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  1. #1
    general counsel's Avatar
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    Cardinals crush Rams 34-13; The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    The Cardinals came to St Louis today and overcame a slow start to bomb the Rams 34-13 on the strength of a 24 point second quarter. In doing so, the team formerly known as The Big Dead placed a Sleeper Hold worthy of Chief Jay Strongbow on the NFC Least Division and barring a miracle, put the Rams playoff hopes to bed. The Cards are 5-3 and barring a complete injury related collapse, are going to finish 9-7 or better, while there is no evidence of any kind to suggest that the Rams are going to win 7 of their last 8. The Rams will fight hard under Haslett and win some more games, but its time to face the reality that the Rams are not going to win the west this year and we need to determine what players we have for the future.

    The Good

    Great goal line stand in the first quarter. Three run-stops from the one yard line.
    Beautiful 80 yard td from bulger to stanley. Hall hurt his ankle today. I dont care. I would waive Hall and lets see if Stanley can play that role for next year. Hall has no part in our future. Bulger threw it up deep and Stanley made a terrific play on the ball. I doubt anyone was screaming Bulger sux at that point. The play accounted for 80 of our 123 first half yards!
    Donnie Jones is a superstar. 7-253 and a 50.4 average with 3 inside the 20 and 2 inside the 10.
    Ron Bartell can run, tackle and play aggressively on the ball. We need to sign him. He continues to improve and has all the physical tools.
    We were 2 for 2 on challenges. The Fitzgerald drop was a horrible call on the field and the ball clearly hit the ground.

    The Bad

    We got clobbered on both sides of the line of scrimmage. We had NO PASS RUSH, NO RUNNING GAME AT ALL and lousy pass protection. At least on the defensive side you can use the excuse that Little barely played and Carriker didnt play at all and that is a huge difference for us. However, 20 rushing for 62 yards with bulger accounting for 32 of that is a joke. Jackson (7-17) and Pittman (10-12) had no holes at all. This put us again in 2nd and 3rd and long all day long and with our lack of protection, spelled disaster. We also have young receivers who dont make route adjustments and havent played with bulger even in practice to the point of being able to develop timing and rhythm. This is going to be a development process for the rest of the year. We are nowhere near good enough to win by throwing the ball alone. We have to have a running game. Pittman runs hard, but he has no speed to elude anyone. If the hole isnt huge (and it never was today) he goes nowhere. We also reverted to some very poor tackling at times today that really cost us.

    Our offense had 28 plays for 43 yards in the first half excluding the long td. That is a joke. BUlger threw a terrible INT for a td. I assume that one is on bulger for not reading the safety, but I am not 100% sure (and no one else should be either) because avery is still very inexperienced when it comes to route running and i am not sure that avery wasnt supposed to cut out of his break sooner instead of running down the field. If the ball was for holt you would know it was all on bulger, but this is part of the issue we face with transitioning receivers.

    Jackson had a CRUCIAL mistake in the game today. On 3rd and 9 with the score 17-7 bulger hit him with a nice pass over the middle with room to run easily for the first down. Jackson dropped it and that led to the 56 yard TD that wade dropped (see ugly section) and effectively ended the game. The decision by haslett to have jackson in at the end of the dallas game with a 30 point lead has effectively ruined any small chance we had of getting back into the thick of the nfc west race. without jackson as a threat, we just dont have the weapons to compete, especially given how lousy our offensive line is. The Rams managed only 231 yards of offense today (bulger was 18-33-186 with 2 td and 2 int) but that includes plenty of yardage in garbage time. The rams defense allowed 510 yards, 335 in the first half!

    Arizona had 33 rushes for 177 and warner threw for 342 yard and was rarely touched. Little had a nice play early to force an incompletion on third down, but he clearly wasnt up to the task physically. Missing carriker means glover plays way to much and he is basically useless against the run. Without a healthy Little, we are badly impaired in the pass rush and it really showed today. Ram fans are well aware of what happens if you give Captain Kurt time to throw and Boldin and Fitzgerald are in my view the best receiver tandem in the league.

    The Ugly

    Its really more sad than ugly, but holt had no catches in the first half and finished at 6-58 with a td in garbage time. He isnt part of the flow in the offense and i believe that this will be his last year as a Ram.

    It doesnt get uglier than the last two minutes of the first half. The Jackson drop on third down, the 30 yard run for a TD while Brown was in perfect position to make the tackle at the line of scrimmage and couldnt even get a hand on hightower and worst of all, the 56 yard td pass that hit Jonathan Wade in a bad spot (RIGHT IN THE HANDS) and then bounced into the receivers hands for a td, giving the cards a 24-7 lead and effectively ending the game. I think its crap to complain that the rams didnt run out the clock. Down 17-7 you try to win, you dont try to run out the clock. If jackson makes the easy 3rd down catch, maybe we drive down the field and score but at worst, its 17-7 and we arent blown out and done. The Wade play is a perfect microcosm of the Rams season. We continue to shoot ourselves in the foot.

    The missed block by kreider which led to the sack/fumble was terribly ugly. Just an awful execution one on one exposing bulger's blind side.

    Summary

    All the nattering nabombs of negatism will be out in full force in rams nation. We were competitive early but collapsed at home to warner no less. People will again scream for Bulgers head, as if bulger is responsible for NO RUNNING GAME AT ALL, NO PASS RUSH, tipped and dropped key passes and lousy tackling. Bulger isnt good enough to win on his own, we all know that, but without a functional offensive line and without jackson in the game, he has no chance at all. The young receivers are talented, but developing timing and rhythm will take time. These guys are not expert route runners and this point and they seldom make the correct adjustments. They will learn those skills, but right now, to many fans, it looks like its all bulgers fault, which of course it isnt. We are losing games up frint and we need to find a way to improve our offensive line in the off season (Matt Birk anyone) and get a sustained pass rush. We need a healthy Steven Jackson. The play in the dallas game, fluke or not, took all the wind out of the sails of our offense and we werent exactly a well oiled offensive machine even with jackson playing.

    The jets and the whiners on the road are both winnable games, but we will need jackson healthy and in the lineup. What jackson was doing on the field in the 4th quarter today when he was obviously not healthy and we were getting blown out i have no earthly idea. That what we call an accident waiting to happen, just like in the dallas game. I am confident that the Rams wont pack it in and give up under haslett, but its certainly time to start paying a lot more attention to potential draft picks.

    Ramming speed to all

    general counsel



  2. #2
    rammiser's Avatar
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    Re: Cardinals crush Rams 34-13; The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    Be careful General your not allowed to defend Bulger here. If you do your an apologist and not an intelligent football fan. Apparantly that's me in a nutshell and un-intelligent Bulger apologist. So be careful trying to say it's not all on Bulger it seems to be a no no around here shhhh.
    Just Fix It

  3. #3
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    Re: Cardinals crush Rams 34-13; The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    Good post GC. Always enjoy it.

    Today was sickening. I understand Jackson isn't 100%. We can blame the Haz for that, but thats done with. Nothing we can do. The only thing we can do is hope Jackson, Little and Carriker get healthy.

    When we have a pass rush, we do wonders. But unlike today, we get dominated when we don't have any pass rush. We need to stop the run also...

    This defense needs to be fixed, but at the same time we need to fix our OL who can't play worth a damn.

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    Re: Cardinals crush Rams 34-13; The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    I agree %100 GC.

    Like I have been saying, we need to rebuild, we need proper execution out on the field, and we have a LONG way to go.

  5. #5
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    Re: Cardinals crush Rams 34-13; The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    Quote Originally Posted by rammiser View Post
    Be careful General your not allowed to defend Bulger here. If you do your an apologist and not an intelligent football fan. Apparantly that's me in a nutshell and un-intelligent Bulger apologist. So be careful trying to say it's not all on Bulger it seems to be a no no around here shhhh.
    Actually, you can defend anybody you feel like defending, just make sure there's a defense for him before you do.

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    RamOfDenmark is offline Registered User
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    Re: Cardinals crush Rams 34-13; The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    Anybody impressed with Bell so far? I know he's been injured a bit (and it happened again last night) but when he's played I really haven't been able to see any improvement over having say Goldberg or one of the other very mediocre options that we have for the interior line on the field. Bell looks just as bad to me. We may have another high-priced free agent flop on our hands it looks like (hello Bennett!). Our interior line is horrible, it has to be among the worst say 5 or so in the league and Bell hasn't helped any when he's been on the field as far as I have seen.

    Jacob Bell hasn't been talked about much, but maybe it's time he caught some flak for his play too.

  7. #7
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    Re: Cardinals crush Rams 34-13; The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    Quote Originally Posted by RamOfDenmark View Post
    Anybody impressed with Bell so far? I know he's been injured a bit (and it happened again last night) but when he's played I really haven't been able to see any improvement over having say Goldberg or one of the other very mediocre options that we have for the interior line on the field. Bell looks just as bad to me. We may have another high-priced free agent flop on our hands it looks like (hello Bennett!). Our interior line is horrible, it has to be among the worst say 5 or so in the league and Bell hasn't helped any when he's been on the field as far as I have seen.

    Jacob Bell hasn't been talked about much, but maybe it's time he caught some flak for his play too.
    I've been tearing into Bell for weeks. Looks like an average lineman to me. I've heard that it might be because our offensive line is not a "cohesive" group. Well, fact is, if you need "cohesion" to block a man one on one, then you aren't a very good lineman. I believe it was Bell who let a guy run right past him on the 80 yd TD pass to Stanley. That guy almost killed Bulger and hit him right when he threw it.

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