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  1. #1
    general counsel's Avatar
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    Rams collapse again- Lose 17-16 to Whiners; The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory for the second week in a row, the hapless Rams collapsed down the stretch and lost to the hated Whiners 17-16. With the game on the line, it was none other than the Reverend Ike preaching the gospel as the Whiners rallied for two late TD's to extend the Rams losing streak under Jim Haslett to nine and virtually clinching the #2 overall pick for our squad, given the low odds (in the extreme) of winning in Atlanta next week.

    The Rams defied nearly every rule of winning football by losing this game. They had a 38-21 minute advantage in time of possession. They had 4 takeaways compared to 1 turnover. They allowed only 273 yards of offense of which 45 was the qb scrambling and had 4 sacks. So how did we lose again?

    Steven Jackson reinjured his thigh late in the second quarter. This contributed to our failure to convert in the red zone and our paltry 98 yards of offense in the second half. The defense went AWOL in the fourth quarter, allowing two long drives and somehow allowing a 50 yard td pass despite three rams being around the ball. The Rams rookie receivers had a truly schitzophrenic game, making terrific catches (Avery on the sideline and burton in the end zone) while also missing reads and running lousy routes (Burton on a key third down, Avery on the INT that ended the game among others). Finally, our offensive coordinator apparantly suffered a full mental meltdown by running the ball for a 3 yard loss with an injured jackson and the game on the line, rather than taking up to 3 shots to gain the 10 yards we needed for a game winning field goal.

    Given that the Rams are probably better off losing this game as it gets us a better draft pick, the positive of the day was watching Isaac Bruce work his magic in the fourth quarter and break the 1000 catch mark and pass Tim Brown to become #2 all time in receiving yardage (he is now at 1001 catches, 14,936 yards, 91 tds and only 11 miles behind Jerry Rice for #1 all time). The sight of Reverend Ike in a whiners uniform should make every Rams fan throw up. Watch todays game and tell me that he wasnt worth 3 million for this year. Does anyone seriously want to tell me that Torry Holt is worth over 5 million cap dollars MORE than bruce, who is now at 59-827-7 for the year despite playing with lousy qb's. Next stop for Bruuuuuuuce is the HOF after he passes 15,000 career yards. Bruce was open about four additional times today when Hill missed him.

    The Good

    Bulger was strong and accurate today. He finished 19-36-227-1-1 despite some lousy receiver play at times (especially missed routes). The INT at the end was (i believe) a bad route by Avery, who had just made a great catch a couple of plays before on 4th and 9 to keep the drive alive. In the first half, when we had the running game going, bulger was especially effective. We need a developmental qb for sure, but Bulger is not the problem on this team. He also had a reception from Looker for the second week in a row, which i bet is a Rams team record and i would like to know the last nfl qb that had receptions in consecutive games.

    Jackson played a gutsy game with 32-108 and 2 catches for 11 yards. He had 71 yards at half but was clearly slowed in the second half by the injured thigh, and yet did his best to play through it.

    I like Darby. He runs hard, made a tackle on special teams and had 5 catches for 57 yards.

    The receivers are good and bad as i mentioned above, but i will put them here in the good section since both avery and burton are clearly parts of the future of this team. They both need a LOT of experience. We have taken the Bruce and Holt route running expertise for granted over the years. People are pointing at bulger and they dont seem to recognize that the receivers are not in the right place time after time.

    The defense was excellent against the run (83 yards on 17 carries, 45 of which were qb scrambles), albeit without Frank Gore. We had four sacks and before the collapse on the last two drives really controlled the game.

    OJ and Bartell need to be signed long term. Bartell had two INT's and a great pass breakup in the end zone. OJ had an INT and a terrific play to rip the ball out of Vernon Davis' hands for a caused fumble and recovery all in one. Of course, OJ blew it on the play on the last td, he should have knocked the ball down as it was right in front of him.

    Great tackle by Wade on punt coverage. Although Donnie Jones didnt have his best day, he still managed 7-342 for a 48.9 average.

    The oline was excellent in the first half and lousy in the second, although in fairness to them, the jackson injury really hurt us in the second half.

    Pisa had 9 tackles, 2 sacks and a nice pass breakup.

    The Bad

    It is truly a MORGUE inside the Big Dead Ed during Rams games. The most noise all day was on the Isaac Bruce catches. The place was half empty of course.
    Greco got beat for a key justin smith sack in the fourth quarter.
    We still suck terribly in the redzone, which prevented us from putting this game away. This is a MUST improve area.
    The Al Sauders play calling is lousy in my view. Its not just the jackson run call at the end. We are getting way too conservative in the second half just because we have some kind of lead. Why dont we use play action more? Why not find ways to get the ball to jackson in space in the short passing game rather than just running him up the middle time and time again. When we are running well (see the first half) why not play action fake on first down and take a shot downfield with Avery.

    The Ugly

    I can't imagine anything uglier that Isaac Bruce in a Whiners uniform (other than Marshall in a whiners uniform which thank the lord never happened).
    Darby getting clobbered and taken out by the umpire after a catch was a pretty ugly play.
    The Rams in general are horribly ugly in the second half these days. No other way to put it.

    Summary

    After last year's 3-13 debacle, at least we all seemed to agree that it couldn't get any worse. We were wrong of course as we are now looking at a virtual certainty of a 2-14 season unless the Falcons win and clinch today and somehow decide to rest every one of their starters next week. I will be at the game sitting in the first row behind the Rams bench on the 50 yard line with my kids, which is going to be an amazing experience no matter what happens. We will arrive at the Dome in Atlanta by 9am just in case the Falcons decide to start the game early.

    Gear up for bowl season everyone, its time to start doing SERIOUS scouting. I want Andre Smith, but if Detroit takes Bradford, I can be convinced to take Stafford.

    Ramming speed to all and long live Reverend Ike

    general counsel



  2. #2
    eldfan's Avatar
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    Re: Rams collapse again- Lose 17-16 to Whiners; The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    Thanks GC, you right time look at bowls games and scouting players.
    :ramlogo:

  3. #3
    SFCRamFan Guest

    Re: Rams collapse again- Lose 17-16 to Whiners; The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    Thanks for suffering through another excruciating game analysis GC. Ike in Whiner gear is sacrilegious. It is just too much for any Ram fan to stomach; especially when he is setting NFL records...

  4. #4
    RamsInfiniti's Avatar
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    Re: Rams collapse again- Lose 17-16 to Whiners; The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    Absolutely superb post GC. Thanks!

  5. #5
    Mooselini Guest

    Re: Rams collapse again- Lose 17-16 to Whiners; The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    Great post GC.

    I think a whole offseason with Burton and Avery will give signficant help to us. Great catch by Burton. These kids have promise. Lets just get the rookie season out of the way and lets see them next year. We need to keep Holt around. No doubt.

    Bartell and Atogwe need to get signed long term. I think getting a defensive minded head coach will allow these two to mature even more. Bad play by Atogwe, however, he still had a decent day.

    Bulger looks MUCH more comfortable in the pocket. Still not a great day, but the INT looked like a bad route by Avery.

    One thing we need to focus on heavily is deadzone...I mean redzone.

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