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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of our Xmas win

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  • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of our Xmas win

    Merry New Year everyone. Sorry for the delay in getting my post game analysis up on the board, but i had to leave after the game for a xmas eve dinner at a close friend's house. I have virtually no voice left from screaming all game, but it sure was worth it.

    What a fantastic football game to watch. The quality of the product the nfl puts on the field is really amazing. If you look at the records, neither of these two teams is very good. However, today was a very well played evenly matched game with only two turnovers and limited penalties. Some special teams excitement on both sides provided crucial turning points and ultimately affected the outcome. Can you imagine getting eliminated in a game where a no name kicker drills a 52 yarded with 3 minutes left while Money misses a virtual chip shot with the game on the line.

    Our playoff prospects our still very tough. We need to beat minny and i believe we need three additional things to happen (unless there are additional tiebreakers i dont know about). We need to saints to beat carolina (good shot), the eagles to beat the falcons (good shot) and the redskins to beat the giants (decent shot). Having all three break our way is going to be tough, but looking at all of the games individually, i think we have a legitimate chance if we can win on our own.

    The Rams showed heart today and the kind of offensive firepower that we have been waiting for all year. Against a redskins defense that had given up LESS THAN 300 YARDS each of the last two weeks against the saints and the eagles, we tallied 579 yards of total offense and 37 points with only one turnover. WE did it with a balanced attack and absolute superstar performances from both Bulger and The Big Boy. WE also did it with timely play from the defense and a very solid performance from a very young o line that played their hearts out without The Big Man.

    One thing i think we can all agree on. If we win our last game and dont make it at 8-8 due to the tiebreakers, we can look back at the loss to arizona at home and clearly say that game cost us the playoffs. By far our worst loss of the season in my view, especially since we barely showed up at home against a lousy team. That is NOT the kind of loss a playoff caliber team can afford.

    For this week, i am really going to enjoy being alive for another week. If we win that last game, i will be thrilled with the strong finish and the play of our young guys, especially on the o line as we look ahead to next year.

    The Good

    The Big Boy. LT is the best back in the NFL and an all time great. Right now, stephen jackson is the #2 overall all around back in the nfl and thats that. Gore and larry johnson are having great years, but all around, jackson has them both beat. The Big Boy is truly a manchild. The pick at #20 was a steal when we made it and Jackson can have no doubters left at this point. He can run with speed and power, he can catch, he can make guys miss and he can run them over. The fumble was unfortunate, as was the failure to convert on third and one at the end, but i didnt say he was perfect. He certainly has room to improve his pass blocking in a big way. However, he had the kind of game that only a true superstar can have-he put the team on his back and willed them to victory. He delivered plenty of punishment and got stronger as the game went on. He wanted the ball, he got the ball and he sure justified that confidence. Excellent catch on the td pass and a REAL burst of acceleration to outrun guys to the end zone. I could go on forever here and will probably post a separate thread on the big boy later or tomorrow, but suffice it to say, this guy is a major major stud and i expect that he will be carrying the load for this team for a long time. 2000 total yards for a season speaks for itself, as does break faulks team receiving record for backs.

    Marc Bulger. Tell me again who you would rather have than bulger? Peyton Manning? Fine. He is the only qb in the nfl i would take ahead of bulger. He is so accurate and so calm under pressure its just uncanny. One of his best throws of the day was on 3rd and 9 from midfield in OT that threaded between two defenders and the sideline and hit holt right in the hands, but i believe torry dropped it, i dont think it was knocked away. His decision making is just terrific and he even had a nice run today in a key situation. The guy is truly a leader and you can see it in how his teamates react to him. He doesnt need to scream and yell and carry on. His calm cool and calculating demeanor screams TOTAL CONTROL and COMMAND and that is what leadership is about my friends. Priority #1 in the offseason is to get bulger signed long term and i am talking about a roughly 20 million signing bonus. Hopefully, we can get him a bit below market rate, but with the cap having gone up and bulger entering his prime, he is worth every penny.

    Isaac Bruce- A superlative performance for Rev Ike who went over 1000 yards again today. Bruce will be back and will be a starter again. He showed once again today that when covered one on one, he is a major weapon. I dont see how anyone can say that curtis is a better player than ike at this point and that is no knock on curtis who i like and hope we can keep. Ike has clearly lost a step. So what. He is what being a ram is all about.

    Oj's play at the end of regulation. I am on record as not being the biggest OJ fan, but the play he made today basically saved the game for us. Huge huge move knocking that ball out.

    Mcdonalds punt return. The 30 yard punt return with the game on the line in OT put mcdonald into positive yardage for the day. He ran backwards at least three times, but he finally showed us why he is back there. Critical play in the game obviously.

    Ron Bartell. His best game yet as a ram with plenty of upside to come. Physical kid, i think he has a chance to be a starter at safety next year or at the minimum, the key backup in the secondary.

    Jon Alston. An actual sighting with a tackle on special teams

    Turks punt to the 3 yard line. Obviously a very important play in OT after what i believe was the big drop by holt.

    Third and one stop by the D in OT. Just when you think we have no shot of ever stopping a running play, let alone in a key situation, we stuff them cold on third and very short forcing the punt that led to the mcdonald return.

    The O Line play. You have to give the O line an A when you amass 579 yards against that defense and allow only one sack while throwing almost 40 times. If you didnt know that romberg hadnt played all year at center, would you have had any idea? Very solid game, i dont see why he cant be a starter next year if mccollom isnt back full strength. The guards were fine, notwithstanding the one false start on richie. Number of holding penalties on the rams O line today? ZERO. that qualifies as a minor miracle considering the number of carries. Steussie did fine despite allowing the one sack and baron had the obligatory false start but did a fine job pass blocking. Setterstom wasnt noticed, which means to me he did fine. I no longer believe that we need to pay real money for a free agent guard. Spend the cash on bulger and the defense, especially a defensive end.

    The secondary. Dont look now, but we are very strong at corner. Hill is going to the pro bowl, maybe next year. His ball recognition skills are improving at a staggering rate and his coverage is excellent. I think brown is just fine as a #2 corner and i already spoke about bartell. WE may need some depth if butler and fischer are both gone, but the future is looking up at the corners and the play today is especially noteworthy given our usual complete and total lack of a pass rush.

    Stephen Davis. Limited action, but very solid, both on the td and the key third down pickup. A great signing, i would love to have him back next year (assuming marshall isnt coming back)

    Dominic Byrd. Out of the slam, into our hearts. Just when you figured he was going to be put on the hargrove plan, he has two nice catches including a td.

    Aaron walker. How about the drag for the first down after the catch. great play.

    The Bad

    Our run defense just stinks. The key plays at the end cant hide the fact that its another bad day of getting gashed right up the gut. Its on the defensive tackles for the most part, although i dont see spoon making anywhere near the number of plays that he did earlier in the year.

    We have no pass rush. Little got to the qb a couple of times, but he was battling to a draw with chris samuels all game. We got no other pressure except on a couple of blitzes. Campbell had all day to throw way too many times.

    Our kick returns were awful. Willie couldnt make the 20 on most of his returns. not blaming willie really, the kicks were deep and he had no blocking.

    The jackson fumble was a very bad play. No way around that.

    The Ugly

    In no particular order, the blocked punt which almost cost us the game, the missed Money field goal which almost cost us the game, the failure to convert on the third and one at the end of regulation which almost cost us the game, the three false starts on the goal line on the drive in the fourth quarter that put us up 31-28 and killed our shot at the td, and our defense on the first drive of the game (which was basically non existent)

    Interesting tidbit

    Note adam archuleta standing on the sidelines and playing only special teams. Highest paid player in the history of the position. Nice cap management! Betts looked pretty darned good to me, nice move trading a third round pick for duckett!


    Regardless of our inability to control our own destiny, lets hope that this becomes a signature win for coach linehan and the rams and leads to a strong finish with a win over the vikings. Hopefully we get the help we need and get to the playoffs, but if we win and dont get in, we will have finished with three straight wins and a .500 season by beating all the mediocre/lousy teams on the sked with the exception of the stink bomb at home vs arizona and losing to all the playoff teams. That leaves a LOT of room for improvement for next year, but a lot to look forward to as well, given that a number of our young players are showing that they belong in the nfl and can contribute as starters. The good news is that at least some of our needs are so obvious that we know what to do to help the defense- Start with a real live defensive end and take it from there. I will say this. If we can manage to get in, i think we can win a game in the playoffs. Right now, i cant see any defense being particularly interested in matching up against the rams offense and the Big Boy Express. Lets hope that the meshing isnt too late to get us in, we will need to play well and with no or minimal turnovers to beat the vikings.

    Ramming speed to all

    general counsel

  • #2
    Re: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of our Xmas win

    Great analysis GC, as usual. I feel pretty good after reading it!


    • #3
      Re: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of our Xmas win

      great job GC once again,as always your on the mark, the jackson fumble was just a good football play on there part,he has done a great job at hanging on to the ball when you look at how many touches he gets,the wilkins miss was shocking because he never misses from there,but i would still take him over any kicker in football today, he won't miss from there again, how good has turk been this season, great pickup and mcdonald FINALLY showed a flash of returning skills.and lets hear it for Ike,he still has many of those type games in him.


      • #4
        Re: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of our Xmas win

        The more i think about it, the more impressive this performance was by the offense. You really have to consider the quality of the redskins defense and coaching staff that we lit up for 579 yards. Say that again to yourselves guys, 579 yards and only one turnover!

        ramming speed to all

        general counsel


        • #5
          Re: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of our Xmas win

          nice observations!

          this is the kind of game that makes you realize what a great sport
          football is...


          • #6
            Re: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of our Xmas win

            Our run defense just stinks. The key plays at the end cant hide the fact that its another bad day of getting gashed right up the gut. Its on the defensive tackles for the most part, although i dont see spoon making anywhere near the number of plays that he did earlier in the year.
            I agree we stink and Kennedy and Glover are the reason period. I donít want to hear about Kennedy is taking on to guys itís his roll. He ate to many rollís, he is fat, soft and slow. Some please tell me the last time we saw Kennedy cause havoc to the point someone in the both actually said his name.

            Our LB are good are secondary is not great but getting better, with the youth movement. Our D line stinks, we have one guy Little that shows up we in and week out.


            Related Topics


            • general counsel
              Rams trounce Vikings- The good, the bad and the ugly
              by general counsel
              MERRY NEW YEAR to all and ramming speed as we head into the off season. Please all be careful tonight and dont drink and drive. I never leave my house on new years eve, its the one night of the year that you can absolutely guarantee to produce every possible wombat on the road.

              This was a great win today. Say what you want about the pathetic vikings offense, their defense is very very competitive and for the second week in a row we TORCHED a defense that was playing very well of late. I think this was clearly our best all around game of the year, we truly clicked on all cylanders, even the run defense. Lets hope the win gives us some momentum heading into the offseason, it will certainly put us all in a better mood having won our last three in a row and showing real team spirit doing so.

              The Good

              As a team, we showed up in a basically meaningless game, played hard, and knocked someone out ON THE ROAD. We showed no after affects of being eliminated last night and that is something to feel very good about.

              I dont know what to say about bulger and The Big Boy anymore, so i will keep it very short. Bulger is the 2nd best qb in the nfl after peyton manning and The Big Boy is the second best all around back in the nfl after LT. Bulger threw over 500 passes this year with 8 INT's. just think about that guys. He is so accurate it is just unbelievable. If you take away the drops today, his numbers would have been even more impressive. As for jackson, the long td run was a terrific burst of speed around the outside, several of the short yardage runs including the short td run and the td catch showed his power. But, to me, his best play of the game was the blitz pickup when it was still a relatively close game. He read the play perfectly and executed like an all pro. He is a manchild of biblical magnitude and he is only going to get better as our blocking improves.

              The young o line was sensational considering the quality of the opponent on the front four. Nothing fancy, but they did a nice job in pass protection and while jackson didnt do a ton of damage up the middle before the big run, he was well on pace for a 100 yard day against the #1 defense in the nfl against the run. There is a HUGE difference between 3 and 4 yard gains and no gain at all and i thought the interior line was really impressive. The next time i hear someone whine about the rams recent drafting, i am going to show them a picture of setterstrom, a 7th round pick who will be starting for us for the next 10 years. Who knows how many points we would have wound up scoring if the game didnt get out of hand.

              Leonard Little was impressive as always, nothing new there, he is an all pro and its great to have him signed.
              Tye hill continues to impress me, notwithstanding the one missed tackle early in the game.
              Ron Bartell has a role on this team next year for sure. Very solid,...
              -12-31-2006, 02:42 PM
            • general counsel
              Rams win- The good, the bad and the ugly
              by general counsel
              Its great to get a win. Its been a while for the squad. We are a long way from playoff contention, but at least the patient has a pulse. While i still cant get over the first seattle loss as the turning point of the season, no sense in looking back as we cant change anything that happened in the past. If Pace wasnt out for the year, i wouldnt be so negative on our prospects. Our remaining schedule is not daunting with the exception of the bears game, but our offense is so limited without the Big Man that its hard for me to believe that we can finish 9-7. I hope I am wrong and if i am, i dont think its out of the question that 9-7 gets in. A while back i said it would come down to the last game of the year vs. the vikings. I hope we are alive that long and can get on a winning streak. At this point, we need to continue to hope that the teams ahead of us lose, but at the end of the day, unless we win the rest of our games, we are a longshot and if we lose only to the bears, we have at least a prayer.

              The Good

              Its a win and given what has happened to our season since we started playing the good teams over the last several weeks, we will take any win we can get.
              We showed heart and fought back at the end to get it done. Best of all, we used almost all the clock so there was no time for them to pull a seattle like miracle against our defense.
              Tye Hill. The kid will be an all pro and it wont take long. His INT today showed great coverage and phenomenal ball recognition skills in addition to excellent hands. Ball recognition is the key will hill, his speed speaks for itself.
              Commitment to the run, even when it was less successful in the second half.
              The Big Boy. A dominant game for steven jackson. The only negative i could find was i think he missed one blitz pick up. He was powerful in the running game and showed great hands again. He is an all pro back. Get off his case everyone. We have lots of problems, he isnt one of them.
              Wilkins. Great kick at the end of the first half for money. it was the difference in the game.
              setterstrom. He more than held his own today, especially in the running game. His guy batted down one ball, i didnt see him make a single other play. I think the kid MUST start for the rest of the year.
              Mike Nolan. His decision to go for the field goal on fourth and one inch was incredible, given the way that gore was killing us. i think that cost them the game. The odds of us stopping them in that situation are about 1 in 100 at best. If they make that first down, even if they ultimately have to kick the field goal, we have to burn all our timeouts and we would have gotten the ball back with under 2 minutes.
              Bulger. not his best game, but a gutsy performance with suspect protection, except at the end when the line (or what was left of it) really stepped up. His throw to bruce on the last drive was critical. He missed an open...
              -11-26-2006, 02:45 PM
            • general counsel
              My post game thoughts
              by general counsel
              HUGE win for the squad today. As we always say, a win is a win and you take them wherever, however and whenever you can get them. Another heart attack game, here is my view of the good, the bad and the ugly

              The Good

              We survived a must win game and we did it while resting orlando pace
              The offense finally put some real points on the board after a very slow early red zone start again.
              Marc bulger is truly a elite qb. I just hope everyone on this board realizes it and appreciates it.
              Stephen Jackson is truly a Big Boy stud. His enthusiasm and power running and catching are taking him to a higher level week after week. You cant blame jackson for his failure to run inside, there was no blocking at all for him between the tackles. He cut several runs outside and showed some real speed in addition to his toughness. The hurdle over dre bly was a classic.
              Jacksons run up the middle for 5 yards on third down in the last series when everyone in the stadium knew it was coming was great running and should have put the game away since it got money into field goal range, which somehow, he missed.
              Wilkins was great again today, aside from the miss at the end. Not a perfect game due to what could have been a huge miss, but his kickoffs were excellent and he was 4 for 5.
              Bruce and Holt are the best wide receiver combination in the history of the nfl over the last 7 years. There, i said it. Take your shots at it. Holt is a stud and all that crapola about bruce slowing down is nonsense. He is a top notch #2 reciever and he is getting one on one coverage all the time, meaning when bulger has time, ike is open on basically every play. The td and 2 point conversion at the end was classic rev ike.
              Nice game for the klopper, getting on the board with his first td. I believe that the klopper is ready for full integration into the offense, he will be open all day long and that will be a huge weapon for us.
              Very gutty performance by the O line without the Big Man, at least on the pass blocking side. I thought stuessie was excellent, and its really time to recognize baby alyx as a terrific right tackle. He continues to improve, he will be ready for the pro bowl in no time.
              NO TURNOVERS for the rams.
              There are not a lot of great things to say about the defense in this game, but i will say that we caused three turnovers, and that was the difference in the game.
              Stephen Davis looked good in limited action as a backup.
              The toughness and guts of pisa are hard to believe. We should lock him up contract wise.

              The Bad

              The kickoff coverage basically stunk. If not for tye hills speed, we would have given up two tds.
              Its probably as much ugly as bad, but our complete lack of pass rush today almost cost us the game. John Kitna is ok, but without a guy in his face and with roy williams (who by the way is just a fantastic player),...
              -10-01-2006, 06:22 PM
            • general counsel
              My post game analysis- The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
              by general counsel
              We may not be the most dominant 4-1 team in the history of the nfl, but at the end of the day, what counts is the record and it speaks for itself. As we say every week, a win is a win is a win in the nfl and wins on the road are just brutal. We played hard and gutted out a win with a huge play at the end by the defense. We got VERY lucky at the end because even with the big sack and fumble, the packers offensive lineman was literally on the ball and i have no idea how he failed to fall on it.

              Not our best performance on offense, we didnt run very well, didnt stop the run very well, didnt pressure favre very well and couldnt put the game away despite numerous chances, but we took care of the football again and that really kept us ahead. We have put ourselves in a position to take early control of the west with a win next week vs seattle and potentially put ourselves on track for a very special season as we head into the bye week before we hit the brutal portion of the schedule.

              We are 4-1. While many will say that the whiners stink and that we should have beaten them, we could have easily or should have lost both to arizona and possibly today. We beat a top caliber team in denver as well. I will take the 4-1 and lets see how "for real" we are when the defending nfc champs come to town next week coming off their bye week.

              THE GOOD

              The interesting thing about this win was that there really werent many if any spectacular individual performances. A number of guys played very well, but we didnt make a lot of deep plays against a suspect packers secondary. We played hard as a team and its a team win for sure.

              Bulger was excellent again. He took what the defense gave him and made some nice throws, especially deep in our own end. However, he also made two very bad throws and was very lucky that they werent picked off, one of which could have completely changed the game (the ball that hit harris in the hands at the goal line)

              The offensive line protected pretty well. Another very strong game by pace and barron. Of course, the good pass protection was balanced by the numerous false starts and lousy run blocking, especially in the first half.

              Some one off comments. Nice punt return by mcdonald, nice catch by the klopper (we need to throw to him more often), nice third down conversion and run down the sideline by tony fischer, an actual pass breakup by travis fischer which i hope someone will confirm because i thought i must be hallucinating, and what i thought was a pretty good game from stephen jackson, not his best, but not bad.

              Very strong game for matt turk. What a huge upgrade for us at that position.
              The first half red zone performance was critical. We got clobbered in the first half, but due to the turnover and our 2-2 red zone conversions, we had the lead.

              I liked that linehan stayed...
              -10-08-2006, 03:14 PM
            • general counsel
              Rams implode in 20-6 loss to seachickens; The Good, Bad and Ugly
              by general counsel
              The Rams played valiant, tough and gutsy football today, but imploded with three fourth quarter turnovers in losing to the defending super bowl champion seachickens 20-6 in the NFL's most hostile road environment. Today was a nice microcosm of the Rams season, excellent play in spurts, short periods of self-destruction, poor offensive play, and not enough defense to find a way to beat a top caliber team on the road. Make no mistake, the Rams lost to a better team today, but in watching this game, its easy to see why the chickens have a legitimate shot of winning a second super bowl in a row and the Rams wound up a disappointing 6-10. The Rams played hard nosed football today, without all the cheap crap that we saw last week against the Giants, but we simply dont have enough play at qb or offensive line to beat a team like seattle without a bunch of gimic special team plays. The Rams were in the game in the 4th quarter, which is all coach fisher could have asked for going into this week.

              The Good

              Aaron Donald is a superstar for years to come. 7 tackles, his 9th sack two tackles for loss, disruptive all game long. Clearly our best player on defense (other other pro bowler quinn had one tackle).

              The defense had an excellent game and clearly played well enough to win. The first half defense was as good as it gets in the NFL against a team of that caliber (this was not washington or oakland). They rallied really nicely to close out the season after a terrible performance last week. With two exceptions (see below in bad section on janoris), we didnt allow big plays (our offense allowed them enough big plays to win the game) and while they wound up with 354 total yards, the defense effectively held them to 13 points and 7 of those came after we gave them the ball at just about midfield after a turnover. Against seattle on the road (a team that ran up 600 yards of offense last week against a terrific arizona defense), you have to be happy with that performance. Forcing two turnovers was a nice change from the last two weeks, and once again, we found an effective pass rush with three sacks and really nice contain on Wilson. We kept him in the pocket almost all game, and that is the blueprint for how you beat Seattle (assuming you have something that resembles a functional offense and you dont turn the ball over).

              Great forced fumble by Tree on Lynch. Barron played well and had a nice sack and a number of pressures and contains on Lynch. Great trade, i think Barron will do really well for us next year. Nice sack for Joyner, we held up pretty well today without our best corner in Gaines who was out with the blow to the head from last week.

              Another great game by Hekker, who got screwed on the pro bowl voting. 5 punts, 49.4 and one inside the 20, including a couple of bombs to get us out of trouble from deep in our own zone.

              Nice to see Leg hit the...
              -12-28-2014, 05:20 PM