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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Rams are for real--PFW

    Are the Rams for real?


    In any event, they're certainly on the right track


    OK, readers: a one and a two …

    “They’ve got rhythm … they’ve got timing. … they are winning … who could ask for anything more?”

    Eat your heart out, Ethel Merman.

    Leave it to their former head coach Mike Martz, fast and furious as usual, for revving up the Rams’ offense in an inspiring 41-34 victory over the Lions that has emphatically put St. Louis back on the NFL map in terms of venues that could turn out to be playoff sites as the 2006 season progresses.

    Playoffs?????

    Did I really just write the Rams could make the … playoffs?????!!!!!

    Damn right I did, Jim Mora Sr.

    In a week in which each of their division rivals took it on the chin big-time, the Rams and their new head coach, Scott Linehan, squeaked by Martz and the Lions in a 41-34 barn-burner that is still letting off sparks two days later.

    Don’t look now, but Linehan’s Rams are 3-1, tied atop the NFC West with the defending NFC champion Seahawks.

    Could this team actually be for real?

    What’s your take, Adam Timmerman?

    “I think we’re just going to continue to get better and better each week out,” offers Timmerman, the Rams’ veteran right guard who, along with his linemates, turned in an impressive effort against a very tough Lions front four without the services of concussed Pro Bowl OLT Orlando Pace.

    “I don’t know if it’s rhythm or timing or what it is, but it’s starting to roll now, and that’s a great sign.”

    Indeed it is. After looking rather lethargic out of the gate, Linehan’s offense is suddenly very fired-up. Following back-to-back 300-yard passing performances by QB Marc Bulger, who took awhile to warm up to an offense that avoids taking a lot of risks in favor of taking care of the ball, the Rams’ passing game is ranked eighth in the league.

    Veteran Rams WRs Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce each had over 100 yards receiving against the Lions, the first time that’s happened since the second game of the 2004 season. Bruce’s re-emergence is particularly sweet. It was his five-yard TD catch with 1:58 remaining that gave the Rams a 39-34 lead they would never relinquish, as Linehan and Martz matched wits, play for play. And it was Bruce’s two-point conversion that accounted for the final points.

    Also getting into the act was second-round rookie TE Joe Klopfenstein, who scored his first NFL TD and figures to get a lot more involved in the offense from here on out, taking into account Linehan’s fondness for throwing to tight ends in the previous offenses he put together at the pro level in Minnesota and Miami.

    Of course, prolific production via the pass is nothing new in St. Louis, where Martz’s freewheeling “Greatest Show on Turf” was the undisputed featured attraction.

    But it’s the Rams’ running game that’s starting to make NFL observers stand up and take notice, with third-year RB Steven Jackson emerging as a major force right before our eyes.

    Against the Lions, Jackson was an animal, grinding out 81 yards on the ground while adding a career-high 65 yards receiving. With Linehan intent on creating a balanced attack, something that Martz avoided like the plague as the Rams’ offensive brain trust, Jackson has had at least 22 carries in every game. In addition, in the last two games he has nine catches for 124 yards and is averaging just under 11 yards overall on his receptions.

    Don’t look now, but Jackson is first in the league in total yardage with 531 yards (367 rushing, 164 receiving).

    We haven’t even gotten to the defense yet, but Jim Haslett’s pedal-to-the-metal unit, spearheaded by MLB Will Witherspoon, arguably the league’s top addition via free agency so far this season, is forcing turnovers at a rapid clip, having generated a league-leading plus-10 turnover differential.

    Aside from Titans head coach Jeff Fisher, who I believe could be available after this season, and Bears defensive coordinator Ron Rivera, it says here Haslett is doing a great job of establishing himself as the top head-coach candidate for the usual array of openings this offseason.

    As for Witherspoon, he’s been a revelation, defending both the run and the pass as well as any middle linebacker in the league, including the Bears’ Brian Urlacher.

    So how about it? Are the Rams on their way to unexpected success this season? Or are we jumping to conclusions?

    Heading into the season, I genuinely believed that there would be one other team in addition to the Seahawks that could emerge as a playoff participant from the NFC West. But the team I and numerous other prognosticators had pegged as the best bet to join Seattle in the playoffs was the Cardinals, considering that they have an actual home-field advantage for the first time since moving to Arizona.

    But the Cardinals have been a disappointment, with former Ram Kurt Warner suffering a meltdown more pronounced than that of the Wicked Witch in "The Wizard of Oz."

    Bulger, meanwhile, has yet to throw an interception and is looking better and better every time he gets his hands on the ball.

    Granted, the Rams’ secondary was a sieve against the Lions and needs to improve significantly. So does the team’s special-teams coverage, a problem for some time now in St. Louis.

    But in the NFL, no team is perfect, not even close.

    So, yes, I’d have to say the Rams have moved themselves into the mix for postseason glory.

    And with a trip to Green Bay next up on the docket, things look like they’re going to get a lot better before they get worse.

    Let the good times roll.


  2. #2
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    Re: Rams are for real--PFW

    not one to be known as putting a brake on things, I would like to do just that.

    :imho:

    I seem to remember, not to long ago, a Rams team that came out of the starting blocks and forged a 5 and 0 start to the season, then promptly crumbled into crap.

    Lets put all celebrations on hold until the half way point before proclaiming the second coming

    :beer:


  3. #3
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    Re: Rams are for real--PFW

    Yep remember it well..........

    As for beer, I think it may be my round

  4. #4
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    Re: Rams are for real--PFW

    Agree Dez!

    Hard to fly under the radar with articles like this.

    Explain to me again how we lost to the Whiners.:x

  5. #5
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    Re: Rams are for real--PFW

    Quote Originally Posted by RamDez View Post
    not one to be known as putting a brake on things, I would like to do just that.

    :imho:

    I seem to remember, not to long ago, a Rams team that came out of the starting blocks and forged a 5 and 0 start to the season, then promptly crumbled into crap.

    Lets put all celebrations on hold until the half way point before proclaiming the second coming

    :beer:
    I have to kinda agree with Dez to a certain extent, It's evident that there is all round improvement to the Rams team, more areas improved faster and quicker than others, add this to the fact that our offense is on the verge of coming out and hitting it's top form. so yes one would like to think that all's good and well on that score.

    HOWEVER(IMHO)

    Four games into the season and we're at 3-1. who have we beat actually
    Denver (2-1).. some may say a surprise, however thats now back-to-back seasons Denver have played a awful week 1 game
    Whiners (1-3).. unexpected?
    Cards (1-3).. A win is a win, but can we honestly say we made easy work of that.
    Lions (0-4).. again, see above, even with a Martz offense, our defense letting in 34 points again a winless team?

    Four games, 1 opponent with a winning record, and the combined record of the four teams 4-11.

    This week we face a team not to distant from say, the Cards and/ the Lions in the Green Bay Packers(1-3) on paper a win should be there for us, However what happens and what response will we have if we 'just' struggle to win, that'll be 3 games back-to-back, against poor/weak opposition where we 'Just' done enough to win.

    The true test comes after this week, the big game against the Seaslags, Bye week, then a tough road game against the Chargers.

    Can we honestly say, no matter how much we are/have improved, that performances against Cards/Whiners/Lions, is enough to challenge the Slags/Chargers etc etc.

    Then following the Seaslags and Chargers, we have the Chiefs, Seaslags(road) and Carolina..

    Conclusion -

    We can celebrate and cheer as much as we like at our start to the season, and what may or maybe not be instore for us fan over the next weeks. the fact remains that we are 3-1 against teams with a combined 4-11 record, and out of the 4 opening games, we have got by in 3 of the games by the 'skin of our teeth'.

    As Dez mentions and i wholeheartedly agree lets see 'where' we are at the midway point.

    I dont mean to be a bringer of doom onto us, and the team. i'm just pointing out a reality which before we get fully carried away, we juts may need to keep our feet on the ground just a tad longer.

    Mark

  6. #6
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    Re: Rams are for real--PFW

    So what you guys are saying is that this isn't a very good and we can expect to lose the next bundle of games after the Packers.

    Damn, there goes the season I guess :-(

    I for one am enjoying the moment and am not going to count these guys out. We have to many good vets on this team and great leadership. Anything is possible. I still say we will be in the playoffs.

  7. #7
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    Re: Rams are for real--PFW

    Quote Originally Posted by RamWraith View Post
    So what you guys are saying is that this isn't a very good and we can expect to lose the next bundle of games after the Packers.

    Damn, there goes the season I guess :-(

    I for one am enjoying the moment and am not going to count these guys out. We have to many good vets on this team and great leadership. Anything is possible. I still say we will be in the playoffs.
    Yes and No Ram Wraith lol..

    Im saying that where we are now, from say this time last year, or even 2 season's back, is a marked improvement and it is there to be seen. I'm not to say that we will win or lose the next bundle of games after next week.

    Likewise i for one also am enjoying were we are at the momment! however lets not get booking our Superbowl tickets just yet!..

  8. #8
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    Re: Rams are for real--PFW

    For now, I'd prefer that the Rams continue flying below the radar.

  9. #9
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    Re: Rams are for real--PFW

    Under the radar, over the radar, along-side the radar.......fly wherever, just keep flyin'.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: Rams are for real--PFW

    Quote Originally Posted by RamWraith View Post
    Agree Dez!

    Hard to fly under the radar with articles like this.

    Explain to me again how we lost to the Whiners.:x
    well I take full responcibility for that .......... I was supposed to be there but I missed the game

    :sfosux:


  11. #11
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    Re: Rams are for real--PFW

    Quote Originally Posted by RamWraith View Post
    Agree Dez!

    Hard to fly under the radar with articles like this.

    Explain to me again how we lost to the Whiners.:x
    Linehan and Haslett were out coached.....

  12. #12
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    Re: Rams are for real--PFW

    Not sold yet.

    I can't figure out whether you guys are a sleeper team with a real shot at the division or if you're a team that got lucky in week 1, that then went 2-1 against equally bad teams.

    Unfortunately, I don't think this week tells us much either. Guess we have to wait for the 15th...

  13. #13
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    Re: Rams are for real--PFW

    If your like me the fact that Marc has not thrown an INT yet made me wonder who else is left on that list, as you can see there are only two others who have had any real playing time and not throw an INT.

    Stats from NFL.com


    Player Team Yds Att TDs Ints Rating
    Damon Huard KC 481 66 3 0 106.9
    Charlie Batch PIT 209 25 3 0 126.5
    Aaron Brooks OAK 68 14 0 0 58
    Marc Bulger STL 1039 141 5 0 94.3
    Gradkowski TB 20 6 0 0 43.8
    Jon Ryan GB 16 1 0 0 118.8
    Ryan Longwell MIN 16 1 1 0 158.3
    Aaron Rodgers GB 14 3 0 0 77.1
    David Akers PHI 11 1 0 0 112.5
    S Wallace SEA 6 2 0 0 56.3
    Brian Griese CHI 5 1 0 0 87.5
    "There's only one way to succeed in anything, and that is to give it everything. I do, and I demand that my players do."
    - Vince Lombardi

  14. #14
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    Re: Rams are for real--PFW

    I agree with that little article, I think we can make the playoffs, but honestly I wouldn't be surprised if we don't make it.


    Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams

  15. #15
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Re: Rams are for real--PFW

    Too funny!! I was thinking the same thing, but wasn't going to say anything


    Quote Originally Posted by RamDez View Post
    well I take full responcibility for that .......... I was supposed to be there but I missed the game

    :sfosux:

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