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  1. #1
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    Rams-Cardinals Analysis from 12/07 .....

    I really don't know how this going to come off, because I am sick as a dog. But here it is, and woohoo, my 1000th post! When I first posted here last year, I never thought I'd get sucked in like this. But I love this board. It is hands down the best Rams board out there, so don't buy into the hype of other impersonators ....

    I have to say, and this may sound nuts, but the Rams have made me hate watching other NFL games this season. Yes, HATE watching them. Yesterday, I watched the Packers take on the Texans and I watched the Lions take on the Vikings, pretty much at the same time. As much as the Lions suck, given they are 0-13, they fought tooth and nail until the very end. Every single player gave 100% effort no matter the situation. And the Packers, well, they have to be the best 5-8 team of all-time. I cannot fathom how they only have 5 wins with that ball-hawking defense. Seems they have problems in the red zone, imagine that ...

    It just makes me sad to watch other teams play, no matter what their record, Every other team in the league seems to give a solid effort from top to bottom, win or lose. I cannot say the same for the Rams given what I saw in the fourth quarter. It was quite disgusting to see both Pittman and Looker quit as passes him them right in the hands in the final minutes, only to be dropped ....

    Anyway, here is what I saw ...

    QUARTERBACKS - Outside of the Cowboys game, this was Marc's best effort of the year. He looked more comfortable in the pocket this week, and it seemed they utilized a new dropback where Bulger rolled off to the right before setting to throw. This often gave him several seconds to throw. It seems his confidence in the line may be growing. He threw two passes that resulted in first downs with heavy pressure coming at him. He would have went down on these throws a few weeks ago. He also made some beautiful passes into tight spots, including a swing pass to Pittman and a pass down the seam to Fells (!). Bulger is clearly frustrated with Avery, and rightfully so, as the rookie continually seems to be out of position and unaware of what is going on around him. Bulger threw a perfect pass at him for a hot read that would have gone for a big gain, but Avery never saw it. Bulger was animated over this for those that say he shows no emotion and fire. Bulger did miss Avery wide open down the sideline late in the game. Ultimately, no way Bulger could have succeeded with the playcalling in this game. The vanilla screens that Saunders calls for are sad, and we hardly ever throw the ball downfield, despite no found options in the rookies and Daniel Fells(!). The INT is clearly on Bulger, but at that point, it was for not. I really have a hard time faulting the man for trying to make a play when he is not given even basic tools (playcalling) to begin. I believe I even saw Bulger audible once or twice in this game. It should be noted that Bulger completes 70% if not for dropped passes.

    GRADE: C+

    RUNNING BACKS: Not alot of room to run this week. Yes, it is nice to have SJ back, and it is nice to see him running hard, but those fumbles are inexcusable. I am not going to say we would have won this game if not for the fumbles, but we would have been right there. It was very reminiscant of the Panthers game to open the season last year. Regardless, Jackson looked awesome on that 32-yard scamper, and I cannot wait to see what he can do next year when he is in great shape, after he attends camp! He also made a nice grab and spin to get in the end zone on the TD pass. Pittman made a couple nice runs on the ground and on a screen. Didn't see much of Darby this week, and that is dissapointing. I sure wish Darby would teach Jackson some of his pass protection skills, because SJ cannot keep anybody off of Bulger that blitzes off of the edge. We ultimately could not establish the run like we'd hope due to falling behind early.

    GRADE: D+ (for the fumbles)

    WIDE RECEIVERS: I don't even know why I say it, because subpar days are seemingly expected from this group at this point. Holt looked pretty good out there but I still question if he is giving it his all. What comes to mind is a pass he caught from Bulger that was about a half yard short of the first, and he seemingly didn't even try to get that extra yard. Haslett was clearly angry over this. Avery seems to be regressing, which isn't surprising, as many rookies hit the wall about this time of the year. He doesn't look good running his routes, he is out of place often, and couldn't recognize a hot read if it hit him right in the head, and it almost did yesterday. Burton was a non-factor as was Looker, who apparently quit in the fourth quarter. Why were aren't throwing the ball to Daniel Fells (!) a dozen times a game is boggling to me. This guy have significant receiving skills, and he, along with McMichael, should be a terror for opposing defenses next year. Fells actually catches the ball with his hands, which is a rarity around here. He made a ridiculously awesome move to get open in the seam that resulted in a nice gain on a beuatiful pass from Bulger. Even Klop got into the action with a pair of grabs. It's a shame that Klop cannot get more involved because he turns and gets up the field quickly. We need to work the tight ends into the offense more to open up the field for the wideouts.

    GRADE: C-

    OFFENSIVE LINE: Decent day from this group. Overall, it was pretty good in pass blocking, giving up only one sack. And whether or not that sack was actually on the line is debatable, as it came on a heavy blitz where the backs offered little or no help. For the most part, Bulger has plenty of time to throw and when he didn't, he got the ball away quick enough to avoid contact. Goldberg did an ok job fililng in for Barron, but I have to wonder why Greco didn't get this opportunity. Cogs got yet another stupid penalty, and the line had a hard time opening up holes for the run game today. Cogs did have a massive block on the 32 yard run.

    GRADE: A- for pass protection, C- for running game

    DEFENSIVE LINE: This group deserves some credit for closing up holes in the run game, but still really cannot get any pressure of the QB. Did Chris Long even play? He didn't register in the box score and I didn't hear his name called once. He has definitely hit that rookie wall, but no need to worry as he'll be fine. Little had a sack and a tackle for a loss before leaving with a leg injury. James Hall busted through the line to stuff Hightower for a four yard loss. Hall has had a really solid year and I'd like to see him back as a situational player. Carriker broke through once for what seemingly was going to be a five yard loss, but Hightower slipped through his fingers. I am worried about Carriker, as he jsut doesn't seem to be a huge impact in the middle. Ryan held up well at the point of impact and is doing exactly what you would expect a NT to do. Adeyanju did a nice job of forcing a couple cutbacks back inside.

    GRADE: B-

    LINEBACKERS: Often, we only had two of these guys on the field in this game. Draft started in the middle, but played sparingly due to alot of nickel and dime stuff. He did have a quarterback pressure, one of only two on the day for the Rams. Culberson played ok, but I will talk in depth about Pisa. Pisa has alot of critics, but he has really showed up this year, IMHO. He is doing everything you'd expect a WLB to do. He is containing the run when it comes his way, he plays decent in pass coverage, and he shows more heart than anybody on this team. He had a superb game against the Cards, and he seemed to be around the ball on every play. He recorded his 7th tackle for loss which puts him in the top five in the league. He plays hard on every single play, and as we are seeing this year, he can be a really solid linebacker when he is healthy. He is 9th in the league in tackles amongst OLB's. If he can find a replacement in the middle and play outside with Witherspoon and Pisa, we might have a pretty good corp group of linebackers, with Culberson and Draft as relief. Props to Pisa on a great game and a very good season.

    GRADE: B

    SECONDARY: A mixed bag for this group. I actually saw some press man coverage this week, that actually held up pretty well. Our problems come when we drop into that soft zone. Why we'd take a chance playing zone against Warner I will never understand. He ripped the zone repeatedly. The only two players in the secondary that really stood out for me were Chavous and Bartell. Chavous needs to be gone, as I have never seen a player look so ridiculous as I did on that deep pass that was completed against him. He was looking for the ball the WRONG WAY! Come on, ball awareness is crucial for a safety. Johnson is definitely an upgrade. At this point, he just doesn't have any anymore. Bartell, despite getting beat deep once on a ball that fell incomplete, had a very solid game. He had three passes defensed, including one in the end zone. He also had a great INT that set up our only TD. We really struggling bringing down screen passes in the open field. I saw just about every DB whiff on a tackle, including Wade who missed badly. Regardless, we held a team that primarly relies on the pass to 20 points offensively, so all was not lost.

    GRADE: C

    SPECIAL TEAMS: Jones kicked long again but one went for a touchback, and they got an 18 yard return on the other. Kickoff coverage was sound. Brown inexcusably missed a 42 yard field goal indoors. When is the last time you saw something like that? Stanley looked fabulous in both facets of the return game.

    GRADE: C

    COACHING: We lost 34-10, but it wouldn't have been nearly this bad if not for the turnovers. For the most part, Haslett had the guys ready to play, but a few seem to wear down and give less effort as the game progressed. Venturi did a nice job adjusting to the Cards passing game, and dialed up some blitzes that worked to varying degrees. We just aren't getting enough from the D-line to rattle any quarterback. Saunders is a mystery to me. With the O-line playing better, the play-calling is horrible. Multiple times we had screen plays busted up in this game. It is beyond clear that the opposition does know exactly what we are doing. We took very few shots down field this game. I don't know if Saunders has lost it, or if he feels we just do not have the proper personnel, but his game planning is poor. This has to change.

    GRADE: C+
    Last edited by RamsInfiniti; -12-08-2008 at 01:45 PM.


  2. #2
    dgr828's Avatar
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    Re: Rams-Cardinals Analysis from 12/07 .....

    CONGRATULATIONS ON 1,000 POSTS! KEEP IT GOING! There was alot of lack of concentration from numerous players against the CARDs. Starting with Alex Barron being benched for the start of the game, the disappearance of Torry Holt in the first half, the ill advised route running from rookie Avery, dropped passes (Burton, Looker, Pittman), missed blocking assignments and back to back fumbles (JAX), Bulger (100 yard INT for TD).

    Rams vs Cardinals was the only game I watched, and still (IMO) the only game worth watching, despite the Rams woes!
    Bulger for the most part managed a good offensive game for the Rams. The redzone offense needs alot of work! The offensive frontline has had a good showing as of late!
    Klophenstein had a good game, hopefully its a good sign in his developement.
    Grading the defensive line with a B- is a little high I think, Kurt Warner with no pressure facing him, had all day to pick apart our DEF, especially early on in the ball game.
    Where's Adam Carriker, Chris Long? DEFENSIVE LINE: (D-).
    Despite of all the Rams misfortunes this year, I could see the effort was there against the Cardinals. The Rams may have won sans the turnovers. I can see the Rams having a better showing, next week against the Seattle Seahawks.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  3. #3
    RamsInfiniti's Avatar
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    Re: Rams-Cardinals Analysis from 12/07 .....

    Quote Originally Posted by dgr828 View Post
    CONGRATULATIONS ON 1,000 POSTS! KEEP IT GOING! There was alot of lack of concentration from numerous players against the CARDs. Starting with Alex Barron being benched for the start of the game, the disappearance of Torry Holt in the first half, the ill advised route running from rookie Avery, dropped passes (Burton, Looker, Pittman), missed blocking assignments and back to back fumbles (JAX), Bulger (100 yard INT for TD).

    Rams vs Cardinals was the only game I watched, and still (IMO) the only game worth watching, despite the Rams woes!
    Bulger for the most part managed a good offensive game for the Rams. The redzone offense needs alot of work! The offensive frontline has had a good showing as of late!
    Klophenstein had a good game, hopefully its a good sign in his developement.
    Grading the defensive line with a B- is a little high I think, Kurt Warner with no pressure facing him, had all day to pick apart our DEF, especially early on in the ball game.
    Where's Adam Carriker, Chris Long? DEFENSIVE LINE: (D-).
    Despite of all the Rams misfortunes this year, I could see the effort was there against the Cardinals. The Rams may have won sans the turnovers. I can see the Rams having a better showing, next week against the Seattle Seahawks.
    Poor rushing offense or not, the D-Line did a superb job of stuffing the run, often at the line of scrimmage or in the backfield. The Cards first three rushes yielded 25 yards, that means they got 38 yards on 19 carries thereafter.

    Remember, this same Cards team gashed up for 150 yards rushing the first time we played them. Much improved effort ...

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    Re: Rams-Cardinals Analysis from 12/07 .....

    Quote Originally Posted by RamsInfiniti View Post
    Poor rushing offense or not, the D-Line did a superb job of stuffing the run, often at the line of scrimmage or in the backfield. The Cards first three rushes yielded 25 yards, that means they got 38 yards on 19 carries thereafter.

    Remember, this same Cards team gashed up for 150 yards rushing the first time we played them. Much improved effort ...
    I just don't know what it takes to get this defensive line to get to the oppossing teams Quarterback. I'm thinking the Rams should go to a (3-4) defense. Also, The Rams secondary needs to 'crack' every WR that comes across our middle, we are too soft, and every team knows this!
    "SUPERB"? DECENT would be OVEREXAGGERATING.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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    Re: Rams-Cardinals Analysis from 12/07 .....

    Quote Originally Posted by dgr828 View Post
    I just don't know what it takes to get this defensive line to get to the oppossing teams Quarterback. I'm thinking the Rams should go to a (3-4) defense. Also, The Rams secondary needs to 'crack' every WR that comes across our middle, we are too soft, and every team knows this!
    "SUPERB"? DECENT would be OVEREXAGGERATING.
    2.9 YPGA is EXCELLENT, no matter who you are playing against ...

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    Re: Rams-Cardinals Analysis from 12/07 .....

    A sign that Bulger has lost his touch is that hes not going through his reads. He started throwing more to Holt in the second half, great! But then b/c it worked a couple times he tried to force it to him in the end zone when he had a much better line drive to Fells. The safety had gotten in front of Holt and Fells was sitting at the end of his route waiting for the ball and Bulger chose to throw the ball to Holt. He's losin his touch for sure.

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