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Rams Report Card v. Washington

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  • Rams Report Card v. Washington

    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 middle. LeJuan Ramsey was the most impressive of this unit, getting consistent push and nearly getting a sack. He recorded the only QB hit of the day outside of the sack. This unit did a good enough job to prevent any gashing runs up the middle, but the lack of pass rush is brutal.

    Grade: C

    Linebackers - Lauranitis looked ok today, not quite as solid as week 1, but continues to be active. He missed a tackle on a 3rd and 1 play, that likely would have prevented the first down. Vobora continued to play solid, and could stick in the SLB role. He moves well laterally, and looked a little better in coverage today. Witherspoon continues to baffle me. Somehow he ended up with 10 tackles, but he continually gets blown off the ball, particularly by fullbacks. Most of his tackles are downfield. He's not currently the player he was two years ago. This group is currently playing average at best, and needs to take advantage of a hard working defensive line that is not letting offensive lines blow open huge holes.

    Grade: C-

    Secondary - This group didn't give up a gain over 25 yards today, yielding a lower than average YPA for Campbell, but continues to be too soft underneath. This is a function of poor pass rush, and the system. This group holds their assignments well in the zone, but again, without pressure, it's easy to beat. Wade had a nice breakup early in the game. Bartell was active today, with two pass breakups, and a great play to force a pass out of bounds towards Cooley in the red zone. His forced fumble was a great hustle play. As a whole, this entire unit tackled very well and did what was asked of them. With some pressure up front, expect this unit to play much, much better.

    Grade: B-

    Special Teams - Jones had an off day by his standards, good day by most posters standards. Brown didn't do anything. Coverage teams were generally sound. Not much production on returns.

    Grade: C

    Coaching - Some questionable time managements decisions. This is partially the fault of the players and coaches. I have no problem with the decision not to press at the end of the first half. Offensive play calling is somewhat bland, but Shurmur is developing an identity. He worked to position Washington to be more vulnerable to the run in the second half, and it worked. As the offensive line gels, he will be able to open up the passing game. We need to get the tight ends involved. Should they have challenged the non-safety sack? Maybe, but they might have seen something we didn't. We need to work on tightening up underneath and covering the tight-end. Where is the pass rush? This staff has the guys playing hard and believing in the system. Washington likely scores TD's on all three redzone possessions in the first half last year. The 4th stand at the end of the game shows the players are buying in.

    Grade: C
    Last edited by RamsInfiniti; -09-20-2009, 03:25 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Rams Report Card v. Washington

    Good post, I agree with just about everything thats said although I'd give Bulger a C- for missing Robinson at the end.

    Its time for Long to get going in the pass rush, the kid was drafted to pressure the QB but he's never done that consistantly. Adeyanju being inactive baffles me still, I really think he could improve the DT's but obviously Spags sees something in the other guys that I don't.


    • #3
      Re: Rams Report Card v. Washington

      Frankly, I'm a little worried about the linebackers at the moment. It seemed like Portis got yardage after the first hit on almost every play. From what I can tell, they're also part of our problem in covering the tight end. A linebacker will get caught out of position when his assignment is behind him because his eyes are in the backfield.

      As for the defensive line, we've got to do a better job of finishing. We had guys getting back there, but Campbell was always able to get out of trouble with relative ease.


      Related Topics


      • RamsInfiniti
        Report Card = Rams @ 49'ers
        by RamsInfiniti
        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...
        -11-17-2008, 10:24 AM
      • RamsInfiniti
        Rams V. Packers Grades
        by RamsInfiniti
        Here it is:

        Quarterbacks - Bulger left with an injury before he ever got a chance to do much. Boller came out and gave a spark, and threw two touchdown passes that were as beautiful as any I've seen. He moved around well in the pocket, ran for a couple first downs, and even laid a crushing block. However, the second half was terrible, he threw a terrible INT on a play where Amendola had a step, and has a difficult time hitting his man when staying in the pocket. He appears to be much better on the run.

        Grade - C

        Running Backs - Jackson played like a man possessed today, running hard when there was no hole, and making good use of the small holes he did find. It is amazing to see a man his size run like he does. He also made the best of several short passes out of the backfield, and even blocked well in the pass game. Darby had a great catch and run to convert a third down.

        Grade - A-

        Wide Receivers - Robinson got off to a nice start before leaving the game with an ankle injury. Avery dropped yet another pass and his confidence seems to be shot. Burton looked good in the first half, but Boller barely looked his way in the second half. Amendola got a few reps in the offense, and got open twice from what I could tell. Boller missed him for the INT, on what could have been a nice run and catch. This group is in shambles.

        Grade - D

        Offensive Line - This group generally blocked ok in the pass game today. Hard to tell if this was a solid effort or just because Boller was able to move around a little more effectively than Bulger. The run blocking was so-so, and Jackson probably made them look a little better than the actually were. Goldberg seemed to hold up well enough on the rightside. Nobody in particular stood out in this game.

        Grade - C+

        Tight Ends - Fells showed an ability to run some nice routes and made a pair of nice grabs on the TDs. We need to get him more involved. McMichael made a great one handed grab early, but killed a drive with a critical 3rd down drop on a great throw by Boller. Bejema was noticable in the blocking game and did well.

        Grade - B-

        Defensive Line - This group held up very well to the run today, and this is seen in the lack of tackles made by linebackers. Ramsey again showed an ability to be a disrupter and deserves more reps. Gibson had a nice pass defensed and was very active against the run. Chris Long may not be getting to the passer yet but he is superb against the run. Little had two early sacks. Ah You is a non-factor. Where is Big Vic? Hollis stuffed a run. The pass rush was actually decent in this game, but containment of Rodgers often brokedown.

        Grade: B-

        Linebackers - This group had an up and down game. Both Vobora and Witherspoon had tackles for loss when shooting the gap on run plays. They generally played...
        -09-28-2009, 08:10 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, 10:17 AM
      • 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, 07:29 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-

        -12-01-2008, 06:43 AM