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Report Card = Rams @ 49'ers

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  • Report Card = Rams @ 49'ers

    Here is the way I saw it:

    QUARTERBACK - Bulger passed for nearly 300 yards, but he had a typical erratic day that we've seen all season. Bulger can seemingly put together two or three consecutive good throws, only to follow with a horrible mistake. Bulger worked to get the ball out quickly today, but he often reacted to pressure that was not there. On two of the sacks, he had at least five seconds to throw, and failed to find an open receiver, or to throw it away. He just looks very confused at this point. He just barely missed Avery on a deep seam route in the first quarter - the ball was slightly underthrown, but the rookie has to find a way to make that play. The main problem I saw in Bulger again this week is predetermining his throws before the snap. It's hard to pinpoint how big an issue this really is, but some great camera angles in this game often showed wideouts sitting open in the flat, particularly on some third downs. It seems either Bulger throws to the flat too quickly before the routes develop, or he is absolutely deadset on throwing deep to Avery, often into double or triple coverage. A very shaky day but Bulger, a day when he had enough time to be dangerous. It should be noted that he made a nifty move and put his head down on a run to get a first down. No doubt the guy is tough, but he is just too big a mental case right now to be a success.

    GRADE: D-

    RUNNING BACKS: Superb effort by this group today. It's really hard to complain when your backup running back and a guy off the street manage to rack up 200 yards of offense. Pittman ran hard and seemingly regained his burst. He picked his holes wisely and showed an ability to get through the second line of defense very quickly, a trait we haven't seen from him in the past. He failed to haul in a potential TD pass early, but he was well covered. Darby continues to show that he can be a definitive option as the third-down back on this team. He picked up one blitz nicely, and ran very hard. Ignore the big five yard loss as that was not on him. Most impressively though, he caught 8 passes out of the backfield and showed an ability to make the defender miss. This is something we do not have with Travis Minor. I didn't see anything of value out of Kreider today, and we definitely need to upgrade that position. Regardless, Pittman and Darby caused significant damage against a 49'ers defense that has not been generous to running backs the past two weeks.

    GRADE: A

    WIDE RECEIVERS: Donnie Avery showed the entire arsenal today, making some yardage out of some smoke routes, cataching a couple intermediate routes, and making an awesome catch down the sideline for a big gain. He needs to make the play on that seam route that Bulger throws in the first quarter. He needs to work on positioning his body better, but overall, Avery showed how big a weapon he can be today. He seemingly has great hands, something that was questioned when he was drafted in the 2nd round. Holt got open a few times today, but boy does he look slow when he gets the ball. I cannot see him as anything other than a glorified possession receiver at this point. It would not surprise me if he doesn't stick next year. Burton and Stanley had a couple balls thrown their way, as they look to get into the mix a little more. Burton nearly came down with a very tough ball near the goalline as he was smashed by two defenders. Stanley showed amazing burst on a smoke route thrown his way. Both players work extremely hard and are willing blockers. Looker caught a short TD, but I just don't think he fits in at this point. The young guys need to reps, as they need to learn the ins and outs of the system.

    GRADE: B-

    OFFENSIVE LINE: An OK day by this group. Incognito made two massive blocks that sprung both of Pittman's long gains. Cogs is an average pass blocker at best, but he is a major mauler when it comes to the run game, and he has been overlooked this year. Put an above average center next to him, and I think he can cause some real damage. It looks like Pace is done for the year. Goldberg did an admirable job filling in after he went down, but I doubt he is the long term solution. Bell seemed to have one of his better games, and didn't noticably get broken down. Barron continues to be an enigma. He can looked dominant on one series, and horrid on the next. Looks like we might finally get to see what Greco can do. It should be noted that Romberg filled in for Incognito and did a solid job. We seriously need to upgrade Leckey, he is just too big a liability in space.

    GRADE: C

    DEFENSIVE LINE: So-so day from this group. It is amazing the lack pressure we are able to generate. Long is still learning, but Little has not been a factor the past couple of weeks. It's likely his hamstring is still bothering him. Adeyanju was strong against the run, but he was the only one. Carriker was doing a solid job of clogging up two guys in the middle, but our linebackers failed to take advantage. Long whiffed on an attempt to stuff Gore for a loss, and he ultimately scored a touchdown. It's hard to really put a grade on this group, because we are having such a hard time stopping the run. The problem is, yet again, so many of Gore's big runs came to the outside. The D-line has been effective at forcing running to bounce it outside, yet the linebackers and DB's just cannot contain.

    GRADE: C-

    LINEBACKERS: Don't be fooled by the large number of tackles made by Witherspoon and Pisa. Many of these came far downfield after they had been pushed into the second tier by offensive lineman. Many, many times today we had Gore bottled up by the interior line, only to have him bounce outside for a big gainer. I just don't understand the struggles, as these guys just seem to constantly be out of position. They did not seem to have these types of breakdowns last year. No significant breakdowns in coverage, but we are never going to be effective against the run if we cannot seal off the edges or force guys to the sideline. Culberson was relatively ineffective again, and if I ever have to see him celebrate a tackle when we are down 35-6, I think I might kill myself. Vobora hung in there when called upon, but yet again, just another subpar effect from this group, and they are killing us when it comes to stopping the run.

    GRADE: D

    SECONDARY: As soon as Bartell went down, I knew this was going to be a long day for the secondary. Bartell is the only physical presence we have in the secondary, and with him out, coupled with little or no pressure on Hill, he was able to torch Brown and Craft repeatedly to the tune of a 142.0+ QB rating. Craft did show some skills as a blitzer, and he might prove a viable option as a dime back and a blitzer in the future, but he is not even close to suitable as a starting CB, which he essentially was for the majority of the game. Chavous played the run okay but got burned in coverage by V. Davis for a TD. Atogwe made an awesome strip on Gore early, and make some crucial tackles, including a stop to prevent a punt return for a TD. Jonathan Wade looked ok in coverage but completely lost my support by giving up in punt coverage at the end of the game. That is just unacceptable.

    GRADE: D-

    SPECIAL TEAMS: Brown was 3-4 but missed a crucial field goal in the first quarter than stole alot of our momentum. Jones had a superb day, despite the average of just over 41.0 yards a kick. He was playing with a shorter field today and put three puts inside the 20. Coverage units were ok although Rossum almost got free if not for Atogwe. Stills was very active.

    GRADE: B-

    COACHING: I just don't know what to say. I think Haslett is in a no win situation. He has alot of talent on this team, but the guys just do not beleive. Other teams around the league with less talent than us continue to win because the players are busting their tails. There are guys on this team that do care, but there are some that do not. I do not know what the answer is, but if a fiery guy like Haslett cannot get this team motivated, then who can? Saunders refuses to take advantage of the middle of the field and seems lost without a viable option at tight end. The defense in atrocious in all aspects, and they seemingly can do nothing right.

    GRADE: D+

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  • RamsInfiniti
    Analysis from Patriots Game
    by RamsInfiniti
    Here it goes:

    Quarterbacks - What an up and down game for Bulger. He started off hot, making a great deep pass to Avery, and several surgical type strikes to Holt and Burton, and another great throw on the 999 to Avery. However, as the pressure started going up, Marc's performance tailed off. He struggled with mechanics after he was hit a few times, and just couldn't get it going in the 4th quarter. It is clear he has little confidence in his offensive line. Regardless, no quarterback is going to have sustained success when continually put in 3rd and long situations. However, the offense is starting to show real signs of life, and Marc seems to be getting a little more comfortable in the offense, at least at times. He's making some big time throws, but he's also missing on some easy ones right now.
    GRADE: C+

    Running Backs - Nice performance by Pittman today, who showed he can be a capable backup. He ran for the hard yards early, then made some nice gashing runs when the defense backed off after the deep ball to Avery. He seemingly has soft hands, and caught the ball effortlessly out of the backfield. His blitz pickup abilities are average at best, but no worse than Jackson's. Where Pittman struggles is getting to the outside, however this may be rust. I like this guy as a means to take a few carries off S.J. to keep him fresh. Minor ran hard when called upon and made a great recovery on the onside kick. Darby got one carry that was called back due to penalty. Kreider looked OK.
    GRADE: B-

    Wide Receivers - Superb day from this group. Avery was a beast, catching the long touchdown pass and again getting excellent position and making the grab on the 999 route. He maturing quickly: Desean Jackson who, you say? Avery looks to be even a bigger playmaker the DJ in the passing game. Burton came up with a couple nice grabs, and I expect to see big things from him in the future. Where is Torry Holt? He made a couple grabs, but is just not making plays. He just seems like he cannot get separation, especially on grass. But how can he have fallen off so far from last year? Dante Hall showed up big time in the passing game in the 4th and seemed to be the only WR who was open. Great effort grabing the tipped ball. Interesting to see how Bennett fits in when he returns.
    GRADE: B+

    Offensive Line - Very subpar day from this group, and I do not even know where to start. Bell is very, very average, I just don't see where all the hype came from. Leckey is horrible at center, missing many blocks, including letting his man come free and untouched for an easy sack in the 3rd. Pace was okay outside, but Barron looked confused and slow for most of the day. Incognito didn't do much either, other than getting a critical false start penalty called at the end of the game. We need to see what we have in some of the young guys, and where the heck is Romberg?
    GRADE: D+

    Defensive Line...
    -10-27-2008, 08:29 AM
  • RamsInfiniti
    Notes and Analysis - Dolphins @ Rams ... 11/30/08
    by RamsInfiniti
    Here is my take, for what it's worth:

    QUARTERBACKS - Yes, Marc Bulger had one of the worst games of his career, statistically. It was a rough day all around for Marc, with his high point likely being a tackle he made after his INT. But I adamantly refuse to count out Bulger as a QB that can win alot of games for us. He made alot of bad throws today, and the reads on the first two INT's were even worse. The third INT was not as bad as it looked, as Stanley really didn't give the effort he should have to get that ball. Some critical dropped passes didn't help, as Pittman dropped two screen passes, one perfectly setup that could have resulted in a TD. Holt also dropped a critical pass that would have been a first down had he not been scared to get hit. How far the great have fallen. Bulger's primary problem seemed to be rushing his setup in the pocket today, and I cannot totally blame him for this. Yes, the O-Line showed up today, and they showed up for real. Bulger was not sacked, and his was barely hit all game. But one great game by the O-Line does not make a quarterback comfortable in the pocket. It was clear that Bulger was still looking to get hit, and he was not going through the reads and progressions like he should have. So many on this board, and many other boards, he said how Bulger cannot read a defense. Really? Is that how he garned a 65.0% completion rate and 90+ QB rating after his first five years in the league? He is a battered QB and he lacks confidence. I remember Warner throwing 3 TD and 11 INT in a season for us once, and what is he doing now? If Bulger can get this type of protection for a few weeks in a row, he should see some success again. Well, at least in theory. Fact is, this offensive system is outdated, and it just doesn't work with the personnel we have. We are shifting players everywhere, the receivers are asked to run complicated routes when they are struggling to run even simple ones. The tight end that is so valuable to Saunders scheme is non-existant at this point, and the QB does not feel he has time to throw. It's going to be a long road, but go ahead and keep throwing Bulger under the bus. Of course it's all his fault because he makes the big bucks, right? Simply a bad game from Bulger, but it's going to take awhile to get his confidence back. And we really need to work on this system, particularly in the red zone. Do you see the long developing routes that Saunders has these guys running inside the ten yard line? And enough with the comments about Bulger being an offensive coach killer. The Martz and Saunders offense just isn't effective today like it was in the GSOT days. Teams have figured it out, simple as that. It didn't work for Martz in Detroit and it's not working in San Francisco. Saunder milked it in K.C. but failed in Washington. It seems we might need to get back to the basics - look at the success we had when we were pounding the ball.

    Grade: D-

    RUNNING...
    -12-01-2008, 07:43 AM
  • RamsInfiniti
    Analysis versus Seahawks - Positives need be identified
    by RamsInfiniti
    Here is my take.

    QUARTERBACK: Bulger had yet another ordinary game. He was not pressured for the majority of the day, yet still looked very uncomfortable in the pocket. This is a good indicator that his confidence is gone. At this point I do not know if he will ever get it back. He consistently overthrew receivers on short and intermediate routes and underthrew them on deep routes, including one where Avery was wide open down the sideline. He did make one superb play, by moving around the pocket and hitting Looker in stride for the TD. The Bulger that played against Baltimore in the preseason would have had 300+ yards today. The receivers were frequently open and he missed them. Forget Trent Green watch, what is he going to do for our future? Barring injury, we need to stick with Bulger. GRADE: D

    RUNNING BACKS: Jackson showed good hands out of the backfield, and make some good spin moves on the hitch pass for the 50-yard gain, but he winded quickly and danced too frequently in the backfield. If we cannot rely on this bruiser to convert 3rd and 1 situations, we will never be successful. His style has become more Barry Sanders than anything, and he will never be productive in this mode. Regardless, the effort is there, he is running hard after contact, but if he hit the hole quicker, we'd see more 4 and 5 yard gains than 1 and 2 yard gains. Why is Travis Minor on this team? Where is Brian Leonard, as Kreider is terrible, giving up the only sack of the day on a fairly routine pickup. GRADE: C-

    RECEIVERS: Subpar day from this group. Holt dropped two passes, including one for a touchdown in the end zone. The defensive back never touched that ball, it was simply a drop. I do not know if Holt is failing to get separation or if Bulger doesn't have confidence that he has time to hit Holt on the seam, but there is no explosiveness from him. Looker was open a few times, but Bulger missed him, other than the TD. Dante Hall is not worth mentioning. Avery looked great in his first significant action, including a sick move to get open deep down the sideline, only to have it wasted by Bulger's INT. Why wasn't he on the field more considering he made a play everytime he touched it. GRADE: C-

    OFFENSIVE LINE: Solid day from this group. Replays show that there were holes available for Jackson to run through, he just didn't hit them quick enough. They struggled to get to the point of attack on the outside, resulting in some losses on sweep plays, plays that we shouldn't be running anyway. The O-Line gave up no sacks, and gave Bulger plenty of time to throw. He was not hit often. Only one false start, by guess who, is pretty impressive when playing in Seattle. GRADE: B-

    DEFENSIVE LINE: Adam Carriker was an absolute beast, racking up six tackles, including three for loss, and nearly reaching out to throw Hasselbeck for a sack on a play he was being held on. Ryan also had a huge tackle for a loss. Adeyanju...
    -09-22-2008, 11:17 AM
  • RamsInfiniti
    Rams Report Card v. Washington
    by RamsInfiniti
    Here's how I saw it:

    Quarterbacks - Bulger looks to be gaining confidence in the line, even if he shouldn't. Only one sack on Bulger, but he was consistently hit all day long. He continued to battle, moved well in the pocket, ran when he had to, and took what the defense gave him, including a nifty flip pass while being hit. His pass to Robinson for the TD was a thing of beauty. Bulger impressed with his ability to plant despite heavy pressure, leading to several third down conversions.

    Grade: B-

    Running Backs - Jackson ran hard and caught a few passes out of the backfield. He showed great burst on the long gainer. There was little room to run early, but Jackson continued to

    press and wore the Washington defense down as the game went on. However, a huge mental error caused him to miss a gaping hole caused by Karney, that would have likely led to a TD (Avery would fumble the next play). Karney looked much, much better today.

    Grade: B-

    Wide Receivers - Robinson looked like a #1, making a great grab in the end zone on the fade route. He also pulled one off the carpet for a third down conversion, an even more impressive grab to me. Avery was terrible, dropping at least three passes, having a critical fumble, another block in the back, and questionable effort on the games final play. His confidence seems to be waning. Burton made two clutch grabs, one in heavy coverage, and he spun around on a comeback route for a big gainer. He looked Isaac Bruce-ish on that second grab. Ruvell Martin should give this unit a big boost.

    Grade: A- for Robinson and Burton, F for Avery, C overall

    Tight Ends - McMichael looks old and slow. He dropped a TD pass, and hasn't shown much ability to get open or downfield. Fells and Bejema were non-existant.

    Grade: D-

    Offensive Line - Incognito got beaten routinely in the passing game, but worked hard in the run game the final three quarters. Didn't notice much out of Bell. Haynesworth seemed to be consistently getting across the line against Brown and whoever was helping. Barron had a crucial holding penalty and looked somewhat lethargic in pass coverage. He needs to work a little holder. Smith looked solid until he got hurt. Goldberg filled in and was acceptable, as was Setterstrom who got some snaps at center. Overall, this unit only gave up one sack, but Bulger was hit repeatedly and hard. The pocket was simply not big enough.

    Grade: C-

    Defensive Line - Chris Long continues to be active in the run game, but not getting much pressure off the edge. He was active in breaking up two screen passes today. Not much pressure from Little, but he did bat down one pass at the line, and went out into coverage on Randle-El on another pass play, resulting in a near interception. Hall nearly forced a safety with a sack. Ryan and Gibson were adequate if unspectacular in the...
    -09-20-2009, 04:16 PM
  • RamsInfiniti
    Rams-Cardinals Analysis from 12/07 .....
    by RamsInfiniti
    I really don't know how this going to come off, because I am sick as a dog. But here it is, and woohoo, my 1000th post! When I first posted here last year, I never thought I'd get sucked in like this. But I love this board. It is hands down the best Rams board out there, so don't buy into the hype of other impersonators ....

    I have to say, and this may sound nuts, but the Rams have made me hate watching other NFL games this season. Yes, HATE watching them. Yesterday, I watched the Packers take on the Texans and I watched the Lions take on the Vikings, pretty much at the same time. As much as the Lions suck, given they are 0-13, they fought tooth and nail until the very end. Every single player gave 100% effort no matter the situation. And the Packers, well, they have to be the best 5-8 team of all-time. I cannot fathom how they only have 5 wins with that ball-hawking defense. Seems they have problems in the red zone, imagine that ...

    It just makes me sad to watch other teams play, no matter what their record, Every other team in the league seems to give a solid effort from top to bottom, win or lose. I cannot say the same for the Rams given what I saw in the fourth quarter. It was quite disgusting to see both Pittman and Looker quit as passes him them right in the hands in the final minutes, only to be dropped ....

    Anyway, here is what I saw ...

    QUARTERBACKS - Outside of the Cowboys game, this was Marc's best effort of the year. He looked more comfortable in the pocket this week, and it seemed they utilized a new dropback where Bulger rolled off to the right before setting to throw. This often gave him several seconds to throw. It seems his confidence in the line may be growing. He threw two passes that resulted in first downs with heavy pressure coming at him. He would have went down on these throws a few weeks ago. He also made some beautiful passes into tight spots, including a swing pass to Pittman and a pass down the seam to Fells (!). Bulger is clearly frustrated with Avery, and rightfully so, as the rookie continually seems to be out of position and unaware of what is going on around him. Bulger threw a perfect pass at him for a hot read that would have gone for a big gain, but Avery never saw it. Bulger was animated over this for those that say he shows no emotion and fire. Bulger did miss Avery wide open down the sideline late in the game. Ultimately, no way Bulger could have succeeded with the playcalling in this game. The vanilla screens that Saunders calls for are sad, and we hardly ever throw the ball downfield, despite no found options in the rookies and Daniel Fells(!). The INT is clearly on Bulger, but at that point, it was for not. I really have a hard time faulting the man for trying to make a play when he is not given even basic tools (playcalling) to begin. I believe I even saw Bulger audible once or twice in this game. It should be noted that Bulger completes 70% if not...
    -12-08-2008, 10:40 AM
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