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Thread: Rams defeat The Big Dead (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly)

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    general counsel's Avatar
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    Rams defeat The Big Dead (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly)

    Sorry for the delay in posting guys, and apologies in advance as i am sure that a lot of this has already been stated by others. Here are my observations, in the form of the good, the bad and the ugly from our hard fought come from behind win over Arizona yesterday.

    The Good

    Jared Cook performed as advertised, ugly fumble notwithstanding. Big, fast, strong and good hands. Easy to see why the team thought he was worth big money.

    Robert Quinn was sensational. Three sacks, two fumbles, and what should have been about ten holding penalties called on Levi Brown. Kudos to the Cardinals coaching staff for failing to give Brown adequate help in blocking Quinn when Helen Keller could have seen that Brown was badly overmatched.

    Our offensive line gave up ZERO sacks. Saffold and Long both fought back from injuries to play full games. The run blocking wasn't bad (i thought Richardson was close to breaking a couple), although we could have done better in short yardage. I am confident that if we give up no sacks a week, we are going to win a lot of games. When Jake Long went down, my heart really sunk, as i am sure was true for many of the rest of you.

    Sammy had a very strong game in my opinion. He was accurate and calm and performed well with the game on the line. Hard to say whether the INT at the goal line was a really bad decision. He did try to hit Cook in triple coverage once and got lucky that it wasn't intercepted. His fumble obviously wasn't his best moment, but i can't blame him for trying to make a play with the game on the line.

    I thought Janoris Jenkins really battled hard out there. Sure, he gave up some plays, but with the kind of time that Palmer had in the first half, i dont believe anyone was going to completely stop Fitzgerald (who wound up with 80 yards receiving, most of which was in the first half or off of Finnegan). Jenkins had some nice pass breakups and he never seems to get flustered after getting beat, which is critical for the mentality of a top level corner. I think Jenkins has only upside ahead of him.

    The defense made some huge stops on third down late in the game. A lot of that tied to much better pressure on Palmer, but however it happened, it made all the difference at the end.

    William Hayes played well in his role. Nice int and runback from Johnson.
    Greg the Leg did the job with the game on the line.
    Nice punting by Hecker, great to not get hurt by Peterson in the return game.


    The Bad

    Bad challenge by Fisher at the goal line. Quick's knee was clearly down on the replay and unless you are 100% sure, you can't take the risk of losing a time out in lieu of first and goal in a close game, regardless of the issues we seemed to have in short yardage.

    Rough day for Finnegan, both in coverage and with the stupid penalties. He will bounce back.

    Red zone performance unacceptable. We aren't good enough to get away with stalling around the goal line (very few teams are). First and goal on the four and we go backwards three yards on three plays? First and five in the red zone and we get a field goal? Terrible.

    The pass rush in the first half (Quinn aside) was terrible and that allowed Palmer to carve us up, aided by some excellent catches by their receivers. WHere was Chris Long all day? I know he recovered the fumble at the end and blocked one pass, but i didnt see him get a single qb pressure and i am pretty sure he wasnt playing across from Anthony Munoz or Walter Jones.

    The last 26 seconds of the first half were terrible. We got very lucky that Feeley missed the 50 yard field goal, which was obviously a big point in the game.

    The failed touchback at the goal line in the first quarter was awful. That was a perfect punt by Hecker, should have been downed on the one yard line.

    The fumble by Cook was bad news, he has to protect that ball. I will say it was a nice play by Mathieu. However, the play was incredibly UGLY from a different perspective (see my criticism of Tavon Austin in the Ugly section).


    The UGLY

    Penalties, especially the four personnel fouls. No excuse, and they really killed us field position wise, one of which led to the UGLY TD INT. We have to do better in this area, we can't shoot ourselves in the foot. Nice gain on the screen early on called back by the holding penalty on Jake Long Taunting? Come on Simms, no excuse for that.

    Tavon Austin was UGLY on the cook fumble. Watch the reply. Austin, the fastest guy on the field with Peterson on the bench, is well ahead of everyone else beside cook on the play, but he slows down and stops running hard. As a result, when the fumble happens and the ball is loose in the end zone, Austin is too late to fall on it. If he runs hard through the play, there is no question that fumble or not, that is a Rams TD. Rookies make mistakes. Mental errors have to be eliminated as quickly as possible. I dont care how much talent he has, he has to play every play hard through to conclusion. That one almost cost us the game.


    CONCLUSION

    The win is huge, but the way we won is just phenomenal. We came back from 11 down in the fourth quarter. We never quit, and we found a way to win. Good teams find a way to win when they dont play their best. This was certainly far from our best, and with Atlanta and Dallas on the road coming next, followed by the Whiners at home, we are going to need to play better if we want to win any of those three games. However, I learned a long time ago that there are no style points in the NFL and you take whatever win you can get, especially in a division game.


    Ramming speed to all

    general counsel
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    Re: Rams defeat The Big Dead (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly)

    [Finnegan] will bounce back. -- GC
    Finnegan is a savvy (and wild) veteran CB. And he is a responsible man, he'll be the first to admit his mistakes in this game and WILL vindicate himself. Everyone on the Rams D knows this, Coaches too.

    Glad you mentioned he'll be back. Watch out...
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    Re: Rams defeat The Big Dead (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly)

    Agree with everything except I think you were way too harsh on Austin.

    First of all, no one would ever expect that play let alone a rookie playing in his very first game. If anything, most of the criticism should've been placed at the feet of Jared Cook for not protecting the ball better, though I really just think it was an exceptional defensive play by a guy who has made a living making exactly that type of play.

    Also to Tavon's credit, a block of Tyrann Mathieu by Austin on a punt that had disasterous field position written all over it late in the game, allowing the ball to bounce in the endzone instead of being downed inside the 5, was as heady a play as I saw any Ram make all day long.
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    Re: Rams defeat The Big Dead (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly)

    People, this was the Cards, and even though they are in the same division and likely to play hard, the Rams should have won this game comfortably. Sure the Cards have a defense that's respectable, and yes they have a Fritz and now a real QB in Palmer, but it wasn't a hard recipe to game plan--rush/harass and hit Palmer; cover Fritz with one underneath and one over the top and man up on everyone else.

    Now if the Cards where in the game up till the last few seconds of the game after coming off last season and having as many holes in their squad as the Rams did 2 seasons ago, the game was ugly. Play a game like that against Atlanta or the 49whinners or even the Seagulls you have a lost.

    My thoughts are that the Falcons like the Packers are talented teams, but struggle against physical teams. Though the Rams are a young team, its time to grow up and join the big boys--they have the talent, the toughness, there is no excuse for a game like last week

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    Re: Rams defeat The Big Dead (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly)

    Fortuninerhater, very fair point on the block on the fair catch by Austin down near the goal line. That was a great play, because without it, the ball would have been downed on the one yard line. I should have put that in the good category, along with some recognition for Brockers, who was stout against the run, and a pretty impressive first game for TJ McDonald.

    However, i still think that Austin needs to run hard through the play. I see no reason why the Cardinals defenders are running hard to chase down cook but Austin isnt. You are of course correct that Cook shouldnt be coughing up the ball in the first place.

    ramming speed to all

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    Re: Rams defeat The Big Dead (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ram Dragoon View Post
    People, this was the Cards, and even though they are in the same division and likely to play hard, the Rams should have won this game comfortably. Sure the Cards have a defense that's respectable, and yes they have a Fritz and now a real QB in Palmer, but it wasn't a hard recipe to game plan--rush/harass and hit Palmer; cover Fritz with one underneath and one over the top and man up on everyone else.

    Now if the Cards where in the game up till the last few seconds of the game after coming off last season and having as many holes in their squad as the Rams did 2 seasons ago, the game was ugly. Play a game like that against Atlanta or the 49whinners or even the Seagulls you have a lost.

    My thoughts are that the Falcons like the Packers are talented teams, but struggle against physical teams. Though the Rams are a young team, its time to grow up and join the big boys--they have the talent, the toughness, there is no excuse for a game like last week
    In all fairness, this is the youngest team in the NFL. I expect some major hiccups from all aspects of the game. Now there'll be growing pains that will sting like salt on a wound but eventually, we should play like an elite team. On the other hand, if the chemistry and experience was there already, then I would be a little concerned.. Other than that, I'm glad we managed to pull a win from behind and that's all that matters.

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    Re: Rams defeat The Big Dead (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly)

    I agree with others in saying that you're being a little harsh on Austin. He peels off because he believes it's a TD. Even the most grizzled of veteran receivers do that. The Cards players are trying to chase down Cook because it's the job they're paid to do. If Cook doesn't slow down (which he did in a big way), this never even becomes an issue. At the very least, it's hard to call Austin (who covered close to 15 yards in the blink of an eye in an attempt to get the ball) and his effort "ugly".

    Also, Chris Long had the sack at the end of the game that effectively ended any hopes the Cardinals had. Part of the reason he was quiet is because Arizona was shifting the TE's and RB's to his side to chip him. This is one of the big reasons for Quinn's monster game. Also, Long would've had another sack had Quinn not gotten to Palmer a split second before. That's not bad play. That's just the rich being rich.

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    Re: Rams defeat The Big Dead (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly)

    I saw that long got credited with the sack after my post. On TV, they gave the sack at the end to Hayes. I agree completely that plenty of vets would have peeled off the same way that austin did, and i would be on their case as well if they made the same mistake. Interesting perspective Ramendola in that you suggest that Cook slowed down in a big way. I didnt see it that way when i watched the play the first time. I need to watch the replay again, because if that is true, then you guys are right that i am being too harsh on austin. I thought cook was running hard, but given that it was a 55 yard play, was slowing down because he was running out of gas, not because he got lazy.

    ramming speed to all

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    Re: Rams defeat The Big Dead (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly)

    I'm thinking someone upstairs told Fisher to challenge to Quick non-touchdown play. I'm sure Fisher will address the issue with the man upstairs.

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    Re: Rams defeat The Big Dead (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly)

    The only thing I would switch out is Tavon on the fumble with our secondary playing zone. There were times where Palmer was just torching us. Fitz, Floyd, and Roberts were all about a catch or two away from 100 yards receiving on the day. We definitely have to tighten that up because we're about to face arguably the best receiving core next week. Overall this is a good evaluation.

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    Re: Rams defeat The Big Dead (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly)

    Quote Originally Posted by laram0 View Post
    I'm thinking someone upstairs told Fisher to challenge to Quick non-touchdown play. I'm sure Fisher will address the issue with the man upstairs.
    Fisher said he didn't hear from anybody upstairs. The reason he challenged is because they showed the replay on the big jumbotron but the stupid score ticker was on the bottom hiding Quicks knee. In the stadium it looked like it never touched. Right when they showed that replay, Fisher threw the flag. They need to fix the jumbotron and move the score somewhere else.
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    Re: Rams defeat The Big Dead (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly)

    Quote Originally Posted by GolfnRAMFAN View Post
    Fisher said he didn't hear from anybody upstairs. The reason he challenged is because they showed the replay on the big jumbotron but the stupid score ticker was on the bottom hiding Quicks knee. In the stadium it looked like it never touched. Right when they showed that replay, Fisher threw the flag. They need to fix the jumbotron and move the score somewhere else.
    Ehh, let's not blame the stadium for that. Fisher should be trusting his guys upstairs, not a jumbotron, to make the decision to challenge.

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    Re: Rams defeat The Big Dead (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly)

    Quote Originally Posted by RealRam View Post
    Finnegan is a savvy (and wild) veteran CB. And he is a responsible man, he'll be the first to admit his mistakes in this game and WILL vindicate himself. Everyone on the Rams D knows this, Coaches too.

    Glad you mentioned he'll be back. Watch out...
    I sure hope you are right. It is only one game, but if we start seeing a trend, I will be wondering if Finnegan has hit the age wall...
    This space for rent...

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    Re: Rams defeat The Big Dead (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly)

    Quote Originally Posted by berg8309 View Post
    Ehh, let's not blame the stadium for that. Fisher should be trusting his guys upstairs, not a jumbotron, to make the decision to challenge.
    While I agree, with the play clock winding down, you have to make a move. And I concur with the fact he was looking at the jumbo tron. Having been at the game, it definitely looked like Quick had made it and the stadium was roaring for a challenge -- I'm sure he just got caught up in it. They need to fix the score to avoid it in the future, regardless of whether it should happen or not.

    -M$Ram
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