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Thread: Sam's Silver Linings - Week Six
Sam's Silver Linings - Week Six
I apologize for being a few hours late this week – I had a job interview yesterday that lasted about 4 hours longer than anticipated, then Sami had her Fall Orchestra concert at school last night. After hearing the 7th and 8th grade orchestra perform “Thriller”, I think the world would be better off having them perform at the Super Bowl instead of Beyonce.
There was a buffet of Dolphin sushi laid out on the table Sunday, but no matter how hungry the guys were, they just couldn’t use the chopsticks right and didn’t get as much on their plate as they wanted. As a result, the Rams now have a 3-3 record. There were a lot of things that made us all cringe; the worst was Legatron missing not just one, but three field goals. After being perfect for the first five games, we all had settled into a comfort zone – “oh, it’s only 58 yards – Zuerlein can hit that with both legs broken!” Well, as much as we all believed that, we should have known that the day would come when some unknown force would reach out and bump one of his kicks in mid-flight. That day came when we were facing the Dolphins. We could have one with only one of the three kicks being errant; we would have tied with two errant kicks; but three missed chances put one of those ugly stains on our win-loss record. I am not blaming him for the loss – in fact, I have nothing bad to say about his performance except this…I wish the misses would have come in different games – like when we were ahead by 35 points or something. After Legatron missed the first field goal attempt, we know he was punishing himself. Fisher could have made things worse by showing no confidence in him. However, with just a few seconds left, he let the clock run down to 4 seconds – and sent him out to kick a 66 yard game-tying field goal. It had the distance and then some – but went wide left and missed the target.
Danny Amendola was missed this game. Without him, Bradford was forced to rely on targets that were not always in sync with the called play. Plays took longer to develop, receivers weren’t able to always get away from a defender and in the tight throws Bradford made, the receivers weren’t able to “do a Danny” and pull the ball in. Sam should have silenced his detractors this week; 26/39 for 315 passing yards, plus four runs totaling 34 yards and that all-important six points. Sam’s performance showed what many of us already knew – that the only problems he has are a patchwork offensive line and ineffective receivers. When you look at the stats, the Rams outplayed the Dolphins – 315 passing yards, and 162 yards on the ground. That’s 477 yards against a very stingy team. Miami boasted on their stout defense, and also on their very respectable offensive line. Thanks to the Rams, they have a lot less to boast about.
Now on to this week’s “Silver Linings”…
1. Sam Bradford: I always put the most obvious positive in the #1 spot. Sam deserves it after the performance he gave in Miami. Just a few weeks ago, there were naysayers wanting Sam to move on to another team. I think he silenced his critics this week, not only by spreading the ball to 10 different receivers, but with some running of the ball. His accuracy was fantastic. He was able to thread the needle more than once; his passes looked like they had the intensity of his first year. He was much more mobile than in past games...and to top it all off, he scored our only touchdown of the game.
2. Brandon Gibson: Gibson had some tough shoes to fill this game. Without Amendola, the role of all the remaining receivers was changed. Gibson turned out to be the “go-to” guy this game. While he wasn’t perfect, he did step up in this game, making 7 catches for 91 yards. That was good for a 13 yard per catch average – more than satisfactory for a “go-to” guy.
3. Ritchie Incognito: We can ALL be thankful that this hothead no longer plays for the Rams. I was looking forward to seeing Incognito get up in Finnegan’s face – I know, Ritchie outweighs Finnegan by over 100 pounds, but Finnegan is smart enough that he could have goaded Incognito into doing something really stupid.
4. Legatron: Ok, give me crap. Yes, he missed three important field goals, and had any one of those made it, we would have at least tied up the game at the end of the fourth. Considering that the kid made 15 perfect kicks in a row, setting two new records in the process, I think we can give him a bye on missing those kicks this week. Besides, Fisher showed confidence in Greg by putting him out there for a 66 yarder…which not only would have tied the game, but broken every record in the process. As it is, a lot of people were surprised that he was able to send that ball with enough velocity to have made it from 70 yards out. There’s always next week, Greg. We know you’ll break the record soon.
5. Jeff Fisher: Yes, the coach made the list. Not only has he inspired our guys to fight all the way until the clock runs out; he has faith in our players. He made some promises to the fans that he was going to put together a team that was fun to watch, a team we could be proud of. He has done that. When Legatron missed that first kick, Fisher could have pulled the reins in and played it safe. He did neither – he sent him right back out there and expected him to go on. Having enough faith in him to send him out for that 66 yard attempt was probably the biggest statement that could have been made. I nominate him for President.
6. Offensive Line: As flawed as it is, the O line has done an unbelievable job, considering that some of these guys were unemployed when we were prepping for our first game. They do have faults – inexcusable mistakes that come way too often, but still, they do a fairly decent job of giving Sam the time he needs more often than not. Still, I think drafting a couple of offensive linemen should be on the list next April.
7. Steven Jackson: Yes, he is getting long in the tooth (sorry if you don’t understand the reference), but he proved once again that the beast can still move mountains. We all wish he could put up back-to-back 100+ yard games, but considering the stout run D that Miami has, it was nice to see Steven putting up 52 yards on the ground. In case you’re interested, Steven has been in the league long enough that our opponents can easily prepare for him. The one thing they can’t prepare for is the brute strength he turns on when he hits the hole.
8. Daryl Richardson: Eleven carries for 76 yards, a little over 6.9 ypc. Richardson alone was responsible for more yards on the ground than the Dolphins have allowed per game all season. As much as the Fins were able to prepare for Jackson, they were unable to prepare for Richardson. I’m still trying to figure out who he reminds me of – one day, he will remind me of a young Faulk. The next, he looks like Adrian Peterson. I think we can all agree that no matter what, he has been a very nice addition to the offense.
9. Craig Dahl: I can’t believe I put the Rag Dahl’s name on the list of Silver Linings, but for once, he stepped up and did us right: Six solo tackles. James Laurinaitis was the only other Ram with that many tackles. I am impressed…I didn’t know he had it in him. Let’s all hope this isn’t the only time we see his name on the list.
10. Jo-Lonn Dunbar: Once again, he showed us all why he deserves to wear the horns – five solo tackles, one sack, and one forced fumble. A once weak linebacking corps is now something to be proud of, thanks in part to the playmaking ability of Dunbar and his fellow LB’s.
I was really hoping that this would be the road game that would let the Rams break out of the loss column. As it is, we are back home this week to face the Pack. The first game I ever attended was also the Packers at the Rams. I just hope and pray that no one needs any signs to tell the cheeseheads to wear bras or use shampoo. Unlike that game, this time around I can see the Rams surprising almost everyone and pulling out a convincing win – enough to generate a lot of buzz in the postgame commentary. Next week, this column will be posted a little later than normal. I got a new job I will start this Sunday, so I will not be able to view the game until Monday, and I may not be able to get the article posted before Thursday morning. Have a great weekend, everyone!
Re: Sam's Silver Linings - Week Six3. Ritchie Incognito: We can ALL be thankful that this hothead no longer plays for the Rams. I was looking forward to seeing Incognito get up in Finnegan’s face – I know, Ritchie outweighs Finnegan by over 100 pounds, but Finnegan is smart enough that he could have goaded Incognito into doing something really stupid.Clannie Nominee for ClanRam's Thickest Poster
Re: Sam's Silver Linings - Week Six
I apologize for being a few hours late this week – I had a job interview yesterday that lasted about 4 hours longer than anticipated,..........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................I got a new job I will start this Sunday
I hope your blog doesn't interfere with your job performance. Anyway, congrats man and good luck with the new gig.
Love reading your articles and getting your take. Good work Dude.
Last edited by live4ramin; -10-17-2012 at 04:01 PM.I'm the guy that walks up after the argument's started.
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