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Rams Recap: Nightmarish game for Bulger, makeshift line

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  • Rams Recap: Nightmarish game for Bulger, makeshift line

    Rams Recap: Nightmarish game for Bulger, makeshift line

    BY JEFF GORDON
    Post-Dispatch Online Sports Columnist
    08/23/2004

    Online Columnist Jeff Gordon

    When a team hasn't won a Super Bowl in a while, it has to chase whatever trophy is out there.

    So the Kansas City Chiefs went hard after the Governor's Cup -- again -- on Monday night at Arrowhead Stadium. The result was a one-sided 24-7 preseason victory.

    This was the Gunther Cunningham Show. Back in the saddle as Chiefs defensive coordinator, Cunningham threw the (play) book at the Rams and made them look foolish.

    The Rams couldn't run or pass the ball in Kansas City. Their makeshift offensive line buckled in the face of constant pressure.

    Quarterback Marc Bulger had a nightmarish game. He suffered sacks, threw an interception the Chiefs returned for a touchdown, fumbled the ball and missed a variety of throws he normally makes.

    Before the last of the first-teamers got off the field, the Rams trailed 24-0. Twenty-four to nothing!

    Adding injury to insult, the Rams lost starting cornerback Travis Fisher to a broken arm. Ouch.

    All in all, not a whole lot of positives came from this crummy exhibition of football.

    Here's our Rams Recap:


    THE GOOD


    * It was great to see running back Marshall Faulk back on the field running and catching the football. It's too bad he didn't get any blocks during his brief playing stint.


    * The Chiefs tried to pick on cornerback Kevin Garrett with a deep ball early in the second quarter, but he maintained blanket coverage. Later in the quarter, they tried to go over the top of him for a touchdown -- but failed.


    * Say, the Rams actually got a sack! Defensive end Leonard Little took down back-up quarterback Todd Collins late in the second quarter. That led to the Chiefs settling for a field goal after reaching the red zone.


    * Running back Arlen Harris helped in the first-half damage control, recovering a Bulger fumble with 38 seconds left in the second quarter.


    * Fighting for a job, second-year receiver Kevin Curtis made a nifty adjustment on a Chris Chandler throw and caught a 23-yard pass. Then he ran a nice slant pattern to catch a 14-yard pass. He continued catching passes in garbage time.


    * Rookie running back Steven Jackson finally got the Rams into the end zone, running in on a nice misdirection play. He continued pounding out decent yardage into garbage time, showing much-desired toughness on inside runs.


    * Also in garbage time, Rams defensive linemen Tyoka Jackson, Anthony Hargrove and Brian Howard poured in and hassled Collins.


    * Rookie Jeff Smoker got to throw the ball around the field in the fourth quarter, showing a bit of his long-range promise.


    THE BAD


    * The Rams' makeshift offensive line didn't protect Bulger or create running room for Faulk on the team's first offensive series. Yes, that was Faulk voicing his concern to his teammates and coaches on the sideline.


    * The constant Chiefs blitzing disrupted the Rams on their second possession, too. Left tackle Grant Williams was flagged for holding at the end of this tough sequence; the Rams were so hapless that the Chiefs didn't even need to take the penalty.


    * Safety Jason Shivers was called for an illegal block penalty, negating the big gain on a razzle-dazzle punt return in the first quarter.


    * Bulger almost ook a safety at the end of the first quarter; while Eric Hicks was tossing him into the end zone, Bulger managed to wing a "pass" that somehow went to fullback Chris Massey.


    * After taking a delay-of-game penalty in the first quarter, the Rams were about to get another one when Williams drew a false-start flag instead.


    * With the offensive line faltering, Bulger wasn't able to establish a passing rhythm with his wideouts. What a mess . . .


    * Defensive end Kevin Aldridge negated a Tyoka Jackson sack by making an inadvertent helmet-to-helmet hit on Collins a split second later, drawing a 15-yard penalty. It was that kind of night for the Rams.


    * Do the Rams really want Arlen Harris blocking massive defensive ends one-on-one in pass protection schemes?


    THE UGLY


    * The Chiefs strafed the first-team Rams defense the first chance they got Monday night.

    Cornerback Jerametrius Butler almost got an interception and Little almost got a sack. Otherwise, the Rams didn't come close to making a play in that sequence and the Chiefs took a quick 7-0 lead.


    * Kansas City pushed that lead to 14-0 in the second quarter as its dominant offensive line mauled the Rams front seven for many big gains on the ground. This time it was Derrick Blaylock doing the running, not Priest Holmes.


    * Former Ram Trent Green picked his old friends apart, completing 10 of 12 passes and moving his team to two touchdowns in three possessions.


    * On the Chiefs' 12th blitz of the game, the harried Bulger connected with linebacker Shawn Barber for a touchdown pass, er, interception. That put the Rams in a 24-0 hole late in the first half.

    __________________________________________________________
    Keeping the Rams Nation Talking

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  • RamDez
    KC keeps Governor's Cup with rout of Rams
    by RamDez
    KC keeps Governor's Cup with rout of Rams
    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Tuesday, Aug. 24 2004

    KANSAS CITY - Quarterback Marc Bulger looked skittish and out of sync in the
    pocket. The Rams' defense forgot to pack its pass rush; it remained in storage
    Monday somewhere at Rams Park.

    Even with Kansas City's second-team offensive line in the game, the Chiefs
    played road-grader on the Rams' defensive front seven. If that weren't enough,
    starting cornerback Travis Fisher appears to be out for the season with a
    fractured right forearm he suffered in the first quarter.

    Other than that, things went absolutely peachy for the Rams in a 24-7 loss to
    Kansas City in the Governor's Cup game at Arrowhead Stadium. Sure it was the
    preseason. But based on what took place in the first half - when the regulars
    for both teams were on the field - the Rams should be charged with two losses.
    It was that bad.

    "The bottom line is we didn't do our job tonight," Bulger said. "I didn't do my
    job and I'm not going to make any excuses. Preseason or not, to lose like that.
    ... I guess it was a little embarrassing."

    Well, more than a little.

    "All I can think about is how bad a performance we had, especially our first
    defense and the guys who play early," defensive captain Tyoka Jackson said.
    "That's not good enough. It's simply not good enough."

    The Chiefs went 76 yards on their first possession for a touchdown. They
    marched 55 yards on their third possession for another TD. By the time the Rams
    even crossed midfield, Kansas City had a 17-0 lead.

    And even that venture in Chiefs territory turned out sour. Because on a
    second-and-10 play from the Chiefs 40, a Bulger pass intended for Arlen Harris
    against a blitzing KC defense was intercepted by linebacker Shawn Barber.
    Barber returned the ball 60 yards for a TD, giving the Chiefs a 24-0 lead with
    1 minute 8 seconds to play in the first half.

    Outgained 200 yards to 68 in the first half, the Rams would have boarded a
    plane and returned to St. Louis right then if allowed. Unfortunately for the
    Rams, that wasn't an option.

    "I did a very poor job getting this football team ready to play," coach Mike
    Martz said. "This is my fault as a head coach. We came out here and flopped
    around and acted like we didn't know where we were.

    "And that's a coaching issue. Always is. Always will be. You can blame the
    players, but that's my responsibility. That won't happen again. We'll make sure
    these guys are ready to play."

    Even when things appeared to go right, they went bad for Rams, now 0-2 this
    preseason and losers of...
    -08-24-2004, 02:15 AM
  • Nick
    Offense sputters again as Rams lose Governor's Cup
    by Nick
    Offense sputters again as Rams lose Governor's Cup
    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Saturday, Aug. 26 2006

    KANSAS CITY With just Miami left to go Thursday before the "real" games start, the Rams' No. 1 offense remains 0 for the preseason. As as hard as it seems to believe, the Rams have had 11 series with Marc Bulger at quarterback, including six Saturday night in Kansas City. . . .

    And still no touchdowns.

    The Rams managed only a field goal with the first unit on the field in the almost annual Governor's Cup game against the Chiefs. Granted, the Rams played Saturday minus Pro Bowl wide receivers Torry Holt (bruised sternum) and Isaac Bruce (tight hamstring). But they won two games last season without Bruce and Holt, and with Jamie Martin at quarterback.

    And they couldn't get their running game going again, with Steven Jackson managing just 22 yards on 10 carries against the usually pliant Kansas City defense.

    The best drive for Bulger and the starters Saturday at Arrowhead was the first. St. Louis moved 40 yards in 11 plays, including a gutsy call by coach Scott Linehan on fourth and 1 at the 50. Bulger fooled the Chiefs with a play fake and threw 28 yards to tight end Aaron Walker over the middle.

    But the drive stalled in large part to a 15-yard penalty for unnecessary roughness against guard Richie Incognito. St. Louis had to settle for a 48-yard field goal by Jeff Wilkins, who was making his preseason debut.

    It was not the last time Incognito's name would be called Saturday, and usually when an offensive lineman's name is called, it's not a good thing.

    Bulger threw his first interception of the preseason, on an overthrown ball that bounced off the outstretched hand of Kevin Curtis and was intercepted by Kansas City safety Bernard Pollard late in the second quarter.

    Still later in the quarter, Bulger lost a fumble on a sack by defensive end Tamba Hali, who got around left tackle Todd Steussie on the play. Although Orlando Pace started after sitting out the Houston game last week with a sore hip, knee, and ankle, Steussie replaced him before the half was out Saturday.

    The Chiefs recovered the fumble on the St. Louis 37 and added a 50-yard field goal by Lawrence Tynes -- his third successful field goal of the half -- for a 16-3 halftime lead.

    Bulger and the starters returned for the start of the third quarter, but promptly went 3-and-out. But on the ensuing punt, Oshiomogho Atogwe stripped the ball from Chiefs return man Nate Curry. The Rams recovered on the Chiefs' 22, and Linehan sent Bulger and the starters out one more time.

    After two carries by Tony Fisher netted seven yards, it looked as if the Rams had finally struck paydirt. On third and 3 from the KC 15, Bulger found a wide-open Curtis in the end zone for a touchdown. ...
    -08-26-2006, 10:59 PM
  • Nick
    Rams Come Up Short Against Chiefs
    by Nick
    Rams Come Up Short Against Chiefs
    Saturday, August 26, 2006

    By Nick Wagoner
    Senior Writer

    KANSAS CITY - The Rams' first-team offense and defense struggled at times Saturday night at Arrowhead Stadium. The offensive reserves put up a spirited comeback, but fell short again in the team's 16-12 loss to the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on Saturday night.

    The Rams fall to 1-2 in the preseason and Kansas City improves to 1-2. The Chiefs also reclaimed the Governor's Cup after a one-year absence.

    Quarterback Marc Bulger said earlier in the week that the Rams simply wanted to leave the game healthy. Of course, they also would have liked to break through and get at least one touchdown somewhere along the way.

    That didn't come to fruition as the Rams' starters played the entire first half and part of the third quarter and came up with just a Jeff Wilkins' 48-yard field goal on four first-half possessions.

    The first-team failed to convert a golden opportunity early in the third quarter. Many assumed the starters would play just the first half before calling it a night. But after failing to do much of anything in the opening half, the starters got two more chances in the third quarter. With all of the starters except running back Steven Jackson and left tackle Orlando Pace in the game and Kansas City's backup defense, the Rams' special teams created an excellent scoring chance.

    After a three-and-out on the first attempt, the Rams were given their best chance at a touchdown in the preseason when safety Oshiomogho Atogwe stripped receiver Nate Curry on a punt return and recovered at Kansas City's 22.

    It appeared the Rams finally broke through on third-and-3 at Kansas City's 15 when Bulger hit receiver Kevin Curtis in the end zone. It was called back, however, when left guard Richie Incognito was given his second 15-yard penalty of the game, this time for an illegal chop block.

    Bulger was sacked on the next play for a loss of 9 and the Rams were forced to punt once again. Despite the absence of star receivers Torry Holt (bruised sternum) and Isaac Bruce, whom the team was just taking precautions with, the offense failed to get into any kind of rhythm.

    The Rams' first offense posted 100 yards of total offense in its time Saturday night. Bulger was seven-of-11 for 78 yards with no touchdowns and an interception. Running back Steven Jackson ended his night at halftime with 22 yards on 10 carries.

    Kansas City opened the game by marching down the field on a methodical 14-play drive that featured nine carries for 37 yards and a touchdown by running back Larry Johnson. That score gave the Chiefs a 7-0 lead they would not relinquish.

    After Wilkins' field goal, Kansas City followed that with an impressive drive on its second possession that saw a pair of former Rams finding a...
    -08-26-2006, 11:02 PM
  • RamWraith
    Little goes right for Rams against Chiefs
    by RamWraith
    First-string offense still has not found its way into end zone
    News-Democrat
    KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The dress rehearsal was a glitch-filled disaster for the St. Louis Rams.

    Lawrence Tynes kicked three field goals in the second quarter as the Chiefs beat the Rams 16-12 Saturday in an NFL preseason game.

    The game was supposed to be the Rams' tune-up for their regular-season opener Sept. 10 against the Denver Broncos at the Edward Jones Dome.

    However, the Rams (1-2) showed that they still have a lot of things to iron out heading into their final preseason game against the Miami Dolphins at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Dolphins Stadium.

    The Rams' first-string offense has yet to produce a touchdown in the preseason. The offensive starters saw their most extensive playing time of the preseason against the Chiefs (1-2), logging six possessions that resulted in a field goal, three punts and two turnovers.

    "The negative plays tonight were our nemesis," Rams coach Scott Linehan said. "We had a couple of penalties that pushed us out of scoring drives, and then we gave the ball away.

    "I was happy with what our ones were doing in the preseason regardless.... We were doing a pretty good job of taking care of (the ball), and tonight we had a couple of turnovers. When you do that, you're not going to win."

    The Rams appeared to score a touchdown on a 15-yard pass from Bulger to Kevin Curtis early in the third quarter, but the play was wiped out by a 15-yard penalty on left guard Richie Incogntio for chop blocking.

    "I think we could have used those seven points coming out of the gate in the second half," Linehan said. "That's a lesson to be learned. I'm glad it's a preseason game."

    The Rams were playing without wide receivers Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce. Holt was unable to practice all week because of a bruised sternum, while Bruce is being rested for what Linehan called "camp legs."

    The Rams, wearing their white jerseys with their white pants for the first time since the preseason in 2001, moved the ball into Kansas City territory on their first possession.

    Linehan gambled on fourth-and-one at midfield, and it worked as Bulger completed a 28-yard pass to tight end Aaron Walker.

    However, the drive stalled after an unnecessary roughness penalty on Incognito.

    Kicker Jeff Wilkins, making his first appearance of the preseason, booted a 48-yard field goal.

    That was the lone highlight of the first half for the Rams, who had only 22 rushing yards and committed two turnovers in falling behind 16-3.

    The Chiefs, who have featured the No. 1 offense in the NFL the last two years, put together long scoring drives on their first two possessions.

    Running back Larry Johnson had nine carries...
    -08-27-2006, 09:02 AM
  • RamDez
    Chiefs take Governor's Cup from Rams
    by RamDez
    Chiefs take Governor's Cup from Rams
    By Doug Tucker
    Associated Press
    08/23/2004

    Kansas City Chiefs running back Priest Holmes (31) is chased down by linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa (50) during the first quarter.
    (Orlin Wagner/AP)

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- The NFL's highest-scoring offense is clicking. Pressure is sure to increase on Kansas City's woeful defense to get its act together, too.

    Trent Green hit 10 of 12 passes, and Priest Holmes averaged 5.2 yards on six carries Monday night as the first-team offense scored on two of its three possessions in a 24-7 exhibition victory over St. Louis.

    The offensive starters, who led the NFL in scoring each of the past two years, also scored on two of their three possessions against the New York Giants last week in their preseason opener.

    "I thought offensively we played very well," said Green, who was 10-for-12 for 94 yards. "It was good to see a good mix of run with the pass."

    Adding to a bad night for the Rams (0-2) was starting cornerback Travis Fisher's broken arm.

    Fisher, who tied for the team lead last year with four interceptions, was injured in the first half. He also tied for the NFL lead with 205 yards in interception returns in 2003.

    Holmes had 31 yards on six carries and scored on a 2-yard run for a 7-0 lead in the first quarter.

    On the Chiefs' third possession, Derrick Blaylock scored on a 1-yard dart around right tackle. Larry Johnson set up the TD with a 14-yard run after bumping into Green and nearly fumbling the handoff.

    The Chiefs' defense, which finished 29th in the league last year and has undergone a drastic scheme change under new coordinator Gunther Cunningham, shut out the Rams' regulars and even got involved in the scoring.

    "I'm very pleased for our defense," Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil said. "We've made some progress."

    With 1:07 left in the half, linebacker Shawn Barber stepped in front of Arlen Harris, intercepted Marc Bulger's pass and returned it 60 yards for the touchdown, putting the Chiefs (1-1) up 24-0.

    "I was in the right place at the right time," Barber said. "We were just trying to play the whole field and be very aggressive. Sometimes you can put the quarterback in an awkward position and he thinks things are open that aren't open."

    Bulger was 8-for-15 for 67 yards and got sacked three times behind the Rams' patchwork offensive line. Marshall Faulk, playing more than normal this early in the preseason, carried six times for 16 yards.

    Faulk's understudy, first-round draft pick Steven Jackson of Oregon State, scored on a 6-yard run with 7:29 left in the third quarter.

    Each team's defensive reserves dominated their offensive counterparts in a sloppily played second half.

    Morten...
    -08-24-2004, 02:13 AM
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