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Thread: Rams: Turnover turnabout
Rams: Turnover turnabout
By Jim Thomas
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Tuesday, Sep. 12 2006
With five playoff berths, three division titles and two Super Bowl appearances
since 1999, the Rams have been at or near the top of the standings more often
than not in recent years.
That's not rare. What is rare -- no, make that unheard of -- is the sight of
the Rams at the top of the NFL's takeaway-giveaway "standings" after Week 1 of
Takeaway-giveaway differential is the most underrated stat in pro football. And
the Rams are sitting at a league-high plus-5 after coming up with five
turnovers on defense while committing none on offense in Sunday's 18-10 victory
"The one thing that I'm the most happy with is we're plus-5 in the turnover
differential," coach Scott Linehan said Monday. "That's a great way to come out
of the gates."
Finishing on the plus side in takeaway-giveaways doesn't guarantee victory, but
it's the next best thing. Since the move to St. Louis in 1995, the Rams are
54-9 when plus-1 or better in regular-season and postseason play.
Under the pedal-to-the-metal offensive approach of Mike Martz, the Rams were
willing to sacrifice a few turnovers for big plays. But as the "Greatest Show
on Turf" came back to the pack, becoming "A Pretty Good Offense that Plays
Indoors," that approach became increasingly risky.
One game into the Linehan era, the Rams seem to be tilting strongly in the
other direction. For quarterback Marc Bulger, that means minimizing mistakes
and not forcing the ball. That could signal a significant switch in philosophy
if that's the way it's going to be over the course of the season.
So even on a day when the Rams' offense couldn't find the end zone with a
Trip-tik, Linehan could at least hang his hat on a turnover-free afternoon
against the Broncos.
"The thing that was great is we protected the ball," Linehan said. "It's really
hard to go through an NFL game and not turn the ball over."
How hard? Well, in 187 regular-season and postseason games in St. Louis, the
Rams have gone only 21 games without committing a turnover. The Rams began
their inaugural season in St. Louis with four straight turnover-free games in
1995, tying an NFL record.
Even more rare, however, are those plus-5 games. The Rams have been plus-5 or
better only three times since moving here: plus-7 against Carolina in 1995;
plus-5 against Jacksonville in 1996; and plus-7 against Green Bay in a
divisional playoff game in the 2001 season. Yes, the Rams won all three games,
by a combined score of 93-41.
Re: Rams: Turnover turnabout
I think I said a couple of months ago before preseason started. That the new attitude and respect of Haslett would go a long way. I think it will be very infectous. Allthough I'm very careful to say SuperBowl, I do believe that the way our defense plays will take pressure off our O. Remember back to 99, and 01, where our Defenses were exeptional. Acctually 01 is a better reference, our O played with no pressure cause the new the D would do their job, and the D new the O would do theirs.
Our O just has to step up. I'm also liking the attitude of Bulger, taking care of the ball something that would have not been allowed under Martz. Kurt and Marc both got a lot of flack for ints when it wasn't there fault. Anyway I'm very pleased with the coaching of this team.