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    Bernie Bytes: Making SJ39 More Effective

    Bernie Bytes: Making SJ39 more effective

    BY BERNIE MIKLASZ
    Friday, November 19, 2010 12:04 pm

    READING TIME 5 MINUTES:

    * Rams RB Steven Jackson ranks 7th in the NFL in rushing with 757 yards. He's closing in on what would be his sixth consecutive 1,000-yard season. But with so many eight-man fronts smothering Jackson, it hasn't been easy to find cracks in the defense. Jackson averages 3.9 yards per rush, which would be the lowest of his career. The Rams are 26th in the NFL with a rushing avg. of 3.7 yards per carry. It's even worse at home; they rank 31st with an average of 3.2 yards per carry. But there is a way for SJ39 and the Rams to be more productive on the ground ...

    * And offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur gave us a look at it last Sunday in San Francisco by giving Jackson some runs out of the nickel offense. It was an effective tactic. This isn't the first time the Rams have done this, and in some games the strategy didn't work as well as it did against the 'Niners. But when the Rams deployed 3 wide receivers and handed the ball to Jax, he gained 51 yards on 6 carries. That haul included a 26-yard run and a 13-yard TD gallop. When the Rams handed off to Jax in a four-WR set, he ran twice for 13 yards. This season Jackson is averaging 4.5 yards on 76 carries when he runs out of a 3-WR set. And he's averaging 5 yards on 10 runs out of a 4-WR set. Out of the shotgun formation, Jackson averages 5.4 yards on 17 carries.

    * When the Rams try to power up with extra blockers, it's been a strain to run. Jackson is averaging 3.3 yards per carry when the Rams use two tight ends, and only 1.8 yds per carry when they go with three tight ends.

    * Spreading the defense definitely opens things up for Jackson, and let's hope that the Rams will go with this approach more often.

    Moving on ...

    * The Beatles on iTunes? Goodness. I'm gonna have to work hard to resist some late-night impulse-buy binges.

    * Stuff on the Atlanta Falcons: Be careful about blitzing Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan; he's carved up blitzes for 10 touchdowns, 3 INTs, a 61 % completion rate and a 100.5 rating ... former Missouri safety William Moore starts for the Falcons. has 3 INTs, but he's also been burned for 3 TDs and has given up 14 completions in 22 passing attempts against him, according to STATS LLC... former Mizzou LB Sean Weatherspoon was leading Atlanta in tackles before suffering a knee injury. But: Weatherspoon was struggling in his coverage assignments; he'd given up 15 completions in 17 attempts... when CB Christopher Owens gets on the field, the Rams need to go after him; according to STATS Owens has been targeted 37 times and has given up 28 completions for an astoundingly high burn rate of 75.7 percent... the Atlanta offense averages 30 points per game at home, and 18 points on the road ... if he plays, Rams rookie OT Rodger Saffold will be tested by ageless Atlanta defensive end John Abraham, who has 8 sacks and 21 combined QB hurries and knockdowns. Abraham has exploited a few matchups against young OTs this season.... Atlanta wideout Roddy White is among the league's most underrated players; since the start of the 2007 season he ranks 6th in the league in catches (326), 3rd in receiving yards (4,671) and is tied for 5th in TD catches (31.)

    * The Mizzou Falcons, Moore and Weatherspoon, are fired up to play in St. Louis; they went 4-0 in The Ed during their Missouri careers. But according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the players are thrilled to know that Lonnie O'Neal will be attending the game. Mr. O'Neal is the father of Aaron O'Neal, the MU linebacker who collapsed and died after a practice in the summer of 2005.
    Last edited by r8rh8rmike; -11-20-2010 at 01:04 AM.


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