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  1. #1
    eldfan's Avatar
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    Bernie Bites: Rams choke

    BY BERNIE MIKLASZ


    TAMPA, FLA. There is no polite way to put this: the Rams choked.

    They absolutely, positively, handed a game to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers by blowing a 17-3 lead in a disappointing 18-17 loss.

    It's a game that the Rams had won, only to give it away with a hideous second half.

    This was much worse than the 44-6 loss in Detroit. That was an example of losing to a team that was sharper and better on that day. The Rams were ambushed in that one.

    This was a gag job. This is a game that the Rams had control of, with Tampa Bay all but looking for a hole to crawl into after the Rams took charge early.

    The second half was shaky on both sides of the ball, and also with the coaching. It's a shame that the Rams couldn't have played a consistent 60 minutes.

    For the second consecutive game the Rams were sensational in the first half and so-so in the second half. I'm not sure why that is. Inexperience? Coaching? Not quite being used to prosperity? Lack of confidence?

    I suppose it's all part of the process. You don't go from being 1-15 to having all of the answers and solutions in one season. But this game should have never been close. The Rams, vastly superior in the first half, should have put it away without much of a challenge.

    This was an unsteady, mistake-prone Tampa Bay team playing before a sparse, quiet crowd. And the Rams took command for a 17-3 lead. And then it slipped away.

    What happened? The offense was awful in the second half. As good as offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur was in the first half, that's how ineffective he was in the second half. The creativity dried up. The offense, which had such terrific and tempo in the first half, was out of sync in the second half and gut shut out.

    I don't know why it is that Steve Spagnuolo and Shurmur have concluded that their team is good enough to sit on leads for an entire half of football, but that's what we've seen for two weeks in a row. It's a joke.

    Quarterback Sam Bradford had accuracy issues.

    There were four false start penalties by the O-line and tight ends.

    Danario Alexander wasn't ultilized enough.

    After a great first half, Steven Jackson didn't get into a groove in the second half -- or he wasn't given the opportunity to get into a groove.

    Tampa Bay's defense made adjustments and the Rams coaches lost another chess match.

    The Rams defense probably got tired, but that doesn't excuse them. We saw this unit drop at least three -- maybe four -- interceptions in the game to leave the door wide open for Tampa Bay. A dropped INT by MLB James Laurinaitis early in the 3rd quarter could have salted this one away for the Rams. But once again the bad hands of the defense proved to be costly.

    No excuses. The Rams had it in their hands: an elusive road win, a 4-3 record, a chance to go 5-3 next week with a win over Carolina.

    And they dropped it. A simply horrible loss. There is no way to gloss over that.

    :ramlogo:

  2. #2
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    Re: Bernie Bites: Rams choke

    You really can't say it any other way than this.

  3. #3
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    Re: Bernie Bites: Rams choke

    Quote Originally Posted by RockinRam View Post
    You really can't say it any other way than this.
    But it's ALL Shurmur's fault Bernie! DUH!

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    Re: Bernie Bites: Rams choke

    Quote Originally Posted by RamsInfiniti View Post
    But it's ALL Shurmur's fault Bernie! DUH!

    It's also Shurmur's fault that we can't tackle and stop an undrafted rookie...

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    Re: Bernie Bites: Rams choke

    The one question I do have about the coaching involves the use of Alexander.

    Was he not 100% today?
    Was he just never open or was he hardly on the field?

    It seemed we targeted Gibson and Robinson more but I don't know the actual stats.

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    Re: Bernie Bites: Rams choke

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambunctious View Post
    The one question I do have about the coaching involves the use of Alexander.

    Was he not 100% today?
    Was he just never open or was he hardly on the field?

    It seemed we targeted Gibson and Robinson more but I don't know the actual stats.

    I saw him occasionally. I wondered why we would throw fade routes to Brandon Gibson, whos around 6ft, when Alexander and his 6ft 5inch self is available.


    Robinson is becoming more and more obsolete. Doesn't show up, doesn't make plays anymore. I don't know if this is playcalling, or the fact that he just isn't that good. Most likely both, but mainly the latter.



    I guess Alexander was never open when he was on the field.

  7. #7
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    Re: Bernie Bites: Rams choke

    Quote Originally Posted by RockinRam View Post
    I wondered why we would throw fade routes to Brandon Gibson, whos around 6ft, when Alexander and his 6ft 5inch self is available.
    I know. Every time I saw the fade route pass I was always shocked to not see Alexander at the receiving end.

  8. #8
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    Re: Bernie Bites: Rams choke

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernie
    This was much worse than the 44-6 loss in Detroit.
    I certainly agree here. This loss was as bad as they get.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernie
    As good as offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur was in the first half, that's how ineffective he was in the second half. The creativity dried up. The offense, which had such terrific and tempo in the first half, was out of sync in the second half and gut shut out.
    Have to say I agree with Bernie again. When the offense struggles, for whatever reason, it's the coaches who have to calm things down and call some plays to change things up. I mentioned in another thread that during the second half today, there wasn't a single screen called, not a single called rollout, not a single swing pass to a back, not a single draw, not a single misdirection or counter play. The result was a predictable offense that gave the Bucs defense nothing to think about and nothing to make them change their scheme. That's on Shurmur IMO.

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    Re: Bernie Bites: Rams choke

    I've just watched the game and I have to say that the continued inability of the offense to get anything going in the second half looks like a fundamental flaw in this football team.

    The offense cost the Rams the game and for me that's on Shurmur. We dodged a bullet last week, we didn't this and when you go into the tank the way we did in the second half that's the risk that this football team will run for the rest of the season unless they get something done about it.

  10. #10
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    Re: Bernie Bites: Rams choke

    I didn't get to watch the game (at my Grandson's Birthday Party...He's a whopping 3 now) but it sure seems like the BUCS made the 2nd half adjustments and we didn't.

  11. #11
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    Re: Bernie Bites: Rams choke

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambunctious View Post
    The one question I do have about the coaching involves the use of Alexander.

    Was he not 100% today?
    Was he just never open or was he hardly on the field?

    It seemed we targeted Gibson and Robinson more but I don't know the actual stats.
    Quoting from a Jim Thomas article...

    When asked about Alexander's limited role, coach Steve Spagnuolo said it was "not by design. Probably by call. I mean, there are formations and personnel groupings for him to be in there. And if they're not called or dialed up then he's not in there as much."

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