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  1. #1
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Colts' Win Gives The Rams Hope For Future

    It can be done.

    A dome team that throws more than it runs. A defense that averages less than 2 sacks per game and has trouble stopping the run. A team like this can win it all.

    The similarities between the Colts and the Rams are significant. While Marc Bulger is no Peyton Manning, most would say, he did put up some Manning-like numbers this year. The Rams WRs are on par with the Colts' tandem. Steven Jackson and Stephen Davis are certainly as potent at the Addai/Rhodes combo.

    Likewise, the defenses have a lot in common. Both are a bit undersized and rely in speed over bulk. Both gave up over 5.0 yards per carry on the ground this year. Both have a shortage of pass rushers.

    Even the special teams are similar. The Colts were better than the Rams returning kicks, but had problems in coverage, as Devin Hester can attest.

    So there is good news for Rams fans today. A team can win it all playing "dome football," as the Rams/Colts styles might be called.

    What the Rams need to do is consider what separates them, an 8-8 non-playoff team, from the Colts, a Super Bowl Champion. Here are the biggest differences:

    1. Pass Protection: If you want to point to one HUGE gap between the two, its sacks allowed: Colts 15, Rams 49. To play a pass-oriented game, the passer must be protected. For this reason, the Rams must solidify the offensive line. At this point, its not clear whether this will require new talent, or merely the further develoment of the existing unit. But if the Rams want to contend, the sack total must be cut in half.

    2. The TE Position: Here's another big disparity - TE receptions: Colts 67, Rams 27. This statistic is related to the issue of pass protection. When the QB has a big TE to throw to over the middle, opposing teams must devote a would-be blitzer to coverage. It also gives the QB a nice option when in trouble. The development of Klopfenstein and Byrd (or Walker) is therefore more important than most realize.

    3. Confidence in the System: The Colts had every reason not to get over the hump. The system had failed before - both prior to and after Tony Dungy took over. Dungy too had failed to reach the top after years of coming close. But the team stuck together, stayed with the program, and got over. The Rams must likewise continue to have faith in their system. Yes, the running game must be relied on more - but not at the expense of utilizing the skills of Bulger, Bruce and Holt. Yes, the defense must get better against the run, but perhaps a complete overhaul is not the answer.

    They've always said that "defense wins championships." Well, I suppose that, on average, that is true. But its not the only way to win.

    "Dome football," if done right, can get it done too.

  2. #2
    BigGame Guest

    Re: Colts' Win Gives The Rams Hope For Future


    Great point. I couldn't help but think the same type of thing: we are close. Maybe Jon Alston is our Bob Sanders in waiting? Seeing the effect Sanders had on the Colts playoff defense, thats one type of player that our group is lacking.

    I diagree about one thing you said: That Indy also haa a lack of pass rushers. Freeny and Mathis might be the best pass rushing duo in the league. They might not have posted huge numbers this season, but that is because tems seldom needed to risk passing wth the sive-like run D. You put a QB back in the pocket for more than a few seconds, and that line will be all over him.

  3. #3
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Colts' Win Gives The Rams Hope For Future

    Great article AV,

    1. Pass Protection:

    I agree that the sack numbers need to go way down. I question the Colts offensive line. Yes I agree the line is good, great I'm not so sure. Peyton Mannings knowledge of the game combined with his ability to read the defenses is a big factor in the lack of sacks by the oppostion. Not to mention he has a handle on the tendencies of his receivers. On the other hand with Scott Linehan preaching to Marc Bulger about protecting the ball, I wonder how many times he is sacked because of holding the ball to long? I'm not trying to compare Marc to Peyton or take anyhting away from Marc. I just think Dungy has a lot more confidence in Peyton than Linehan has in Marc.

    We'll never know but it would be interesting to see Marc behind the Colts o-line and Peyton behind our Rams o-line.

  4. #4

    Re: Colts' Win Gives The Rams Hope For Future

    Exactly correct. The Colts finally got it right. The Colts are a good example of how a dome can win the big game with elements against them.


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