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  1. #1
    Nick's Avatar
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    Random Thoughts from Week Two

    -Well, that was ugly. It didn’t seem like this team had any of the fire and intensity that it did last week. It wasn’t all awful, and I’ll try to pick out some positives, but it’s tough after a game like todays.

    -Sam Bradford finished with a good statistical day, but it wasn’t all rosy. He looked like a seasoned pro on his two touchdown passes, but his interception was ugly, as was much of his second half. He didn’t get much help today, but also didn’t take advantage of some opportunities. I give him a lot of credit for not crumbling in the second half and coming back with a touchdown throw, but today was a reminder that he’s still a rookie who is learning on a team without much talent.

    -It was nice to see Steven Jackson more heavily involved in the offensive gameplan, but it was a tale of two halves for Jackson. He looked almost unstoppable in the first half, but like the rest of the Rams’ offense, sputtered in the second half. He didn’t get much help from the offensive line or playcalling, but when given opportunities with the ball, this team needs its best playmaker to make plays. Thirteen yards on six second-half touches won’t get it done.

    -For the second week in a row, this receiving corps is underwhelming. Devaney and company had faith that their young group would step up, but still it seems like the only contributor making an impact is the one they just traded for. And even Clayton was limited to two catches (although both scoring receptions). Amendola was okay but didn’t seem to stand out, Robinson was forgettable, and Gibson isn’t even able to get on the field with this weak group.

    -Whatever progress the offensive line may have made in the end of the preseason and in Week One was lost here. Running lanes were hard to come by, and pass protection was awful. Bradford was sacked three times (at least one his fault) but pressured quite a bit more. The Rams didn’t seem to have much of an answer for the Raiders pass rush, and couldn’t open up holes for Jackson in the second half. The two tackles – Saffold and Smith – had a couple of moments they’ll want back today. Not a good showing.

    -I said last week not that we needed to be careful evaluating the defense due to a downgraded Cardinals offense. As it turned out, Atlanta smacked the Cardinals this week, and I think the Rams defensively took a step back. The run defense that looked promising against depth players in the last three games was pretty leaky against a legit talent in McFadden. The pass rush was once again hot and cold; the Rams didn’t have an answer for Oakland’s second half QB change and gameplan adjustment. The “Bartell for Pro Bowl” talk will probably cool this week, as Ron stood out more for the plays he didn’t make than the ones he did. It was nice to see some DBs come down with interceptions, but other opportunities weren’t capitalized on and the Rams D couldn’t come up with a stop when they needed to.

    -Let’s talk about the Fred Robbins penalty. I don’t think anyone is going to argue that Campbell was “roughed” on that push, but here’s the point I’d make – it’s a critical drive for your team, and you need to come up with a stop. You’ve got to be smart. Don’t give the officials any reason to call you for something. There’s no excuse for the push there, and you’d expect a veteran player to know that. It was a ticky tack call, but Robbins needs to be smart enough to know he can’t give the officials a reason to think about it.

    -Coaching, gosh. What is there to say here? From the admittedly limited perspective that I have as a fan watching at home, I have to say this looked like a pretty uninspired coaching performance. As I said earlier, I did not see the fiery team from last week. I saw a team that looked tight and down for most of the game. The offensive playcalling was awful at times. Very predictable with a lot of first down runs until the team went almost exclusively pass to try and catch up. There didn’t appear to be much downfield throwing; many of the longer receptions were due to some YAC. The confidence the coaching staff showed last week by having Bradford drop back 57 times seemed to be gone this week; they very much looked like they were scared of taking any risks. Defensively, the Rams seemed to do a good job getting Campbell out of a rhythm with the blitz but didn’t have any answers for what the Raiders did in the second half with Gradkowski. Sure, it was a surprise move, but it looked like a repeat of last week’s second half collapse. Heyward-Bey had career day, and McFadden had his best game in two years. When Tom Cable and the Oakland Raiders have appeared to out-coach you, then a hard look in the mirror is probably appropriate.

    -Fans who threw out predictions of a 10-11 win season based on efficient preseason play may want to rethink their opinion based on the last two weeks. Both of these games were winnable, but the Rams made too many mistakes and couldn’t take advantage of their opportunities. Last week’s team had more fight in them than this week’s, but both came out on the losing end. I predicted the Rams would win five games in 2010, which I considered a fairly good improvement from 2009. But this game against Oakland was a game I had as a win, and the Rams couldn’t close this one up. Now I think it’s fair to wonder where the wins are on this schedule. Sometimes a team will win a game they’re supposed to lose, but the Rams haven’t done that since shocking Dallas in 2008. Maybe St. Louis can still get that many victories under their belt, but the way to get there has become cloudier and they’re going to have to make some serious improvements in order to do so.

    ClanRam ModCast: Episode Two
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  2. #2
    makersncoke's Avatar
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    Re: Random Thoughts from Week Two

    It's tough not to be overly negative after a game like that but I still say at best this is a 3-4 win team. If you look at how we improved ourselves in the offseason we got a rookie quarterback and a rookie left tackle along with some of our practice squad level talent recievers back from being hurt. I don't see that elevating this team from 1-15 to a division winner. I hope I'm wrong.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  3. #3
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    Re: Random Thoughts from Week Two

    -It was nice to see Steven Jackson more heavily involved in the offensive gameplan, but it was a tale of two halves for Jackson. He looked almost unstoppable in the first half, but like the rest of the Rams’ offense, sputtered in the second half. He didn’t get much help from the offensive line or playcalling, but when given opportunities with the ball, this team needs its best playmaker to make plays. Thirteen yards on six second-half touches won’t get it done.

    I agree Nick, this is his team now, he needs to make plays throughout the game. He needs to take over the game and it looked like he was going to then he faded.

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    Re: Random Thoughts from Week Two

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambos View Post
    I agree Nick, this is his team now, he needs to make plays throughout the game. He needs to take over the game and it looked like he was going to then he faded.
    I was wondering, did he get hurt on a play late in the 1st half just before Darby came in? He didn't look the same after that.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  5. #5
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    Re: Random Thoughts from Week Two

    what the hell is up with the half dirt field ? it's 2010 get a real stadium for god sakes,our local high school team plays on a better field than that.

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    Re: Random Thoughts from Week Two

    This is the second week in a row that Jackson just hasn't looked the same in the 2nd half... and not for the good. I know he got dinged last week, and possibly again in this game, but still...
    Is it Jackson, the O-line, teams figuring us out after a half? Maybe a combination of all three?

  7. #7
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    Re: Random Thoughts from Week Two

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    -Whatever progress the offensive line may have made in the end of the preseason and in Week One was lost here. Running lanes were hard to come by, and pass protection was awful. Bradford was sacked three times (at least one his fault) but pressured quite a bit more. The Rams didn’t seem to have much of an answer for the Raiders pass rush, and couldn’t open up holes for Jackson in the second half. The two tackles – Saffold and Smith – had a couple of moments they’ll want back today. Not a good showing.
    This was the most distrurbing aspect of the game IMO. So much of a teams dynamic depends on what the offensive lines does, and today this group took a step back. Bradford, Jackson, the offenses ability to move the ball and sustain drives as well as the defense getting a chance to stay fresh are all impacted by an ineffective offensive line. If they don't put things right, and soon, this team will continue to have outcomes like we saw today.

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    NJ Ramsfan1 is offline Registered User
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    Re: Random Thoughts from Week Two

    Quote Originally Posted by Keenum View Post
    This is the second week in a row that Jackson just hasn't looked the same in the 2nd half... and not for the good. I know he got dinged last week, and possibly again in this game, but still...
    Is it Jackson, the O-line, teams figuring us out after a half? Maybe a combination of all three?
    The O-Line didn't distinguish themselves today. And you can't run dives up the middle time and again and expect the defense to not stop it- I don't care if Jim Brown is running the football.

    I would add that I think Nick is completely on point with his entire assessment of Bradford, Jackson, the receiving corps, Robbins' penalty the coaches and today's performance in general. I am disappointed that sad sack teams from last year like the Chiefs and Tampa are 2-0 and once again we cannot find a way to win games against average opponents. Very discouraging. We have to play inspired, mistake free football for 60 minutes to have a chance. And so far, we haven't been up to the task. I hope it happens soon.

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    Re: Random Thoughts from Week Two

    it's hard to run against 8 or 9 guys in the box..

    we need to stretch the d out a little more with some deep throws and 4 receiver sets...both weeks now the other team has made the adjustment at halftime to take sjax out of the game, and both weeks now we have not made the adjustment to make them pay for it.

  10. #10
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    Re: Random Thoughts from Week Two

    I could swear I saw some emotion out of Bradford today. These drops are getting to him. He genuinely looked po'd in the fourth when Robinson dropped one that hit him in the hands.

    I can't blame him. But, he's showing it and what he is showing is disappointment. I wonder how long before this begins to have a poisoning affect on him. He's young and all.
    Semper Fi!

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    fearsome foursome is offline Registered User
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    Re: Random Thoughts from Week Two

    And once again special teams botched a short field goal that could have been the difference. In all fairness to Fred Robbins, should his penalty really count the same as the throwdown of Amendola?

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    Re: Random Thoughts from Week Two

    After this game, I realized that there is no such thing as a 'game we should win'. We have 14 games left. We will likely be underdogs in all 14. That means it will take an upset to win a game this year. Odds are, the ball will bounce our way, or someone will finally make a play, or the opposition will blow a play and we will win a game we were supposed to lose. But is that what we're relegated to? Hoping to avoid an 0-16 season? It might be a knee jerk reaction, but I'm beginning to think the progress we thought we were making was just smoke and mirrors due to a couple of good preseason outings.

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    Re: Random Thoughts from Week Two

    Quote Originally Posted by snackdaddy View Post
    After this game, I realized that there is no such thing as a 'game we should win'. We have 14 games left. We will likely be underdogs in all 14. That means it will take an upset to win a game this year. Odds are, the ball will bounce our way, or someone will finally make a play, or the opposition will blow a play and we will win a game we were supposed to lose. But is that what we're relegated to? Hoping to avoid an 0-16 season? It might be a knee jerk reaction, but I'm beginning to think the progress we thought we were making was just smoke and mirrors due to a couple of good preseason outings.
    That about sums it up. VERY FRUSTRATED watching this game!

    We probably gave the raiders one of their two wins this season. And I can't say that we actually "gave" it to them. They took it from us. Then watching the cards get run all over is truly disheartening. Now I think we're just hoping for a fluke win this year. I know it's only the second game but it just sucks!

  14. #14
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    Re: Random Thoughts from Week Two

    Finally I get to see these guys play in person after being a fan since James Harris and Lawrence McCutcheon days, and what do I get but a lifeless bunch of players and lousy play calling. I don't think Bradford threw a pass farther than 10 yards. We definitely need an offensive coordinator.

  15. #15
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    Re: Random Thoughts from Week Two

    Good post and analyst as always Nick. The things that stood out for me was the complete lack of energy by the players. Play calling was beyond bad and predictable. Bradford stares down his receivers like they are going to disappear or something. Barely any runs to the edges. Just an extremely bad football game all the way around.

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