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  1. #1
    general counsel's Avatar
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    The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of our Xmas win

    Merry New Year everyone. Sorry for the delay in getting my post game analysis up on the board, but i had to leave after the game for a xmas eve dinner at a close friend's house. I have virtually no voice left from screaming all game, but it sure was worth it.

    What a fantastic football game to watch. The quality of the product the nfl puts on the field is really amazing. If you look at the records, neither of these two teams is very good. However, today was a very well played evenly matched game with only two turnovers and limited penalties. Some special teams excitement on both sides provided crucial turning points and ultimately affected the outcome. Can you imagine getting eliminated in a game where a no name kicker drills a 52 yarded with 3 minutes left while Money misses a virtual chip shot with the game on the line.

    Our playoff prospects our still very tough. We need to beat minny and i believe we need three additional things to happen (unless there are additional tiebreakers i dont know about). We need to saints to beat carolina (good shot), the eagles to beat the falcons (good shot) and the redskins to beat the giants (decent shot). Having all three break our way is going to be tough, but looking at all of the games individually, i think we have a legitimate chance if we can win on our own.

    The Rams showed heart today and the kind of offensive firepower that we have been waiting for all year. Against a redskins defense that had given up LESS THAN 300 YARDS each of the last two weeks against the saints and the eagles, we tallied 579 yards of total offense and 37 points with only one turnover. WE did it with a balanced attack and absolute superstar performances from both Bulger and The Big Boy. WE also did it with timely play from the defense and a very solid performance from a very young o line that played their hearts out without The Big Man.

    One thing i think we can all agree on. If we win our last game and dont make it at 8-8 due to the tiebreakers, we can look back at the loss to arizona at home and clearly say that game cost us the playoffs. By far our worst loss of the season in my view, especially since we barely showed up at home against a lousy team. That is NOT the kind of loss a playoff caliber team can afford.

    For this week, i am really going to enjoy being alive for another week. If we win that last game, i will be thrilled with the strong finish and the play of our young guys, especially on the o line as we look ahead to next year.


    The Good

    The Big Boy. LT is the best back in the NFL and an all time great. Right now, stephen jackson is the #2 overall all around back in the nfl and thats that. Gore and larry johnson are having great years, but all around, jackson has them both beat. The Big Boy is truly a manchild. The pick at #20 was a steal when we made it and Jackson can have no doubters left at this point. He can run with speed and power, he can catch, he can make guys miss and he can run them over. The fumble was unfortunate, as was the failure to convert on third and one at the end, but i didnt say he was perfect. He certainly has room to improve his pass blocking in a big way. However, he had the kind of game that only a true superstar can have-he put the team on his back and willed them to victory. He delivered plenty of punishment and got stronger as the game went on. He wanted the ball, he got the ball and he sure justified that confidence. Excellent catch on the td pass and a REAL burst of acceleration to outrun guys to the end zone. I could go on forever here and will probably post a separate thread on the big boy later or tomorrow, but suffice it to say, this guy is a major major stud and i expect that he will be carrying the load for this team for a long time. 2000 total yards for a season speaks for itself, as does break faulks team receiving record for backs.

    Marc Bulger. Tell me again who you would rather have than bulger? Peyton Manning? Fine. He is the only qb in the nfl i would take ahead of bulger. He is so accurate and so calm under pressure its just uncanny. One of his best throws of the day was on 3rd and 9 from midfield in OT that threaded between two defenders and the sideline and hit holt right in the hands, but i believe torry dropped it, i dont think it was knocked away. His decision making is just terrific and he even had a nice run today in a key situation. The guy is truly a leader and you can see it in how his teamates react to him. He doesnt need to scream and yell and carry on. His calm cool and calculating demeanor screams TOTAL CONTROL and COMMAND and that is what leadership is about my friends. Priority #1 in the offseason is to get bulger signed long term and i am talking about a roughly 20 million signing bonus. Hopefully, we can get him a bit below market rate, but with the cap having gone up and bulger entering his prime, he is worth every penny.

    Isaac Bruce- A superlative performance for Rev Ike who went over 1000 yards again today. Bruce will be back and will be a starter again. He showed once again today that when covered one on one, he is a major weapon. I dont see how anyone can say that curtis is a better player than ike at this point and that is no knock on curtis who i like and hope we can keep. Ike has clearly lost a step. So what. He is what being a ram is all about.

    Oj's play at the end of regulation. I am on record as not being the biggest OJ fan, but the play he made today basically saved the game for us. Huge huge move knocking that ball out.

    Mcdonalds punt return. The 30 yard punt return with the game on the line in OT put mcdonald into positive yardage for the day. He ran backwards at least three times, but he finally showed us why he is back there. Critical play in the game obviously.

    Ron Bartell. His best game yet as a ram with plenty of upside to come. Physical kid, i think he has a chance to be a starter at safety next year or at the minimum, the key backup in the secondary.

    Jon Alston. An actual sighting with a tackle on special teams

    Turks punt to the 3 yard line. Obviously a very important play in OT after what i believe was the big drop by holt.

    Third and one stop by the D in OT. Just when you think we have no shot of ever stopping a running play, let alone in a key situation, we stuff them cold on third and very short forcing the punt that led to the mcdonald return.

    The O Line play. You have to give the O line an A when you amass 579 yards against that defense and allow only one sack while throwing almost 40 times. If you didnt know that romberg hadnt played all year at center, would you have had any idea? Very solid game, i dont see why he cant be a starter next year if mccollom isnt back full strength. The guards were fine, notwithstanding the one false start on richie. Number of holding penalties on the rams O line today? ZERO. that qualifies as a minor miracle considering the number of carries. Steussie did fine despite allowing the one sack and baron had the obligatory false start but did a fine job pass blocking. Setterstom wasnt noticed, which means to me he did fine. I no longer believe that we need to pay real money for a free agent guard. Spend the cash on bulger and the defense, especially a defensive end.

    The secondary. Dont look now, but we are very strong at corner. Hill is going to the pro bowl, maybe next year. His ball recognition skills are improving at a staggering rate and his coverage is excellent. I think brown is just fine as a #2 corner and i already spoke about bartell. WE may need some depth if butler and fischer are both gone, but the future is looking up at the corners and the play today is especially noteworthy given our usual complete and total lack of a pass rush.

    Stephen Davis. Limited action, but very solid, both on the td and the key third down pickup. A great signing, i would love to have him back next year (assuming marshall isnt coming back)

    Dominic Byrd. Out of the slam, into our hearts. Just when you figured he was going to be put on the hargrove plan, he has two nice catches including a td.

    Aaron walker. How about the drag for the first down after the catch. great play.

    The Bad

    Our run defense just stinks. The key plays at the end cant hide the fact that its another bad day of getting gashed right up the gut. Its on the defensive tackles for the most part, although i dont see spoon making anywhere near the number of plays that he did earlier in the year.

    We have no pass rush. Little got to the qb a couple of times, but he was battling to a draw with chris samuels all game. We got no other pressure except on a couple of blitzes. Campbell had all day to throw way too many times.

    Our kick returns were awful. Willie couldnt make the 20 on most of his returns. not blaming willie really, the kicks were deep and he had no blocking.

    The jackson fumble was a very bad play. No way around that.


    The Ugly

    In no particular order, the blocked punt which almost cost us the game, the missed Money field goal which almost cost us the game, the failure to convert on the third and one at the end of regulation which almost cost us the game, the three false starts on the goal line on the drive in the fourth quarter that put us up 31-28 and killed our shot at the td, and our defense on the first drive of the game (which was basically non existent)

    Interesting tidbit

    Note adam archuleta standing on the sidelines and playing only special teams. Highest paid player in the history of the position. Nice cap management! Betts looked pretty darned good to me, nice move trading a third round pick for duckett!

    Summary.

    Regardless of our inability to control our own destiny, lets hope that this becomes a signature win for coach linehan and the rams and leads to a strong finish with a win over the vikings. Hopefully we get the help we need and get to the playoffs, but if we win and dont get in, we will have finished with three straight wins and a .500 season by beating all the mediocre/lousy teams on the sked with the exception of the stink bomb at home vs arizona and losing to all the playoff teams. That leaves a LOT of room for improvement for next year, but a lot to look forward to as well, given that a number of our young players are showing that they belong in the nfl and can contribute as starters. The good news is that at least some of our needs are so obvious that we know what to do to help the defense- Start with a real live defensive end and take it from there. I will say this. If we can manage to get in, i think we can win a game in the playoffs. Right now, i cant see any defense being particularly interested in matching up against the rams offense and the Big Boy Express. Lets hope that the meshing isnt too late to get us in, we will need to play well and with no or minimal turnovers to beat the vikings.

    Ramming speed to all

    general counsel



  2. #2
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
    r8rh8rmike is offline Superbowl MVP
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    Re: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of our Xmas win

    Great analysis GC, as usual. I feel pretty good after reading it!

  3. #3
    jkramsfan's Avatar
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    Re: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of our Xmas win

    great job GC once again,as always your on the mark, the jackson fumble was just a good football play on there part,he has done a great job at hanging on to the ball when you look at how many touches he gets,the wilkins miss was shocking because he never misses from there,but i would still take him over any kicker in football today, he won't miss from there again, how good has turk been this season, great pickup and mcdonald FINALLY showed a flash of returning skills.and lets hear it for Ike,he still has many of those type games in him.

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    general counsel's Avatar
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    Re: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of our Xmas win

    The more i think about it, the more impressive this performance was by the offense. You really have to consider the quality of the redskins defense and coaching staff that we lit up for 579 yards. Say that again to yourselves guys, 579 yards and only one turnover!

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel


  5. #5
    rampete is offline Registered User
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    Re: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of our Xmas win

    nice observations!

    this is the kind of game that makes you realize what a great sport
    football is...

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    Rambos's Avatar
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    Re: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of our Xmas win

    Our run defense just stinks. The key plays at the end cant hide the fact that its another bad day of getting gashed right up the gut. Its on the defensive tackles for the most part, although i dont see spoon making anywhere near the number of plays that he did earlier in the year.
    I agree we stink and Kennedy and Glover are the reason period. I donít want to hear about Kennedy is taking on to guys itís his roll. He ate to many rollís, he is fat, soft and slow. Some please tell me the last time we saw Kennedy cause havoc to the point someone in the both actually said his name.

    Our LB are good are secondary is not great but getting better, with the youth movement. Our D line stinks, we have one guy Little that shows up we in and week out.

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