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  1. #1
    general counsel's Avatar
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    Rams beat Redskins to commence run for the playoffs; The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    The Rams won a hard fought 19-17 victory on the road against a very solid Redskins team today, commencing their drive towards the 2008 NFL playoffs. While that may sound like a bizarre statement, i continue to believe that the NFC west is so weak that 8-8 may get a team into the playoffs. If we can survive the next couple of weeks and head into the easier part of the schedule with some real momentum, its not completely out of the question for this team to respond to Coach Haslett and wins a few games in a row. Likely? No. But not out of the question. If ever the axioum "any given sunday" was proven accurate today was the day. The eternal NFL lesson "never let an inferior team hang around into the 4th quarter" was also prophetic today.

    Enough of the cliches. Haslett had the Rams ready to play defensively. We gave up plenty of yards rushing again and ran out of gas at the end, but we held a very very good washington offense to one real touchdown on the road (I am not going to fault the defense for allowing a td on the first drive when THe Big Boys fumble gave the skins the ball on our 2 yard line). We had four sacks (we had only 7 in 4 games coming in) against a quality offensive line. We pressured Campbell from time to time and with the exception of some pathetic secondary play out of Craft, got solid work from almost all of the starters. We bent but didnt break and caused three turnovers, which really was the key to the game, especially the td by the defense immediately before halftime. The offense still needs a ton of work of course (especially on the line), but a win is a win and we will take any win that we can get.

    The Good

    We have the best kicking tandem in the nfl. THe Bionic Leg had another huge week on the punting side (6 punts, 47.2 average, 2 inside the 20) and Josh Brown was 4-4 (51, 49,44 and 25) including the game winner from 49 which was good with 10 yards to spare. Brown's kickoffs were also excellent.

    Anyone still have a problem with the Donnie Avery pick. The 43 yard catch was exceptional in the extreme. Speed and hands. What he needs is experience. He came back into the game after apparantly reinjuring his broken ass bone that he hurt in preseason. It was quite a sight on the sideline watching the trainers giving Avery the buttocks massage early in the game after the injury.

    As mentioned above, although the defense game up 181 rushing yards (368 total), we caused three turnovers, scored a td and kept them out of the end zone until the very end with the exception of the 2 yard drive. 4 sacks and a very gutsy performance. Special mention to Pisa with 11 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble that led to the OJ td. Bartell had a strong game and had 7 tackles as well. Another sack and fumble by leonard little.

    Steven Jackson had a strong game running between the tackles despite almost no blocking. He was hit in the backfield time after time. He wound up with a couple of catches and 20 carries for 79 tough yards.

    THe best thing about today was the intestinal fortitude of the entire team. 0-4, down 7-0 after a fumble very early on, we didnt quite and played our hearts out all game. How mcuh of that is due to Haslett is impossible to say, but lets all agree at least that the change in coaching certainly didnt hurt.

    Bulger certainly didnt have a great game today and in fact, a couple of drops by the redskins saved him from a couple of INT's (15-26-136). However, with the game on the line he got us into field goal position and helped us win the game.

    The Bad

    Craft stinks. I dont care that he had 10 tackles today, he had a HUGE missed tackle at midfield and was repeatedly beaten like a drum all day long. Whenever Campbell had time, i think he threw the ball to whoever craft was covering. The Manning injury is really unfortunate as i would have liked to see him in the lineup instead of Craft. We will be paying for the pompous and moronic decison of Looserhan to waive Fahkhir Brown (without consulting Haslett i might add) all year.

    THe Jackson fumble was a terrible play. It put us in an early hole. Jackson isnt really a fumbler, but that play was awful. Honorable mention here goes to Dante Hall for letting the punt drop without catching it.

    The early injury to Bartell (which he recovered from) was caused by the best hit of the year from Chaveous.

    The offensive line gave jackson no room with the exception of the first drive in the second half. Bell went out for goldberg at one point. I didnt see or hear of the injury. We need him in the linup. Leckey is the worst starting player in the nfl. Aside from the fact that his pass and run blocking stink, his snaps were terrible all day. We had 86 yards total offense in the first half and 200 yards for the game. Nowhere near good enough. Avery's great play aside, we tried to force the ball to Holt all day. Impossible to tell on tv if the other receivers were getting no separation or bulger simply doesnt have any confidence in them. Probably a little of both. 8 first downs leaves a ton of room for improvement.

    THe big drop by Klop on 3rd down was a drive killing bad play.

    More on cogs and the penalties in general in the ugly section.

    The UGLY

    THe penalties today almost cost us the game. 12 men on the field on the skins first series after we stopped them on third down. The delay of game in the fourth quarter. The illegal formation on the bulger scramble for the first down where he took the big hit to the shoulder after the play (which was not called of course).

    Cogs was a one man disaster today. Two personal fouls, a holding and a false start on third and 2. The penalty at the end almost cost us the game. Enough is enough already. I know he is talented, but have we really seen any great performances out of him or simply incosistent play without any discipline week after week. He has no control on the field and the refs know it and flag him repeatedly. Flapping his mouth has no bearing on his ability to block. With the way he runs his mouth, you would think he had been in seven pro bowls. I think he should sit and schuering should play. Maybe he should get a shot at center because leckey is so awful, but i see absolutely no reason to conclude that cogs had any role in the future of this team.


    Summary

    The bottom line is that we found a way to hang in all game against a playoff caliber team on the road and win it at the end. When was the last time you can remember saying "The Rams won this game on turnover differential and special teams?" Jones and Brown were critical components in this win and we saw a small glimpse of what special talents avery had to offer. Going into this game, I had a good feeling. It went something like this. We cant possibly be as bad as we have looked, we are coming off a bye with a new tough coach who the players have to respect more than Linehan and the Redskins couldnt be as good as they looked beating both Dallas and Philly. This was a classic trap game and the Redskins fell into it. At the end of the year when playoffs and seedings are evaluated, i think the Skins will look back on this game with horror because its likely to cost them big time.

    Bring on the cowboys. The Rams have a pulse and Haslett is undefeated. Lets see if we can put some offense together with a defense that appears to have been visited by Lancaster Merrin. No other way to explain our performance today defensively other than to believe that Haslett or Merrin somehow performed a successful exorcism.

    Ramming speed to all

    general counsel
    Last edited by general counsel; -10-12-2008 at 06:07 PM.



  2. #2
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    Re: Rams beat Redskins to commence run for the playoffs; The Good, the Bad and the Ug

    Funny, no mention of the 65 million dollar man.

    Classic case of, if you don't have anything good to say then don't say anything I guess.

  3. #3
    jkramsfan Guest

    Re: Rams beat Redskins to commence run for the playoffs; The Good, the Bad and the Ug

    great job again GC,I was very disappointed with Incognito today, he seemed to be mixing it up with them the whole game,maybe a few weeks on the bench will cure that.

  4. #4
    sig51 Guest

    Re: Rams beat Redskins to commence run for the playoffs; The Good, the Bad and the Ug

    If anyone wanted to see an example of what a bend but don't break defense is, a term which is thrown around a lot in the NFL, then they should've watched the rams defense today. Woooo HOOOOO.

  5. #5
    general counsel's Avatar
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    Re: Rams beat Redskins to commence run for the playoffs; The Good, the Bad and the Ug

    Read the last line of the "Good" section for my reference on bulger Fortunehunter. YOu must have missed in during your first read.

    We had a few key drops today that really hurt bulger. We also were constantly on third and long situations which is tough on any qb, let alone one with basically one experienced functioning wide receiver. The pass protection broke down in the second half and with the exception of the first drive of the second half, we couldnt run the ball well.

    BUlger can play a lot better. But he needs help as well and he is still the best option we have.

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel


  6. #6
    jkramsfan Guest

    Re: Rams beat Redskins to commence run for the playoffs; The Good, the Bad and the Ug

    lets not forget Brown was kicking with a new holder also and he didn't miss a beat,this guy is the real deal,credit to the FO for going out and getting this guy and props to Jeff Wilkins for making his decision when he did(I mean the timing,not that he retired) allowing the Rams to get this guy.
    Last edited by jkramsfan; -10-12-2008 at 06:31 PM.

  7. #7
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    Re: Rams beat Redskins to commence run for the playoffs; The Good, the Bad and the Ug

    Quote Originally Posted by general counsel View Post
    Read the last line of the "Good" section for my reference on bulger Fortunehunter. YOu must have missed in during your first read.

    We had a few key drops today that really hurt bulger. We also were constantly on third and long situations which is tough on any qb, let alone one with basically one experienced functioning wide receiver. The pass protection broke down in the second half and with the exception of the first drive of the second half, we couldnt run the ball well.

    BUlger can play a lot better. But he needs help as well and he is still the best option we have.

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel

    You're right, I did miss that part about Bulger. But now that I've reread it, I'm wondering how he made it to the "Good" section of your commentary.

    I certainly didn't see anything you would expect out of a 65 million dollar man. In fact I saw nothing to discern him from Brock Berlin. Sure there were a few drops as there are in most every game, but in my estimation, they were no more critical to the Rams than the 2 INTs the Redskins dropped. So if we agreed to call those a wash, Marc Bulger still played another in a long line of terrible games.

    Why he continues to get a pass from you and others every week, when he in fact should be hurled the most criticism, now that we don't still have Linehan to kick around is beyond me.

    I mean here he is, the highest paid Ram in history, (though he is not even in the top 10 Rams of all time).

    He is the QB of a team going through one of it's worst stretches in it's history, and all I am to believe as a Ram fan is it's everybody else's fault? Sorry guys, not buying it.

  8. #8
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    Re: Rams beat Redskins to commence run for the playoffs; The Good, the Bad and the Ug

    That Brown pick up don't seem so bad now, if we can continued to keep games close who knows.
    :ramlogo:

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    Re: Rams beat Redskins to commence run for the playoffs; The Good, the Bad and the Ug

    I didnt say it was "everyone else's fault." What i said was that he can and should play better, but there are a number of contributing factors that are making it very tough on whoever was playing qb for us right now. There is no disputing that our offensive line stinks. Do you dispute that he had key drops today. Do you dispute that he drove us for the winning score. Do you dispute that we were in third and long all day. Do you dispute that he was getting crunched in the second half?

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel


  10. #10
    Mooselini Guest

    Re: Rams beat Redskins to commence run for the playoffs; The Good, the Bad and the Ug

    Good post GC as always.

    We do need to fix something on offense. I blame Bulger partially, but I blame the whole offense (no one excluded).

    Bulger needs to trust his players more.
    Leckey needs to be benched
    Cogs...don't even get me started

    We have much to improve on offense. Burton coming back should help.

  11. #11
    general counsel's Avatar
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    Re: Rams beat Redskins to commence run for the playoffs; The Good, the Bad and the Ug

    Good point Moose on Burton. I think that will give us a third weapon at the receiver position. I am convinced that dante hall and kennison are both of no value. Maybe Kennison is still learning the plays, but Hall is not an nfl caliber receiver at this point. I would rather see stanley play.

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel


  12. #12
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    Re: Rams beat Redskins to commence run for the playoffs; The Good, the Bad and the Ug

    Quote Originally Posted by Fortuninerhater View Post
    You're right, I did miss that part about Bulger. But now that I've reread it, I'm wondering how he made it to the "Good" section of your commentary.

    I certainly didn't see anything you would expect out of a 65 million dollar man. In fact I saw nothing to discern him from Brock Berlin. Sure there were a few drops as there are in most every game, but in my estimation, they were no more critical to the Rams than the 2 INTs the Redskins dropped. So if we agreed to call those a wash, Marc Bulger still played another in a long line of terrible games.

    Why he continues to get a pass from you and others every week, when he in fact should be hurled the most criticism, now that we don't still have Linehan to kick around is beyond me.

    I mean here he is, the highest paid Ram in history, (though he is not even in the top 10 Rams of all time).

    He is the QB of a team going through one of it's worst stretches in it's history, and all I am to believe as a Ram fan is it's everybody else's fault? Sorry guys, not buying it.
    Flame on Bulger all you want, but today was the first time in a long time that he seemed to regain a little confidence, particularly as the game went on. Look at the game again, and you'll see Bulger stepping up in the pocket, you'll see Bulger take off for a 13 yard gain and put his shoulder down, you'll see Bulger make some clutch throws, including one that was dropped by Klop, but two to Avery on the final drive that led to a victory.

    Bulger take a few steps forward this week, and he didn't take any back. We all know he doesn't have many weapons on the outside. Wait till he gets a good core of receivers and see what he can do. Regardless, he's only been sacked four times in the past two weeks, and he is starting to look at a little comfortable ...

  13. #13
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    Re: Rams beat Redskins to commence run for the playoffs; The Good, the Bad and the Ug

    Manning deserves special mention for that sack on Campbell, it was just a great play

  14. #14
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    Re: Rams beat Redskins to commence run for the playoffs; The Good, the Bad and the Ug

    I am convinced that dante hall and kennison are both of no value.
    I have definitely been one that has criticized and bemoaned the fact that we still have Dante Hall, but aside from the punt he should have caught, he had a couple of VERY nice returns that gave us excellent field position and he was consistent on most of the others. While I think his future with this team should have been over already, I believe that overall his returns should have been mentioned in the good column for this game.
    Steve

    What you see is what you get, but what you see depends on where you stand.

  15. #15
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    Re: Rams beat Redskins to commence run for the playoffs; The Good, the Bad and the Ug

    Quote Originally Posted by general counsel View Post
    I didnt say it was "everyone else's fault." What i said was that he can and should play better, but there are a number of contributing factors that are making it very tough on whoever was playing qb for us right now. There is no disputing that our offensive line stinks. Do you dispute that he had key drops today. Do you dispute that he drove us for the winning score. Do you dispute that we were in third and long all day. Do you dispute that he was getting crunched in the second half?

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel

    1. I think the Offensive Line have made huge strides in the last few weeks. Maybe not all-pro level, but certainly somewhere in the middle of the pack of the NFL.

    2. I don't dispute that they had key drops. Every team does in most every game. Do you dispute that the Redskins dropped 2 giftwrapped INTs that may have been just as critical to their cause?

    3. I do dispute that he drove of us anywhere. We had great field position all day long with 12 offensive points to show for it. To me that's not exactly a ringing endorsement of great or even good QB play. Were it not for a tremendous adjustment and catch by Avery who knows where we'd be. Probably 0 and 5. Marc Bulger did nothing out of the ordinary of most QBs on that play.

    4. As the QB, it is "mostly" his responsibility to keep us out of 3rd and long. Don't tell me he was getting beat up all day, witch has been the excuse for more than a year now, because that would not exactly be true.

    I will give him credit for the best play he's made in quite some time, and that was the scramble for a first down, even though it was called back. The heart and determination he showed on that play is what I expect to see every week from a man making 65 million dollars.

    5. If he were playing at the level he should be playing at, the second half would not have even mattered.

    Look General, we can agree to disagree about Marc Bulger and how his performances affect his team. But unlike some, I will continue to hold him accountable because just like the head coach, it may not always be his fault, but it is certainly his responsibilty.

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