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  1. #1
    eldfan's Avatar
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    Rams keep turning over the same old leaf

    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    10/12/2009

    Here's all you need to know about the state of Rams football, 2009:

    At halftime Sunday, the Rams had outgained mighty Minnesota by 50 yards. Steven Jackson had outrushed Vikings super back Adrian Peterson, 48 yards to 35. And Kyle Boller had a passer rating that was 21.3 points better than fabulous Brett Favre.

    Yet the Rams STILL trailed by two touchdowns entering the locker room at halftime, 17-3.


    "We can't get a break," cornerback Ron Bartell said. "Every flag, every call's going against us. Everything you can think that's bad is happening right now. So we've just got to try to battle and play above it, and just keep playing hard."

    In the second half, the thoroughbred took over in the unbeaten Vikings (5-0), a team that currently has the look of NFC title contender. Minnesota had touchdown drives of 90, 80, and 80 yards in the final two quarters to pull away to a 38-10 victory.

    Yes, Marc Bulger was seven for seven for St. Louis in the fourth quarter, including a 27-yard TD pass to Donnie Avery in relief of injured starter Kyle Boller. But by then, the Vikings were treating the game like a preseason contest in mid-August. Only one of their 11 defensive starters was on the field.

    So let's go to the tote board. The Rams remain winless for '09 at 0-5; their franchise-record losing streak has been extended to 15 games. And they have been outscored 146 points to 34 this season.

    "In order to be a good football team, you can't turn the ball over," Bartell said. "Can't have penalties. Same thing that's been beating us all year. Right now, we're not a good football team."

    Not even close. Nonetheless, the Rams had several chances to make a game of it in the opening three quarters. In this, the 300th game in "St. Louis" Rams history a total that includes preseason, postseason and regular-season contests the Rams found a new way to lose.

    Of their four turnovers Sunday, St. Louis' offense had three inside the Minnesota 10 against a Vikings defense regarded as one of the league's best.

    "I don't know if I've ever seen that before," left guard Jacob Bell said.

    On first and goal from the Minnesota 1 early in the second quarter, Jackson never seemed to gain control of a handoff from Boller, with defensive end Jared Allen recovering the loose football at the 4. It looked like a botched exchange but Jackson took the blame: "It's on me, dropping the ball," he said.

    On second and 6 from the Minnesota 8 late in the second quarter, Boller completed a pass to tight end Daniel Fells inside the 5. But Vikes linebacker Chad Greenway popped Fells from behind, the ball popped out, and fellow linebacker E.J. Henderson recovered at the 2.

    "Ultimately, I've got to hold on to the rock," Fells said. "I can't let something like that happen."

    On fourth and 6 from the Vikings' 9 early in the fourth quarter, Boller's pass intended for Keenan Burton was intercepted by safety Tyrell Johnson in the end zone. Burton and fellow wide receiver Danny Amendola were in the same area on the play; in fact, they practically ran into each other. So one of the two must have busted a route.

    Last week against San Francisco, the Rams didn't get into the red zone. Not once. Against the Vikings, they treated the football like a hot potato whenever they got there. "That hurts you," coach Steve Spagnuolo said. "You can't do it and expect to win the game because it's hard enough getting down there. And that's a good (Minnesota) defense. Offensively, you look at the silver lining, we moved it all the way down there. The guys did something right to get it inside the 10, it's just from that point on in."

    The Rams have now committed 10 turnovers in the past three games and have been minus 3 in all three contests in takeaway-giveaway differential.

    The first St. Louis turnover Sunday came on just the Rams' fifth offensive play of the game. Minnesota defensive tackle Kevin Williams raced past an attempted block by Richie Incognito to sack Boller. But before Williams even got there, Boller delivered an air ball. The ball slipped out of Boller's hands coming out before his arm was going forward. So it was a fumble, not an incomplete pass.

    Allen scooped up the ball and raced 52 yards for a TD, giving Minnesota a 14-0 lead just seven minutes into the game.

    "It's just amazing our luck now," defensive end Leonard Little said. "We don't seem to get any breaks. You're supposed to make your own breaks, but this is a hard-working team. We work hard every week in practice. And we're just not putting it together on Sunday. I don't know."

    Little's words reflected some of the frustration that's creeping into the locker room. His frustration boiled over late in the game when he confronted a Vikings fan who had been heckling Rams players all afternoon. "I don't have to put up with that at home," Little said afterward.

    The frustration bubbled over when Bartell was asked to explain a 34-yard pass interference call on him in the fourth quarter that seemed to negate good coverage. The penalty jump-started one of the Minnesota scoring drives.

    "I don't want to get fined," Bartell said. "(The official) said I cut the guy off, which if I beat the guy to the spot, I don't understand how it's pass interference. I think right now, the way things are around here, they've kind of predetermined. ..."

    Bartell didn't finish the thought.

    :ramlogo:

  2. #2
    RebelYell's Avatar
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    Re: Rams keep turning over the same old leaf

    "an attempted block by Richie Incognito"

    That's being kind.

  3. #3
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    Re: Rams keep turning over the same old leaf

    I really don't know why Cogs is still on this team. Trade him away for a draft pick. It can be a 10th round pick for all I care! Play Greco there.

    The team moved the ball better against one of the top defenses in the league. I'm impressed. Practicing some redzone routines will be on the agenda this week. We play the Jags next week, who can be a solid team on some weeks. So we can't just sit here and assume we will win. Their fans are thinking the same thing.

  4. #4
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    Re: Rams keep turning over the same old leaf

    I love how Bulger's 7-7 performance was discounted as being nothing more than a pre-season game at that point. Why people still pine for Boller is beyond me. We have seen enough of him. He has zero accuracy and missed a possible td to Burton on two seperate occasions. The first time he flat out over threw him by 10 yds and the second he threw a laser instead of leading Burton to the endzone with a little air under tha ball. People wanted to see if Boller was better than Bulger well the answer is no. The offensive line has played surprisingly well the last few games so I think Bulger will be fine for the rest of the year. The o-line held the Vikings d-line pretty well Sunday. Bulger should start next week hands down.
    Just Fix It

  5. #5
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    Re: Rams keep turning over the same old leaf

    Quote Originally Posted by rammiser View Post
    I love how Bulger's 7-7 performance was discounted as being nothing more than a pre-season game at that point. Why people still pine for Boller is beyond me. We have seen enough of him. He has zero accuracy and missed a possible td to Burton on two seperate occasions. The first time he flat out over threw him by 10 yds and the second he threw a laser instead of leading Burton to the endzone with a little air under tha ball. People wanted to see if Boller was better than Bulger well the answer is no. The offensive line has played surprisingly well the last few games so I think Bulger will be fine for the rest of the year. The o-line held the Vikings d-line pretty well Sunday. Bulger should start next week hands down.
    In no way would I rather have Boller start than a healthy Bulger, but let's not forget that Boller hasn't played regularly in well over a year (actually closer to 2 years) and he's had exactly 2 weeks of practice with the first team offense. I think some people expect miracles and are being way too hard on Boller.
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  6. #6
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    Re: Rams keep turning over the same old leaf

    Quote Originally Posted by Yodude View Post
    In no way would I rather have Boller start than a healthy Bulger, but let's not forget that Boller hasn't played regularly in well over a year (actually closer to 2 years) and he's had exactly 2 weeks of practice with the first team offense. I think some people expect miracles and are being way too hard on Boller.
    The problem is, does Boller look any different than he looked in a Raven uniform? On top of that Bulger is afforded no excuses so neither should Boller. Our offensive line has even given Boller time the last couple weeks and I dont really see a different result. If they afford Bulger the same protection I see no reason this team can't win a few games. Our defense is playing well enough to keep us in most games. Bulger comes in cold off the bench and goes 7-7 with a touchdown. Sure it was garbage time but you could see right off the bat that Bulger is far more accurate than Boller. I havnt seen anything in Boller this year or any of his seasons with Baltimore that tells me he is going to be a good starting qb.

    There is no doubt in my mind that the Rams are drafting a qb with their first pick next year. Whether they trade or release Bulger after the season I dont know, but it's gonna happen. Does anyone know the cap hell from releasing or trading Bulger before next season? The Rams need to get out of the cycle they are in right now. Drafting in the top 5 will hurt us fom being successful in free agency due to the huge jack we have to pay these top flight rookies.
    Just Fix It

  7. #7
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    Re: Rams keep turning over the same old leaf

    I don't think there will be any cap ramifications as next year is a cap free year. Could be mistaken though.

  8. #8
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    Re: Rams keep turning over the same old leaf

    Quote Originally Posted by txramsfan View Post
    I don't think there will be any cap ramifications as next year is a cap free year. Could be mistaken though.
    Thats right I forgot. Unless they work something out of course. So now there is even less doubt about Bulger being let go. Little is out the door too,he has lost a step even though he's the only one getting sacks but he isnt a force anymore.
    Just Fix It

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