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Thread: Rams Report Card: Running Backs, Receivers Were Grade A

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    Rams Report Card: Running Backs, Receivers Were Grade A

    Rams Report Card: Running backs, receivers were Grade A

    38 minutes ago • By Jeff Gordon

    Here are the grades for the St. Louis Rams after their not-so-pretty 31-17 victory over the Cardinals at Arizona:

    QUARTERBACK: Chat room whipping boy Sam Bradford had an interesting day. He wasn't efficient, but he made some big plays and proved his toughness. He threw an ugly interception into the Arizona end zone, throwing late as Austin Pettis flashed open. He suffered two sacks and missed some targets badly while under duress. He was lucky to recover his own fumble after a strip-sack. He completed only eight of 17 passes overall.

    But Bradford rallied the Rams from 14-7 and 21-17 deficits by throwing touchdown passes to Lance Kendricks and Chris Givens respectively. By producing 12.1 yards per passing attempt, he finished with a sterling 106.3 passer rating. Back-up Kellen Clemens stepped in for only play (after Bradford got racked) and had a pass batted down.

    Grade: B

    RUNNING BACK: Steven Jackson trucked the Cardinals for 139 yards on 24 carries. He looked like a kid again on his 46-yard sprint, his longest run since the 2011 season. Rookie Daryl Richardson contributed 32 yards on seven carries. The Rams wanted to step on the Cardinals with their ground game and they did just that.

    Grade: A

    RECEIVERS: Relentless Danny Amendola was in a walking boot all week, then he somehow played Sunday. He inspired the group with his diving 38-yard catch. Givens emulated him by stretching out for a 37-yard TD — the highlight of his breakout five-catch, 115-yard game. Brandon Gibson (three targets), Pettis (two targets) and Brian Quick (one target) didn’t have a catch. But the receivers got separation in the secondary and caught pretty much everything they could.

    Grade: A

    TIGHT ENDS: Kendricks has the wheels to get behind defenses for big plays. Sunday it worked for a 37-yard TD pass. Also, Matthew Mulligan chipped in a 15-yard catch. The tight ends had a good day blocking. On the other hand, Kendricks committed an illegal motion infraction that cost Richardson a 12-yard gain. This has been a recurring problem for the Rams this season.

    Grade: A-minus

    OFFENSIVE LINE: Left tackle Rodger Saffold wiped out an almost certain touchdown with a holding penalty as Jackson bowled to the one-yard line. In a closer game, that could have been a big blunder. The glaring breakdowns in pass protection would have cost the Rams against a better foe. Bradford suffered a huge hit on an incomplete pass and ran for his health several times. But as the game wore on, excellent run blocking helped the Rams pull away.

    Grade: B

    DEFENSIVE LINE: Defensive end Robert Quinn was most noticeable while earning offside and encroachment penalties as he tried too hard to exploit the Gridbird tackles. One of those penalties erased a defensive stop and allowed Arizona to jump to a 7-0 lead. Defensive end William Hayes earned the only sack for this unit. Defensive end Chris Long got pinned inside on one of Beanie Wells’ touchdown runs. Defensive tackles Michael Brockers and Kendall Langford had quiet games, too, but the front four buckled down against the run during the second half.

    Grade: C

    LINEBACKERS: Jo-Lonn Dunbar had a memorable game on the outside. He had some big tackles (including one for a loss) and at least one costly missed tackle. He also earned a personal foul penalty for head hunting. In a closer game, that would have been troublesome. Rocky McIntosh, starting on the other side with Mario Haggan hurt, earned a sack. Middle linebacker James Laurinaitis got a late deflection interception to pad his statistics. But this group was headed toward a poor grade until the Rams blanked the Gridbirds in the second half. How did the Rams allow that offense to open with a 15-play TD drive?

    Grade: B

    SECONDARY: This group had a mixed outing. Rookie Janoris Jenkins picked off two passes and returned them for touchdowns, explaining why coach Jeff Fisher has remained patient with him. Safety Craig Dahl held on to an easy interception, too. These were the first turnovers forced by the Rams in 52 days. On the other hand, soft first-half pass coverage allowed the struggling Cardinals to take a 17-14 lead. Rookie cornerback Trumaine Johnson got lost on a 21-yard catch by Andre Roberts. Safety Quintin Mikell extended one drive with a third-down personal foul penalty. Cornerback Cortland Finnegan missed a tackle that led to a 25-yard catch-and-run play. Overall, the Rams allowed rookie Arizona quarterback Ryan Lindley to complete 31 of 52 passes for 312 yards. But two defensive TDs are two TDs.

    Grade: B

    SPECIAL TEAMS: Only the Rams could earn two holding penalties on the same punt return. Congratulations Josh Hull and Bradley Fletcher! Rookie kicker Greg Zuerlein may have lost his “Legatron” status after missing badly from 35 yards. He did kick a 19-yard field goal and rookie punter Johnny Hekker was OK — allowing just one notable Patrick Peterson return, for 26 yards.

    Grade: C

    COACHING: The Rams were a much, much stronger team after regrouping at the half. They dialed up more pressure on Lindley, forced additional turnovers and throttled the Cardinals throughout the second half. Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer attacked Arizona with some deep throws and got the desired results. The Rams were penalty-prone, again, but they were tactically and emotionally prepared to close out a lesser team.

    Grade: B


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    Re: Rams Report Card: Running Backs, Receivers Were Grade A

    We have to clean up the stupid penalties!
    r8rh8rmike likes this.

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    Re: Rams Report Card: Running Backs, Receivers Were Grade A

    the receivers looked good a week after looking terrible. I don't think it's a coincidence that Givens seen more time and our passing game looked far better. At this point he's obviously our big play threat.

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    Re: Rams Report Card: Running Backs, Receivers Were Grade A

    Quote Originally Posted by laram0 View Post
    We have to clean up the stupid penalties!
    Absolutely right. The entire team gets a fail for killing drives, negating scoring opportunities, and blowing field position with needless penalties. 3rd in the league with 8.1 penalties per game isn't going to cut it, especially on a team with no margin for error.
    laram0 and rNemesis like this.

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    Re: Rams Report Card: Running Backs, Receivers Were Grade A

    Totally agree. I know we're a young team but does that mean we have to play like one? And until we cut out/reduce the stupid penalties ( especially delay of game and false start ) , we will continue to either lose or let opponents back in the game.

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    Re: Rams Report Card: Running Backs, Receivers Were Grade A

    Quote Originally Posted by laram0 View Post
    We have to clean up the stupid penalties!
    By far the biggest disappointment of this Fisher coached team.

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    Gotta chime in here. It's easy to point at penalties and b****. In AZ, 4 calls were bogus.
    Dunbar's hit was legal, Saffold's DE had hands to the face, and the two calls on the punt were iffy.

    Thing is, penalties are not always a result of stupidity or lack of discipline. Procedure/lining up wrong are just lack of reps and scheme contnuity. They haven't had the same lineup for 3 continuous games, let alone years.

    Give 'em some time. I doubt there's many amongst us who are not better at their job/ profession now than they were last year.
    "the Heart Lies and the Head Plays Tricks with us, but the Eyes See True".

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    Re: Rams Report Card: Running Backs, Receivers Were Grade A

    Quote Originally Posted by VegasRam View Post
    Gotta chime in here. It's easy to point at penalties and b****. In AZ, 4 calls were bogus.
    Dunbar's hit was legal, Saffold's DE had hands to the face, and the two calls on the punt were iffy.

    Thing is, penalties are not always a result of stupidity or lack of discipline. Procedure/lining up wrong are just lack of reps and scheme contnuity. They haven't had the same lineup for 3 continuous games, let alone years.

    Give 'em some time. I doubt there's many amongst us who are not better at their job/ profession now than they were last year.
    I agree, and a little more clarity. The officials have their hand on the flag, and just looking for a reason to throw it at the RAMS. How many times have you seen a FG or PAT Holder called for a false start? If you watch RAMS games, you have seen it once. You also have probably never seen it before. I know I haven't. Now, lets examine the job of the FG/PAT Holder. He has to signal to the snapper to snap the ball. Is this done by telepathy, or does the holder have to move a part of his body to make that signal?

    Here's another that goes back to the GSOT days. How many times have you seen DL Holding? Not much. You probably first saw it called against the RAMS. I know that was the first time I have ever seen it. I have seen it called since then, but VERY RARELY. When I have seen it called, it was called on a team playing one of the "more popular" teams. I don't think I have ever seen the cheatroits or whiners called for it. To make it even more interesting, did you know that this "DL Holding" technique is actually a very large part of the whiners defense? They commit this penalty on almost every blitz, yet it hasn't been flagged once.

    If the RAMS Punt or Kick return team puts his hand on a player that could in any way be interpritted as holding, even if there is no pull on the jersy, holding is called. If a RAMS Punt or Kick return member tackles an opponent anywhere other than the front of their body, it is an illegal block in the back, even if the hit is on the shoulder.

    Same for offensive holding and illegal hands to the face. If the officials see anything that looks close, the flags are flying, while their opponent has to actually audition for WWF before any holding or hands to the face is called, and even a lot of that isn't called.

    Penalties like presnap.... Oh, wait, even that the RAMS get screwed. The DL or LB is in the neutral zone, and a RAM moves, and it is a false start. That is supposed to be encroachment. A WR just off the line? Happens all the time, and the officials usually "just let them play" unless he was significantly off the line. When that happens, the flag is thrown at the snap. For the RAMS, they can throw that flag all the way up until the ball has been snapped again. Of course, the officials have to "talk it over" for a minute to find a way to state the penalty that makes more justification for throwing it 20 seconds after the play was blown dead.

    Until the officials get a little more consisitant in the way they dole out penalties, you cannot call penalties a big disappointment.


    gap

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    Re: Rams Report Card: Running Backs, Receivers Were Grade A

    I have to say i really wish we could get the ball in Kendricks hands more, The guy has one of the meanest stiff arms i've ever seen.

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    Re: Rams Report Card: Running Backs, Receivers Were Grade A

    Quote Originally Posted by lostsoul View Post
    I have to say i really wish we could get the ball in Kendricks hands more, The guy has one of the meanest stiff arms i've ever seen.
    Why do you think I call him Handbricks?

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