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  • Rams put one in victory column

    Rams put one in victory column
    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Saturday, Aug. 28 2004

    For a week, at least, Rams Nation can exhale.

    On Friday at Edward Jones Dome, the pass-blocking was much improved against
    Washington. So was the defense. And despite some erratic throws by Marc Bulger
    - so erratic that he drew a smattering of boos from the home crowd - he left
    with a 98.6 passer rating after tossing a touchdown pass to Torry Holt.

    Exhibition or not, it added up to a much-improved performance by the Rams after
    Monday night's debacle in Kansas City, and a much-needed 28-3 victory over the
    Redskins by the previously winless Rams.

    "This is the team that we see every day in practice," coach Mike Martz said. "I
    know there's a lot of panic and everything - but this is the team that we see
    every day."

    Perhaps it was in homage to Don Coryell, the offensive legend whom Martz
    studied and idealized as a player and young coach in California. Coryell was
    honored before the game, and in "Air" Coryell style, the Rams aired it out
    Friday against the Redskins, throwing 22 times in the first half.

    "I wanted to get some receivers involved, and I wanted to get Marc going a
    little bit," Martz said. "He missed a couple throws early in the game, and then
    settled down and had a real nice drive."

    Bulger completed six of 12 passes for 78 yards before giving way to Chris
    Chandler midway through the second quarter. Chandler, in his best outing of the
    exhibition season, completed nine of 15 attempts for 190 yards. His passer
    rating was identical to Bulger's (98.6).

    Many of those passes were deep shots - and none deeper than the 58-yard
    completion from Chandler to Holt late in the second quarter. Holt beat Fred
    Smoot on the post pattern, getting dragged down at the 1. Chandler, 38, scored
    on a quarterback sneak on the next play, giving the Rams a 14-3 lead with 3
    minutes 47 seconds to play in the first half.

    "Torry ran a great route," Chandler said. "The safety held on the inside
    (leaving the middle open), and Torry just outran everybody."

    Chandler also completed a 35-yard touchdown pass to Shaun McDonald late in the
    third quarter.

    "He showed why he's been in the league so long and why he's stuck around,"
    McDonald said. "He still has it after all these years."

    Things started out slowly for the Rams, on both sides of the ball. Washington
    took the opening kickoff and marched 62 yards for a field goal. At this point
    in the proceedings the Rams had been outscored 30-10 in the first half this
    preseason. It would have been 34-10, but Washington quarterback Patrick Ramsey
    overthrew a wide-open James Thrash in the end zone one play before the field
    goal.

    Meanwhile, the Rams' offense continued to sputter. Marshall Faulk, playing only
    the first two series, carried four times for 11 yards, with a long carry of
    four yards. Bulger misfired on six of his first nine passes, often missing open
    receivers.

    "I threw a couple where I didn't have a clear enough throwing lane," Bulger
    said. "But they were clear enough for the NFL, and I should have hit them. I
    think it was two or three in a row on the one series. ... Hopefully, during the
    season, I won't have those. But at the same time, I'm not going to worry about
    a couple misses here and there."

    St. Louis finally got on the board in the second quarter on a 74-yard scoring
    drive. Bulger completed a clutch third-and-15 pass to Dane Looker, who got
    clobbered on the play but held on for a 19-yard gain. An 18-yard completion
    from Bulger to Holt got the Rams in the red zone. And three plays later, they
    were in the end zone on a 7-yard pass to Holt. It was the first touchdown in
    the exhibition season by the Rams' first-team offense.

    Holt played the entire first half and finished with seven catches for 143
    yards. The Rams also added a Steven Jackson TD, on a 5-yard run, in the third
    quarter. Jackson finished with 125 yards rushing on 25 carries and drew a big
    ovation from the remaining fans when he left the field for good late in the
    fourth quarter.

    "I would've appreciated it a lot more if I wasn't so tired," Jackson joked.

    The defense also got stronger as the first half progressed. Following that
    first-quarter field goal, the Rams' defense posted four "3-and-outs" and came
    up with a turnover on Washington's next four possessions of the half.

    "Our defense in the first half, that's the type of Rams defense that we want to
    play," defensive lineman Tyoka Jackson said. "We flew to the ball. Our
    linebackers were hitting their gaps. When we hit our gaps like that with our
    linebackers, it's impressive to watch because we're going to swarm to the
    ball."

  • #2
    Re: Rams put one in victory column

    It was nice to see that there were gaps for the LB's to hit. Someone up front must have been taking on/holding up some blockers. NICE !!!

    All in all, something to build from come game 1

    Maineram :ramlogo:

    Comment

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    • RamWraith
      Holt, Rams Bust Out in 28-3 Win
      by RamWraith
      By Nick Wagoner
      Staff Writer

      Apparently, Torry Holt didn’t get the memo.

      For the receiver known as “Big Game,” Holt treated the Rams’ third preseason game as if the Lombardi Trophy was on the line. Scratch that, he treated the first half, the second quarter in particular, as though a championship was on the line. Holt, who really doesn’t know any speed except full, lit up the Redskins to the tune of 143 yards on seven catches and a touchdown. Holt called it a night after the first half.

      The Rams routed Washington 28-3 on Friday night at the Edward Jones Dome with a performance that almost certainly made Don Coryell, who attended, proud. St. Louis improved to 1-2 in the preseason with one game to play. Washington dropped to 2-2.

      Holt’s play sparked a struggling offense to a 14-3 lead at the half that the Rams would not relinquish. Rams’ coach Mike Martz said Holt wasn’t supposed to be as big a part of the offense as he was, but a jammed right index finger to Isaac Bruce made Holt the top target.

      “We didn’t necessarily want to give him the ball that much,” Martz said. “We wanted to get Torry the ball deep. Torry was outstanding.”

      The starting offensive unit had made it a goal to get in the endzone against Washington after failing to in the first pair of preseason games. When the clock started running in the second half, the Rams’ offense joined it. With 9:09 left in the second quarter, it accomplished its goal. Bulger hit Holt for a 7-yard touchdown pass on an impressive 74-yard drive that lasted just over five and a half minutes.

      Holt, who is known around Rams Park for his singing prowess, showed his dance moves after the touchdown. Unfortunately, Holt spun the ball on the ground in the face of beaten Washington defender Shawn Springs, and was flagged for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

      That penalty was one of the few negatives on a night full of bright spots. Key plays on the drive included rookie running back Steven Jackson’s 18-yard gain off left tackle on the drive’s second play. A 19-yard catch by Dane Looker on third-and-15 and an 18-yard strike to Holt set up the touchdown.

      Bulger called it a night after his touchdown pass, finishing six-of-12 for 78 yards. Running back Marshall Faulk ended his night a possession earlier with 11 yards on four carries.

      Martz said Bulger would continue to get better as he takes more snaps.

      “Some of those routes you just have to throw blind,” Martz said. “You can’t see them, they just disappear. He just needs to play.”

      St. Louis’ defense held the Redskins to a three and out on the next possession and Chandler entered the game. Chandler wasted no time finding Holt, hitting him for a 14-yard gain on the second play. That drive stalled and it appeared momentum might swing Washington’s way as Patrick Ramsey hit Taylor Jacobs for...
      -08-29-2004, 08:43 AM
    • Nick
      Rams Recap: What a difference four days make
      by Nick
      Rams Recap: What a difference four days make
      BY JEFF GORDON
      Post-Dispatch Online Sports Columnist
      Friday, Aug. 27 2004

      Geez, what a difference four days make.

      The Rams relocated their urgency Friday night. Coach Mike Martz stormed up and
      down the sidelines, ripping off his headset, dogging officials, riding the
      game's emotional ebb and flow.

      His players answered his call for more inspired play. The Rams looked nothing
      like the disorganized, disinterested team that rolled over in a 24-7 loss four
      days ago in Kansas City.

      They got decent blocking from their makeshift offensive line and sturdy effort
      from their starting front seven. The result: A thorough 28-3 preseason victory
      over the Washington Redskins at the Edward Jones Dome.

      Admittedly, the Redskins played an absolutely horrendous football game. But
      that's their problem. The citizens of Rams Nation wanted to see their team step
      forward -- and it did.

      Quarterback Marc Bulger threw some strangely off-target passes while playing
      his 1 ½ quarters, but he marched the team, avoided turnovers and left the game
      with a 7-3 lead. His 98.6 quarterback rating told the story of his game.

      Back-up Chris Chandler took it from there and threw the ball around The Ed with
      great confidence and accuracy, completing nine of 15 passes for 190 yards. Dare
      we say he throws the long ball better than Bulger?

      Nah. But he did put on quite a display while proving he has a few miles left in
      his 900-year-old body.

      Rookie running back Steven Jackson put on a show as well, gaining 125 yards on
      25 carries and breaking many big runs with his unique combination of power and
      speed. Why, again, did he drop so low in the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft?

      All-Pro receiver Torry Holt reminded us that he is still Torry Holt, catching
      seven passes for 143 yards and a touchdown.


      THE GOOD

      * With Don Coryell in the house, Martz put a few sprinkles on his vanilla
      preseason offense. We liked the end-around pitch to receiver Isaac Bruce, who
      attempted to hit Holt downfield with a bomb. Alas, his long throw came up just
      a bit short.


      * Defensive end Bryce Fisher disrupted Rock Cartwright's second-and-10 sweep,
      then linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa tackled Cartwright for a two-yard loss. That
      led to the first Redskins punt of the game.


      * Jackson's second carry of the game went for 18 yards off left tackle; the
      big kid showed his explosiveness while getting into the Redskins secondary.


      * Receiver Dane Looker absorbed massive punishment after going up to get a
      19-yard pass from Bulger – but he...
      -08-27-2004, 11:39 PM
    • RamWraith
      Gordo-Good, Bad and Ugly
      by RamWraith
      BY JEFF GORDON
      Post-Dispatch Online Sports Columnist
      Friday, Aug. 27 2004

      Geez, what a difference four days make.

      The Rams relocated their urgency Friday night. Coach Mike Martz stormed up and
      down the sidelines, ripping off his headset, dogging officials, riding the
      game's emotional ebb and flow.

      His players answered his call for more inspired play. The Rams looked nothing
      like the disorganized, disinterested team that rolled over in a 24-7 loss four
      days ago in Kansas City.

      They got decent blocking from their makeshift offensive line and sturdy effort
      from their starting front seven. The result: A thorough 28-3 preseason victory
      over the Washington Redskins at the Edward Jones Dome.

      Admittedly, the Redskins played an absolutely horrendous football game. But
      that's their problem. The citizens of Rams Nation wanted to see their team step
      forward -- and it did.

      Quarterback Marc Bulger threw some strangely off-target passes while playing
      his 1 ½ quarters, but he marched the team, avoided turnovers and left the game
      with a 7-3 lead. His 98.6 quarterback rating told the story of his game.

      Back-up Chris Chandler took it from there and threw the ball around The Ed with
      great confidence and accuracy, completing nine of 15 passes for 190 yards. Dare
      we say he throws the long ball better than Bulger?

      Nah. But he did put on quite a display while proving he has a few miles left in
      his 900-year-old body.

      Rookie running back Steven Jackson put on a show as well, gaining 125 yards on
      25 carries and breaking many big runs with his unique combination of power and
      speed. Why, again, did he drop so low in the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft?

      All-Pro receiver Torry Holt reminded us that he is still Torry Holt, catching
      seven passes for 143 yards and a touchdown.


      THE GOOD

      * With Don Coryell in the house, Martz put a few sprinkles on his vanilla
      preseason offense. We liked the end-around pitch to receiver Isaac Bruce, who
      attempted to hit Holt downfield with a bomb. Alas, his long throw came up just
      a bit short.


      * Defensive end Bryce Fisher disrupted Rock Cartwright's second-and-10 sweep,
      then linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa tackled Cartwright for a two-yard loss. That
      led to the first Redskins punt of the game.


      * Jackson's second carry of the game went for 18 yards off left tackle; the
      big kid showed his explosiveness while getting into the Redskins secondary.


      * Receiver Dane Looker absorbed massive punishment after going up to get a
      19-yard pass from Bulger – but he hung onto the ball. Nice.


      *...
      -08-28-2004, 06:52 AM
    • Nick
      Rams' bullpen does the job
      by Nick
      Rams' bullpen does the job
      By Jim Thomas
      Of the Post-Dispatch
      Sunday, Dec. 05 2004

      Chris Chandler has seen Marc Bulger go down - and go down hard - on more than
      one occasion this season. But this time, Bulger was slumped over, holding his
      shoulder.

      "And then he started running off the field, waving," Chandler said.

      Waving for Chandler to take over. Like clockwork, you can count on Chandler at
      quarterback for the Rams once every 10 years. He played in 10 games for the Los
      Angeles Rams in 1994. On Sunday he made his St. Louis Rams debut at quarterback
      when Bulger went down with a sprained right shoulder late in the first quarter.

      The Rams got just enough passing from Chandler, with plenty of runs sprinkled
      in from rookie Steven Jackson, to sweep the season series from rival San
      Francisco with a grinding 16-6 victory at the Edward Jones Dome.

      There weren't many points, or style points, for that matter. The offensive
      showing was a far cry from the "Greatest Show on Turf." Sunday's point total
      was the lowest for the Rams in a victory since a 15-14 bloodletting over the
      New York Giants in 2001.

      Nonetheless, a victory it was, something the Rams had accomplished only once
      since mid- October.

      "There's winning and there's death," defensive lineman Tyoka Jackson said. "And
      we won today. So come check with me next week."

      The Rams have been doing a lot of "dying" lately, losing four of their previous
      five games. But Sunday's victory evened their season record at 6-6, gave them a
      5-0 mark in the NFC West and kept their sagging division and playoff hopes
      alive.

      "We needed it," safety Adam Archuleta said. "We needed a win. We needed the
      defense to play well. We needed a confidence booster back there.

      "We've got to get some momentum. We've got four more games. We're still there.
      The season is far from over."

      Chandler threw for 216 yards and a touchdown. Jackson, replacing the injured
      Marshall Faulk, rushed for 119 yards. Wide receiver Torry Holt had a
      season-high 10 receptions for a season-high 160 yards.

      Holt scored the only touchdown of the game on a 22-yard reception from Chandler
      with 9 minutes 29 seconds to play in the first half. Just two plays earlier,
      Holt hauled in a grossly underthrown Chandler lob for 40 yards.

      "On that deep ball, Torry's so fast," Chandler said. "You have to release it
      and throw it far, early. When I was getting ready to throw it, he was only 15,
      18 yards down field."

      So Chandler kind of hesitated on his follow-through....
      -12-05-2004, 11:34 PM
    • RamWraith
      Rams win with something old, something new
      by RamWraith
      BY JEFF GORDON
      Post-Dispatch Online Sports Columnist
      12/05/2004

      The Rams got younger on offense when rookie running back Steven Jackson filled in for the hobbled Marshall Faulk on Sunday.

      And then they got older when grizzled Chris Chandler relieved quarterback Marc Bulger -- who suffered a separated right shoulder while absorbing a second-quarter sack

      The results were mixed, but the Rams were able to outlast the horrendous San Francisco ***** 16-6 in a mistake-filled mess at The Ed.

      Jackson’s powerful running (26 carries, 119 yards) allowed the Rams, now 6-6, to defeat their no-longer-formidable rivals. Jackson ran hard between the tackles and also accelerated impressively to get outside and up the field.

      Chandler, 36, threw a touchdown pass to Torry Holt -- but also threw one interception, lost a fumble and nearly had two other passes picked off.

      At times, Chandler operated effectively in the offense . . . and at times he looked like a rusty veteran many years past his athletic prime.

      He didn’t have much more luck in scoring territory than Bulger did, so Jeff Wilkins had to kick three field goals -- two from 52 yards out -- to make certain the Rams won this game.

      Defensively, the Rams punished the battered ***** (now 1-11!) with a variety of blitzes and stunts that prevented them from mounting a consistent passing or rushing attack.


      THE GOOD


      * Rams defensive spokesman Tyoka Jackson dumped quarterback Tim Rattay for the game’s first sack on the game’s third play.


      * Steven Jackson got the Rams offense rolling in the right direction by gaining 32 yards on his first five carries.


      * Bulger used his feet to get out of trouble on a third-and-two play, then earned the first down with a nine-yard scramble. That led to a 29-yard Wilkins field goal and an immediate 3-0 lead.


      * Linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa swatted a Rattay pass on a critical third-down play later in the first quarter, forcing the Niners to settle for a game-tying field goal.


      * Jackson proved nimble in the open field as well, scampering 21 yards with a second-quarter swing pass from Chandler.


      * Torry Holt adjusted to a badly underthrown Chandler bomb on the next play, coming back to get a 40-yard completion. Two plays later, Chandler threw a perfect TD strike to Holt to push the Rams' lead to 10-3.


      * Tinoisamoa and Leonard Little poured in to disrupt another Niners third-down passing play and force San Francisco to kick the ball away again.


      * Say, was that linebacker Tommy Polley in the ***** backfield, dumping running back Terry Jackson for an eight-yard loss? That forced the Niners to kick the ball away again.


      * Isaac Bruce prevented...
      -12-05-2004, 05:16 PM
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