View Poll Results: Who would be the better DB right now?

Voters
11. You may not vote on this poll
  • Travis Fisher

    2 18.18%
  • Jeff Fisher

    0 0%
  • Bryce Fisher

    5 45.45%
  • Carrie Fisher

    4 36.36%
  • Taje Allen

    0 0%
Multiple Choice Poll.
Results 1 to 3 of 3
  1. #1
    MFranke's Avatar
    MFranke is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    New Baden IL
    Posts
    298
    Rep Power
    35

    RamView, 11/13/2005: Seahawks 31, Rams 16 (Long)

    RamView, November 13, 2005
    From The Couch
    (Report and opinions on the game.)
    Game 9: Seahawks 31, Rams 16

    Thanks to a complete lack of clutch play on offense (1 TD in 5 trips to the DREAD zone) and defense (only 5 third-down stops in 15 tries), the 4-5 Rams can wave good-bye to 7-2 Seattle and the NFC West title.

    Position by position:
    * QB: Marc Bulger (28-40-304) showed little-to-no rust despite coming off a three-week layoff. He threw as accurately as he has all season, and hooray, even took off and ran a couple of times instead of staying in the pocket for ten seconds and getting killed. Marc got off to a nice start, hitting Brandon Manumaleuna for 33 and 11 on consecutive 3rd downs before a Kevin Curtis drop in the DREAD zone made the Rams' opening drive a FG drive. Marc's numbers should be even better than they are. He threw a perfect 40-yard TD bomb to Torry Holt early in the 2nd only to watch Holt let it harmlessly hit the ground. Next drive, he let a bomb fly for Curtis just as Kevin tripped over DB Kelly Herndon, resulting in a hard-luck interception. In the third, he threw a pass into the corner of the end zone that Holt usually grabs, but not this time, leaving the Rams to settle for another FG. Once Marc and Torry finally got clicking in the 4th, for 10- and 17-yard completions, Manu messed things up with a fumble in the DREAD zone. Bulger and Holt finally connected for a TD with 7:00 left, a perfect 14-yard pass by Marc. You couldn't have asked for more out of Marc today. His passes were on, he didn't hold the ball too long, he ran when it was there, he dumped off to the RB when he had to, and he didn't really force up any bad throws. Unfortunately, what may have been Marc's best game this season winds up a big L in the loss column anyway.

    * RB: Despite a decent game from Steven Jackson (17-70), and Marshall Faulk’s 5-54 receiving, the Ram running game still left wanting, due in large part to DREAD zone struggles. Sometimes the offensive line failed, like the Rams’ first DREAD zone trip, but other times, the mistakes were Jackson’s. Prior to the fake FG attempt, Steven could have gained 5-6 yards on 1st down with a decisive cutback, but he was hesitant and lost ground. The next play, a well-set-up screen pass got 5, but would have been a big play if Steven hadn’t bobbled the ball. Rams come away with no points. After Dexter Coakley’s early 2nd-half interception, the Rams fail again in the DREAD zone, as Steven loses ground cutting back and running laterally (not his strength) instead of running downhill (his strength). The offensive line’s at fault, too, but Jackson isn’t off the hook for the Rams’ DREAD zone failures today. Steven still made some good plays. Early on he got 18 through a big hole from Adam Timmerman and Alex Barron, breaking an ankle tackle. He got 14 right after Coakley’s INT with a great cutback, dragging a DB along. Late in the 3rd, Steven personally converted a 2nd-and-21 with a pinballing 18-yard catch-and-run where he dealt out a lot of punishment, followed by a five-yard run. But since the Rams were in the DREAD zone, they bogged down again. They wasted Marshall Faulk’s best game of the season in the process. On the fake FG drive, he made a pretty one-handed catch of a ball behind him on 3rd-and-6 to convert the 1st, and he got 15 on a nicely-designed pass the next play. The next drive ended in a Bulger interception, but not before Marshall took another swing pass for 14, skipping through tackles like his younger self. Jackson and Faulk were the 1-2 running-receiving punch Ram fans have been waiting to see today. Too bad it wasn’t quite enough.

    * WR: Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce both returned to action, but their play was far from 100%. Bruce (1-16) was a non-factor and Holt (4-45) didn't get going until the 4th quarter. Unfortunately, Torry provided a turning point of the game in the 1st, letting a perfect TD bomb from Bulger hit the ground, like he was expecting Jim Edmonds to call him off or something. I have no explanation for that play. Kevin Curtis caught six balls and seemed to fall down as many times. Curtis' stumbles lead to incompletions, inter-ceptions, and on one play, he fell on his face while in motion. Dude, get some longer spikes. Kevin's 3rd down drop in the DREAD zone ended the Rams' first drive. Brandon Manumaleuna (3-51) got the offense going early, but he lost a TD due to a penalty and committed a costly fumble in the DREAD zone in the 4th. That's a good play by Rodney Bailey, but does nothing to change my opinion of Manu as the world's heaviest lightweight. A very disappointing day all around from the Ram receivers.

    * Offensive line: Even more disappointing was the Ram offensive line. None of the linemen played well, and the line was a big reason for the offense's DREAD zone problems. On the first drive, from the Seattle 15, Adam Timmerman pulls but gets pushed backward by the LB (oh, that's weak), so there's no hole for Jackson, and after Andy McCollum whiffs on his block, Steven can't cut back, either; loss of one. On the 3rd-down Curtis drop, McCollum couldn't handle the blitzing LB, forcing a quick throw. The next drive, Alex Barron bogged the Rams down with a false start, then got beat by Bryce Fisher to mess up the timing of a long pass for Bruce. The Rams gave up all three of their sacks in the third quarter. They settled for a FG after Bryce Fisher beat Barron and forced Bulger to step up and into Rocky Bernard. The next possession, Claude Terrell and Jackson got crossed up on who should pick up blitzing LB Leroy Hill, who dropped Bulger at the Rams' 3. They settled for a FG again the next drive. After penalties by Barron and Rex Tucker (replacing an ineffective Terrell) erased a Manu TD, Jackson got them a 1st-and-goal at the 10. But then, Timmerman couldn't stop Bernard from stuffing Faulk for no gain on a draw, and he couldn't stop Lofa Tatupu from blitzing Bulger for a sack the next play. You'd think this line would have showed better with a week off. Instead, Orlando Pace had his hands full with Grant Wistrom's speed rushes, Barron, who's probably not getting as much help as he got early on, regressed to John St. Clair-level, Terrell was just lost, I guess, and Timmerman, though he can be proud of the good years he’s given the Rams, played like he's well beyond his prime. A team strength two weeks ago looks like a mess again.

    * Defensive line/LB: The Ram run defense looked promising early, holding Shaun Alexander to 14 yards his first 6 rushes. The front seven did a nice job both stringing out his runs and protecting against the cutback. Pisa Tinoisamoa stuffed Alexander quite a few times on the day and led the team in tackles with 10. Third-down blitzing by Pisa and Adam Archuleta helped shut down the first couple of Seattle drives. But all heck broke loose after the Rams’ failed fake FG. Alexander, en route to 165 yards and 3 TDs for the day, breaks off for 21 after Chris Claiborne (1 TACKLE) couldn’t fill the hole. Matt Hasselbeck gets no pressure before tossing a 47-yard bomb, and Alexander finishes off the drive by breaking Mike Furrey’s ankle tackle for a 6-yard TD. After allowing a Seahawk FG, the Ram defense appeared to turn the tide right after halftime, as Dexter Coakley fielded a ricochet off of Ryan Hannam for an INT. The Rams only tacked on three points, though, and the defense was done after that. Alexander answered the FG with a 37-yard blast, as Tyoka Jackson and Ryan Pickett blew tackles at the line, and Furrey flopped on a shirttail tackle downfield. From the Ram 4, Alexander ran away from a blitz for a TD, as Pickett was easily driven aside, and whatever Coakley’s doing for this defense, it’s not filling holes against the run. The defensive line had a very quiet game, missing too many tackles and putting too little pressure on Hasselbeck (as in, NO sacks). Seattle went up 24-6 in the third thanks to a lousy offside call against Pisa, but the defense held a couple of times to help the Rams pull within 24-16. But at that point, they couldn’t shut Seattle down when they most needed to, as the Seahawks chewed six minutes off the clock and put the game away. Alexander got 10 thanks to a blown Anthony Hargrove tackle. On 3rd-and-8 near midfield, Leonard Little showed up for the first time all day, but it’s to commit an offsides penalty. Seattle converted the 3rd-and-3, and Alexander confounded the Rams one last time with a 17-yard TD, as Brandon Green was held/pancaked, and Travis Fisher gave up on the play with a half-assed wave that irritated me to no end. Despite Alexander’s big day, neither the run nor the pass was the key for Seattle today; the Rams couldn’t stop either one.

    * Secondary: Somebody get Taje Allen’s cell number, because anybody would be better than Travis Fisher right now. I don’t know if he was hurt – he did get kicked inadvertently in the head by Jerramy Stevens – but after the 1st quarter, Fisher was so putrid he should have been pulled off the field. D.J. Freaking Hackett (2-78) will make the Pro Bowl if he can find a way to get another start against Fisher. He burned Travis for 47 to set up Seattle’s first TD, and put Seattle up 24-6 by beating useless Fisher for 31. Should Mike Furrey have been over the top on the play? Maybe so. But this isn’t Marvin Harrison we’re trying to cover here, IT’S D.J. FREAKING HACKETT!!! The Rams also had little answer for the big TE Stevens other than hitting him downfield illegally, which Pisa got away with to set up Furrey’s INT in the first. Furrey’s hard to figure. He blows some assignments and still has his issues against the run, but he’s around the ball more than any Ram free safety since Keith Lyle. Probably a good tradeoff. Furrey would have had a 2nd INT the next drive if he hadn’t run into DeJuan Groce, Groce’s only impact play of the game. Corey Ivy wasn’t a big help, either, getting beat by Bobby Engram for 27 on 3rd-and-4 on a Seattle FG drive. Seattle went 10-of-15 on third down thanks to the Rams’ deadly combination of weak coverage and weak pass rush.

    * Special teams: An uneventful day here. Jeff Wilkins led the way with 3 settled-for FGs. The wet weather didn’t affect his FGs, but it really shortened his kickoffs, and coverage was not good; most of Seattle's returns crossed the 30. Canadian import David Allen had trouble handling kickoffs, and put the Rams in a hole with a bad return in the 3rd. He still returned most kicks across the 25, though, and he runs FORWARD after he fields punts, so he's got a fan in me. Seattle's third TD drive began in Rams territory thanks to a 19-yard punt return. Bryan Barker's 46-yard punt was excellent, but there was no Ram within SEVENTEEN yards of Jimmy Williams when he caught it. Not exactly fast or furious coverage, that.

    * Coaching/discipline: Joe Vitt’s first big coaching blunder came with the failed fake FG in the 1st. He said he wanted to be aggressive because of Seattle’s top-ranked offense, an understandable motive, but the timing wasn’t right. The Rams had tried to draw Seattle offsides on 4th-and-3, then called a timeout, giving them too long to think about a possible fake. On a long drive like that, I prefer to come away with some points; it wasn’t demoralizing at that point to settle for 3 more. Plus, the play itself was rotten; if Wilkins was supposed to throw to Cleeland, he wasn’t remotely open; if Cleeland was supposed to lead-block for Wilkins, he blocked the wrong guy. Seattle drove from there for its first TD, making Vitt’s failed decision a turning point of the game, never a good thing from your head coach.
    Steve Fairchild’s game plan looked like the usual Mike Martz game plan, with some early pass-heavy drives. Of course, it’s not always how much you run or pass as it is where you do it. The Rams probably should have run more in the middle of the field and passed more in the red zone, especially on red zone first downs, where they continually got stuffed on the run. There was a lot to like about Fairchild’s game plan. Getting Manu, Jackson and Faulk involved as receivers attacked a distinct Seahawk weakness. There were finally some creative plays for Faulk as a receiver, all big gainers. Prior to the fake FG attempt, a play had Bulger fake an end-around left by Curtis, then roll right and hit Faulk all alone in the flat for 15. Sweet. They ran a similar play on the next drive, but faking an inside handoff left by Jackson before swinging it to Faulk in the right flat. That got 14. Fairchild drew up and called some nice plays, but needed to mix it up more when the Rams hit the crucial part of the field.
    For Larry Marmie, yet another total failure. Seattle ran away from his too-infrequent blitzes for a couple of big plays. Hasselbeck didn’t audible much, but he audibled away from a blitz on Alexander’s 2nd TD run. All the usual Marmie hallmarks were in place – poor tackling, soft coverage, non-aggressive tactics, allowing Seattle to convert a ridiculous 10-of-15 third downs. The rare occasions Marmie blitzed big – bringing Pisa, Arch and another LB – it worked. It caused a couple of miscommunications between Hasselbeck and Joe Jurevicius that ended drives. But I only recall Marmie bringing that blitz twice, instead sitting back all-too content to put no pressure on the Seahawk QB with 4-man rushes. Because it’s worked so well for him all year, I guess. And whether for ineffectiveness or injury, Fisher should have been yanked in the first half. Marmie is too poor a tactical coach to compound the problem with bad personnel decisions.

    * Upon further review: Looked like your typical college basketball game out of Jeff Triplette and crew – call all the fouls on the visitors. Seattle drew only 3 flags to the Rams' 8. The Rams could have drawn one more, as Pisa ran into Jerramy Stevens well downfield on the pass Furrey intercepted. A key blown call came in the 3rd, an offside call against Pisa that extended a Seattle TD drive. Not only was Pisa not offside, Seattle's right tackle moved early, but the refs made it 3rd-and-3 instead of 3rd-and-13. Alexander's first long run came thanks to Claiborne being held, and his 3rd TD run came thanks to Brandon Green being held by Walter Jones. You can't call holding every play, but come on, you can't let a hold be the key "block" of a play, either. The Rams did benefit from some poor pass interference judgments, though.

    * Cheers: The Fox TV crew was not great but had its positive points. I don't know who the heck J.C. Pearson is, but he did a good job breaking down plays, and, rare for a color man, he was opinionated without being grating. When Travis Fisher got kicked in the head in the 2nd, Curt Menefee called him Jeff Fisher. Sadly, the Titans head coach would probably play better at DB right now than Travis does.

    * Who’s next?: It’ll be nothing if not interesting around here for the next week, as Sunday marks Kurt Warner’s return to the Dome. Unfortunately for Kurt, he’s returning as the QB of the Big Dead, whose running game is so bad (31st in the league, 67.4 ypg), even the Rams should be able to stop it. Of course, Kurt’s used to dropping back and passing until his arm falls off, which Denny Green will probably call on him to do again on Sunday. Warner was 29-45-359 yesterday in Detroit, but for only 1 TD, as the Big Dead are one of the few teams worse in the red zone than the Rams. The Ram defense needs to make that hold up. Obviously they need to put high pressure on Warner, which should be achievable against Arizona’s poor offensive line, and they need to have an answer for Larry Fitzgerald that does not involve the number 22. Fitzgerald is Arizona’s top offensive weapon, their only real downfield threat, and a guy Warner seems to look for on every play. Marmie simply has to come up with an answer for Fitzgerald, which could be more difficult should Anquan Boldin make an early return from a bone bruise. Lotsa luck.
    The Big Dead handled the vaunted Ram WRs in September, and the Rams really need a “statement” game out of Torry Holt, since they can’t depend on the defense to hold the fort like they did in that 17-12 win. Steven Jackson nearly topped 100 in the first meeting, which really helped a passing game that was out of sync that day (a lot like yesterday). But the Big Dead CBs are very beatable – Roy Williams got them for 3 TDs yesterday – and Bulger needs to go to Torry early and often. Within the typical Martz/Fairchild offensive scheme, the Rams have big trouble when Holt doesn’t get going early in the game; Torry must set the tempo. The Big Dead run D is nearly as bad as the Rams’, which bodes well for getting Jackson going as well, though the Ram offensive line has a lot to prove after yesterday’s struggles. They’re not alone. Holt, Little, Jackson, and most of the defense also have a lot to prove on Sunday’s stage after disappointing play in Seattle. Kurt Warner’s got something to prove, too. The Rams have to beat him and the Big Dead at home if they’re going to prove themselves a worthy playoff contender.

    -- Mike
    Game stats from nfl.com


  2. #2
    UtterBlitz's Avatar
    UtterBlitz is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    3,439
    Rep Power
    41

    Re: RamView, 11/13/2005: Seahawks 31, Rams 16 (Long)

    Nice post mike....as always

    * Upon further review: Looked like your typical college basketball game out of Jeff Triplette and crew – call all the fouls on the visitors. Seattle drew only 3 flags to the Rams' 8. The Rams could have drawn one more, as Pisa ran into Jerramy Stevens well downfield on the pass Furrey intercepted. A key blown call came in the 3rd, an offside call against Pisa that extended a Seattle TD drive. Not only was Pisa not offside, Seattle's right tackle moved early, but the refs made it 3rd-and-3 instead of 3rd-and-13. Alexander's first long run came thanks to Claiborne being held, and his 3rd TD run came thanks to Brandon Green being held by Walter Jones. You can't call holding every play, but come on, you can't let a hold be the key "block" of a play, either. The Rams did benefit from some poor pass interference judgments, though.
    I am confused about why false starts get called so often, and holding never seems to be called. The offense can't even twitch before the play starts, but holding is allowed after it begins. It does not make sense to me.

    * Cheers: The Fox TV crew was not great but had its positive points. I don't know who the heck J.C. Pearson is, but he did a good job breaking down plays, and, rare for a color man, he was opinionated without being grating. When Travis Fisher got kicked in the head in the 2nd, Curt Menefee called him Jeff Fisher. Sadly, the Titans head coach would probably play better at DB right now than Travis does
    They were alright. I had to mute it at the end when they were going overboard. Yak....
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  3. #3
    UtterBlitz's Avatar
    UtterBlitz is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    3,439
    Rep Power
    41

    Re: RamView, 11/13/2005: Seahawks 31, Rams 16 (Long)

    Kevin Curtis caught six balls and seemed to fall down as many times. Curtis' stumbles lead to incompletions, inter-ceptions, and on one play, he fell on his face while in motion. Dude, get some longer spikes. Kevin's 3rd down drop in the DREAD zone ended the Rams' first drive.
    If I were Henry Ellard I would get Curtis and the most physical of our corners and I would jam Curtis off the line everytime and have him knocked over, over and over again, until he learns to keep his balance. Curtis can be good and very fast, but he is no good if he keeps stumbling around and falling on the ground.

    You would think the equipment guys would have been prepared for the wet turf.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •