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Thread: Defense is coming up with ball
Defense is coming up with ball
By Bill Coats
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Monday, Oct. 27 2008
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — In the first four games of the season, the Rams' defense
produced one turnover. In the last three, they've come up with nine.
Small wonder, then, that the Rams have won two of three games after opening
0-4. After upset victories over Washington and Dallas, the Rams led early in
the fourth quarter Sunday before New England came back for a 23-16 triumph at
"You can tell there's a lot of energy on the defense," cornerback Fakhir Brown
said. "We just want to go out there and play fast, play physical, and have fun.
I think that's been the difference."
The secondary is developing into a cohesive unit, according to nickel back
Jason Craft. "I think everybody's jelling," he said. "The first couple of games
(of the year), it might've been difficult, but I think we're making up for that
now. Getting turnovers, that's the key."
Brown and safety Oshiomogho Atogwe picked off passes on successive Patriots
possessions in the third quarter. It was Brown's first of the season. Atogwe,
who had two interceptions last week against the Cowboys, has collected a
team-high four, and 11 in his last 15 games.
But the Rams produced a mere field goal after the turnovers, which gave the
Pats an opportunity to regroup. Matt Cassel, the Patriots' starting quarterback
since Tom Brady suffered a season-ending knee injury in the first quarter of
the opener, righted himself and found gaps in the Rams' coverage.
Cassel, who never had started a game in college (Southern California) or in the
NFL until Week 2 of this season, completed five of his final eight passes. He
was four for four on the decisive touchdown drive, which ended when he
connected with running back Kevin Faulk from 15 yards out.
Cassel turned in his most productive game of the year, hitting on 21 of 33
passes for 267 yards. He also scrambled for 22 yards.
"He's poised," Rams cornerback Ron Bartell said. "He does a good job of not
putting them in bad situations. I think they can win with him."
Cassel was effective with wideout Wes Welker early, then turned to six-time Pro
Bowler Randy Moss in the late going.
The 6-foot-4, 210-pound Moss had four of his seven receptions and 46 of his 102
yards during the Pats' march from behind in the last 12 minutes, 14 seconds. It
was the 58th triple-digit yardage day — No. 3 in NFL history — in his 11
Trying to defend Moss is "interesting," Bartell said. "He so crafty, and he's
seen every coverage. I thought we did a really good job in man-to-man; most of
the balls he caught were slants and that kind of stuff. You can live with that.
But did a good job of attacking us when we were in zone."
Cassel targeted Moss three times on the late TD drive, netting 35 of the 53
yards to the end zone.
"He's their go-to guy, so you expect the ball to come to him every single
time," Brown said. "He's just an all-around athlete. He's tall, he's fast, and
he's quicker than people think he is."
Re: Defense is coming up with ball
When are we going to sign Atogwe to an extension? We must keep him!!
By RamWraith in forum RAM TALKReplies: 0Last Post: -10-12-2008, 07:46 PM
By RamWraith in forum RAM TALKReplies: 0Last Post: -10-22-2007, 02:43 PM
By Nick in forum RAM TALKReplies: 0Last Post: -09-10-2006, 04:29 PM
By Goldenfleece in forum NFL TALKReplies: 3Last Post: -08-16-2006, 10:34 AM
By Nick in forum RAM TALKReplies: 1Last Post: -11-15-2005, 07:36 PM