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Thread: Bernie: Rams Need To Hit Back

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    Bernie: Rams Need To Hit Back

    Bernie: Rams need to hit back

    5 hours ago • BY BERNIE MIKLASZ, Post-Dispatch Sports Columnist

    In the first half of the season the Rams moved up, then got pushed back. The NFL’s youngest team made obvious progress during a 3-2 start but couldn’t make it last. The Rams were taken down for three consecutive losses, then staggered into the bye week to stitch their fresh wounds.

    Has the bleeding stopped?

    The San Francisco ***** figure to let us know Sunday when the teams meet at Candlestick Park. This is a tough assignment for the Rams. The ***** have won their last 11 home games vs. NFC West opponents, and they haven’t lost a division home game since Seattle escaped football Alcatraz on Oct. 26, 2008.

    “We’ve got our hands full this weekend,” Rams coach Jeff Fisher said Wednesday. “This is our biggest challenge to date.”

    If the first five games of 2012 were an indication of how far the Rams had come in Fisher’s first season, the 0-3 crash reminded us of how far they still have to go.

    The second half won’t be easy. Among the 32 NFL teams, only St. Louis and Cleveland have failed to win a game away from home this season, and the Rams will play five of their final eight on the road.

    The *****’ style may seem familiar. They thrive on physical, punishing football. They want to hit you early and often. By the time the game is over, San Francisco’s opponents are likely to have more bruises than yards, more injuries than points.

    On offense, the ***** lead the NFL in rushing yards per game and are No. 1 in the league with an average of 5.6 yards per rushing attempt. On defense, the ***** yield only 3.6 yards per rush, have given up only eight touchdowns from scrimmage and are allowing a league-low 12.9 points per game.

    The ***** are nasty, tenacious and unrelenting. They’ll beat you up on the field, then beat you on the scoreboard.

    Or to put it another way: The ***** play Jeff Fisher football.

    The model used by second-year San Francisco head coach Jim Harbaugh is reminiscent of the approach implemented by Fisher in Tennessee. The ***** are what the Rams aspire to be. The ***** rebuilt their program by tearing down opponents. And that’s how Fisher plans to do it in St. Louis.

    So that’s why I’m intrigued by this matchup, which gives the Rams a chance to reaffirm their commitment to physical football. If you want to play tackle football, then San Francisco is the right place to be.

    I realize they Rams are still short on talent and depth. I realize they don’t have enough playmakers. The Rams are still under construction, and you’d have to be delusional to expect the work to be finished by season’s end.

    But when Rams owner Stan Kroenke hired Fisher to take on the project of strengthening the league’s most pitiful weakling, I expected to see the Rams come out swinging. The Rams weren’t ready to win a lot of games in 2012, but with Fisher installing his football personality I expected the Rams to compete like crazy, buzz quarterbacks, swarm running backs and pound away with a medieval brand of offense.

    The Rams would lose more games than they’d win, but I wanted to see them become the kind of team that opponents hate to play. The ferocity was there during the first five games, but the bristly attitude began to fade in the losses to Miami, Green Bay and New England. The overwhelming 45-7 beatdown by New England was a flashback to the Rams’ sorry days of futility and failure.

    If the Rams, indeed, are going to become a true, black-and-blue Fisher team they have to shake off the pain, wipe their blood, climb back into the ring and hit opponents in the mouth.

    Sunday in San Francisco, the Rams won’t have a choice. There is no alternative. Unless the Rams want to suffer a humiliating battering, they’ll have to stand their ground, fight back and reintroduce themselves to the *****.

    The Rams lost 65 of 80 games from 2008 through 2011 and were the easiest win in the league. This is a good time for the Rams to let the ***** know that they plan to go about their business differently under Fisher.

    I think I’m a reasonable man, and with that in mind, here’s my second-half checklist for the Rams. Pardon me for stating the obvious:

    1. Run the damn football: The Rams rank 24th in the league in rushing attempts per game. The differences in the numbers are minor, but the Rams’ average of 25 rushing attempts per game is their lowest since 2005. They have only two rushing touchdowns. Wasn’t this supposed to be a physical team? Why are the 2012 Rams averaging more passing attempts per game than a 1999 Rams team that averaged 33 points per game en route to a Super Bowl championship?

    2. File a missing persons report on the Rams’ defense: In the three-game losing streak the STL defense was plundered for an average of 30.6 points. Quarterbacks have shredded them for a 72 percent completion rate and nine TD passes with no interceptions. In their first five games, the Rams allowed only two TD passes, intercepted eight passes and held quarterbacks to a horrible passer rating of 66.5.

    3. Cause chaos and mayhem: The Rams have only nine takeaways this season, and none in the last three games. They didn’t have an interception in October. And the Rams have somehow forced only two fumbles in eight games, recovering one. Goodness. Consider this: Chicago Bears cornerback Charles Tillman alone forced four fumbles in Sunday’s win at Tennessee.

    4. Enjoy life by visiting the end zone: We’re not asking offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer or quarterback Sam Bradford to walk on the moon, split the atom or build a new stadium for Kroenke with their bare hands. But at the bottom of the NFL rankings you’ll see St. Louis, Kansas City and Jacksonville tied for the fewest number of touchdowns, 11, from scrimmage. There’s no excuse for that. To the Rams, the red zone might as well be renamed the dread zone, or dead zone.

    5. Make some plays, Sam: Yes, the talent around Bradford is limited. But through eight games he’s completed only 13 of 30 passes in the red zone. His poor red zone passer rating (62.5) ranks 30th among NFL quarterbacks. This is Bradford’s third season, and I know this takes time. So why are nine quarterbacks with less NFL experience outperforming Bradford in the red zone?

    That list consists of rookies Russell Wilson, Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck and Ryan Tannehill and second-year QBs Christian Ponder, Andy Dalton, Blaine Gabbert and Cam Newton. They all have better red zone passer ratings than Bradford. Yes, there are 10 other guys in the huddle with the quarterback, but it’s time for Bradford to start making more of an impact.


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    Re: Bernie: Rams Need To Hit Back

    Every quarterback he lists has a far superior supporting cast.

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    Re: Bernie: Rams Need To Hit Back

    Captain obvious comes to the rescue, again.

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    Re: Bernie: Rams Need To Hit Back

    What would we do without Captain Obvious? One day Bernie will write something substantive and we'll all have a heart-attack.

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    Re: Bernie: Rams Need To Hit Back

    Quote Originally Posted by BrokenWing View Post
    What would we do without Captain Obvious? One day Bernie will write something substantive and we'll all have a heart-attack.
    I would much rather read BernieM articles. By the way where has he been?

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    Re: Bernie: Rams Need To Hit Back

    When in the red zone it would also be nice to have a running game. If you are going to call out Sam, why not call out SJ and Richardson, They have combined for one TD and by the way Sam has matched their production.


    Christian Ponder - Adrian Peterson Has 6 TD
    Russell Wilson - Marshawn Lynch Has 4 TD
    Robert Griffin III - Alfred Morris Has 5 TD

    Most of these QB have a more balanced attack going for them. We are one dimensional when we get in scoring position. No team is biting on play action and why should they we we don't a a real threat to run the ball for a score.

    One TD by a running back is so bad. Bradford can only do so much it would be nice to see Richardson and SJ find the end zone and become a factor.

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    Re: Bernie: Rams Need To Hit Back

    Quote Originally Posted by laram0 View Post
    I would much rather read BernieM articles. By the way where has he been?
    laram0 and lostsoul like this.

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    Re: Bernie: Rams Need To Hit Back

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    Yes???

    What can I do for you?

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    Re: Bernie: Rams Need To Hit Back

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambos View Post
    When in the red zone it would also be nice to have a running game. If you are going to call out Sam, why not call out SJ and Richardson, They have combined for one TD and by the way Sam has matched their production.


    Christian Ponder - Adrian Peterson Has 6 TD
    Russell Wilson - Marshawn Lynch Has 4 TD
    Robert Griffin III - Alfred Morris Has 5 TD

    Most of these QB have a more balanced attack going for them. We are one dimensional when we get in scoring position. No team is biting on play action and why should they we we don't a a real threat to run the ball for a score.

    One TD by a running back is so bad. Bradford can only do so much it would be nice to see Richardson and SJ find the end zone and become a factor.
    Also those three QBs have tackles taken in the top 6 of the draft protecting their blindside. Bradford has a third round pick by the Raiders

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    Re: Bernie: Rams Need To Hit Back

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBritishRam View Post
    Also those three QBs have tackles taken in the top 6 of the draft protecting their blindside. Bradford has a third round pick by the Raiders
    IMO, OL issues are the biggest problem in the red zone. The line is not stopping the pass rush, they're getting stuffed in run blocking, and they're committing costly penalties, all at the wrong time in the wrong place.

    Wells and Saffold can't get back soon enough, because opposing defenses are taking full advantage of the OL breakdowns that happen in the red zone.

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