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Av's First Quarter Rams' Progress Report
Here are my grades for the first four games:
The Rams have not been able to generate much on the ground, with an average of 90.5 ypg and a per carry average of 3.7. I think this is more due to the health (or lack thereof) of the offensive line than it is the fault of the RBs. Interestingly, there are 12 teams who average fewer yards rushing per game than the Rams. Just goes to show how the league has changed.
Sam Bradford has had his ups and downs as the depleted line has caused him to go up and down on the turf. Still, there are some stats that look very good, including Sam's passer rating of 97 in the fourth quarter when the score was within 7 points, and Danny Amendola's hot start (second in the NFL in receptions, 7th in receiving yards). With better protection, and the gradual emergence of the rookie WRs, this part of the offense is looking up.
The Rams have had their troubles here, giving up 135.2 yards per game and a 4.7 average. Michael Brockers should help, but I think we're seeing why OLB and S will be target positions next offseason.
The Rams are second in the league in passer rating against (64.2) and first in interceptions (8). While the pass rush has not generated a lot of sacks, the pressure has been fairly consistent, and Chris Long and Robert Quinn are on pace to combine for 20 sacks. The real change, though is the upgrade at CB, with Finnegan and Jenkins bringing a new attitude to the defense.
Rookie PK Greg Zuerlein is arguably the team MVP, and P Johnny Hecker is doing great as well. The coverage units have been solid, and have blocked one punt. The only area that has not stood out is the return game, though there have not been any serious miscues.
Between Jeff Fisher's leadership and Brian Schottenheimer's great use of limited pieces, the coaches must be praised. There really is a "value added" factor from having an experienced, professional coaching staff.
Re: Av's First Quarter Rams' Progress Report
Pick a word, I'll choose swoon. We have a team that can play competitive, respectable football, and it's about damn time.St. Louis, "The Gateway to the West".
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