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  1. #1
    general counsel's Avatar
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    Rams Blown Out Again-The Good, the Bad and The Ugly

    The patient has a pulse! Heading into a critical early season matchup on the road at seattle, the Rams closed to within a TD of the super bowl champion giants in the fourth quarter on a spectacular catch by torry holt before collapsing down the stretch and getting blown out 41-13. The fact that we ultimately got bombed shows why i never bet on football. My prediction of a victory was obviously mere wishful thinking.

    While there are many negative things we can harp on, it shouldn't be lost on Rams nation that we have played two top caliber teams in the first two weeks. Sure we gave up 200 yards rushing today and our offensive line was once again awful, but we can not minimize the quality of the competition. We MUST keep in mind that the nfc west is mediocre at best and that there is a legit shot that 8-8 wins the division. Thus, the game next week vs seattle looms as the true test of whether we have a chance to play meaningful games this season or whether we truly are as bad as we look at this point.

    The Good

    The nfc west stinks. I have to keep telling myself that over and over. IT gives me hope that while its clear as day that we are not capable of playing with the nfl elite, we may still be a decent team, its just too early to tell.

    Donnie Jones is truly a superstar. 57.6 yards per kick on 5 punts with two inside the 20.
    Josh Brown. 2 54 yard field goals that were good with plenty to spare and strong kickoffs, that really helped the coverage. I think we have the best pair of kickers in the nfl.
    The td catch by Holt (which i cant believe the giants didnt challenge) was truly spectacular (if he indeed did catch it). Rivals the td catch at the end of the seattle game a couple of years ago. This one will go on the hall of fame reel.
    Chris Long. His first sack and four tackles overall. First of many solid pro days to come.
    Pace. I thought pace played well. The pressure didnt come against him.
    Steven Jackson. The numbers werent great, but he had some very nice runs and 7 catches, despite numerous plays on which he had no blocking at all. Jackson's blitz pickup attempts however look awful to me.

    The Bad

    The offensive line play stinks. 6 sacks allowed and bulger was hit and pressured countless times. People will pick on bulger again as he did miss some receivers, but the fact is that Bulger has no ability to get any kind of rhythm out there as he is constantly under seige and we have no ability to establish any kind of running game. There is also very very little separation by the wideouts and without avery in the game, we have no ability to stretch the field. Avery and Burton have to play. Dante Hall (huge drop on 3rd down) is not an answer at wide receiver and as much as i like looker, i would rather see burton and avery get a shot. The offensive line is not producing any holes for jackson and as a result, he cant get any kind of momentum either and cant wear down the defense over the course of the game. This is the first area that we need to fix if we want to win games this year. Goldberg is not a starting caliber guard. We need Bell back next week.

    The defensive line had two sacks, but nowhere near enough pressure. We allowed 200 yards rushing and were gashed for major holes over and over. We got dragged time and again after the first impact. The giants offensive line is terrific, but we just have to get pressure on hasselbeck next week and have to do a much better job against the run. Allowing 450 yards of offense isnt going to work, especially when you dont get any turnovers (again).

    Our secondary is simply not acceptable. I cant figure out why haslett doesnt blitz more because when the qb has time to throw, we just cant cover anyone down the field. Bartell made once nice play on a deep ball.

    3-13 on third down stinks, part of the same problem relating to offensive line play.

    Coaching decision on the use of the wide receivers. The rookies have to play. We have no deep threat without avery and hall just cant catch the ball.


    The Ugly

    Allowing a 97 yard td drive after the holt td is just ugly. The game was on the line and we couldnt make a play to stay in the game.
    The way we collapsed at the end. It looked like we quit after the tuck INT (which by the way was a spectacular play). Example. The punt return with about 10 missed tackles.
    The first giant td. OJ's coverage can only be described as ugly in the extreme.
    Chaveous simply stinks. He should not be a starting player. He got run over again and i just dont think he offers any upside at all.


    I am going to look at the glass half full. We were within a td with 10 minutes left against the superbowl champs, who clearly are a superior team. At the end of the day, a loss is a loss, regardless of how out of hand it got at the very end. You dont get points for getting close. Can this team show up ready to play in seattle? Time will tell. I think we can and if we do get a win in seattle, the season is very much alive. If we get blown out again next week, we will basically be down to our last chance in the buffalo game because 0-4 going into the bye week with washington, dallas and new england coming, could mean the end of the season and the end of linehan.

    The key discussion point is whether people perceive the team to have quit at the end. We have to play hard all game every game. If the team wont play hard for the coach, the coach has to be fired.

    Ramming speed to all-bring on the seahawks

    general counsel



  2. #2
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    Re: Rams Blown Out Again-The Good, the Bad and The Ugly

    I'd like to point out in defense of the O-line, that they did play better this week. They gave Bulger plenty of time to throw on several occassions, he is simply not the QB he used to be. Reminds me more and more each week of Jim Everett, towards the end of his career. I'd personally like to see Trent Green next week, if for no other reason than to guage Marc Bulger.

    Also in the O-line's defense, they created enough running room for a back of Jackson's caliber, he just missed holes or stumbled through some of them in my opinion. He also appears to be easier to bring down than in years past. I have seen very few piles moving at the end of his carries. His rust is pretty obvious.

  3. #3
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    Re: Rams Blown Out Again-The Good, the Bad and The Ugly

    the Arizona Cardinals, lead by Kurt Warner are 2-0 and are looking pretty good this year. The NFC West may stink, and the source of that foul odor may reside in Saint Louis.
    Not that the Rams will have anything to do with it, but 8-8 will not see playoff action.

    The Good: The end of the game.

    The bad: Scott Linehan impressions of a Head Coach.

    The Ugly: Rams (32nd Ranked NFL Team)
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  4. #4
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Rams Blown Out Again-The Good, the Bad and The Ugly

    Funny, I was working on my own breakdown and then saw you'd posted yours. I guess I'll just piggy-back on your thread GC, if that's alright with you.



    THE GOOD
    -Chris Long's first career sack as a Ram in the Ed. What a moment! I think the chat room and the Dome collectively exploded when Long dragged Manning down for a key stop. Better yet, it completed a three and out and forced the Giants to punt.
    -I hope the people who were complaining about the money we spent on Josh Brown were watching him hit two 54-yarders today. What a leg! You really can't fully understand the value of a good kicker until you don't have one, and thankfully we won't know that feeling any time soon.
    -Torry Holt's touchdown catch may have been more luck than skill, but it counts nonetheless. Good job by Holt fighting through the entire play to get that ball. That rivals the infamous Monday Night Football Antonio Freeman catch, IMO.
    -The run blocking had its moments. On his fourth touch of the day, Steven Jackson ran a slant left and found some excellent blocking in front of him. If not for being tripped up, that would have been a long TD run.
    -Overall, the defense was simply bad. But don't let the big picture completely cloud some of the smaller details. Giants RB Brandon Jacobs walked into the locker room at the half with only 29 yards on ten carries, less than three yards per attempt. Last week by halftime, Jacobs was averaging 6.7 per carry.

    THE BAD
    -Eli Manning looked like a stud against this secondary. Aside from a few occasions, Manning had all day to throw and found his receivers easily. Only nine of Manning's passes were incompletions, and most of them were because they were off target rather than anything the Rams did defensively.
    -Comparatively, Marc Bulger did not look good. By and large, that's a product of the protection. The guy's been sacked 10 times in two weeks. Keep this up, and he'll be floored 80 times by season's end. The protection is just not up to par, and I think a good chunk of that has to do with the lack of a smart, veteran center anchoring this line and making the calls.
    -When Bulger did have time, his throwing was solid but a bit inconsistent. The first failed third down of the game was a lackluster throw that could have used more "oomfph." He also missed an open Randy McMichael on a crossing route in the second quarter. It's tough to get into rhythm when your protection is lackluster, but those throws need to be made.
    -Dane Looker is not a starting caliber receiver, and he showed it today. In the fourth quarter, Bulger aired out a deep pass that should have been caught for a completion. Because there was a deep safety in the middle of the field, Bulger threw it deep right. Looker didn't make the adjustment and kept running towards the defender, ignoring the vast open space to his right. He missed the ball by maybe a foot or two, a ball he would have caught if he broke outside sooner.
    -I think Amani Toomer showed the Rams that a receiver in his mid-30s is worth hanging on to. Burress gets all the hype for the Giants, but Toomer was a regular contributor as well. He grabbed six passes for 61 yards and a touchdown, and made Tye Hill look bad on nearly every one of those receptions.
    -While it's good that the Rams held Jacobs to less than three yards a pop in the first half, they needed to keep that up in the second half and didn't. In fact, they failed miserably. On five second-half carries, Jacobs gained a whopping 64 yards. It's like someone flipped a switch at halftime when it came to this team's ability to contain Jacobs.
    -Derrick Ward's coming out party was last season, but he picked up where he left off against us. 58 yards on eight carries is rather ridiculous, but not quite as ridiculous as Ward bulldozing Corey Chavous on a first down run. Chavous filled the hole well but got run over like a squirrel in the middle of the road.
    -Tye Hill. Ugh. I've really been in your corner since the Rams drafted you in the first round, but you were benched in the first game of the year and were unimpressive in this game. Yes, a pass rush would help, but you also have to be in position. You really weren't for most of the game.

    THE UGLY
    -Jim Haslett's defense has now allowed 963 total offensive yards and 79 points in two games. If this trend keeps up, I think Haslett will be lucky to make it through the bye week. Let's not forget the Rams flirted with Gregg Williams this offseason. I'm not sure Linehan would get fired so quickly, but Haslett may.
    -Isn't OJ Atogwe supposed to be our best defensive back? Isn't he in a contract year? He didn't earn himself any dollars by getting completely schooled by Plaxico Burress on that 33-yard touchdown pass. Initially I thought OJ was faked out by Manning's excellent play action, but replay confirmed that Burress' simply broke Atogwe's ankles with a double move. Ouch!
    -Just when you thought special teams would be one of the few bright spots on the day, they miss at least three or four tackles on their final coverage of the day and embarrass themselves. It was a 50-yard return that should have been minimal but the special teams coverage unit suddenly decided that they couldn't tackle to save their lives (or perhaps more accurately, their jobs).
    -I understand you're down 34-13 and you're in your own territory, that's a rough spot. But you're basically conceding the game by punting it at that point. If you're going to concede the game, why bring Bulger back in for another drive where he gets sacked? Either keep your starters in and play to win the game, or take them out if you're going to give up. Linehan was practically asking for Bulger to get hurt on that final drive.

  5. #5
    general counsel's Avatar
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    Re: Rams Blown Out Again-The Good, the Bad and The Ugly

    Thanks for the supplement nick. Really nice job. Great point on the looker play. That was a very well thrown deep ball and was at the minimum, a very long gain and maybe even a td. Looker turned the wrong way. You cant put that on bulger.

    It never ceases to amaze me how many people dont understand the CUMULATIVE impact of getting killed play after play. QB's work on rhythm. When the protection constantly breaks down, any qb is going to suffer. This is NOT a bulger issue. The issue is the offensive line and to some degree the receivers. Timing is constantly disrupted. The internal clock in the qb's head gets all messed up.

    Holt is a great possession receiver. Hall and LOoker as the other #2? Give me a break. That is probably the worst #2 in the nfl. We need avery and burton in the game.

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel


  6. #6
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    Re: Rams Blown Out Again-The Good, the Bad and The Ugly

    The Good: The pressure was good at times, just not very consistent.

    Bulger showed a little moxie when we went for it on fourth down. A couple plays later he made a nice play scrambling for yardage when the protection broke down.

    Randy McMichael had another good showing, and I don't think any of the sacks came from Orlando Pace's side.

    No false starts on the offensive line.

    Chris Long looked good, and the whole team seemed to get pumped up when he got his first sack. The announcers talked about figuring out who the leaders are on this team. I think this might be one of them.

    The Bad: The interior line was well and truly awful. They gave up 3 sacks to defensive tackles plus one more to a middle linebacker blitzing through the middle.

    While the team seemed more spirited in this game, they also seemed to be easily deflated. At times, it looked like the bench had given up hope even before the game really got out of reach.

    Atogwe was badly out of position on the Giants' first TD, and the secondary is still doing just enough to be in position to make the tackle after the catch--not actually break it up. On the second TD, I still don't know why Hill was trying to stay behind Toomer in the endzone on a play that started 10 yards from the goalline. It's not like he could get beat deep; the guy couldn't have gone more than a couple more yards without running out the back of the endzone.

    The Ugly: On the Giants' first TD play, Long got held bad. The guy blocking him had an arm wrapped around him and what appeared to be a tight grip on the front part of his pads. It was about the most blatant holding I've seen in the pros, and it went uncalled on a key play.

    On the second holding call on Adam Goldberg, It wasn't at all clear to me what the refs were complaining about. That negated a 23-yard pass to Looker. Instead of crossing into Giants territory, we had to punt.

    Aikman and Buck hardly even called the game. They talked more about history and who to watch than what was actually happening in the game. On at least one occasion, the entire room I was in was yelling at the tv because there had just been a penalty and the announcers not only talked over the refs' announcement of the penalty but then failed to mention what it was or who it was called on.
    Last edited by Goldenfleece; -09-14-2008 at 07:52 PM.

  7. #7
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    Re: Rams Blown Out Again-The Good, the Bad and The Ugly

    I was wondering about that hold on Long myself. I mean, wow, that seemed amazingly obvious to anyone with eyes.

  8. #8
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    Re: Rams Blown Out Again-The Good, the Bad and The Ugly

    "While there are many negative things we can harp on, it shouldn't be lost on Rams nation that we have played two top caliber teams in the first two weeks. Sure we gave up 200 yards rushing today and our offensive line was once again awful, but we can not minimize the quality of the competition. We MUST keep in mind that the nfc west is mediocre at best and that there is a legit shot that 8-8 wins the division. Thus, the game next week vs seattle looms as the true test of whether we have a chance to play meaningful games this season or whether we truly are as bad as we look at this point."


    I hear you GC but it if we can not play competitive football on a day we honor the late Georgia Frontiere, well I am not sure where that leaves us. Even though we may not win those games we should play competitive football. On the division im not sure the west is that bad. Arizona look good. SF and Seahawks scoard in the 30,s we have not come close to that.


    Nick"Jim Haslett's defense has now allowed 963 total offensive yards and 79 points in two games. If this trend keeps up, I think Haslett will be lucky to make it through the bye week. Let's not forget the Rams flirted with Gregg Williams this offseason. I'm not sure Linehan would get fired so quickly, but Haslett may. "

    Agree our D maybe what any offense needs to get going. Hope alway but I am looking for some heroes and I don't see any.
    Last edited by eldfan; -09-14-2008 at 10:53 PM.
    :ramlogo:

  9. #9
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    Re: Rams Blown Out Again-The Good, the Bad and The Ugly

    "Our secondary is simply not acceptable. I cant figure out why haslett doesnt blitz more because when the qb has time to throw, we just cant cover anyone down the field. Bartell made once nice play on a deep ball."

    The problem is that he blitzes too much and we don't get to the QB in time. That leaves our guys in the secondary in man to man coverage where they get killed. We should NEVER play man to man with these guys.

    "I'm not sure Linehan would get fired so quickly, but Haslett may. "

    Can you fire a coordinator in the middle of a season? Would that do any good? How would the players learn the new system? (I'm not trying to be a jerk, I'm really curious).

  10. #10
    moloch41 Guest

    Re: Rams Blown Out Again-The Good, the Bad and The Ugly

    Quote Originally Posted by ScottD413 View Post
    The problem is that he blitzes too much
    Are you watching the same games as everyone else? We blitzed about 4 times today and 3 of them were successful. Many of those long passes that have killed us the past two games were not happening against the blitz. When the QB has 7-8 seconds to decide what to do with the ball, you're going to be the worst team in the league against the pass like we are.

  11. #11
    blood85 Guest

    Re: Rams Blown Out Again-The Good, the Bad and The Ugly

    Good, bad , ugly, does it really matter? The point is we DID not get the W.

  12. #12
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    Re: Rams Blown Out Again-The Good, the Bad and The Ugly

    I am just doing the good because you all covered bad and ugly just fine.

    Good = They finally got a 3rd down conversion, went for it on 4th down and got it, scored a TD, Long got a sack, and Josh had a couple of nice field goals. At least we scored more than 3 points in this game.
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    Re: Rams Blown Out Again-The Good, the Bad and The Ugly

    Quote Originally Posted by Goldenfleece View Post
    The Good: The pressure was good at times, just not very consistent.

    Bulger showed a little moxie when we went for it on fourth down. A couple plays later he made a nice play scrambling for yardage when the protection broke down.

    Randy McMichael had another good showing, and I don't think any of the sacks came from Orlando Pace's side.

    No false starts on the offensive line.

    Chris Long looked good, and the whole team seemed to get pumped up when he got his first sack. The announcers talked about figuring out who the leaders are on this team. I think this might be one of them.

    The Bad: The interior line was well and truly awful. They gave up 3 sacks to defensive tackles plus one more to a middle linebacker blitzing through the middle.

    While the team seemed more spirited in this game, they also seemed to be easily deflated. At times, it looked like the bench had given up hope even before the game really got out of reach.

    Atogwe was badly out of position on the Giants' first TD, and the secondary is still doing just enough to be in position to make the tackle after the catch--not actually break it up. On the second TD, I still don't know why Hill was trying to stay behind Toomer in the endzone on a play that started 10 yards from the goalline. It's not like he could get beat deep; the guy couldn't have gone more than a couple more yards without running out the back of the endzone.

    The Ugly: On the Giants' first TD play, Long got held bad. The guy blocking him had an arm wrapped around him and what appeared to be a tight grip on the front part of his pads. It was about the most blatant holding I've seen in the pros, and it went uncalled on a key play.

    On the second holding call on Adam Goldberg, It wasn't at all clear to me what the refs were complaining about. That negated a 23-yard pass to Looker. Instead of crossing into Giants territory, we had to punt.

    Aikman and Buck hardly even called the game. They talked more about history and who to watch than what was actually happening in the game. On at least one occasion, the entire room I was in was yelling at the tv because there had just been a penalty and the announcers not only talked over the refs' announcement of the penalty but then failed to mention what it was or who it was called on.
    Good points GoldenFleece especially about some of those penalties. It's good that you have me as your "let's go back and look" remote control person so that we can rewatch those odd calls or non-calls. Aikman and Buck need some help calling the games. They have far too much fluff in the commentary. It would be real nice to hear some technical comments.
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  14. #14
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Rams Blown Out Again-The Good, the Bad and The Ugly

    Quote Originally Posted by general counsel View Post
    Thanks for the supplement nick. Really nice job. Great point on the looker play. That was a very well thrown deep ball and was at the minimum, a very long gain and maybe even a td. Looker turned the wrong way. You cant put that on bulger.
    Yep. The thing that bugged me is that Dane has the entire right side of the field wide open, and he just doesn't make the adjustment and keeps running towards the center fielder. If he'd had just flipped to the right side and broke that way, I agree that we're probably looking for a touchdown.

    Quote Originally Posted by general counsel View Post
    It never ceases to amaze me how many people dont understand the CUMULATIVE impact of getting killed play after play. QB's work on rhythm. When the protection constantly breaks down, any qb is going to suffer. This is NOT a bulger issue. The issue is the offensive line and to some degree the receivers. Timing is constantly disrupted. The internal clock in the qb's head gets all messed up.
    I agree completely, and I think that's one of the reason why we saw a number of quick slants to Holt this game. Trying to build some rhythm and get some positive yards. I still would have liked to see Bulger hit McMichael on that crossing route. But in order to stand in the pocket, find his targets, and deliver an accurate ball, Bulger has to be able to trust that his line is going to hold up long enough for him to do that. That really hasn't been the case in years.

    BTW, this didn't make it into my write-up, but I loved the play where Bulger dodges a defender or two as the pocket breaks down, hits Jackson on a short route, and Steven runs it the rest of the way for a first down. I felt like I was watching sandlot improv football.

    Quote Originally Posted by Goldenfleece View Post
    The Bad: The interior line was well and truly awful. They gave up 3 sacks to defensive tackles plus one more to a middle linebacker blitzing through the middle.
    Ugh, that LB blitz was pathetic. This is why I think the Rams miss McCollum's leadership and intelligence at center. We need a dependable veteran who can make all of the line calls and protections. I don't think we have that in Romberg or Leckey right now, and I think our line would really improve if we could find a true anchor at center.

    Quote Originally Posted by Goldenfleece View Post
    The Ugly: On the Giants' first TD play, Long got held bad. The guy blocking him had an arm wrapped around him and what appeared to be a tight grip on the front part of his pads. It was about the most blatant holding I've seen in the pros, and it went uncalled on a key play.
    I don't know if we're thinking about the same play and I just got mixed up as to who was being held, but I remember early in the game seeing Giants offensive lineman Rich Seubert completely hook whom I thought was La'Roi Glover in one of the most obvious holding calls of all time. It didn't get called. Also when Hall had Manning wrapped up but couldn't bring him down later in the game, he was being held pretty clearly as well. No call. There was also a very blatant hold on the second level by Burress during either a long run or a catch and run that didn't get flagged.

    Towards the end of the game, Aikman was talking about how the Rams were getting away with stuff all day, and I just shook my head. At the very least, both teams had their fair share of moments.

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    Re: Rams Blown Out Again-The Good, the Bad and The Ugly

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    BTW, this didn't make it into my write-up, but I loved the play where Bulger dodges a defender or two as the pocket breaks down, hits Jackson on a short route, and Steven runs it the rest of the way for a first down. I felt like I was watching sandlot improv football.
    That was a nice heads up play by Bulger and Jackson. You don't see Bulger scrambling around too much, but he pulled it off that time.
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