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Thread: Bernie Bytes: Rams Extra Points

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    Bernie Bytes: Rams Extra Points

    Bernie Bytes: Rams Extra Points

    2 hours ago ē Bernie Miklasz bjmiklasz@post-dispatch.com

    Rams Extra Points:

    1. It would be great to see Zac Stacy get the 42 yards he needs for a 1,000-yard rushing season. Seattle has a strong defensive rep, but it's not as if it's impossible to run the ball against the Seahawks. Seattle ranks 13th in the league in giving up an average of 107.5 yards per game, and opponents have churned for 100-plus yards nine times. The Rams slammed Seattle for 200 yards rushing on 37 carries back on Oct. 28, with Stacy grinding for 134 yards. In recent weeks the Seahawks have lost two games by allowing 163 yards rushing to San Francisco and 139 yards rushing to Arizona.

    2. Stacy's quest will be made more difficult by the loss of offensive left tackle Jake Long, who graded out as one of the best run blockers in the NFL this season. It was a shame to see Long carted off in Sunday's win over Tampa Bay after suffering a likely torn knee ligament. The Rams took a chance on signing Long last offseason and he's been a terrific addition. When Long went out, the Rams trudged on Sunday without three starters from their season-opening offensive line: Long, center Scott Wells and right guard Harvey Dahl.

    3. If Stacy hits the 1,000-yard marker the accomplishment will carry more meaning because he will have gotten it done in only 12 starts. Stacy has 954 yards in his 11 games as a starter, which ranks fourth in the NFL over that time. His average of 86.7 rushing yards per game as a starter would translate into 1,387 yards over the full 16 games.

    4. Stacy has seven rushing touchdowns, and that's notable for a couple of reasons. First, that's the most rushing touchdowns by a Ram in a season since Steven Jackson had seven in 2008. Second, Jackson played nine seasons in St. Louis and rushed for seven or more touchdowns in a season only three times.

    5. The Rams' rookie class shined in Sunday's win over Tampa Bay. Stacy rushed for 104 yards. Linebacker Alec Ogletree forced two fumbles, had eight tackles, stuffed two running plays for losses, and was credited with a half-sack. Wide receiver Stedman Bailey continued to pop out as a real talent, rushing for a 27-yard TD and catching three passes for 44 yards. One Bailey reception ó on a very nice catch ó resulted in a personal foul penalty against Tampa Bay and set up a Rams field goal. And then there was safety T.J. McDonald, who had his first NFL sack as part of his six-tackle day. McDonald and defensive end Robert Quinn led the Rams with six tackles. First-round pick Tavon Austin didn't play for the second consecutive week because of an ankle injury.

    6. Ogletree entered Sunday's game with four forced fumbles on the season; the count now stands at six forced fumbles. That's something Ogletree should be proud of for this reason: he's forced the most fumbles in a season by a Rams linebacker since the team moved to St. Louis in 1995. Ogletree moved ahead of London Fletcher (2001) and Pisa Tinoisamoa (2003), each of whom forced four fumbles.

    7. Cornerbacks Janoris Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson have played very well over the last two games, playing the lead roles in limiting New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees and Tampa Bay QB Mike Glennon to a combined 79.9 passer rating and 6.72 yards per passing attempt.

    8. If we're going to raise a fuss over Rams defensive coordinator Tim Walton when his defense struggles, it's only fair to note the improvement. Though they still have some work to do in pass coverage ó mainly because of inexperience and a lack of depth ó the Rams' defense has been among the best in the NFL in the last 11 games. As I noted in my Monday column, the Rams rank seventh in the league in allowing an average of 19.6 points over the last 11 games.

    9. Tampa Bay was 4 for 5 in converting third downs in the first quarter ... and that was it. The Rams defense stopped the Bucs on all nine third-down plays from the second quarter on.

    10. I wrote it last year and will say it again: we've had 47 seasons of NFL football in St. Louis. And there has never been a better punter-kicker combo than punter Johnny Hekker and kicker Greg Zuerlein.

    Thanks for reading ...

    ó Bernie


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    Re: Bernie Bytes: Rams Extra Points

    Good / 'feel good' read, excellent factual observations -- very positive.

    1-4). No doubt, little Stacy has emerged big. Hopefully this trend of his will continue along w/ a better OL.

    2). Hmmm, and I was labeling (in my mind) LT Jake Long as an "iffy" player.

    8-9). GOOO... D-#####!


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    Re: Bernie Bytes: Rams Extra Points

    This is going to be a longer than usual offseason for me. Our Rams are going to be a contender next season. We know we have a solid running game, our starting QB is coming back and what I believe will be one of the best defenses in the NFL. My expectations will be high and having to wait for the 2014 season to start is going to be tough on me.

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    Re: Bernie Bytes: Rams Extra Points

    Run the football, play good defense, dont turn the football over, avoid silly penalties and we will win most games.

    Sounds like a hell of a plan to me
    live4ramin likes this.

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    Re: Bernie Bytes: Rams Extra Points

    My gosh!! Hard not to be excited after that read.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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