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Thread: Pro Football Focus' ReFo: Rams @ *****, Week 10

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    Pro Football Focus' ReFo: Rams @ *****, Week 10

    ReFo: Rams @ *****, Week 10
    Steve Palazzolo | 2012/11/13

    False Starts, dropped snaps, delay of game penalties, Illegal Formations and a running clock during a first down measurement. This game reeked of average and the St. Louis Rams and San Francisco ***** both have a “1” in the tie column to prove it.

    In the NFL’s first tie since 2008, the Rams and ***** both played well enough, or poorly enough, to clutter the NFL’s win-loss-tie columns.

    The Rams appeared to be in control of the game until the ***** came back with two touchdowns within 17 seconds to take a 21-17 lead in the fourth quarter. St. Louis’ would-be game winning touchdown drive was topped by San Francisco’s game-tying field goal with three seconds left to send the game into overtime.

    The Rams did their best to “not win” the game, as an 80-yard completion was called back as they only had six players on the line-of-scrimmage. After a punt, the ***** had a chance to win the game, but kicker David Akers missed a 41-yard field goal to prolong the fifth quarter.

    St. Louis was then able to get into field goal range, but they ensured their own mediocrity by committing a delay of game penalty that turned a makeable 53-yarder into a 58-yard pipe dream. When K Greg Zuerlein’s kick missed wide right, it started a flurry of ineptitude as the ***** went three-and-out on their next possession to give the ball back to the Rams for their one last chance to win the game. The entire game was well summed up as St. Louis showed no sense of urgency on this final drive, perhaps hoping for a chance to win it in the nonexistent second overtime period.

    On the final play, Rams quarterback Sam Bradford completed an irrelevant 24-yard pass, the clock struck 0:00, and it was sister-kissing time for both the ***** and the Rams.

    Let’s take a look at the performances that shaped the game where everyone wins (or losses).

    Three Performances of Note—St. Louis Rams

    Long Bounces Back
    After nearly getting shut out for two straight weeks, defensive end Chris Long (+5.3) bounced back in a big way with 10 total pressures (one sk, one ht, eight hu). He’d only notched one hurry on his last 75 pass-rush attempts coming into the game, but he was in the ***** backfield throughout the afternoon. Long did most of his work against Anthony Davis, picking up seven pressures against the ***** right tackle. He’d beaten Davis to his outside shoulder on five different occasions, before knifing to the inside of him and sacking quarterback Colin Kaepernick with 2:00 to go in overtime. The sack forced a ***** punt and gave the Rams one last chance to win the game, which obviously came up short.

    Weak in the Middle, Part 1
    Amidst a sea of average games, Rams linebacker James Laurinaitis (-4.1) has also had some real stinkers this season, and this game belongs in the latter category. He struggled to shed blocks from the variety of guards, fullbacks and tight ends that attacked him in the running game, and on two of the plays he found himself in good position, he came up empty with a missed tackle (one was negated due to a penalty). Laurinaitis was also the culprit on Kaepernick’s touchdown run with 8:40 to go in the fourth quarter. Kaepernick’s stutter step froze Laurinaitis just long enough to give him to the edge of the defense and Kaepernick’s dive for the pylon put San Francisco right back into the game.

    Welcome Back Danny
    Only Brandon Gibson’s inability to line up legally could slow down WR Danny Amendola (+5.3). His 80-yard catch on the first play of overtime was negated by an illegal formation. Even without that big catch and run, Amendola caught 11-of-12 balls thrown his way for 102 yards, 61 of which came after the catch. Eight of his 11 receptions went for first downs and it’s no coincidence that Sam Bradford had his best game throwing the ball since Amendola’s last full game in Week 4. As usual, much of Amendola’s work took place within 10 yards, as he was a perfect 10-for-10 on such passes, but the negated 80-yarder was a nifty out-and-up route down the right sideline where Bradford hit him perfectly in stride.


    Three Performances of Note—San Francisco *****


    Weak in the Middle, Part 2
    It’s not often that we write about a poor game from San Francisco’s inside linebackers, but Navarro Bowman (-4.4) and Patrick Willis (-3.6) failed to make their usual impact in this one. It started early as the Rams took a page out of the ***** running game by using a variety of looks and getting their interior linemen to efficiently seal the second level. In the first quarter, both Bowman and Willis were taken out of a number of plays as they looked a step slow to react, while showing an inability to shed blocks. On running back Steven Jackson’s 7-yard touchdown with 1:51 to go in the first quarter, Rams’ offensive linemen Robert Turner and Harvey Dahl climbed to the second level and easily sealed Bowman and Willis as Jackson burst to the end zone virtually untouched. This game is likely a minor blip, but it was a below average showing from the best linebacker duo in the league.

    Picking up the Slack
    With subpar performances from Bowman and Willis, San Francisco got good production out of its outside linebackers to help slow the Rams running game in the second half. Both Aldon Smith and Ahmad Brooks graded positively against the run at +2.5 and +3.0 respectively and Brooks’ all around play made him the biggest impact player on the ***** defense. In addition to his five run stops, Brooks was also San Francisco’s best pass rusher with a +3.1 grade. He notched five hurries and three batted passes on his 34 pass rushes. Two of the batted passes came in overtime, including one on third-and-13 that stalled the Rams’ initial drive of the extra period.

    Mixed Bag for Kaepernick
    With starting quarterback Alex Smith concussed, backup Colin Kaepernick got his first extended action, and as expected, there was some good and some bad to take away from the game. His -2.6 grade for the game stems mostly from his careless ball handling as he dropped a snap and then later put the ball on the ground as LB Mario Haggan stripped him as he rolled away from pressure. As a passer, he overshot a couple throws, but there were times he displayed the laser arm that pushed him into the second round of the 2011 draft. On the first play of the fourth quarter, his deep out to WR Mario Manningham in the face of three pass rushers was a thing of beauty. In addition to his touchdown, Kaepernick also picked up three other first downs with his legs. This game did well to sum up Kaepernick as his inexperience, inconsistent throwing and mobility were on full display.

    Game Notes
    - Michael Brockers had his best game as a pro. He picked up two sacks and three hurries on his 27 pass rushes while tying his career high with 48 snaps.

    -Rams LT Roger Saffold did not give up a pressure on his 45 pass blocks.

    - Safety Dashon Goldson had three of San Francisco’s four missed tackles


    PFF Game Ball

    As good as Chris Long was off the edge, the game ball goes to Danny Amendola who was nearly unstoppable when Sam Bradford looked his way. We also can’t forget the 80-yard catch that would have put the Rams in great position to win the game.


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    Re: Pro Football Focus' ReFo: Rams @ *****, Week 10

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    Game Notes
    - Michael Brockers had his best game as a pro. He picked up two sacks and three hurries on his 27 pass rushes while tying his career high with 48 snaps.

    -Rams LT Roger Saffold did not give up a pressure on his 45 pass blocks.
    I mentioned in the game thread that Brockers is looking more and more like a great pickup. He's provided much needed help in the middle.

    Saffold looks like he'll be a much welcomed return. I can't wait for Wells to get back into the fold and for everyone to get a couple of games in together.

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    Re: Pro Football Focus' ReFo: Rams @ *****, Week 10

    -Rams LT Roger Saffold did not give up a pressure on his 45 pass blocks.

    So much for having issues when bringing back the starters. Now lets get Wells in the line up and see what we have.
    Last edited by Rambos; -11-14-2012 at 02:17 PM.
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    Re: Pro Football Focus' ReFo: Rams @ *****, Week 10

    I find it amazing that in a season of "average" games and "stinkers" that James Laurinaitis has still managed to lead the entire NFL in solo tackles.

    My interpretation: tackles are boring to the PFF Geeks. They want something "sexy" like sacks or other big plays. I'm pretty sure, though, that tackles are pretty important. I think that James' biggest problem at this point is that he does not get enough help from the SS and OLB positions to ensure that runners don't get past the second level.
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    Re: Pro Football Focus' ReFo: Rams @ *****, Week 10

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    I find it amazing that in a season of "average" games and "stinkers" that James Laurinaitis has still managed to lead the entire NFL in solo tackles.

    My interpretation: tackles are boring to the PFF Geeks. They want something "sexy" like sacks or other big plays. I'm pretty sure, though, that tackles are pretty important. I think that James' biggest problem at this point is that he does not get enough help from the SS and OLB positions to ensure that runners don't get past the second level.
    JL has missed a lot of tackles this year. He has made a lot as well. He's not a big hitter and never has been, I think that's the knock on him. I don't like him in the cover two so far down the field. Sunday he would have been far more effect late in the game near the line of scrimmage, rather then in coverage.

    Av would you like to see Manti Te'o come in and play MLB and slide JL to the weak-side?

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    Re: Pro Football Focus' ReFo: Rams @ *****, Week 10

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambos View Post
    JL has missed a lot of tackles this year. He has made a lot as well. He's not a big hitter and never has been, I think that's the knock on him. I don't like him in the cover two so far down the field. Sunday he would have been far more effect late in the game near the line of scrimmage, rather then in coverage.

    Av would you like to see Manti Te'o come in and play MLB and slide JL to the weak-side?
    i for one am not too big on manti te'o...even though SC recruited him, i've seen him shut down many times, against SC last year in fact too...idk i guess i'll look at who else is available, but again, not a big fan and NOT just because he goes to notre dame

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    Re: Pro Football Focus' ReFo: Rams @ *****, Week 10

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambos View Post
    JL has missed a lot of tackles this year.
    I have not noticed that but, even it is the case, that would mean that he is pretty much always on the ball given that, once again, he is first in the NFL in solo tackles (and 5th in total tackles).

    Av would you like to see Manti Te'o come in and play MLB and slide JL to the weak-side?
    No, I'd leave JL in the middle, keep Dunbar at WLB, and put Te'o at SLB.

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    Re: Pro Football Focus' ReFo: Rams @ *****, Week 10

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    I find it amazing that in a season of "average" games and "stinkers" that James Laurinaitis has still managed to lead the entire NFL in solo tackles.

    My interpretation: tackles are boring to the PFF Geeks. They want something "sexy" like sacks or other big plays. I'm pretty sure, though, that tackles are pretty important. I think that James' biggest problem at this point is that he does not get enough help from the SS and OLB positions to ensure that runners don't get past the second level.
    Tackles are the most overrated and meaningless statistic in the NFL, and every analyst and football guy knows it. JL has had a bad year, and thats all there is to it. He's had trouble in coverage, he hasn't had any splash plays what-so-ever, and has been gashed several times in the run game. Last year we blamed the DT's, so know you have to blame the OLB and SS positions? C'mon, this is getting old.. He's just having an off year, thats it.


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    Re: Pro Football Focus' ReFo: Rams @ *****, Week 10

    Quote Originally Posted by sosa39rams View Post
    Tackles are the most overrated and meaningless statistic in the NFL, and every analyst and football guy knows it. JL has had a bad year, and thats all there is to it. He's had trouble in coverage, he hasn't had any splash plays what-so-ever, and has been gashed several times in the run game. Last year we blamed the DT's, so know you have to blame the OLB and SS positions? C'mon, this is getting old.. He's just having an off year, thats it.
    Oh... well if you say so... then it must be true.

    Please.

    You'll have to do better than that.

    Don't like tackles as a stat? Okay... how about this: the Rams are giving up approximately 38 rushing yards/game less than in 2011, and have decreased their per carry avg. by .5 yards.

    I suppose that your theory is that the team's leading tackler (by far) has NOTHING to do with that, right?

    Never mind that he's the guy who, with 7 new starters (including two rookies) on the defense, is responsible for making sure everyone is in position before the snap.

    But, no... he's having a terrible year and the defense is improving in spite of him. Why? Because you, Mr. Random Internet Fan, said so (and can claim the backing of bloggers who have never played or coached a down of football in their life).

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    Re: Pro Football Focus' ReFo: Rams @ *****, Week 10

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    But, no... he's having a terrible year and the defense is improving in spite of him. Why? Because you, Mr. Random Internet Fan, said so (and can claim the backing of bloggers who have never played or coached a down of football in their life).
    Yet YOU...Mr. Random Internet Fan...ALWAYS have the superior (cough...boochit...cough) point of view?

    Pot...meet kettle.
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    Re: Pro Football Focus' ReFo: Rams @ *****, Week 10

    Random Internet Fan #1: makes a point; backs it up with "because I said so."

    Random Internet Fan #2: makes a point; backs it up with objective facts and data.

    Same thing, right?

    You know, Fargo, I'm beginning to think that maybe you don't like me.

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    Re: Pro Football Focus' ReFo: Rams @ *****, Week 10

    I'm going to change this statement.

    JL has missed a lot of tackles this year.
    He has missed some key tackles this year, he has been in position just had not made the play.

    No, I'd leave JL in the middle, keep Dunbar at WLB, and put Te'o at SLB
    The only thing about this move is SLB only plays about 30% of the plays.
    Last edited by Rambos; -11-14-2012 at 03:07 PM.

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    Re: Pro Football Focus' ReFo: Rams @ *****, Week 10

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambos View Post
    I'm going to change this statement.

    He has missed some key tackles this year, he has been in position just had not made the play.
    I'm not saying the guy is perfect, and I don't think he's the best MLB in football. But to characterize his season as a collection of "average games" and "stinkers" is absurd. He is in the top 10 at his position.

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    Re: Pro Football Focus' ReFo: Rams @ *****, Week 10

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    I'm not saying the guy is perfect, and I don't think he's the best MLB in football. But to characterize his season as a collection of "average games" and "stinkers" is absurd. He is in the top 10 at his position.
    I agree and lets be real, he's played behind a front four that was short handed week one. we had a rash of injures in the last week of preseason.

    Losing Brockers, even for a game, is disappointing enough but it’s compounded by the apparent loss of Conrath in addition to Scott. Earlier this week, the Rams also put defensive tackle Trevor Laws on injured reserve.
    Sosa really....
    Tackles are the most overrated and meaningless statistic in the NFL
    Are you amusing that if JL does not make the tackle someone will?

    I'm at a loss for words.... how do you grade players?

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    Re: Pro Football Focus' ReFo: Rams @ *****, Week 10

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    Random Internet Fan #1: makes a point; backs it up with "because I said so."

    Random Internet Fan #2: makes a point; backs it up with objective facts and data.

    Same thing, right?

    You know, Fargo, I'm beginning to think that maybe you don't like me.
    I am pretty sure that random #1 was simply stating his OPINION...based on his OBSERVATIONS. It's one that is shared by a few of us. JL is still an asset. He has just appeared to miss and be beaten at a few key moments.

    Your humility and grace are unrivaled.
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