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  1. #1
    Nick's Avatar
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    Well, that was ugly...

    I picked the Rams to win their opening game, not because I was exceptionally down on the Panthers, but I expected an inspired performance along the lines of last yearís Denver game.

    Unfortunately, thatís not what we got. The Rams looked anything but inspired on Sunday, especially in the second half. Turnovers, injuries, and an inability to sustain drives seemed to suck the life out of this team as the Panthers marched on to victory.

    First things first. Offensive execution was poor, but in my opinion, the playcalling was worse. We had virtually no downfield passing attack, even when left tackle Orlando Pace was in the game. When #76 went out, the hand was even tighter to the vest. We have too much talent on this offense to not open things up more, but Olsen seems content testing the perimeter with quick hits to receivers at the line of scrimmage that donít seem to play to the strengths of our players. Randy McMichael was virtually nonexistent in this contest, making me wonder what plans they spent half a year drawing up for him that they ended up not using. Milford Brown started the game at right guard, but if I had my way he wouldnít see much more time on this team. Unfortunately, injuries may prevent my dream from coming true.

    To continue with the offense, newly-resigned quarterback Marc Bulger was okay, nothing special. He looked a bit skittish once Pace was out of the line-up, and it affected his accuracy. I canít really say I blame him, as itís a scary thought going up against the Panthersí defensive front without two O-line starters. But you would expect a leader to step up and lead in that situation. This game was typical of one of Bulgerís slow starts to the season. I expect him to improve. Stud running back Steven Jackson ran well to start the game but didn't do much as the game progressed, touching the ball only six times in the second half. Two of those touches resulted in turnovers, the first of which basically changed the entire game's momentum, and his second fumble all but sealed the fate of the team. Jackson didnít seem to have many gaping holes to run through, and as with the case with Bulger, I tend to rank playcalling and the offensive line as bigger concerns in this game.

    Now, onto the defense. As a whole, I thought the unit looked solid in the first quarter excluding the Panthers' first drive. But the offense's inability to sustain drives caused the D to play too much in the second half, and they wore down quite a bit. Second-year cornerback Tye Hill was decent against Panthers star receiver Steve Smith, but Hill got burnt like a piece of fried chicken on that deep touchdown pass, falling on his face as Smith cruised into the end zone. He should probably learn to keep his mouth shut and let his play talk for itself. Inconsistent free safety O.J. Atogwe looked lost out there today, similar to how he started 2006. Hopefully his turnaround is quicker than it was last year, but I left the game rather unimpressed by the play of our safeties. Corey Chavous had a nice forced fumble in the second half, but it wasnít enough to excuse his bad play in the first and second quarters. Rookie Adam Carriker showed promise inside on the defensive line, but the D just didn't get a break in the second half of this game and it showed.

    The Carolina Panthers, on the other hand, executed as if they were in midseason form. Jake Delhomme looked better than usual, and Steve Smith was on fire. They took advantage of everything the Rams did incorrectly. There are still some issues theyíd likely want to shore up, particularly efficiency on third down and ball protection by the runners, but they have to be relatively happy about how they played today. There are some instances where a person says "Team A didn't win the game, but instead Team B lost it." I'm not sure I'd go that far because the Panthers were executing well and clearly played good enough football to claim the win as their own, but the Rams gave them a lot of help with their own uninspired, unproductive play.

    On top of it all, it looks like Orlando Pace is injured again with a shoulder sprain that sounds significant. It doesn't sound like we'll be seeing him any time soon, but perhaps Monday's MRI will bring good news.

    Hopefully St. Louis finds the solution this week in practice.


  2. #2
    MASSIVE's Avatar
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    Re: Well, that was ugly...

    Your post on the game was right on Nick, and thats the sad part.:\ Our team looked like ---- well you know, and they seem not to care. As a fan this frustrates me, how can I support a team that has no leaders? So much talent on Offense-doesn't mean a thing if the players don't have any heart or play with desire. I support the coaching staff but the playcalling on Offense sucked today. Alot of players have to look in the mirror on monday and ask themselves why they play this game. Nine players voted team captains! what a joke, why don't we make all the players on the team captains because it doesn't mean much with these players!:\

  3. #3
    blood85's Avatar
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    Re: Well, that was ugly...

    Ugly would be an understatement when our leading scorer was our kicker...and no disrespect to JW, he is a nice kicker for us, it's just that our offense looked lethargic.

  4. #4
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    Re: Well, that was ugly...

    Man, that was difficult to watch for me, I have been waiting for the Rams to be peiced togother, for years... what are we missing...

  5. #5
    Stlskaterprep696 is offline Registered User
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    Re: Well, that was ugly...

    Yes, I agree totally Nick. This game broke my heart. The fact that we had chances and lost them sends a striking bolt to my chest.
    Plays of the game that gave the game away. On the first drive the panthers had the ball steve smith was down field and O.J atogwe was covering him, atogwe was called for defensive pass interference on 3rd down and long and they went down to score, right then and there i would have sat atogwe and made a point to this defense. That is retarded to get that kind of penalty in that situation. I could have forgotten him if it wasn't for his terrible game, missing tackles and having bad awareness what so ever.
    I hated our play calling ... terrible just terrible, not one pass downfield, we stopped running w/ jackson and i couldn't blame him since steven jackson gave the ball away to runs in a row. Our play was pathetic our offensive leaders failed Bulger should have led us, jackson should have held on to the ball and i saw no inspired play from isaac bruce. We have too many weapons for us not to be scoring its our offensive cordinator and we need to do something about it.

  6. #6
    blood85's Avatar
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    Re: Well, that was ugly...

    That sucks for pace and the rams, he's out for the entire season.

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