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  • Rams are the new Lions

    Rams are the new Lions

    Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers scores on a four-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter Sunday against the Rams at the Edward Jones Dome (By Chris Lee/P-D)BY JIM THOMAS

    Welcome to St. Louis, the Land of the Lost when it comes to professional football.

    With Detroit's 19-14 victory Sunday over Washington, the Lions snapped their league-high 19-game losing streak. The NFL's longest streak of futility now belongs to the Rams following Sunday's 36-17 loss to Green Bay at the Edward Jones Dome.

    With their latest pratfall, the Rams have lost 13 consecutive games, with an 0-3 start this season coupled with a 10-game losing streak to finish 2008.

    "It's been tough sledding for us," offensive guard Richie Incognito said. "We're in a losing funk right now. Penalties early; turnovers; that's all balled up in the losing funk. And we've really got to shake that."

    What they're trying to shake has mushroomed into a franchise-record losing streak. In the 72 years of Rams football, the team had never lost 13 games in a row until now. The previous record of 12 straight defeats was set by the Rams in 1937 and '38, tied in 1959-60 and tied again until Sunday's unlucky 13th.

    "This team is totally different than it was last year," defensive end Leonard Little insisted. "We've got some of the same people that we had last year, but it's a different attitude. This attitude's going to take us a long way in the long run because we've got guys that give effort, go out there and lay it on the line. We're going to start getting wins because of that."

    If those victories come in the near term, like next week in San Francisco, it almost certainly will have to happen without several of the team's starters. Quarterback Marc Bulger (shoulder) and safety James Butler (left knee) were sidelined in the first quarter with injuries.

    "There's some significance to those injuries," coach Steve Spagnuolo said.

    League sources later told the Post-Dispatch that Bulger has a rotator cuff injury in his throwing shoulder. He will have additional testing today, and if it's a torn rotator cuff, the injury could end his season.

    Late in the second quarter, the Rams lost their top receiver, Laurent Robinson, with what looks like a substantial right ankle injury. (Robinson was on crutches after the game.) The team's other starting wide receiver, struggling Donnie Avery, suffered an injury to his ribs late in the fourth quarter.

    "It's a struggle when guys get hurt, especially early in the game," Spagnuolo said.

    Bulger suffered his injury with just over 4 minutes to play in the first quarter when he was sacked by Packers linebacker Aaron Kampman, who got around right tackle Adam Goldberg. In the process, Bulger lost a fumble that led to the second of three field goals by Mason Crosby, helping the Packers jump to a 16-0 lead.

    Bulger was examined by the Rams' medical staff after that play but came out for the next series. After just one play — a handoff to Steven Jackson that resulted in another lost fumble — Bulger landed on the shoulder diving for the loose football. Thus ended his day.

    "I just tried to go," Bulger said. "I thought I could make it. ... but I went in and just reaggravated it. If I could've stayed out there, I would've."

    Enter backup Kyle Boller, who had spent the entire practice week impersonating Packers QB Aaron Rodgers with the Rams' scout team. Boller didn't take a single practice rep with the regular offense all week.

    But after misfiring on his first three passes, Boller caught fire, completing eight of his next 10 for 100 yards and two touchdowns. Both TD strikes came to backup tight end Daniel Fells, a third-year player who had only eight career catches and no TDs before Sunday.

    When Josh Brown finally connected on his first field goal of the season, a 53-yarder with 8 minutes, 23 seconds left in the third quarter, it was suddenly a game with Green Bay leading 23-17.

    After some rough moments early, the offensive line had regrouped and was opening holes for Jackson in the running game despite a stacked Packers front that included three linemen and five linebackers in their base defense. (Former Rams linebacker Brandon Chillar replaced one of the Green Bay safeties in this look.)

    Boller scrambled for a couple of rushing first downs and even threw a fairly violent block on Packers cornerback Charles Woodson on a Jackson run. All of which got the sellout crowd into it at the dome. Despite the presence of several thousand Green Bay fans, this wasn't Lambeau South, as was the case here in 2007.

    "As long as we stayed within one touchdown away, I felt we had a good chance of winning the game," said Jackson, who posted his second straight 100-yard rushing game with 27 carries for 117 yards. "They rallied back when we were within striking distance."

    That they did. A 53-yard completion from Rodgers to Greg Jennings on the first play of the fourth quarter put the Packers in the red zone. Four plays later, Rodgers scrambled into the end zone for a 4-yard TD and a 29-17 lead. (Crosby missed the extra point.)

    After his scintillating second quarter, Boller tumbled back to earth. He completed only eight of 18 passes for 64 yards in the second half. One of his errant throws, made under pressure, was intercepted by Woodson at the Rams' 26 with 6:12 to play. It set up Green Bay's final touchdown and kept the Rams winless since Oct. 19 of last season.

    "We're going to keep chopping wood and we'll get a win," Incognito said.

  • #2
    Re: Rams are the new Lions

    This team could screw it up and win just enough to let the Browns and Raiders pick ahead of the Rams in the draft next year.


    • #3
      Re: Rams are the new Lions

      "There's some significance to those injuries," coach Steve Spagnuolo said.

      League sources later told the Post-Dispatch that Bulger has a rotator cuff injury in his throwing shoulder. He will have additional testing today, and if it's a torn rotator cuff, the injury could end his season.
      I hope the best for Bulger this may be the end for him as a ram
      Last edited by eldfan; -09-28-2009, 07:56 AM.


      • #4
        Re: Rams are the new Lions

        Originally posted by eldfan View Post
        I hope the best for Bulger this may be the end for him as a ram
        if he`s done for the season i think it is..

        maybe you could ask the mods to change the title of the im sure a lot more peeps would want to know about Bulger`s injury status rather than yet another pen pushers view on whom he likens us currently too..


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        • MauiRam
          Pick Six: Keys For The Rams Against The *****
          by MauiRam
          Bleacher Report by Ron Clements

          The Rams are 0-3 and, even worse, have been bitten pretty hard by the injury bug.

          In their 36-17 loss to the Green Bay Packers last week, the Rams lost leading receiver Laurent Robinson for the season with a high ankle sprain and broken fibula.

          Safety James Butler sprained his MCL and will miss at least two weeks. Cornerback Ron Bartell is nursing a couple of leg injuries and will not be 100 percent for Sunday's game against the *****.

          Quarterback Marc Bulger has a bruised shoulder, and is questionable for Sunday. Backup Kyle Boller, who played admirably for a half against the Packers and led the Rams on two scoring drives, is practicing with the first team this week.

          Offensive tackles Alex Barron and Jason Smith missed some practice time this week with leg issues.

          Then on Tuesday came news that starting linebacker David Vobora will miss the next four weeks for violating the NFL's performance-enhancing drug policy.

          To fill roster spots, the Rams made a bunch of roster moves this week. They promoted defensive tackle Leger Douzable, linebacker Dominic Douglas, and wideout Nate Jones from the practice squad.

          Jones takes Robinson's spot on the roster, putting the Rams back at five receivers with former Packer Ruvell Martin, Donnie Avery, Keenan Burton, and return specialist Danny Amendola.

          The Rams are basically a walking MASH unit, and will be facing a San Francisco team that is one Brett Favre miracle away from being 3-0.

          So what can the Rams do to somehow find a victory?

          1. Get Steven Jackson into the end zone

          Jackson is the Rams best player, and offensive coordinator did a much better job of getting the ball in Jackson's hands last week. He's got two consecutive 100-yard rushing games, but has yet to find the end zone.

          Richie Incognito said the offensive line lives vicariously through Jackson, so Jackson scoring touchdowns will only boost the morale of a downtrodden team.

          2. Let Kyle Boller start

          Marc Bulger may be the $10 million man in St. Louis, but Boller gives the Rams the best chance to win. He's proven his toughness in the preseason, and against Green Bay. He's also shown a proclivity to make plays with his legs, an aspect Bulger really can't provide.

          Bulger may be an accurate passer when given time, but the St. Louis offensive line has not protected the quarterback well, and Boller can move the pocket. He's just a much more mobile quarterback, and is whom the Rams need to turn to come Sunday.

          3. Start fast

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        • eldfan
          Rams Continue Their Futility
          by eldfan
          Rams Lose 36-17, Continue Their Futility
          By Jeff Gordon

          The Rams needed to make a stand Sunday to show their fans – and themselves – that progress is coming with the New Regime.

          They failed dismally. Some faces changed in this defeat, but familiar problems remained.

          The Rams staggered to their 13th loss in a row and 30th in 35 games, falling to the Packers 36-17 in their home opener at the Edward Jones Dome on Sunday.

          “I was disappointed with the result, but I wasn’t disappointed with the effort,” coach Steve Spagnuolo said after the game, repeating his familiar refrain.

          With a horrific offensive start, the Rams fell behind 16-0 less than six minutes into the second quarter. They got a spark when quarterback Kyle Boller replaced starter Marc Bulger — who departed with a bruised shoulder.

          The Rams fought back to cut Green Bay’s lead to 23-17 . . . and then their comeback bid ran out of steam.

          The Rams got two TD receptions by tight end Daniel Fells, 163 total yards from Steven Jackson, 187 return yards from Danny Amendola and a 53-yard field by Josh Brown.

          And now the bad news:

          Bulger and Jackson turned the ball over with first-quarter fumbles. Both mishaps put the Packers into scoring position.
          Brown had a 48-yard field goal attempt blocked.
          Despite his two TD passes, Boller finished with a dreary passer rating of 75.2. He misfired on 15 of 31 passes and threw a late interception.
          Working against the makeshift Packers line, the Rams front seven didn’t apply much pass pressure. These guys let Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers break containment and scramble for 40 yards and a touchdown.
          Overall, the Rams defense allowed 402 yards as Rodgers posted a passer rating of 126.9. He kept bombing away, hitting one big play after another in the Rams secondary.
          “You try to bounce back after those big plays, but they kill you,” Spagnuolo said.

          Top Rams wide receiver Laurent Robinson left the game with an ankle injury and starting safety James Butler suffered an MCL injury. Those injuries left a bad team even more shorthanded.

          “Laurent had done some good things for us in some key situations,” Spagnuolo said. “We’ll have to have other guys step up.”

          And Butler, Spagnuolo said, “he kind of runs the show back there.”

          So the Rams, 0-3, sank to the very bottom of the NFL. The Detroit Lions won today, so there can be no team worse than this one.

          Spagnuolo says he doesn’t want to discuss the past, but he has done nothing to this point to break the three-year pattern of failure.
          -09-27-2009, 02:52 PM
        • Rambos
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          There may be more Packers fans at the Edward Jones Dome than Rams fans with thousands of Packers faithful traveling to see their team.

          Couple that with disappointed Rams season ticket holders selling their seats, and the dome once again becomes "Lambeau South." That's how it was referred to two years ago when Green Bay came to town and left with a lopsided victory.

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          Cover the tight ends: The Packers have two very good tight ends in Donald Lee and Jermichael Finley. St. Louis has had trouble covering tight ends through the first two weeks of the season. Seattle's John Carlson caught six balls for 95 yards and two scores in week one, while Chris Cooley had six catches for 83 yards last week.

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          They must take advantage of a weak Packers line and force Rodgers to throw under duress.

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        • RamWraith
          Bulger is relieved that he can put 'head issue' to rest
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          By Bill Coats
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          Quarterbacks rarely ask to get knocked down. But the Rams' Marc Bulger, who had
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          "I was hoping to get the first hit out of the way," he said. He didn't have to
          wait long: On the second play of the Rams' first series Sunday, Green Bay
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          "I felt fine," Bulger reported.

          Even after a solid blow to the head later, Bulger was unfazed.

          "I'm not sure if it was a knee or a fist or what got me," he said. "I was
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          Although Bulger had only a so-so outing in the 33-14 loss to the Packers at the
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          "It's always good to have Marc back," left guard Milford Brown said. "He came
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          Bulger threw for one score, a 4-yard toss to wide receiver Torry Holt that made
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          Green Bay led just 17-14 at the half, but as has been the case all season, the
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          "It was a tale of two halves again," right guard Todd Steussie said. "When the
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          Bulger wound up completing 20 of 39 passes for 219 yards, with the TD to Holt
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        • RamWraith
          It's in the numbers for the Rams
          by RamWraith
          By Michael Rushton, NFL Contributing Editor

          (Sports Network) - The St. Louis Rams have had no trouble keeping pace in the first half this year. It's finishing games that has been the problem.

          The Rams were hosting the two-loss Packers on Sunday, and trailed by just a 17-14 margin at halftime. Not bad for a then 3-10 team, right?

          Sixteen second-half points later, and Green Bay left town with a 33-14 victory.

          "We had some plays that weren't made, and we can go back and say 'if we made that play here or if we finished that drive before the half' we could have at least tied the game up," said Rams head coach Scott Linehan. "Again we have to give them credit for executing better than us."

          Poor second-half play has been a constant theme for the Rams this year. Take a look at this dive into the numbers.

          - The Rams are outscoring their opponents by a 144-132 margin in the first half of games this year, but are getting pummeled by a 217-76 spread in the second half.

          - In 10 of St. Louis' games this year, the club has posted three points or less in the second half. Just twice have the Rams have outscored their opposition in quarters three and four: an 18-17 advantage in a Week 5 loss to Arizona and a 10-9 edge in a Week 14 setback to Cincinnati.

          - The Rams have scored an average of 5.4 points in the second half while allowing an average of 15.5 points.

          - In St. Louis' three victories this season, they have a 48-10 edge in first- half scoring, but have been outscored 44-30 in the second half.

          Running back Steven Jackson was the prime example this past weekend. He totaled 103 rushing yards on 13 carries, including a 46-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. However, he was held to just 40 yards in the second half.

          Jackson said he felt he ran well in the second half, but that falling behind early takes away the run game.

          "They still didn't stop us in the running game (in the second half)," he said. "They got ahead. When you have to play from behind that just means more passing."

          That meant more pressure on Marc Bulger, who was returning to action after missing the last two weeks due to a concussion. He completed 20-of-39 passes for 219 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions.

          "I credit their defense for tighter coverage, they got an early interception and that factored into it a little bit," Linehan said. "Once we got behind we got into a little bit of a passing mode, more than what we had anticipated."

          The Rams know they need to learn how to finish games next year. A healthy offensive line -- something the club doesn't have now -- will help, but perhaps the front office needs to take a look at how its coaches are conditioning their players.

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          -12-18-2007, 05:51 PM