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Thread: Ram Bytes: Big test coming for O-Line

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    Ram Bytes: Big test coming for O-Line

    BY BERNIE MIKLASZ

    Good afternoon ...

    Rams QB Sam Bradford has dropped back to pass 96 times in two games this season and hasn't been sacked. But it's not as if Bradford has been standing in a bubble, fully insulated and untouched.

    According to Pro Football Focus, Bradford has faced pass-rush pressure on 33.3 percent of his snaps this season. That's up slightly from his pressure rate of 32.7 percent last season. Bradford hasn't gone down, but he's been hit and hurried.

    The Rams will likely face their most difficult pass-protection challenge of the young season Sunday when line up against the Dallas Cowboys at the Jerry World Dome in Arlington, Texas.

    The Cowboys have 7 sacks in their first two games, and defensive ends DeMarcus Ware and George Selvie are among the best in the league at making quarterbacks squirm.

    Here are the profiles according to Pro Football Focus:

    Selvie: the former Ram has a sack, two hits, 8 hurries and 11 total pressures in the first two games. He ranks No. 8 among all 4-3 defensive ends in pass-rush productivity (or PRP). Among left defensive ends, he ranks 5th in PRP.

    Ware: one of the NFL's top pass-rushers of his day, Ware has 2 sacks, 2 hits and 7 hurries for a total of 11 pressures. He ranks No. 9 in PRP among 4-3 defensive ends, and No. 9 among right ends.

    Selvie and Ware are dangerous. And the third DE, Anthony Spencer, has gotten a decent pass-rush push in limited action. The Cowboys are underrated inside; defensive tackles Jason Hatcher (9) and Nick Harden (3) have combined for 12 pressures, including two sacks by Hatcher. And the non-stop Hatcher ranks 5th in the league among DTs in pass-rush productivity.

    This will be a rugged test for the Rams' offensive line, especially for left tackle Jake Long and replacement right tackle Joe Barksdale, who is stepping in for the injured Rodger Saffold.

    Long played very well against Atlanta last week. He wasn't so hot against Arizona in the season opener. Long had allowed 9 pressures so far, and Pro Football Focus grades him at a 93.8 success rate in pass protection through two games. That puts Long 38th among full-time OTs through two games.

    Before getting hurt, Saffold had allowed 4 pressures and had a 94.2 pass-pro success rate, ranking 32nd.

    Barksdale has done a good job so far, with a pass-pro success rate of 95 percent. As an emergency starter last season Barksdale allowed 2 sacks and 7 total pressures in 73 snaps. His pass-pro success rate was 92 percent.

    Long vs. Ware will be the highlight matchup, though Ware and Selvie do flip sides on about 20 percent of the pass-rush snaps.

    Barksdale will be in charge of handling Selvie.

    If the Rams O-line plays solidly, Bradford will have a chance to roll up a lot of passing yards Sunday.

    Dallas hasn't been as bad as St. Louis in defending the pass this season, but the Cowboys are struggling.

    (Obviously, the Rams' secondary needs to clean things up or Dallas QB Tony Romo will go wild; though he relies on a lot of short stuff Romo leads the NFL with a completion rate of 72.5 percent.)

    The Cowboys have problems at cornerback. Playing with a sore shoulder, Morris Claiborne has been burned for a passer rating of 105.8 in the first two games. CB Orlando Sandrick, who covers the slot receiver, has been torched for a passer rating of 107. CB Brandon Carr has played well, and rookie corner B.W. Webb hasn't played much.

    Overall, Dallas has given up an average of 8.63 yards per passing attempt, which ranks 28th among the 32 teams. And the Cowboys have been beaten for six TD passes in two games.

    If Bradford can set up and find his receivers, this could be a big day for the Rams.

    Pro Football Focus uses an adjusted accuracy rate that removes dropped passes, intentional throwaways and spikes (to stop the clock) from the quarterback's stats. It's a much more reliable barometer for assessing throwing accuracy. And in Bradford's case, he's had six dropped passes and five throwaways.

    Through two games Bradford ranks 7th in the NFL with an adjusted accuracy rate of 78.3 percent.

    That's good.

    Now here's the bad...

    When under pass-rush pressure, Bradord has been among the least accurate quarterbacks so far.

    According to Pro Football Focus Bradford has attempted 31 passes under pressure and completed only 11. That's a 35 percent completion rate. Pro Football Focus adjusted that to eliminate the throwaways and drops. But even then, Bradford's adjusted accuracy rate under pressure is 52 percent, which ranks 25th among starters.

    And what about the Rams' pursuit of Romo? It will help the cause if defensive ends Robert Quinn and Chris Long chase him around, but Romo has been outstanding when pressured in the first two games, with an accuracy rating of 69.2 percent, and that ranks No. 4 among quarterbacks.

    At least so far Romo has been more effective than Bradford in coping with the pass rush. If that trend continues, Sunday's game could be determined by the reliability of the Rams' pass protection.

    If the Cowboys can get after him Bradford _ and his accuracy rate _ will likely suffer. If Bradford has time, the Dallas defensive backs will suffer.

    Under astute position coach Paul Boudreau, the Rams' offensive line has improved its protection of Bradford. But the Cowboys will be coming after Bradford, and it will be interesting to see who prevails in this key skirmish.

    Thanks for reading ...

    — Bernie


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    Re: Ram Bytes: Big test coming for O-Line

    I wonder how much PFF pays Bernie to constantly cite to their ”stats.”:rolleyes:

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    Re: Ram Bytes: Big test coming for O-Line

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    I wonder how much PFF pays Bernie to constantly cite to their ”stats.”:rolleyes:
    PFF says our OTs rank 32nd and 35th in pass pro. But there's only one QB in the league who has yet to take a sack.

    I'm not saying who, but his initials are Sam Bradford.
    KoaKoi likes this.
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    Re: Ram Bytes: Big test coming for O-Line

    [QUOTE=MauiRam;470142]BY BERNIE MIKLASZ

    Selvie: the former Ram has a sack, two hits, 8 hurries and 11 total pressures in the first two games. He ranks No. 8 among all 4-3 defensive ends in pass-rush productivity (or PRP). Among left defensive ends, he ranks 5th in PRP.

    .

    Selvie and Ware are dangerous.



    Barksdale will be in charge of handling Selvie.

    Our George Selvie?

    2010? Really?

    Bad drafts or bad coaches?
    Kiss my ass, football gods

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    Re: Ram Bytes: Big test coming for O-Line

    [QUOTE=live4ramin;470173]
    Quote Originally Posted by MauiRam View Post
    BY BERNIE MIKLASZ

    Selvie: the former Ram has a sack, two hits, 8 hurries and 11 total pressures in the first two games. He ranks No. 8 among all 4-3 defensive ends in pass-rush productivity (or PRP). Among left defensive ends, he ranks 5th in PRP.

    .

    Selvie and Ware are dangerous.



    Barksdale will be in charge of handling Selvie.

    Our George Selvie?

    2010? Really?

    Bad drafts or bad coaches?
    You could say the same thing about Barksdale. He got caught up in a regime change with the Raiders.

    When you change staffs some players get lost in the shuffle... did you see Avery last night? He comes to mind as well.
    Last edited by Rambos; -09-20-2013 at 03:29 PM.

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    Re: Ram Bytes: Big test coming for O-Line

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambos View Post

    You could say the same thing about Barksdale. He got caught up in a regime change with the Raiders.

    When you change staffs some players get lost in the shuffle... did you see Avery last night? He comes to mind as well.
    Good lord did we ever see Avery. He sure looked good for KC, as it seemed whenever they reallyneeded a big play, Donnie stepped up again and again. I foolishly mentioned to my wife that Donnie used to be a Ram - heard about that over and over for the rest of the game ..

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