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Thread: Week Ten: Post-Game Observations

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    Week Ten: Post-Game Observations

    A win is a win, eh?

    Well, it depends. Some Rams fans are willing to overlook a rather shoddy and dull performance due to the victory thatís marked in the results column. Others arenít letting a victory over a poor team distract them from the fact that the Rams have underachieved from pre-season NFC West contender status.

    Regardless of your stance, the fact of the matter is that the Rams did enough on Sunday to get their second victory of the season, and winning games is exactly what this regime needs to do if they have any desire to be a part of this organization in 2012. The difficult part of the schedule argument is out the window. The Rams are entering the part of their line-up where they have some winnable games. This contest against Cleveland was one of them, and they emerged with a rare victoryÖ barely. But win, they did.

    Sam Bradford had a solid though unspectacular day. Iíd argue that the two highlight throws he made Ė the sideline circus catch by Lloyd and the touchdown catch by Lloyd Ėwere both delivered late and werenít particularly accurate, but that didnít stop them from being completions that benefited the team. Bradford threw in Lloydís direction nine times on the day, more than all other Rams receivers combined. Clearly, heís trying to make use of the new weapon the organization brought in for him, which is never a bad thing. But Sam still needs to see the field better, and do a better job looking off defenders. While some wonít fault a quarterback for a tipped pass, Bradford was staring down the right side of the field, allowing the veteran Fujita to make a play on the ball.

    Steven Jackson continues to look like a man reborn. Heís running with the kind of vision, power, and urgency that we havenít seen out of Jackson in a while. While thatís also a credit to the offensive line for opening up holes for Jackson to exploit, he certainly looks like heís shedding contact better this season and has a bit more pep in his step. And it's certainly not because the Rams have limited his workload; in the last three games, Jackson has rushed 81 times for 418 yards. Maybe the Clan can hire a research guy, but thatís probably one of his most productive three-game stretches in a couple of years.

    The loss of receiver Greg Salas has the Rams thin at the position, and it showed on Sunday. Only two receivers caught passes (Brandon Gibson was targeted three times but didnít haul them in). Youíd think with a shortage at the position, the Rams would spend more time focusing on tight end involvement. But both Michael Hoomanawanui and Billy Bajema had quiet days; rookie Lance Kendricks was inactive. This must be rather frustrating for offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who during the offseason was said to want to pursue an offensive gameplan similar to what the New England Patriots were running; utilizing tight ends heavily in the passing game. He hasnít been able to do so yet, for various reasons.

    Defensively, the Rams held the Pat Shurmur-led Browns just slightly under their points-per-game average, and Iím not sure how much praise to bestow on them for that feat. Rams fans are familiar with the low-scoring Shurmur offense, but some encouragement is likely still deserved for the defense, as it wouldnít have been shocking to see the former Rams offensive coordinator carve up a defensive unit that, this year, is without key players and clearly not quite as good as the previous incarnation.

    Colt McCoy had a productive day, completing over 70% of his passes and incorporating more downfield throws than Rams fans are used to seeing from Shurmur. He didnít reach the end zone though, and that may be the most important stat of the day for this unit. Defensive end Chris Long amassed his eighth sack of the year, nearly matching last yearís total with almost half a season left to go. Heís really beginning to emerge as a quality player on this defense. James Laurinaitis got into the act as well, coming up with a sack himself.

    Having said that, the defensive performance was not all daisies and sunshine. The Ramsí defense forced zero turnovers; their one fumble recovery came on a punt return. McCoy didnít have much trouble picking apart the secondary, and for another week, the Ramsí defense gave someone a career game. This time, it was a familiar face, as former late round Rams draft pick Chris Ogbonnaya ran for 90 yards at 4.7 yards a pop.

    In the secondary, Justin King and Craig Dahl were abused for some bigger gains, but thatís to be expected at this point. The Ramsí secondary is who we thought they are, and by that I mean, a bunch of depth guys who really shouldnít be starting at all in this league. To make matters worse, Al Harris tore his right ACL in this game, an injury that is likely going to end his career after he barely came back from a left ACL tear. Harris had his moments for this team, both good and bad, but itís never good to see an already depleted secondary lose another player. Fans in attendance at future home games may begin checking their ticket stubs to see if their seat has been called in the lottery of ďWho will lace up for the Rams next?Ē

    On special teams, it was nice to see another team suffer the ever-painful self-inflicted gunshot wound to the foot. Too many times, the Rams are the ones inflicting unnecessary injuries to themselves with miscues and mistakes, but not this time. The Browns fumbled away a punt, allowing the Rams to kick a field goal for the lead (couldnít score a touchdown despite starting from the Brownsí 27-yard line). Then, with the game on the line, Cleveland botched a field goal and the Rams closed the game for the victory. Pat Shurmurís got a lot of Ďsplaininí to do about this one, Iíd imagine. I bet a phone call from Steve Spagnuolo didnít include what Spags was really thinking Ė ďGlad itís not me this time!Ē

    And so Spags and company live to fight another day. How much encouragement and confidence the Rams can take from this game has yet to be determined. They certainly didnít spank the Browns, nor did they really have their way with them. They needed a late game botched kick in order to secure their 13-12 victory, in what likely went down as one of the most uninteresting games of the week. But for a one-win team, doubling your win total is always a positive and hopefully something to build on. Believe it or not, the Rams have two wins in their last three games. Thatís not too shabby, no matter who it was against.

    Coming up next week, the Rams travel home to host the Seattle Seahawks. This is a game I think the Rams must win Ė heck, one could argue theyíre all must-win at this point Ė because theyíre facing a beatable division rival at home. The problem is that Seattle just hosted a Baltimore Ravens team that crushed the Rams, and walked out of that game with a victory.

    So, which Seattle team will the Rams get next weekend? Better yet, which Rams team will show up? Stay tuned, itís going to get exciting!

    Then again, if we get a repeat of yesterdayís score, maybe ďexcitingĒ isnít quite the right word.


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    Re: Week Ten: Post-Game Observations

    Good read Nick

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    Sam Bradford had a solid though unspectacular day. I’d argue that the two highlight throws he made – the sideline circus catch by Lloyd and the touchdown catch by Lloyd –were both delivered late and weren’t particularly accurate, but that didn’t stop them from being completions that benefited the team. Bradford threw in Lloyd’s direction nine times on the day, more than all other Rams receivers combined. Clearly, he’s trying to make use of the new weapon the organization brought in for him, which is never a bad thing. But Sam still needs to see the field better, and do a better job looking off defenders. While some won’t fault a quarterback for a tipped pass, Bradford was staring down the right side of the field, allowing the veteran Fujita to make a play on the ball.
    The staring down his receivers has ben a glaring problem all year, maybe its cause he the lost trust hes had in many of them? Im hoping a full offseason with some added talent and lots of time to work together in the offseason can help this. oh and hopefully we hire a qb coach. a need i believe in my eyes.

    Steven Jackson continues to look like a man reborn. He’s running with the kind of vision, power, and urgency that we haven’t seen out of Jackson in a while. While that’s also a credit to the offensive line for opening up holes for Jackson to exploit, he certainly looks like he’s shedding contact better this season and has a bit more pep in his step. And it's certainly not because the Rams have limited his workload; in the last three games, Jackson has rushed 81 times for 418 yards. Maybe the Clan can hire a research guy, but that’s probably one of his most productive three-game stretches in a couple of years.
    You were right Nick, from what i gathered by looking at his game logs from every season is that this is his 2nd most productive 3 game stretch in terms of yards in his career.

    2009 - 71 attempts, 414 yards
    2011 - 81 attempts, 418 yards
    2006 - 89 attempts, 419 yards

    The loss of receiver Greg Salas has the Rams thin at the position, and it showed on Sunday. Only two receivers caught passes (Brandon Gibson was targeted three times but didn’t haul them in). You’d think with a shortage at the position, the Rams would spend more time focusing on tight end involvement. But both Michael Hoomanawanui and Billy Bajema had quiet days; rookie Lance Kendricks was inactive. This must be rather frustrating for offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who during the offseason was said to want to pursue an offensive gameplan similar to what the New England Patriots were running; utilizing tight ends heavily in the passing game. He hasn’t been able to do so yet, for various reasons.
    I think Kendricks will do better next season, i really do. But my question is, with how all our other TE's arnt really pass-catching wr's, do you see us picking up yet another TE in the draft or maybe FA? If Kendricks can become the pass catcher hes shown he could be, we still need a second one for McD's system to work. Which could be another reason why our offense has been sluggish to say the least.

    Having said that, the defensive performance was not all daisies and sunshine. The Rams’ defense forced zero turnovers; their one fumble recovery came on a punt return. McCoy didn’t have much trouble picking apart the secondary, and for another week, the Rams’ defense gave someone a career game. This time, it was a familiar face, as former late round Rams draft pick Chris Ogbonnaya ran for 90 yards at 4.7 yards a pop.

    In the secondary, Justin King and Craig Dahl were abused for some bigger gains, but that’s to be expected at this point. The Rams’ secondary is who we thought they are, and by that I mean, a bunch of depth guys who really shouldn’t be starting at all in this league. To make matters worse, Al Harris tore his right ACL in this game, an injury that is likely going to end his career after he barely came back from a left ACL tear. Harris had his moments for this team, both good and bad, but it’s never good to see an already depleted secondary lose another player. Fans in attendance at future home games may begin checking their ticket stubs to see if their seat has been called in the lottery of “Who will lace up for the Rams next?”
    I think the Defense has been playing pretty great as of late, even against the browns we faired pretty well with the injuries sustained.
    I did some math-

    1st 6 games-
    20.66 1st downs per game allowed
    410.3 total yards per game allowed
    226.5 pass yards per game allowed
    183.8 rush yards per game allowed
    26.83 points per game allowed

    Last 3 games-
    13.66 1st downs per game allowed
    293.3 total yards per game allowed
    209.3 pass yards per game allowed
    84 rush yards per game allowed
    17.33 points per game allowed

    Also the most important stat of all:

    1st 6 games: 0 wins 6 losses
    last 3 games: 2 wins 1 loss


    I hope we can beat Seattle this week. would be awesome.
    Last edited by Tampa_Ram; -11-15-2011 at 08:38 AM. Reason: i put 80 attempts when it was 89 for 2006 season.
    Nick likes this.


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