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HornItís Rams vs. Raiders review Ė The Revenge of Chris Johnson

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  • HornItís Rams vs. Raiders review Ė The Revenge of Chris Johnson

    Yes folks itís true. The thing you never, ever, thought could possibly happen, happened.

    Rams castoff Chris Johnson, the guy who stepped out of bounds on the Rams own 1 yard line on a kickoff return the first time he ever touched the ball as a Ram, made the Rams pay dearly Saturday night for their decision to set him adrift in the NFL sea of uncertainty. Well, he hooked on with the Raiders and haunted the Rams much of the night, be it with his excellent coverage or his TD saving big plays such as knocking the ball out of Fitzharvardís hands as he was driving for the goal line and through the back of the end zone.

    This was just sort of the way the entire night went. Nothing much went right. What could go wrong did go wrong. Even what we thought couldnít go wrong, such as Johnson getting his revenge, went wrong.

    Funny thing though is, after digesting my first viewing of the game and then watching it again on NFLN this afternoon, maybe not as much actually went wrong as I thought it did initially, and as a lot of people thought it did initially. At least, not as many fundamentally bad things came out of the game as it first appeared.

    This would seem to give credence to the age old adage, never do game analysis after only one emotionally invested viewing of the game. You may just see things much differently after youíve had a chance to get over the original disappointment of the results not being exactly what you were hoping for. Thatís what happened to me this time anyway.

    Watching it all again, really only two things stuck out in my mind as being responsible for how bad things appeared on first viewing last night. Those two things were penalties and Bulger, in that order.

    The key play in every Raiders scoring drive was some kind of key penalty, and not just any old penalty, but big, huge, game changing penalties. 10 penalties for 157 yards, and the worst thing about that is, several of them truly were completely bogus calls. But even if they werenít, itís better news than the initial news that they simply got their butts whooped. That actually didnít happen.

    Additionally, contrary to the popular narrative thus far, they were not conservative on offense and they did actually show quite a bit of their passing game, and they were making a concerted effort to go vertical and get the ball downfield. The thing is, they (mostly Bulger in this case) just didnít execute.

    Think of 44 passes and 17 rushes, averaged 13 yards per completion and does that sound conservative to you? Does that sound like they didnít open up at least a little? The problem on offense last night was not a lack of imagination, it was a lack of execution.

    So, letís take a look at it.
    Offense

    OL

    Initially I thought the O-line played fairly poorly, but on second review, they really didnít play poorly. Protection was actually quite good throughout the entire game. Only one sack was allowed and that was on Fitzpatrick late in the 4th quarter. While Bulger got some pressure, for the most part he was kept pretty darn clean. Sometimes I think we expect a perfect pocket every time or we see it as bad protection, but no team lives up to that standard and the Rams didnít last night either, but they did do a fairly good job of protecting the QB. It should have been a good enough job to allow the plays to work for the most part.

    Run blocking was a bit of a different story as none of the versions of the O-line they put on the field last night really opened up a lot of holes. It was interesting that Milford Brown got the start in place of Incognito, and once again, he played almost the entire game at RG. Terrell played a little bit there late in the 2nd quarter, and then moved over to LG for Setterstrom in the 2nd half. While Terrell played pretty well, Brown really didnít. Of the problems the O-line had last night, Brown was responsible for a lot of them. Barron got beat by Burgess once and Pace gave up some pressure to the Raiders rookie 5th round draft pick Richardson, but it wasnít consistent. You have to give the Raiders defense something. They are very good and they certainly challenged the Rams O-line all night, but the Rams help up much better than I think theyíve been given credit for thus far.

    QB

    From the opening play, Bulger was doing what fans have been asking for all pre-season and going vertical in this game. He hit Bruce on a 40 opening play bomb, that had it not been a bit overthrown may have gone the distance. But Bruce had to extend out and dive for it. The trend of 7 step drop passing play calls continued throughout Bulgerís time in the game. The problem here wasnít that they werenít calling the medium and deep stuff, the problem is that Bulger only completed 8 of his 21 attempts, often missing open receivers, such as a wide open Bruce for what would have been another big gainer on the 3rd play of the first drive by a mile and throwing the ball far over Bruceís head out of the end zone when he had no pressure on him at all and a wide open McMichael in the end zone in front of Bruce. McMichael would later throw a fit on the sideline because he was missed for TDís twice in this game, the other being a throw Bulger failed to get over Burgessí outstretched hands that was batted down.

    Batted down passes was another theme. This has been a problem in more than just this game, but I lost count of how many got batted in this game, whether was Bulger, Frerotte or Fitzpatrick in there. It seemed like virtually every 3 step drop play Bulger attempted got swatted back in his face. This could be blamed partially on the O-line not getting defenderís hands down, but Rams QBís must also bear some responsibility for not finding lanes and throwing through them. Also for their low deliveries. Seems like all the Rams QBís have low deliveries. Still, as mentioned before, Bulgerís 8 completions did go for 109 yards, which is a hefty average per completion and Frerottes 10 completions went for 108 yards. They were going down the field.

    For the second week in a row Frerotte outplayed Bulger, but I wouldnít get too worried about this. Bulger is notoriously bad in pre-season. I donít know what it is, but I think we can feel confident that heíll be alright at this point. Again though, I think itís important to stress that protection, while not perfect, was good enough.

    RB

    Steven Jackson once again did his best LT impersonation. He did see the field on the very first play though. After that, however, all we saw of him was him sitting on the sidelines with that goofy looking little cap set precariously atop that enormous do.

    Leonard and Minor split what essentially were the carries in this game, getting 6 apiece and struggling to gain some measure of consistency. But we did see some nice runs, included the Leonard Leap run that was a thing of beauty actually even before the leap. Leonard did a great job of bouncing that run, designed to go inside, to the outside and picking up 15 yards in the process. Unlike last week, the Rams did not focus on just hammering the runs up the middle. They mixed it up a bit and tried the outside a little.

    The dearly departed Kay-Jay Harris had a nice run off Tackle for 8 and Alexis got to nondescript carries and that was about it. The Rams really didnít commit much to the running game in this game. It was pretty clear they wanted to throw it and open it up a little bit through the air this week. Ah, but we also canít forget Fitzharvardís 30 yard scamperÖ..that ended with Mr. Revenge knocking the ball out through the back of the end zone and costing the Rams yet another chance at 6.

    WR

    Bruuuuuuuuuuuuce!! Yeah, heís still got it and he looked grrrreat in this game. Not only did he have the big catch to open the game, but he had the chance to have a couple more big catches that didnít make it to him. But he still pulled down 4 for 77 yards, including another nice deep in pattern that looked like classic Rams. The disappointment was that there was no Holt, so Bennett filled that spot and had a couple big catches, but also dropped a crucial 3rd down pass that he should have held onto for a 1st down.

    We also finally got to see Looker and Hall at WR and they both showed well too. Plus, Hagans continued to impress with a super grab for a TD where he had to lay out and stayed inbounds by getting dragging his knee. See, whatís with all this bad news? The WRís looked good. The problem again was not enough good throws that made it to them.

    TE

    McMichael appears tired of not getting looked at, and when he is looked at, not getting the ball accurately to him. Hey, at least he showed heís a competitor and cared, even though it was only a preseason game. Also, he continued to demonstrate that he is a superb in-line blocker and a real asset to this team even if heís not catching passes.

    Klops continued to struggle with a critical penalty and drop, both in the red zone that cost them the chance to put up 6. Week in and week out Klops continues to struggle. Itís a good thing the Rams picked up McMichael.

    Walker caught a couple and looked like his usual steady self. There was not a Byrd sighting.

    Defense

    Things get interesting here because I really thought defense was a disaster after the first viewing and Iíve changed my mind on that quite a bit after the second. Again, it was penalties, but if you remove those the run D was pretty solid and the coverage was pretty tight.

    D-line

    People arenít going to believe this, but it was actually a very good showing for the D-line. They got a lot of pressure all night long. They help up pretty well against the run. The main point of criticism here is that they did not contain well and Culpepper and McCown both hurt them with scrambles.

    I thought James Hall really stood out in this game though. He was stacking up at the point of attack well and he was chasing down the line well and hitting people and he was a demon with the pass rush. The Raiders could not handle him. You also had Wroten and Glover giving pretty good push on the inside and Little was active as well. Again, they were getting good pressure with just their front 4 and that was good to see.

    Carriker played better than I initially thought, but was still a mixed bag. He had a real chance to stuff a run at the goal line and didnít get it done, letting the RB slide by him. He also does not get a good push on the pass rush inside. But, he was also making some plays against the run and causing a few problems by clogging up the inside. It was kind of strange because it appeared as though he was told not to disengage with the O-lineman no matter what because on a couple plays, he was completely with his back to the line of scrimmage and was still battling the guy. He was just inconsistent Iíd say, which we should expect at this point I would guess.

    I thought Glover played particularly well. He was strong against the run and was generating some inside pressure. He and Wroten were combining to be a force in the pass rush, though Wrotenís strength continues to be as a pass rusher and not as a run stopper.

    I mentioned how contain was a problem for the D-line and I think part of that problem comes from Littleís fairly predictable outside move. The OT takes him wide and leaves a huge lane for a QB to escape through. Thatís where Culpepper was getting through and into the secondary. So even though Little was doing a good job getting pressure, he was leaving alleys for the QB to escape.

    Adeyanju got time at RDE and was solid against the run, but didnít generate much pass rush. He was actually the one that got sucked in on the Higgins reverse that went for big yards, not Hall, but that didnít look like his responsibility. The Rams were slanting to the opposite side on that play and Adeyanju was slanting along with everybody else. I think it was Bartell who should have made that play, and in fact, later in the game the Raiders ran the same exact reverse to Higgins again and Fakhir Brown was right there to make the play for a loss.

    Moore showed well while he was in there and may have sewn up the last DE spot. I think itís going to be close between him and Johnson, if they do keep a 4th DE anyway. Sandige may have sealed his fate when the Rams had to call time out because he wasnít on the field when he was supposed to be. Linehan did not look happy. Neither did Holt actually, who could be seen in the background shaking his head.

    LB

    Tinoisomoa was the standout at LB in this game. He only was credited for a couple of tackles but he was in on more than that, and those 2 tackles were good ones. He stuffed Jordan hard for a loss on one and stayed home on the weak side and make a nice tackle in space on another. He was all over the place.

    I thought it was another disappointing game for Witherspoon, he still does not seem to be taking well to the responsibility of being a run stuffer. And I was not at all happy with Witherspoonís effort on that long screen pass play at the end of the first half that resulted in a 49 yard gain and late first half score by the Raiders. Witherspoon should have been the one making that play, or at least taking out one of Jordanís blockers but instead Witherspoon made a move to avoid contact and took himself right out of that play. Witherspoon has not had a good particularly good pre-season and heís one of those guys that we need to turn it on when the time comes.

    Chillar did OK against the run, but struggled in pass defense. His long PI call was yet another in a long list of defensive penalties that gave the Raiders huge chunks of yards and allowed their offense to stay on the field. He actually had pretty good position too, if he just turns and looks for the ball. But I thought it was a close call none the less and often times that wonít be called.

    Draft was OK and Culberson didnít show much but Alston had another big night when it comes to tackles. 10 total tackles? When did they all come? They all came late in the game during garbage time, but still, heís been showing up lately and youíve got to like that.

    DB

    It gets tricky here because their blessing was also their curse in this game. I thought the coverage itself over all by the DBís in this game was actually very good. Problem was, it was so good the refs couldnít tell the difference between tight coverage and pass interference or hands to the face, or defensive holding or you name it. It was interesting seeing the Raiders pick on Tye Hill rather than Bartell, but thatís what they did, and they got a big penalty call on pretty much every one of their first half drives that kept them on the field. That was the reason the performance of the overall defense is perceived to have been so bad, but it really wasnít outside of these penalties, which again, werenít all legitimate penalties in my opinion. I want to be both critical of the DBís and praise them here and Iím not sure how much of which to do.

    Anyway, as mentioned Hill was tested and he was on the receivers like glue. He still needs to work on his ball skills and his height didnít help him last night either as a few passes sailed over his outstretched hands to where they could have been completed, but turned out to be either a PI or hands to the face that cost them instead. He also was narrowly beat on the TD play where he had good coverage, but the throw was right there and then Hill missed the tackle, which was difficult to make, but he could have made it. Again though, the coverage was tight.

    On the other side Bartell played better than he has been, though he wasnít tested all that much. Heís not as strong in run support as Brown is though and the Rams will miss that until Brown gets back. Brown, however, continued to give up catches last night and often seems to be just a tad late in coverage, though again, heís the guy you want out there on 1st and 2nd downs.

    The Safety who I think keeps showing up is Todd Johnson. Heís the best S in run support we have I think and he was shooting in there and making tackles again last night. Chavous made a couple plays in coverage too and Atogwe was mostly invisible. I actually kind of liked what I saw of Kirkland last night. He was around the ball and unafraid to stick his nose in there.

    Wade, I thought, continued to look like heís going to be a good player. He too showed tight coverage, though he did give up one reception, but he was right there to make the tackle too. He also came up and made a nice open field tackle again, though Iím sure some will accuse him of ankle biting on it. He went low, which he should have in this case considering the RB had a full head of steam. He made the play. Walls did nothing, which wasnít bad. He neither gave up a play nor made one.

    Overall Ė The game wasnít nearly as bad as it first looked. The Rams did play hard, if not terribly smart. There was no problem with a lack of fire except maybe on Bulgerís part, but he always looks like heís lacking fire. I think they look like a tired team though that has a good case of camp legs and that could use a little rest. Itís been a tough, very hot camp and Linehanís been working them in the heat intentionally and keeping them in pads and keeping them hitting to prepare them for those early warm weather games. The fatigue, more than anything else, maybe responsible for the mistakes such as penalties and missed tackles that weíre seeing. But, if they reduce or eliminate some of those things that game last night would have looked much different. The Rams were not out-physicalled and they were not dominated in any area where it really counted. They were tortured to death with penalties and sub-par QB play. Itís really as basic as that.

  • #2
    Re: HornItís Rams vs. Raiders review Ė The Revenge of Chris Johnson

    vgj! Too bad my ADD kicked in. I'll try to pick up where I left off later. VN summary!
    RnD

    GO RAMS!!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: HornItís Rams vs. Raiders review Ė The Revenge of Chris Johnson

      I'm sick of hearing things like "I know this looked bad, but....". Sometimes what you see is what you get. This is no knock against the OP, I understand what your saying. It's just the time for excuses is growing to a close and we better start to perform.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: HornItís Rams vs. Raiders review Ė The Revenge of Chris Johnson

        i didnt catch the game or highlights just saw the score and was kinda disappointed but after reading this i kinda feel at ease knowing we didnt get the field mopped with our jerseys thanxz:r
        Torry Holt Dont play that

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: HornItís Rams vs. Raiders review Ė The Revenge of Chris Johnson

          Another really top notch review horn-it, i've come to really look forward to reading your stuff.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: HornItís Rams vs. Raiders review Ė The Revenge of Chris Johnson

            Very nice review! I agree with you on Spoon-he is not playing well, I know he is not your typical MLB but I expect him to make plays or at least tackle.



            :seasux:

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: HornItís Rams vs. Raiders review Ė The Revenge of Chris Johnson

              Originally posted by BigGameMN View Post
              I'm sick of hearing things like "I know this looked bad, but....". Sometimes what you see is what you get. This is no knock against the OP, I understand what your saying. It's just the time for excuses is growing to a close and we better start to perform.
              Well, I understand that, but it is the pre-season and if you're analyzing what's happening you have to do so in that context.

              When the regular season starts, scoreboard is ultimately all that matters. In the pre-season, it's much different I think.

              Pre-season IS the time for excuses. What you see is rarely what you get there. The key is sifting through it to find what matters and what doesn't. That's what I'm trying to do, though I have no idea if I'm able to successfuly do it or not.

              Comment

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              • HornIt
                HornIt's thoughts on Rams vs. Chargers
                by HornIt
                Overall it was a bit disappointing. Not because they weren't opening up the offense or because the coverage units on special teams were shaky though. For me, the disappointment primarily lies in two places so far. Drive killing turnovers on offense and a continued display of what I see as a flawed scheme defensively.

                On offense the first team continues to, in the words of Hank Stram, matriculate the ball down the field. The problem is that they keep committing crucial turnovers that prevent them from converting what are otherwise nice drives into points. I don't know if Hedgecock's knee was down or not, but that's the point. It was too close to call and just holding on to the ball eliminates the problem to begin with. And Bulger has got to make better decisions.

                Still, overall the O-line played well, the WR's played well, Leonard played well and the QB's played well. McMichael did a good job on Merriman, Klopfenstein did not do a good job on Phillips.

                On defense they continue to do the same kinds of things that hurt them last year against the run. They overload to the strong side too much and guess with their gap coverage from the back 7 too much. Rather than reading and reacting and filling the hole where the play is going, they shoot and fill gaps on a guess, and too often they are guessing wrong. This leaves them very vulnerable to weak side runs and cutbacks and it's killing them. And when you combine that with tackling poorly, as they did last night, you get the results we saw last night. I've been trying to remain open minded about this for a long time now, but I do not like this defensive scheme and I'm getting impatient because I'm getting tired of seeing them do the same thing and getting the same results. In contrast, I was watching SD's defensive back 7 last night, and they were all about reading and reacting and they were quick to recognize and get to the ball carrier rather than simply getting to a gap, though the Rams didn't give them a lot to defend last night when it came to the running game, which I'll talk a little more about later.

                With that said, who looked good and who didn't look so good?

                Who looked good:

                Frerotte - I have to start with him because I have to admit I do love to watch his arm and how he zings the ball around. He was on top of his game last night I thought, zipping the ball in there on the money and looking very calm and in control. That 34 yard laser to Bennett between defenders was something to behold. He looked like a high caliber starter out there Saturday night, and I think he could start for a lot of teams in the NFL. The Rams are very lucky to have a backup of his quality at QB.

                Leonard - He didn't have a high average per carry, but he was running hard and making the most of what he had. I know there have been a lot of complaints about how vanilla the Rams offense...
                -08-19-2007, 09:42 PM
              • Goldenfleece
                Thoughts on the Steelers Game
                by Goldenfleece
                Defense
                First off, Bartell got burned pretty badly on several occasions. Chavous was almost as bad in run support as he was in coverage, and Wade looked more like a track star than a corner (running with the receiver but not even attempting to find the ball). Chavous had 12 tackles, but it seems to me that was mostly because they were throwing to his man all night. On one play Wade straight up tackled the receiver before the ball ever got there, got flagged, and the receiver made the catch anyway! That's pitiful. The Steelers secondary made ours look even worse as they frequently got their hands in there to try to break up those passes. It was hard to believe we could give up that many plays on 2nd or 3rd and long. In the first quarter, the defense produced numerous plays for loss of yardage and then would give up a huge play on like 3rd and 18. The only good news in the secondary is that I'm not sure I saw them throw to Brown's side once all night.

                The pass rush on the other hand looked about as good as we've seen all year. Glover only got 2 sacks, but he got into the backfield a lot more than that. I was watching the defensive alignment throughout the game, and I have to admit Haslett throws a whole lot of different looks out there. Maybe I was seeing things, but I'm pretty sure I saw us line up in a quarter defense and then blitz defensive backs from both sides. I used to love doing that in Madden, but I sure didn't expect to see the Rams do it. It worked, though. We'd line up with 3 down linemen, 4 down linemen, 7 guys at the line of scrimmage...you name it. Of course, all that mad blitzing is part of the reason we gave up such ridiculous gains. Even when Big Ben was getting no time in the pocket, he could pick apart our secondary.

                As far as the linebackers go, Chillar had several really good plays early in the game, including a sack. I remember noticing another particularly good hit later in the game by Draft. Each of the 'backers had 5 tackles, but I have to think they're partly responsible for the runs we gave up to the outside. Yes, the safeties are blame for that, too, as Davenport broke way too many tackles. One play in particular stuck out in my mind where two Rams defenders hit him simultaneously at the line of scrimmage, and he broke past both of them for another good run.

                Offense
                Finally some good news. We moved the ball very well throughout most of the game. The offensive line held up surprisingly well against a supposedly intimidating Steelers defense. Jackson ran with authority throughout the first half and still picked up decent gains into the second. I would note, however, that whichever back was lining up in the shotgun at the end of the game was blocking horribly. Jackson was on the sideline at that point, and the guy was white, so it had to be Owens, Leonard, or possibly Klopfenstein. Whoever it was barely put a hand on the guys he was supposed to be blocking. I'm going...
                -12-21-2007, 08:16 AM
              • MFranke
                RamView, 8/24/2007: Raiders 20, Rams 10 (Long)
                by MFranke
                RamView, August 24, 2007
                From The Couch
                (Report and opinions on the game.)
                Preseason Game #3: Raiders 20, Rams 10

                The Rams' symbolic glass may be half-full. You'd rather have a bad game now than in September. Tonight, though, the Rams dropped the glass and broke it, poured the drink on the floor and set themselves on fire, laying a rotten egg in Oakland instead of getting in a groove for the regular season. This team is not ready to play the Dillon Panthers in September, let alone the Carolina Panthers. OK, that's the pessimist's take. The realist's take, though, is that this team has a LOT of work to do by September 9th, much more than expected.

                Position by position:
                * QB: Marc Bulger was recently named St. Louis' most eligible bachelor, but he'd probably like to divorce himself from tonight's ragingly inconsistent (8-21-109) performance. He started out great, getting time to throw and delivering his first pass near-perfectly to a diving Isaac Bruce for 39. Unfortunately, the opening drive and many others would bog down with Marc throwing the ball away under real or imagined pressure. Certainly, there were times where Oakland was legitimately harassing Marc, and/or had everything covered downfield, and it's good that Marc threw the ball away rather than forcing one up and getting it picked off. But there were just as many times where Marc threw it away without the Raiders really having closed in on him yet. And he made a lot of goofy back-foot throws without the pressure really being there to force such an awkward throw. Marc Bulger looked for all the world like a rattled QB tonight, and it's troubling to see the starting QB that uncomfortable in the pocket heading into the regular season. It sure looks like Marc could use some more field time. Yes, there were mitigating circumstances. He didn't have Steven Jackson to check down to, or Torry Holt to throw to at all. But you know what? There will be mitigating circumstances every game this regular season, too. For $60-plus million, Marc's got to show better composure than he did tonight. Gus Frerotte (10-18-108) could get a lot more comfortable in the pocket since the #2 line mostly had its way with the Raiders' #2's. Once again he was the only QB to lead the Rams to a QB. He's very smooth, and his reputation as the best backup QB in the league looks deserved to me. I missed Ryan Fitzpatrick's (3-5-27) best play, a 30-yard scramble in the 4th. Unfortunately that was also his worst play, as he fumbled out the back of the end zone. Oakland took over and held the ball the final 8:20.

                * RB: There wasnít much to learn about the Ram ground game tonight. They passed nearly three times as much as they ran. Steven Jackson was again in for one play and put back into mothballs the rest of the night. This practice is as inexplicable as batting the pitcher eighth. Just leave him on the bench! What is the point? The clear highlight...
                -08-25-2007, 01:26 PM
              • Mercclass
                Saturday Scrimage
                by Mercclass
                We got there a little before ten and the Rams were still working on some separate offensive and defensive drills. Me and my buddy kinda were just talkin through those until the actual scrimmage started (as were most of the people around us).

                I'm trying to go strictly from memory so I'll let you know some observations on select people that I watched and an overall sense of things.

                The officials showed up (actually right when we were walking into the practice facility) and had a flag for Dwight Anderson on one of his coverage plays waiting for him although he did a pretty good job in coverage today with the second unit.

                Tye Hill looked really good. His first play on the field with the #2's they through right at him. He had very tight coverage on McDonald but McDonald's last move to get the separation would have shook Deion himself and ended up being a completion. But other than that he had solid coverage on several other plays covering Dane Looker and even covering bigger TE's like Aaron Walker. One play in particular Tye was covering Aaron Walker on a fade in the endzone. Fitz through an almost perfect ball just a little long, Hill had perfect coverage, and Aaron just barely missed bringing in a tough catch. Hill hurt his shoulder on one play but returned and played great.

                Claude Wroten didn't play with the one's but looked great against the two's. He split the guard center on a bull rush on about his second or third snap and had what would of been a sack. On another play he put a beautiful spin move on the guard and got great pressure on the quarterback to get him to dump off to the back in the flat.

                Today was the Torry Holt show. During redzone drills he caught I believe three straight touchdown passes. Poor Fakhir was his victim each time I believe. It was funny because after every touchdown he would throw the ball into the crowd (much to the equipment guy's chagrin) each time the equipment guys kept trying to get the people in the crowd to throw the ball back but this ain't Wrigley. Eventually the people were brow beat into throwing the balls back to a chorus of boo's. But from what I could tell they gave the balls back to the recipient's later. It was a lot of fun.

                Bulger looked sharp, Ferotte looked C-, Fitz looked excellent, and Ragone was woeful! Ragone finally got into a little bit of a rythm during the last series but I think it was too little too late.

                Steven Jackson was ineffective. The defense had the run bottled up pretty good even on the edges with the one's. Some people were complaining about him not hitting the whole. I think he's trying to work on his patience like Marshall had (at least I hope so).

                Kevin Curtis is a stud! He had some good catches as much as Linehan is trying to implement more running and more TE's I think the bread and butter of this offense is still going to be the wideouts.

                I didn't...
                -08-05-2006, 12:36 PM
              • rammiser
                Monday morning hangover...long
                by rammiser
                Going from the high of a new to season to the absolute let down by my Rams has left me feeling woozy. I had hope and dreams of an improved football team that would play hard for four quarters. I saw some flashes as I did last year. Then again we only decided to play 2 quarters again.

                The walking penalty box that is Incognito has got to go. He isnt all that great in the first place and constantly costs us 15 yds when he feels the need to punch guys in the chest or hit guys late. He's a mess and embarassing if you ask me. He was cheap shotting guys the whole game but was only caught twice. It's hard not to like him for his fire,i do like him. Unfortunately he isnt talented enough and neither is this team to keep putting up with his stupid mistakes.

                We shelled out tons of cash for Bartell, yet Wade looked like the best corner on the field yesterday. Bartell was getting beaten on everything thrown his way. I thought for sure hed get a pi call against him on a fade route but he managed to flail his arms up just at the right time to hit the ball. If Bulger takes all the flak for being paid huge jack and not performing than Bartell should be getting killed today.

                Atogwe is just flat out awesome. He is a bigtime playmaker and needs to be locked down with a huge contract. Nice job by the front office to wait so long to pay the guy that he may be a top 2 safety by the time they decide to pay him instead of a relatively good but unknown player around the NFL. Butler was a great aquisition and has raised the level of play of Atogwe. Now OJ isnt by himself back there anymore.

                Finally we have a middle linebacker. Laurinitis is going to be really good. Heck he was really good yesterday. He made some mistakes but hes a rookie and was always around the ball. He absolutely did not look like a rookie. Witherspoon on the other hand seems to vanish into thin air during games anymore. I remember when we used to hear his name mentioned four or five times for big plays in games. Now I only hear his name for missing tackles and gettig hurt. Vabora had a decent game, seeing how he was a 7th round pick and is playing some half way decent football is a tribute to him as a hard worker. It is fair to say however that we may need two olb's after this year.

                Our d-line is dreadful. The Seachickens had two starters out on the o-line and i'm not sure we knocked Hasselcrack over once. When we blitz it get picked up easily. Not too mention that he would take a three step drop and have 3 wide open wr's to throw to. We got no pressure and were getting gashed for four or five yds almost everytime a guy would run the ball. They did do a nice job on the goal line untill play action and of course wide open in the back of the endzone was Jay Novacek err i mean Carlson. Chris Long hustles but most of his plays are made five yds down field, I want to see him making some behind the line of...
                -09-14-2009, 08:18 AM
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