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  1. #1
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    A Stat That Suggests The Ram Should Draft Offensive Players

    Last year, as I suffered through the Rams many blowout losses, I usually felt like it was the ineptitude of the offense, far more so than the problems with the defense, that lead to the huge deficits.

    So, I decided to crunch some numbers to see if my observation was accurate. Here's what I found.

    In the 9 games last year that the Rams lost by 10 or more points, the Rams' defense held the opposition without an offensive TD for an average of 22:21. That means that, even in blowout losses, the Rams kept the other team out of the endzone for an average nearly one and one-half quarters.

    What this tells me is that the defense often failed because it wore down due to an offense that couldn't stay on the field, didn't score points, and gave the defense bad field position.

    All of this makes me wonder if the best way to fix the defense might be to improve the offense. If the Rams could add some real firepower to the offense, maybe the defense - even with the current players - would fare better occasionally playing with a lead.

    I'm not saying the defense wouldn't benefit from an influx of talent. But I think an argument can be made that the offense needs it more.


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    Re: A Stat That Suggests The Ram Should Draft Offensive Players

    I agree with you. I know that on paper both sides of ball were terrible, but the offense was just plain pathetic. I remember at one point thinking (more than halfway into the season) that opponent's defenses were trailing our offense by only a few TDs.

    I think we need a DE to play opposite Long, but other than that I don't see a position on the defense that absolutely 100% has to be filled immediately.

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    PeoriaRam's Avatar
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    Re: A Stat That Suggests The Ram Should Draft Offensive Players

    There's also the stat that the defense surrendered the winning points in 9 of the 15 games by halftime.

    I'm not sure an offensive upgrade is going to bring much relief to the defense. Or is worth putting off to Day 3 any defensive acquisitions in a draft that should be loaded with future defensive starters early.

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    Re: A Stat That Suggests The Ram Should Draft Offensive Players

    Quote Originally Posted by PeoriaRam View Post
    There's also the stat that the defense surrendered the winning points in 9 of the 15 games by halftime.

    I'm not sure an offensive upgrade is going to bring much relief to the defense. Or is worth putting off to Day 3 any defensive acquisitions in a draft that should be loaded with future defensive starters early.
    That stat is an argument for drafting offensive players. To put it differently, even if we shut out every single team we faced in the 2nd half of the game, we'd still have gone 6-9 because our offense can't move the ball. The winning points being scored early a game generally means it doesn't take many points to win - that's our O's fault, not our D's.

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    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: A Stat That Suggests The Ram Should Draft Offensive Players

    Quote Originally Posted by PeoriaRam View Post
    There's also the stat that the defense surrendered the winning points in 9 of the 15 games by halftime.
    As NW said, that stat further supports my argument.

    I'm not sure an offensive upgrade is going to bring much relief to the defense. Or is worth putting off to Day 3 any defensive acquisitions in a draft that should be loaded with future defensive starters early.
    The draft is very deep at RB and OT as well, and there should be some good options at WR in Round 2 if the Rams want to upgrade their receiving corps.

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    Re: A Stat That Suggests The Ram Should Draft Offensive Players

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    As NW said, that stat further supports my argument.
    No, not really. If the offense becomes a slightly more credible threat, the other guys won't call off their offensive dogs after the break like they did this year. The result is still the same. We lose. Badly.

    Let's look at the example of the New Orleans game that the Pollyanna Brigade likes to cite to support their contention that the team could be good. If we have a slightly more credible offense, the Saints don't spend 60 minutes screwing around on the football field and instead blow us out of the water with their superior talent and our weak defense.

    The draft is very deep at RB and OT as well, and there should be some good options at WR in Round 2 if the Rams want to upgrade their receiving corps.
    Those aren't defensive positions. Unless you propose postponing OT and backup RB to Day 3, that doesn't really help us.

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    Re: A Stat That Suggests The Ram Should Draft Offensive Players

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    Last year, as I suffered through the Rams many blowout losses, I usually felt like it was the ineptitude of the offense, far more so than the problems with the defense, that lead to the huge deficits.

    So, I decided to crunch some numbers to see if my observation was accurate. Here's what I found.

    In the 9 games last year that the Rams lost by 10 or more points, the Rams' defense held the opposition without an offensive TD for an average of 22:21. That means that, even in blowout losses, the Rams kept the other team out of the endzone for an average nearly one and one-half quarters.

    What this tells me is that the defense often failed because it wore down due to an offense that couldn't stay on the field, didn't score points, and gave the defense bad field position.

    All of this makes me wonder if the best way to fix the defense might be to improve the offense. If the Rams could add some real firepower to the offense, maybe the defense - even with the current players - would fare better occasionally playing with a lead.

    I'm not saying the defense wouldn't benefit from an influx of talent. But I think an argument can be made that the offense needs it more.
    This is what I have been saying the whole time.


    People use the argument "well it works vice-versa too."

    No it doesn't. Adding better players to our defense does nothing for the production of our offense. Maybe if this was a different team, then yes, that would be applicable, but considering our offense, there's no hope there.



    Our offense could barely get a consistent rhythm and groove. We would always go 3 and out. Improving our defense is not going to change our productivity. Directly adding better offensive players will.

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    PeoriaRam's Avatar
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    Re: A Stat That Suggests The Ram Should Draft Offensive Players

    Quote Originally Posted by RockinRam View Post
    This is what I have been saying the whole time.

    People use the argument "well it works vice-versa too."

    No it doesn't. Adding better players to our defense does nothing for the production of our offense. Maybe if this was a different team, then yes, that would be applicable, but considering our offense, there's no hope there.

    Our offense could barely get a consistent rhythm and groove. We would always go 3 and out. Improving our defense is not going to change our productivity. Directly adding better offensive players will.
    You know what's funny about all of the "Rams defense was out on the field all game getting run down" claims?

    We were only 20th in Total Time of Possession last season, with a per game average of 28:58. We were also 20th in total plays run. Perhaps the offense did a better job of holding onto the ball (and the defense did a worse job at stopping the opponent throughout) than we tend to think.

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    Re: A Stat That Suggests The Ram Should Draft Offensive Players

    Peoria, I doubt the Saints just went out there and deliberately did not score touchdowns to "screw around" with us. You don't field your starters and your best QB and risk injury by screwing around with another team. We just had a good game and had a lot of things come together, it just wasn't enough. That was like our highest scoring game and we scroed naught but 23 or so. That's on the offense. Holding the league's highest scoring offense to 28 is pretty good considering the cirumstances.

    Lets just say we need a whole lot and be done. That being said, I'm looking for more offense than defense in this draft depending however, on who falls where.

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    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: A Stat That Suggests The Ram Should Draft Offensive Players

    Quote Originally Posted by PeoriaRam View Post
    You know what's funny about all of the "Rams defense was out on the field all game getting run down" claims?

    We were only 20th in Total Time of Possession last season, with a per game average of 28:58. We were also 20th in total plays run. Perhaps the offense did a better job of holding onto the ball (and the defense did a worse job at stopping the opponent throughout) than we tend to think.
    First of all, a primary reason why the Rams were even that high in time of possession is that they were a running team (running plays tend to wind down the clock more than passing plays, nearly half of which end in clock stoppage).

    More importantly, its not a question of time of possession, its a question of having a team that virtually never played with a lead because the offense didn't score.

    When a team gets a lead, it impacts the the way the other team plays on offense, which is a huge help to the defense. For example, if the Rams could have scored earlier and more often, the defense could have geared toward stopping the pass (as teams tend to pass more when they are behind).

    If you look at all the stats, you'll see that, despite being 20th in plays run, the Rams were near the bottom in both total yards (29th) and points (32nd). So the Rams' offense didn't help the defense with field position or with keeping the score close. As a result, the defense had to face short fields in games that were either scoreless, or in which the Rams were behind.
    Last edited by AvengerRam; -04-16-2010 at 07:20 PM.

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    Re: A Stat That Suggests The Ram Should Draft Offensive Players

    Quote Originally Posted by PeoriaRam View Post
    No, not really. If the offense becomes a slightly more credible threat, the other guys won't call off their offensive dogs after the break like they did this year. The result is still the same. We lose. Badly.
    Defenses do better with rest and less time on the field. They gave up a lot of big plays and certainly weren't dominant, but if our offense could have put the other team beyond the 50 yard line and done more than 3 and out we would have seen a much better defense. Good offenses do help produce better defenses. You can only win with no offense if your defense is amazing. Not just ok, not better than average, amazing. The Bears went to the Superbowl with an amazing D and no offense. What happened when the D took a hit? The Bears went downhill in a hurry. Our defense has more playmakers than our offense, and I think they would benefit if the team actually scored points or not put the opposing team in a field position where they could kick a field goal from the first snap.

    I haven't mined the data, but I would wager you'd find that when teams improved significantly on offense, their defense improved as well. The only one I looked up was the Dolphins, the year they went 1-15 they scored 267 points and gave up 437. The next year at 11-5 they scored 345 and gave up 317. Moreover, 6 of the 7 leading tacklers on the team had been there the year prior when they were abysmal, and the youngest was 25, these weren't rookies added to the mix. It's just one example, but I'm sure the Dolphins didn't just suddenly inject themselves with talent on defense that they were missing the year prior. It was there. I'm sure there are plenty of other factors to consider as well, but it's just some food for thought.
    Last edited by berg8309; -04-16-2010 at 07:56 PM.

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    Re: A Stat That Suggests The Ram Should Draft Offensive Players

    You can also take in account the Spags affect. I have more faith in Spags and his defense performing with players who are not elite all over the board than I am with Shurmur and crew with the offense.

    I like the defensive pieces. I think on defense we have serviceable starters across the board. I'm not saying there aren't spots that need upgrades, but I could see guys like James Hall, Robbins, and Diggs starting until a younger guy is ready to step in. I don't see that as much on the offensive side of the ball. IMO the defensive core of young players is better than the offensive core when you look at Long, Ryan, Lauranatis, Bartell, Butler, and OJ if he comes back. Guys like Fletcher, Scott, and Vobora could easily join that core group of players IMO. In comparison the offensive core S-Jax, Brown, Bell, Smith. We have young receivers, but i'm not ready to make them core players, maybe Avery based on production, but that may be a reach.

    Also if your picking Bradford making him your franchise guy, are you going to stick him with the talent we have now. No legitimate backup RB or starting TE to speak of. The receivers are young I don't think any of them have tapped out potential wise. We could feasibly remain patient hoping one of those guys becomes a number 1 guy, but if we see the opportunity to get a number 1 I don't think we should hesitate. I like the line more than most. There will be healthy competition at RG and RT, Brown, Bell, and Smith look good to me.

  13. #13
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    Re: A Stat That Suggests The Ram Should Draft Offensive Players

    Well I totally agree with AV on this one, our offense was atrocious last year.

    To give my little tangent about why we need to draft Bradford, I was telling my mom about the NFL draft next week, and you have to understand she knowsa little about the pro game, and nothing about the college game, and she said "Oh are we still looking at the guy from Bradford?"

    I said no, his name is Sam Bradford, and it's between him or Ndamukong Suh. Later on in the convo after telling her about the two prospects, I told her that the Rams cut Bulger and that our backup signed with the Raiders. I told her that leave us with a career backup QB and a guy who was a rookie last year. Her response was perfect, "Oh, so we HAVE to take the quarterback."

    I think if you step back and see that we HAVE NO QB, you notice that it is really simple, and the choice becomes really, really easy for Mr. Devaney. We HAVE to grab our quarterback

    Also, how do you sign up for membership in the Pollyanna Brigade Peoria keeps talking about? Can I cast my nomination for President if they don't have one yet?

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    Re: A Stat That Suggests The Ram Should Draft Offensive Players

    Quote Originally Posted by PeoriaRam View Post
    No, not really. If the offense becomes a slightly more credible threat, the other guys won't call off their offensive dogs after the break like they did this year. The result is still the same. We lose. Badly.
    Why does your logic not apply to the defense as well? What's wrong with me saying:

    "If the defense becomes slightly better, the other guys won't call off their offensive dogs after the break like they did this year. The result is still the same. We lose. Badly."

    The other team is not going to slow down unless they've built an insurmountable lead. If either our offense or our defense improves, we should be in the game until the end and so our opponents won't let off the gas. That's a good thing, though, right?

    It seems like you want to say that improving our offense will only turn blow-outs into narrow losses but improving our defense will turn blow-out losses into wins. But why?

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    Re: A Stat That Suggests The Ram Should Draft Offensive Players

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick_Weasel View Post

    It seems like you want to say that improving our offense will only turn blow-outs into narrow losses but improving our defense will turn blow-out losses into wins. But why?
    Because improving the defense brings them within range of even our toothless offense. And that's where the wins come.

    One of the biggest, if often ignored lessons of the Martz Era: If you want to win, you need to be able to stop the other guy from scoring.

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