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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Breaking Down Rams-panthers==hadley

    Sunday, November 19, 2006



    YOU WANT, YOU GET… JUST ONCE

    Many readers have asked that I post my game notes on this website. The
    fact is, all too often this material would be utilized by other media
    without proper credit. Dating back to last season, I’ve learned that
    the big boys (The Bernie, Jim Thomas, Derrick Goold, Howard Balzer,
    Steve Savard, FSN Midwest, co-workers at KTRS will credit moi). A few other
    columnists, as well as numerous radio and TV personalities have no
    problem pilfering my material or breaking news for their own.

    The requests heightened during the baseball season… with dozens of
    requests weekly including some three dozen following the KTRS football
    preview show this week… this once I’ll post my notes.

    Please remember these are written for quick access while on the air
    previewing the current game while looking ahead one week.

    I haven’t altered for posting hence this is the material I’d print
    as an on-air cheat sheet in additions to various other items.

    For those that have wondered about what my game day stats sheets…
    here you go.


    RAMS-PANTHERS
    WEEK 11 (GAME 10)
    PRE-GAME, NFL, GLANCE AHEAD LINERS

    OVERVIEW/STORYLINES…

    A. The Rams rank fifth in the NFL averaging 32.3 yards per offensive
    drive… second in the NFC and fifth in the NFL. The Rams defense is
    allowing 32.4 yards per opposing defensive drive… second worst in the NFC
    and third worst in the NFL.

    A1. Offensive Tag Note: The 2004 Rams (Martz last full season) averaged
    32.5 yards per drive.

    A2. Defensive Tag Note: The Rams are allowing the opposition 13 percent
    more yardage per drive than the 2004-2005 editions (combined average).

    B. Field Position: Both teams have worked just two touchdowns drives
    this season when starting drives inside their respective 20 yard line.

    C. The Panthers offense, more so than any opponent the Rams will face
    this season, is predicated on first-down success. The Panthers have
    managed to gain four or more yards at a 50 percent clip. On the flip side,
    the Panthers ranked last (32nd) in third-down conversion (27 percent).

    D. Play Selection… the majority continue to call for more running…
    however the Rams would be best served attacking the Panthers through
    the air to set up the run. The Panthers “back seven” can be had with
    short to medium range passes and in particular over the middle.

    D1. Historical Tag Note: The Rams are throwing the ball at a rate of 61
    percent. The previous three seasons, the Rams opted to pass on 62
    percent of plays. From 1999-2001, the Rams selected the pass on 59 percent
    of plays. Ultimately, the play selection this season is similar to the
    recent past.

    D2. The Rams have scored just one touchdown outside the RED ZONE this
    season. In total 17 of 18 offensive touchdowns this season were scored
    in the RED ZONE. At some point, the offense must once again extend the
    defense… the Rams scored 23 touchdowns outside the RED ZONE over the
    previous two seasons (combined, avg. 11.5 per season). Torry Holt caught
    a 67-yard TD pass from Marc Bulger against Seattle in Game Six for lone
    TD outside the RED ZONE for Rams this season.

    D3. On the other end of the spectrum… the Rams defense has allowed
    (tied) the second most touchdowns outside the RED ZONE this season.

    E. Pick It… Carolina QB Jake Delhomme has thrown an interception in
    four straight games. This is the perfect time to for the Rams to end
    their own streak. For the first time since the NFL merger (1970), the Rams
    have gone five straight games without an interception.


    OFFENSIVE NOTES

    *The Rams lead the NFL pre-snap penalties with 34 (3.78 per game). In
    comparison: Dating back to last season, Carolina has a combined 22
    false-start penalties (25 games)… the Rams have 24 false-start penalties
    through nine games this season. The Rams have recorded 40 percent more
    pre-snap penalties than the eight current divisional leaders (combined)
    average to date.

    *The Rams have been flagged 74 times (10 declined) this season… fifth
    most in the NFL.

    *The Rams must limit offensive faus pax considering the Panthers are
    second in the NFC forcing 31 “three and out” series.

    *The Rams defense must respond in kind: Offensively, the Panthers have
    had one hiccup over the last seven games… against the Dallas Cowboys.
    Carolina lacks offensive explosion however remains disciplined
    presenting opposing defense limited opportunities. The Rams will have to stop
    the Panthers the old fashion way… earning “three and out.”

    *Marc Bulger ranks second (behind Peyton Manning) in Passer Rating
    under pressure dating back to last season. On the flip side, Jake Delhomme
    has the worst passer rating in the NFL under pressure since ‘05.

    *Jake Delhomme ranks among the best in the NFL throwing the deep ball.
    Carson Palmer is the only quarterback in the NFL to throw more
    touchdowns on pass attempts over 30 yards (since 2005).

    *Delhomme is starting his 57th straight game (fifth best in the NFL).

    *Isaac Bruce ranks third in the NFC with 14 catches on third or fourth
    down resulting in a first down or touchdown this season


    DEFENSIVE NOTES

    *Will Witherspoon is second to Brian Urlacher in the NFC with 24
    premium tackles (stops for two yards or less). Witherspoon is on pace for 43
    premium tackles this season. The last three seasons, the NFC leader in
    premium tackles averaged 46, the NFC leader among linebackers averaged
    44 during the same timeframe.

    *Witherspoon is tied with or ranks second (depending on stat service)
    another member of the Bears defense, Lance Briggs, for the NFC lead in
    solo tackles.

    *Witherspoon has always struggled in pass coverage playing inside. This
    season he‘s been beat four times for touchdowns with his targeted
    player catching the pass for positive yardage 80 percent of attempts this
    season (nearly 20 percent higher than previous two seasons). Oddly,
    when flanked outside he is fabulous in pass coverage. The Rams linebacking
    unit ranks among the weakest in pass coverage… thankfully Carolina
    lacks the components to expose the weakness. Conversation notes: Best
    Pass-Coverage LBing Corps: NFC---Philadelphia/AFC---Baltimore; Most
    Underrated---Green Bay. Best ILBs in Pass-Coverage---1. Ray Lewis, Baltimore;
    2. Bradie James, Dallas; 3. Andra Davis, Cleveland; 4. Bart Scott,
    Baltimore; 5. Tedy Bruschi, New England; Best Rookie ILBs in Pass Coverage:
    AFC---DeMeco Ryans, Houston/NFC---A.J. Hawk, Green Bay.

    *The Rams rank eighth (fifth in the NFC) pressuring opposing
    quarterbacks on 27 percent of pass plays ranking ahead of Carolina (24.5) this
    season.

    *The Rams rank fourth in the NFL (first in the NFC) blitzing on 46.5
    percent of pass plays. While the Rams are blitzing (on pass plays) at a
    rate 64 percent higher compared to 2005... the results are
    disappointing. This season, the Rams sack percentage on blitzes (on pass plays) is
    minimally higher (and less compared to the 2004 edition), however the
    2006 edition is permitting pass plays of 20 or more yards on 12.5 of
    blitzes an increase over both 2005 Rams (six percent) and 2004 Rams (7.8
    percent).

    *The topic of Julius Peppers and Leonard Little will arise… As a
    reminder here are DE ratings for 2006 to date: NFC---1. Peppers; 2. Little;
    3. Aaron Kampman, G.B.; 4. Alex Brown, Chi.; 5. Charles Grant, N.O.; 6.
    Mike Strahan, NYG; 7. Bryant Young, S.F.; 8. Darren Howard, Philly; 9.
    Will Smith, N.O.; 10. Trent Cole, Philly. Most Underrated: Dewayne
    White, T.B.; Best Newcomer: Mark Anderson, Chi. (NFC). Most Disappointing:
    Simeon Rice, T.B.
    1. Jared Allen, K.C.; 2. Jason Taylor, Mia.; 3. Justin Smith,
    Cincinnati; 4. Terrell Suggs, Baltimore; 5. Kyle Vanden Bosch, Tenn,; 6. Derrick
    Burgess, Oakland; 7. Robert Mathis, Indy; 8. Dwight Freeney, Indy; 9.
    Bobby McCray, Jax; 10. Aaron Smith, Pitt; Most Underrated: Chris
    Kelsay, Buffalo; Best Newcomer: Tamba Hali, K.C. (AFC); Most Disappointing:
    Freeney, Indy.

    *The Panthers defensive discipline has seemingly waned annually since
    the 2003 season (played in The Super Bowl). This might be the
    worst-tackling Carolina edition during the John Fox era.


    NEXT WEEK…

    *The ***** defense has registered two sweet performances with Brandon
    Moore and Bryant Young playing at elevated levels… check performances
    against Seattle this week.

    *The ***** defense has the biggest decrease in yards allowed per game.
    ‘Frisco is allowing 51 yards less per game this season.

    *San Francisco has yielded 70.5 percent of points allowed to be scored
    in the first half… that‘s right 177 of 251 points permitted were
    allowed in the first half this season… update for Monday Night show.

    *Stress the fact that Frank Gore is the most underrated power-runner in
    the game. He has the speed for the big play however leads all NFC
    running backs (with 100 or more carries) in yards per carry after contact.
    His status vs. Seattle is in doubt because of concussion suffered last
    week vs. Detroit.

    *Arnaz Battle has developed into Alex Smith’s go-to receiver in
    clutch situations.

    *Smith is showing patience under pressure and beginning to take
    advantage of matchups.

    *Will the return of TE Vernon Davis command enough coverage to open the
    field for Antonio Bryant big plays? Will he play this weekend? Expected
    to play vs. Rams.

    *Rams and ***** both have four players with 25 or more catches this
    season (second only to Miami with five).


    NFL NOTES…

    *The Rams have totaled an NFL-low (best) five dropped passes this
    season. Is it a coincidence that the Detroit Lions are tied in the NFL with
    the third fewest dropped passes this season? Obviously, former Rams
    Coach Mike Martz works wonders with receivers as well considering that the
    Lions tied for the second “most“ dropped passes averaging 2.5 drops
    per game in 2005.

    *Side Bar: Torry and Ike have combined for 1,137 yards receiving this
    season. In Detroit, Roy Williams and Mike Furrey have combined for 1,316
    yards receiving this season.

    *Why is New Orleans succeeding? Aside from Peyton Manning, Drew Brees
    receives the best pass protection in the NFL. Brees has been sacked an
    NFL-low nine times and has been knocked down just 20 times this season.

    *Keep an eye on Pats-Packers, between Brett Favre (34) and Tom Brady
    (21) these two QBs have led their teams to a combined 55 fourth quarter
    game-winning drives.

    *There are nine WRs in the NFL with 50 or more receptions this season
    (including Torry Holt, 52). The Atlanta Falcons receiving corps, in
    total, have just 59 receptions (combined) this season. Vick must develop a
    connection with his wideouts.

    *Battle of Bad Numbers---The Cardinals have committed a turnover in 32
    straight games. The Cardinals offense last played an error-free game on
    11/14/2004... Since 2001, Detroit is 5-39 (.114) on the road.

    *Seattle has won 10 straight NFC West games.

    *Kansas City is 11-1 vs. AFC West teams at home in their last 12 such
    meetings… Oakland has lost 11 straight games against AFC West
    brethren.

    *Yes, Indianapolis is 9-0... However the Colts aren’t dominating, in
    fact, seven of their nine wins were registered by seven points or less
    (four were decided by five points or less).



    IN THE END…

    A. Yes, the Rams have allowed an NFC-high 143.6 yards rushing this
    season… however I would force the Panthers running game to win the game.
    Unless DeAngelo Williams suddenly finds his stride… the Panthers
    running game won’t break the Rams. On the flip side, Steve Smith can
    single-handily win this game if given the chance. The Rams don’t have an
    answer for Keyshawn Johnson. The Rams only hope is a combination of
    blitz packages (linebackers) to pressure Jake Delhomme and force the
    Panthers runners to break big runs. The Panthers have just five runs of 20
    or more yards this season… on the flip side, the Panthers have five TD
    passes of 20 or yards this season. STEVE SMITH IS THE PANTHER “O.”
    Dating back to last season, Smith has accounted for 43 percent of the
    Panthers receiving yards.


    B. Rams must work Klop, and Shaun McDonald into the mix. Short, quick
    passes and connections over the middle will keep the Panthers back-seven
    balanced on defense. The Rams must establish the pass to setup the run
    which in turn will create long-ball opportunities as the game
    develops… pass, pass, pass.


    C. Utilize Stephen Davis in close quarters and particularly for the
    tough yards near pay dirt. Force defense to pick between Davis and
    Jackson… forget Paul Smith. Davis can be a decoy, blocker or runner… he is
    capable of getting the toughest final yard!


    Prediction: Rams play with reckless abandon on defense forcing Jake
    Delhomme into mistakes… Holt and Bruce deliver the knockout blows after
    Panther defense is softened by Jackson/Davis on the ground and mixture
    of short to medium passes. Rams win 27-17.


    NOTE: If Rams win… amplify significance of S.F. matchup next week and
    remind listeners that Rams have head-to-head advantage vs. Green Bay
    and Carolina.

    If Rams lose… they’ve exhausted mulligan and must win-out to reach
    postseason play. It would mandate snapping three-game losing streak to
    S.F., beating Chicago and Minnesota on the road.

    Projected Divisional Winners Entering Week 11 (Game 10): Philly/Dallas
    in NFC East, Chicago in NFC North, New Orleans in NFC South, Seattle in
    NFC West.

    Key Games relating to Rams postseason path: Atlanta at Baltimore; Indy
    at Dallas; NYG at Jax (Monday); New England at Green Bay; Minnesota at
    Miami and Seattle at San Francisco.

    It is possible that all six key Wild Card contenders could lose this
    week.

    Win or lose… note the significant to WC race in relation to
    Conference Record. The Rams are .500 in NFC play however so is every other WC
    contender save NYG (5-2) and Minnesota (4-3)… (and Green Bay is 3-4).


  2. #2
    Nick's Avatar
    Nick is offline Superbowl MVP
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    Re: Breaking Down Rams-panthers==hadley

    *Marc Bulger ranks second (behind Peyton Manning) in Passer Rating under pressure dating back to last season. On the flip side, Jake Delhomme has the worst passer rating in the NFL under pressure since ‘05.
    Something for the critics to take note of...


    *Witherspoon has always struggled in pass coverage playing inside. This season he‘s been beat four times for touchdowns with his targeted player catching the pass for positive yardage 80 percent of attempts this season (nearly 20 percent higher than previous two seasons). Oddly, when flanked outside he is fabulous in pass coverage.
    Very interesting. Perhaps something that could prompt a move to the strong side after all.


    *The Rams rank fourth in the NFL (first in the NFC) blitzing on 46.5 percent of pass plays. While the Rams are blitzing (on pass plays) at a rate 64 percent higher compared to 2005... the results are disappointing. This season, the Rams sack percentage on blitzes (on pass plays) is minimally higher (and less compared to the 2004 edition), however the 2006 edition is permitting pass plays of 20 or more yards on 12.5 of blitzes an increase over both 2005 Rams (six percent) and 2004 Rams (7.8 percent).
    AKA, live by the blitz and die by the blitz. Been saying it for weeks. When you blitz, you've got to get there because if you don't you're going to give up some big plays.


    *Why is New Orleans succeeding? Aside from Peyton Manning, Drew Brees receives the best pass protection in the NFL. Brees has been sacked an NFL-low nine times and has been knocked down just 20 times this season.
    Shocking!


    A. Yes, the Rams have allowed an NFC-high 143.6 yards rushing this season… however I would force the Panthers running game to win the game.

    ...

    B. The Rams must establish the pass to setup the run which in turn will create long-ball opportunities as the game develops… pass, pass, pass.
    Wow, wonder what Hadley thinks of that strategy this morning.
    ClanRam ModCast: Episode Four
    Rams Discussion Right at Your Fingertips!



  3. #3
    RAMarkable is offline Registered User
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    Re: Breaking Down Rams-panthers==hadley

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    Very interesting. Perhaps something that could prompt a move to the strong side after all.
    Nick, I don't understand how Spoon can be a "fabulous" in pass coverage as an OLB and yet struggle at it on the inside. Granted there are some differences between the positions, but surely not enough to warrant the kind of problems Spoon is demonstrating. Do you have any clues?

    WHAT SAY YE?

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