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  1. #1
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    Bernie Bytes: Rams Must Stop KC Run

    Bernie Bytes: Rams must stop KC run

    BY BERNIE MIKLASZ
    Wednesday, December 15, 2010

    READING TIME 5 MINUTES:

    * Let's begin a breakdown of the KC-STL matchup by stating the obvious: the Rams had better be able to stop the run on Sunday at The Edward Jones Dome. And that's true whether Matt Cassel plays or doesn't play QB for the Chiefs. Kansas City leads the NFL in yards rushing per game, 165.4. The Chiefs lead the league in runs of 10+ yards, with 60. Their average per carry of 4.8 yards is 4th. They are second in thee NFL in rushing first downs. And according to STATS LLC, the Chiefs have the second-lowest "stuff" rate on their running plays.

    * Two Chiefs rank among the top 20 rushing leaders: Jamaal Charles is No. 3 with 1,177 yards and a tremendous average of 6.1 yards per rush. The Chiefs were smart to bring in veteran Thomas Jones to complement Charles and the system has worked beautifully, with Jones rushing for 766 yards (20th in the NFL) and an average of 4.0 yards per carry. Charles and Jones have combined for 8 rushing touchdowns.

    * To address a more specific concern: the Chiefs' best area of running the football happens to be the weakest area of the Rams' run defense. The Chiefs love to attack the defense with perimeter runs to the far left side; they've gone there 117 times for 677 yards, an average of 5.8 yards per attempt. They've gained 10+ yards on 26 runs to the left sideline. And when the Chiefs run off left tackle, they've gotten 208 yards on 37 carries (5.8-yd average).

    * Charles averages 7.1 yards per carry on 60 runs to the left sideline. And off left tackle, he's carried 20 times for 154 yards for an average of 7.7 yards per carry.

    * I don't want to give the impression that the Chiefs are a left-handed team. They're also very strong on perimeter runs to the far right, averaging 5.1 yards on 100 carries there.

    * So how do the Rams match up against the Chiefs' primary running strength? On paper, not very well. The Rams, who have struggled at outside linebacker, have been vulnerable against perimeter runs -- especially to the left sideline. Opponents have rushed to the left outside 106 times for 537 yards, an average of 5.1 yards per carry. And on runs to the right sideline the Rams have given up 4.3 yards per carry. In all, the Rams have allowed 28 runs of 10+ yards on carries to the far left or far right.

    * If Cassel can't play Sunday, the Chiefs will have no choice but to crank up their running game and zone in on the Rams' weaker spots. With no passing game, the Chiefs were unable to get much done on the ground in Sunday's 31-0 loss at San Diego. They averaged 2.8 yards per carry. The Chargers didn't fear the KC passing attack and obviously locked down on the run. If Cassel doesn't go, and the Rams load up to stop the run, I don't think the Chiefs will back off.

    MOVING ON ...

    * The Rams need to fix their red-zone offense. They were doing decently there for a while, scoring 7 TDs in 15 attempts against Carolina, San Francisco, Atlanta and Denver. But in the last two games the Rams went 0 for 3 in the red zone at Arizona, and were 1 for 4 with two interceptions in four RZ opportunities in the loss at New Orleans.

    * Over the last three games QB Sam Bradford is 6 for 20 in the red zone (30 percent) with a TD and 2 INT for a rating of 16.7.

    * And the Rams continue to be one of the poorest red-zone running teams in the NFL, with Steven Jackson rushing 38 times for only 65 yards, an average of 1.7 yards per pop.

    MOVING ON ...

    * And what of Cassel's status for Sunday? He's trying to make it back after undergoing an appendectomy a week ago. Monday, Cassel told a Kansas City radio station that he's "day to day." But today (Wednesday) is an important day in tracking Cassel's progression, because the Chiefs return to practice. And this will be the first indication of what, if anything, Cassel can do. Cassel told the Kansas City Star that he's preparing as if he will play in St. Louis. You can read more about that here, but keep in mind that kansascity.com will have more updated information later in the day.

    Here's an update from Kansas City ...

    * This much is certain: Cassel is having a terrific season. He's 5th in the NFL with a passer rating of 98.4. He has a superb touchdown/interception ratio of 23 TDs and 4 INTs. That ranks 2nd in the NFL to New England's Tom Brady. There was a lot of hooting in Kansas City last season when Cassel struggled with consistency after signing a six-year, $63 million contract extension. But no one is hollering now. Cassel won't win the NFL's MVP Award but he should be on the short list of candidates. The Chiefs offense was helpless without him at San Diego.

    Thanks for reading ...

    Bernie


  2. #2
    BrokenWing's Avatar
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    Re: Bernie Bytes: Rams Must Stop KC Run

    Allow me to summarize Bernie:

    "The sky is falling, the rams have no chance of beating the Chiefs, no matter what."

  3. #3
    C-Mob 71's Avatar
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    Re: Bernie Bytes: Rams Must Stop KC Run

    Quote Originally Posted by BrokenWing View Post
    Allow me to summarize Bernie:

    "The sky is falling, the rams have no chance of beating the Chiefs, no matter what."
    I believe it was more like

    "The sky is falling, if the Rams can't stop KC's run game they have no chance of beating the Chiefs."

    I am still very much concerned any time our OLBs have to face a premium fast running back, and that is exactly what Jamaal Charles is.

    With or without Cassel, we have to make the Chiefs beat us through the air, and preferably take Bowe out of the game with double coverages.

    Make no mistake about it, getting blown out by the Chargers notwithstanding, this will be a very tough game.

  4. #4
    BrokenWing's Avatar
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    Re: Bernie Bytes: Rams Must Stop KC Run

    Yes, but the language Bernie used suggested we would have no chance at all of stopping their running game.

  5. #5
    macrammer's Avatar
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    Re: Bernie Bytes: Rams Must Stop KC Run

    I did not read that Rams have no chance. He is right on point though.... We are not particularly good against the run. KC Strength, our weakness. But, that is why they play the game

  6. #6
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Bernie Bytes: Rams Must Stop KC Run

    Quote Originally Posted by macrammer View Post
    I did not read that Rams have no chance. He is right on point though.... We are not particularly good against the run. KC Strength, our weakness. But, that is why they play the game
    Exactly...."Any Given Sunday"

    GO RAMS!

  7. #7
    RuffRams's Avatar
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    Re: Bernie Bytes: Rams Must Stop KC Run

    If Cassels not playing, We shoudl be playing the run all 3 downs haha. If he is thought it is going to more complicated and we are going to have to be more disciplined in run D

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