front office picked to be the franchise's quarterback a man who hasn't played like a franchise quarterback.

Nick Foles a nice fellow and all that isn't the future. Keenum fun story and all that is not the transcendent signal-caller who can lead a team to relevance over a full season.

The Rams' starting quarterback for 2016 should be someone who isn't on the team in 2015.

As for Foles, the Rams can't do much about the extension and guaranteed money they gave him before his first St. Louis game. It happened. And yes, give the Rams some credit for taking a chance on Foles. But they cannot waste time trying to see this particular investment through. They haven't played a playoff game since Jan. 15, 2005. And next season, they'll either be trying to win over a new fan base, or trying, somehow, to convince their current fan base that something will actually be different in 2016.

The Rams must be creative in the trade market or bold in the draft room and find a quarterback.

I know this sounds simple, for football is such a complex and strategic puzzle, but if you don't have a quarterback who is really good at football, you probably won't make the playoffs. …

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