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Thread: Disappointing loss, but reason for hope

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    Nick's Avatar
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    Disappointing loss, but reason for hope

    Today's loss was a disappointing one, primarily because the Rams were in a position to win the game. And that should be cause for some hope.

    The Lions are a very talented team, one of the best in the NFC with a lot of weapons at their disposal. They didn't win this game until the final 20 seconds of the contest. The Rams went toe to toe with them, and kept it close until the finish.

    That's something to be proud of for this young group of players, and something to build on down the stretch of this season. The Rams came to play against a better opponent and stood toe to toe with them right until the end. That's an improvement over the product we saw for much of 2011.

    Some positional thoughts on what I saw today...

    -Sam Bradford wasn't quite as good as his QB rating would suggest, but he got better as the game went on and made a fantastic throw to Brandon Gibson for the Rams' only offensive touchdown. The Rams will need Sam to make more plays and put more points on the board if they want to win some of these close contests, but his best moments came when his team needed him late in the game.

    -Steven Jackson ran hard despite not having a lot of room in front of him. He only gained 53 yards on 21 carries, but fought hard for each of those yards, breaking tackles and high stepping over diving defenders. He also caught four passes for 31 yards, getting some looks on screen passes that worked quite well against the Lions' defense. Richardson was used on minimally, with only two carries. No sighting of Pead except on special teams.

    -Danny Amendola and Brandon Gibson combined for nine catches; the rest of the Rams' wide receivers only had one total and that was from Steve Smith late in the game on a crossing route. Chris Givens would have had a great deep reception had Bradford hit him in stride; Quick was no where to be found. It was nice to see Kendricks actually catch the ball, but his contributions were minimal today.

    -The offensive line did a better job than I expected, holding up to a talented defensive front fairly well. Bradford was sacked three times, at least one was entirely on him wihle another came about as the rookie Watkins was completely shoved aside by Corey Williams. In the run game, the line opened up few holes for Jackson, who got most of his yards the hard way. Hopefully Rodger Saffold and Scott Wells (both injured today) won't be out for long.

    -Defensively, the Rams missed Michael Brockers, as Kevin Smith averaged nearly five yards on each of his 13 carries. The Rams were inconsistent at getting pressure on Matt Stafford, in part because the Lions countered the Rams' pass rush with a quick passing game that minimized Stafford's time in the pocket. Robert Quinn had the only sack of the day.

    -Jo-Lonn Dunbar went from possibly being one of the best defensive players on the field today to the poster-boy for the defeat. He made some nice tackles in the backfield and had a great first half interception, but when Kevin Smith ran into the end zone to seal a Lions victory, it was Dunbar who blew the coverage. Laurinaitis was second on the team in tackles but didn't make many impact plays. McIntosh was practically a ghost. The linebackers share in some of the blame for the lack of better run defense, as they were blocked out of a number of runs.

    -The defensive secondary had its highs and lows. Jenkins and Finnegan both came away with interceptions, the latter of whom returned his for a touchdown, tying the offense's output for the day. The secondary looked primed to deny the Lions much when it came to the red zone, giving many a positive impression for the first half. But despite the interceptions, Stafford completed 66% of his throws and put up over 350 yards. Megatron surpassed 100 yards on the day on six receptions, and the Rams did not have an answer in coverage for either Brandon Pettigrew or Tony Scheffler, who combined for 107 yards on ten receptions.


    To conclude, I think there were some positives here. Not enough to beat a strong team like Detroit, but definitely enough to give Rams fans some hope for 2012.

    The offense was stagnant early but came on late to keep the team in the game. In the first half, the defense bent but did not break against a tough opponent, and came away with some turnovers in the process.

    There are some things to build on here, and Jeff Fisher looked like a coach who was ready for the challenge today. He celebrated the team's accomplishments with leaps of joy on the sideline, and shared in their agony in mistakes.

    Many fans wanted to see a competitive Rams team on the field this Sunday, and that's what they got. Everyone wanted a better outcome on the scoreboard, but there were enough signs to make fans believe that result will come eventually.

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    Re: Disappointing loss, but reason for hope

    Great write-up Nick.


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    Re: Disappointing loss, but reason for hope

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    Many fans wanted to see a competitive Rams team on the field this Sunday, and that's what they got. Everyone wanted a better outcome on the scoreboard, but there were enough signs to make fans believe that result will come eventually.
    Thanks Nick. And hopefully eventually will arrive sooner than later.

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    citr92 is offline Registered User
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    Re: Disappointing loss, but reason for hope

    yup, happy to at least see a competitive game from the rams, shame there was no W but...time to move on and beat the redskins!

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    Re: Disappointing loss, but reason for hope

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    -Sam Bradford wasn't quite as good as his QB rating would suggest, but he got better as the game went on and made a fantastic throw to Brandon Gibson for the Rams' only offensive touchdown. The Rams will need Sam to make more plays and put more points on the board if they want to win some of these close contests, but his best moments came when his team needed him late in the game.
    Bradford had some great moments, and he had some really bad ones as well, but as you noted Nick, he kept it together in crunch time. IMO, this is not a man who looks timid or who goes into a shell. He's a fighter who is only going to get better. That said, I really hope the OL doesn't completely fall apart on him.

    Nice job with the analysis Nick.
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    Re: Disappointing loss, but reason for hope

    The O line was just out matched, SJ had a 2.5 yard avg. This left the Rams in second and third and long to many times. Too many unmanageable third downs. We did not establish the run, sure we ran it but poorly.

    Gibson dare I say may have that year we all have been waiting for... Kendricks did not drop a ball. heck no dropped balls. If Sam could have one back, that deep ball to Givens was thrown late or just not enough on it.

    Pead did get beat out by Richardson and Richardson needs to get more touches, he's so much faster then SJ. 20 yards on two carries 10 yards per touch. Just sayin.

    GZ is the real deal did not miss all day and hit what he thought was the game winner.

    Not sure why they would not let Pead take one out of the endzone.

    Jenkins looked like a Pro, how about his pick at the goal line. He played big all day, I think we have a real keeper... he was also talking to the receivers all day love it!

    We tackled so much better then last year.
    Last edited by Rambos; -09-09-2012 at 05:31 PM.

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    Re: Disappointing loss, but reason for hope

    I agree that it was an encouraging start. First impressions were that miss to Givens was huge & so was the dropped INT in the EZ by Fletcher. Good to see BF back in the saddle, though. He definitely seemed to play his part in Operation Mega-smother.

    And the Rams clearly need, among other things, some more speed at RB on the outside. A couple of outside runs by SJ looked well-enough blocked to be big gains if a smaller quicker back had got the ball.

    Really disappointed that, of all the new players, the most obvious mistake was a mental one by one of the vet guys with the most experience in the system. Dunbar did a lot of good things but that was a toasting on the TD winner.
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    Re: Disappointing loss, but reason for hope

    Quote Originally Posted by Azul e Oro View Post
    Really disappointed that, of all the new players, the most obvious mistake was a mental one by one of the vet guys with the most experience in the system. Dunbar did a lot of good things but that was a toasting on the TD winner.
    Agreed, for a vet to get so lost and not stay with his responsibility is inexcusable. He did the same thing earlier in the game. Hopefully his coverage skills don't continue to be a liability.

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    Re: Disappointing loss, but reason for hope

    I enjoyed watching a game, that is definately an improvement.
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    Re: Disappointing loss, but reason for hope

    Extremely disappointing loss, but if you told me before the game that we would be in it till the last play of the game I wouldn't have believed it. This is a young team still learning how to win and we almost had it right til the end of the game. RG3 looked like a stud today but we still have a winnable game next week and I think that our boys will realize that and come out firing on all cylinders.

    EDIT: And despite the mistake on the final Detroit TD, I am encouraged by Dunbar's play. It looks to me like we finally have something worth mentioning in the LB core outside of Laurinatits. I know the last TD stings but I think all of us would agree for the rest of the game he was absolutely a positive.
    Last edited by cfh128; -09-09-2012 at 06:00 PM.
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    Re: Disappointing loss, but reason for hope

    Based on my pregame prediction of a 31-17 Rams loss, it was closer than I imagined it would be. They actually had a chance to win a game that they really had no business of winning. Let's face it, if not for Stafford throwing 3 picks (could have been as many as 5 picks) the Rams would have been out of it early. The offensive yardage gained by the Lions was almost 2-1. As I said in the "Keys to a Rams Victory" thread, the ONLY chance the Rams had of winning this game was to get turnovers, and lots of them. It nearly worked out that way.

    Kudos to the defense for making some plays, and the Rams FG unit is going to be one of the best this year. But...

    They have a lot of things to clean up, as we (well, most of us not wearing blue-and-gold-colored glasses) knew before they kicked off today. This is a young team and they made a lot of mistakes but made a lot of great plays as well that kept them in it. In the end, the more talented team won it, plain and simple.

    The offense stuggled opening lanes, and that will probably get worse before it gets better with the injuries suffered today if they can't come back soon. The Lions are a great pass rushing defense, but against the run, they're mediocre at best. Today the Rams found NO running room. Not a good sign of things to come unless they clean that up, and without the starters (when was the last time the Rams HAD their starting OL on the field?) that's going to be a tall order. IF the Rams could have run the ball better, they could have eaten up more of the clock on that last drive but it just wasn't there with that makeshift line. I was a bit surprised that the Rams didn't take advantage of a very aggresive D line by throwing a few more screen plays. One way to keep them at bay is to throw screens at them. When they did, it worked fairly well.

    The Rams defense was exposed on the game tying FG and the winning TD. Those drives were just way too easy. The Rams LB's and Safeties were atrocious at times. Even JL made his share of bad plays with bad positioning. I knew when they came back on the Rams to tie with relative ease that they finally found something in the Rams defense to attack, and with the game on the line, they went after it.

    The middle of the field was wide open. Like many of us older guys, the Rams are soft in the middle. The play by the LB's and Safeties in the end was the difference. Too many blown assignments. Too many big, easy gains when it mattered most.

    It looked like it was going to be a typical Fisher-coached game. Keep it close and win it in the end, but his offense couldn't get that one more important first down to burn the clock before the FG. Then his prevent defense let him down horribly.

    Let's hope that Saffold and Bell are not out long, and the defense takes that prevent defense scheme and loses it. There were some encouraging things in the game, and some "deja vu" things as well.
    Faithful Rams fan since 1968

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    Re: Disappointing loss, but reason for hope

    Quote Originally Posted by RAMFANRAIDERHATER View Post
    Let's hope that Saffold and Bell are not out long, and the defense takes that prevent defense scheme and loses it. There were some encouraging things in the game, and some "deja vu" things as well.
    Whoa whoa whoa. Don't say "Bell" around here. We're over that.
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    Re: Disappointing loss, but reason for hope

    Wonderful take on today's game my friend, but just in case you're were wondering, yes are still going 4-12 for the season. Buckle up guys.
    Last edited by ManofGod; -09-09-2012 at 06:31 PM.

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    Re: Disappointing loss, but reason for hope

    Quote Originally Posted by cfh128 View Post
    Whoa whoa whoa. Don't say "Bell" around here. We're over that.
    LOL.... of course I meant Wells.
    Faithful Rams fan since 1968

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    Re: Disappointing loss, but reason for hope

    Pretty spot on, Nick, with your take on everything. One of the things I've said is that I expect the Rams to play competitive, meaningful football games from this point forward. And while it's early in the season, if this is an example of what lies ahead, I'll be extremely pleased. There were enough positives to warrant thinking we'll be seeing real good football in the not too distant future. You're never happy with a loss, but I'm very encouraged with a lot of things.

    We're getting closer.
    Last edited by NJ Ramsfan1; -09-09-2012 at 07:54 PM.
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