Packard earns 50th career win; Rams eliminated from NFC West contention

Good evening. Witnessing the Ball State women’s basketball team secure its first victory of the season was a sight to see, and after watching an abysmal offensive effort from the Rams today, I thought I’d share some thoughts from today’s game and the rest of the season.

Head coach Kelly Packard’s 50th career victory happened to be her teams’ first W of the season…The Cardinals defeated an undisciplined Murray State team 81-72 Saturday afternoon in John E. Worthen Arena, and now this young group is full of confidence as it heads into Monday night’s contest against Oakland City.

Sophomore forward Jazmin Hitchens has emerged as Packard’s go-to player. Though Hitchens has only played two games because of a two-game suspension to begin the season, the Cardinals are a completely different team when she’s in the lineup. Against Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville and Murray State, the Cardinals have scored a combined 137 points, and Hitchens has chipped in with 36, or roughly 26-percent of Ball State’s points. A notable stat to say the least. Not only has Hitchens aided the offense, but she’s a force defensively. Of her nine total rebounds thus far, five have come on defense, making her an important piece to Packard’s scheme.

Freshman guard Brittany Carter continues shine. Carter is averaging 10 points and over three rebounds per game for the Cardinals and is shooting over 44-percent from beyond the arc. Her ability to sink the 3-ball is huge and is something the Cardinals haven’t sustained over the last few seasons.

Sophomore forward Katie Murphy has taken her game to the next level. She’s been extremely impressive in rebounding, where she led the Cardinals with eight against Murray State.

Moving on…

After 10 games and a 2-8 record to show for, the St. Louis Rams have (finally) been eliminated from the NFC West… and they haven’t even played the division-leading 49ers, who improved to 9-1 with a 23-7 win over Arizona today. The Rams will finish short of a winning record for the eighth consecutive season.

The offense, behind quarterback Sam Bradford was atrocious, aside from Bradford’s first-quarter 30-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Lloyd. The makeshift offensive line was woeful, letting the Seahawks’ D-line slip through their grasp on multiple occasions, getting Steven Jackson leveled.

Sure this team has been decimated with injuries, but offensively, this team is far from where it needs to be. False starts, holding and poor execution is what this team consists of. There’s no excuse for lousy football. None. It’s funny how the good teams in this league execute and take care of the little things. Funny how that works. Ask Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.

With only six games remaining, the Rams will look to play spoiler. But, I don’t see how that’s possible, considering this team was blown out by the Seahawks, who entered today’s game with a mark of 2-7. Kudos to Pete Carroll and his staff for preparing his team.

Despite the poor offensive performance, the defense came to play. Chris Long is a beast and that’s an understatement. Long has recorded six sacks in his last four games for the Rams. The Rams came away with two first-quarter interceptions from Quintin Mikell and Chris Chamberlain, but could only muster a touchdown, which proved to hurt them. The Rams were swarming the ball for the entire game, but when the unit is on the field for the majority of the game, the fatigue sets in, and the opposition will cash in, like the Seahawks did.

Thanks for reading…

-Poz

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