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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Chiefs game will be ugly, too, if defense doesn't improve

    BY JEFF GORDON
    STLTODAY.COM SPORTS COLUMNIST
    10/31/2006

    Columnist Jeff Gordon

    The San Diego Chargers ran all over the Rams. They also exploited Jim Haslett’s defense by throwing to their superstars at tight end and running back.

    Now the Rams are preparing to face a similar offensive team, the Kansas City Chiefs.

    Wish Haslett luck, because he faces a challenging week of practice. His personnel is what it is, so the defensive staff will have to coach ‘em up . . . or else this next game could get ugly.

    The Rams’ defensive shortcomings were obvious during the 38-24 loss.


    “We had no turnovers and we didn’t tackle very well,” Haslett said. “We had five missed tackles that led to big plays. Our two things going into the game were, ‘Let’s get some turnovers and we’ve got to tackle.' We did neither one very well.”

    Here are a few specifics:

    The Rams allowed too many “explosive” plays: “They had five runs for 123 yards,” Haslett said. “Then they had 30 runs for 80-some yards.

    “The one run, we had a guy unblocked in the hole and he didn’t make the tackle. The corner missed the tackle, so they got a 50-yard run on it. The 38-yard run, we just weren’t sound. There were like four or five people that screwed up on it. When we messed up, we messed up as a whole. It was a good team effort on that standpoint.

    “The tackling part of it, the cracks where the corners are going to have to fit in, guys staying in their gaps -- those are the things we have to clean up.”


    They didn’t get the Chargers into tough down-and-distance situations: “We did a good job this week in practice stressing getting turnovers,” he said. “You have to put yourself in position to get them. You have to get them in third-and-longs, some situations where you can get after the quarterback and do those type of things.”

    They overran some plays with their speed: “They gave us a lot of misdirection runs, some counters, some different things. We overran some things.

    “But I don’t think that is what hurt us in the long run. Their basic play is a power game. They’re a power football team, double-team, kick out, get angles on people and run at you. We knew that going into it. We didn’t execute. We didn’t hold up on that kind of running game very well.”

    They lost their discipline: “Guys were getting frustrated yesterday trying to make plays,” he said. “Consequently what happens is, you start being unsound in what you try to do defensively.”

    They failed to adjust to offensive tweaks: “They did some different things we hadn’t seen and we just didn’t adjust to it very well,” Haslett said. “I’ll take the blame on that. We have to be more conscious, do a better job to adapt to what they did to us during the middle of the game.

    “They do a lot of shifting and motion. They do a great job of creating mismatches with the running back (LaDainian Tomlinson) and the tight end (Antonio Gates). They came out and got us in a couple of man-to-man coverages. Will Witherspoon matched up on LaDainian. You have a great player covering a great player and their player beat us once or twice. That is something you have to live with.”

    Their blitzes had just mixed success: “The third-down ones worked pretty well,” he said. “First or second down, we got kind of limited because of what they were doing.”

    Fixing all this will take more than the return of linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa, who will try to play through elbow and hand injuries. The Chiefs will bring a power-running scheme to The Ed with all-pro running back Larry Johnson.

    He is a different type of runner than Tomlinson, but just as dangerous.

    “It’s another challenge for us,” Haslett said. “A lot of similarities. We’ll see how we come back. We’ve got to come back and play better than we’ve played the last game and a half.

    “We’ve got our work cut out for us. We’re going to have to rally.”

    If you have an extra magic wand sitting around the house, you might want to send it out to Rams Park.


  2. #2
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    Re: Chiefs game will be ugly, too, if defense doesn't improve

    First of all I like that Haslett is taking some of the blame and comprehends what went wrong.

    Second is this deja vu all over again...missed tackles killed us.

    This game vs. the Chiefs is similar because of their offensive strengths (RB & TE). How about the trenches....How's their O-Line? D-Line? Not sure but don't think they are at the same talent level as the Chargers in those 2 areas.

    :r :l

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    Re: Chiefs game will be ugly, too, if defense doesn't improve

    Quote Originally Posted by laram0 View Post
    First of all I like that Haslett is taking some of the blame and comprehends what went wrong.

    Second is this deja vu all over again...missed tackles killed us.

    This game vs. the Chiefs is similar because of their offensive strengths (RB & TE). How about the trenches....How's their O-Line? D-Line? Not sure but don't think they are at the same talent level as the Chargers in those 2 areas.

    :r :l
    If you get a chance to watch the KC vs SD game two weeks ago, KC's O line and D line manhandled the lines of San Diego. I don't think st. louis will win the battle in the trenches.

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    Re: Chiefs game will be ugly, too, if defense doesn't improve

    Quote Originally Posted by BirdKC View Post
    If you get a chance to watch the KC vs SD game two weeks ago, KC's O line and D line manhandled the lines of San Diego. I don't think st. louis will win the battle in the trenches.
    The D-line I can understand with the noise factor playing on the road for the Chargers. The O-line though? surprises me.....

  5. #5
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    Re: Chiefs game will be ugly, too, if defense doesn't improve

    I still have yet to hear anyone explain the following stat:

    KC Points Per Game (Home): 29.0
    KC Points Per Game (Road): 12.0

    The only explanation I see is that KC is not a very good road team and, perhaps, benefits more than any other team from playing at home.

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    Re: Chiefs game will be ugly, too, if defense doesn't improve

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    I still have yet to hear anyone explain the following stat:

    KC Points Per Game (Home): 29.0
    KC Points Per Game (Road): 12.0

    The only explanation I see is that KC is not a very good road team and, perhaps, benefits more than any other team from playing at home.
    Av you hit the nail on the head. Alot of ex-players and active players say that KC is the hardest road venue to play at.

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    Re: Chiefs game will be ugly, too, if defense doesn't improve

    These are two pretty evenly matched teams. Thus, the 2 and a half point spread (you get three for home field). I think we are going to win because we are playing at home. If we were on the road, i would have this down as a loss.

    A lot of people on this board gave no credence to the "we havent beaten anyone" argument that was going on two and three weeks ago. Guess what guys, we have now lost to two quality teams in a row. This is a home game against a quality team but certainly a beatable team and if we want to think playoffs, RIGHT NOW is the time to start beating playoff caliber teams.

    I am the biggest proponent of anyone of "the only thing that counts is the win" theory. However, in order to win, you generally have to raise the level of your performance as the level of the opponent increases. We did that in the first half of the seattle game, but certainly not in the second half of the seattle game or on the road vs. san diego. We have to play better football if we want to beat quality teams, and not just for a half, but for an entire game. If we play like we did in the first half vs. seattle, we win this game easy.

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel


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    Re: Chiefs game will be ugly, too, if defense doesn't improve

    I still have yet to hear anyone explain the following stat:

    KC Points Per Game (Home): 29.0
    KC Points Per Game (Road): 12.0
    KC fan agree with you AV


    Thanks for your response. You should feel confident. The Chiefs barely beat the Cardinals on the road and got blown away by a crappy Steelers team on the road. The road has not been kind to KC.

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    Re: Chiefs game will be ugly, too, if defense doesn't improve

    the onus of this game will be on our front seven...as it is in most games...
    if our front seven can slow larry johnson and force huard to make plays then we have a very good chance...our linebackers have to position themselves better to make tackles and be wary of gonzales on those killer playaction that chiefs are one of the best at...

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    coy bacon is offline Registered User
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    Re: Chiefs game will be ugly, too, if defense doesn't improve

    Journalism: eloquently stating the obvious. This is why people should not expect much from journalists, they are not trained to deliver.

    Quote Originally Posted by RamWraith View Post
    BY JEFF GORDON
    STLTODAY.COM SPORTS COLUMNIST
    10/31/2006
    Columnist Jeff Gordon
    "Wish Haslett luck, because he faces a challenging week of practice. His personnel is what it is, so the defensive staff will have to coach ‘em up . . . or else this next game could get ugly."

    Duh, ya think? Usually games are ugly when your defense sucks, unless you're on the other team.


    -------------------

    "The Rams’ defensive shortcomings were obvious during the 38-24 loss."

    Yeah, I guess so, its hard to keep secrets when you give up 38 points.

    ---------------

    “We’ve got our work cut out for us. We’re going to have to rally.”

    If you have an extra magic wand sitting around the house, you might want to send it out to Rams Park.

    Stop picking on the Rams. They lost two games to better teams and if you look at the scores, they were not blowouts. How's bout a magic wand for a journalist to do more than state the obvious; I'd rather watch the video.

  11. #11
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Chiefs game will be ugly, too, if defense doesn't improve

    The Rams defense allowed 31 points not 38, so there!

  12. #12
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    Re: Chiefs game will be ugly, too, if defense doesn't improve

    After seeing what Tomlinson and Gates did to us, I don't know how we're going to stop Johnson and Gonzales. Hopefully, Haslett has some good ideas. Regardless, the offense is going to have to come through and pull this one out for us. I'm looking for Jackson to have a breakout game.

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