Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Rams give Seattle food for thought

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Rams give Seattle food for thought

    Rams give Seattle food for thought
    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Tuesday, Oct. 05 2004

    While the Rams were making a 3,400-mile round trip to San Francisco for
    Sunday's game with the *****, the Seattle Seahawks were at home on the couch,
    watching games on TV in their bye week.

    In four days, the Rams begin another 3,000-plus mile trek to Seattle, to play
    the NFC West division-leading Seahawks, who not only are 3-0, and seven-point
    favorites, but have the league's No. 1-ranked defense.

    A tough task to be sure. But if nothing else, the Rams gave Seattle something
    to think about on several fronts with their impressive 24-14 victory over San
    Francisco. If Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren completed most of his game plan in
    the bye week, he'll have to make some adjustments based on what transpired at
    Monster Park.

    Offensively, the Rams were more balanced and a lot more diverse. Which Rams
    offense will show up Sunday in Seattle? The pass-happy group that lost to
    Atlanta and New Orleans? Or the unit that mixed the run with the pass
    effectively in victories over Arizona and San Francisco?

    After leaning heavily on Isaac Bruce, Torry Holt and Marshall Faulk (when the
    Rams did decide to run) in the first three games, some new names got into the
    act against San Francisco. Bruce, Holt and Faulk have scored 185 touchdowns as
    "St. Louis" Rams. But against San Francisco, the Rams' three TDs were scored by
    Shaun McDonald, Joey Goodspeed and rookie Steven Jackson.

    "These are guys that we've been counting on" to contribute, Martz said. "This
    isn't the Isaac and Torry and Marshall Show. To be able to use all of those
    people is vital. They're integral parts of what you do offensively. It's very
    important. And it's hard on the (opposing) defense."

    When the Greatest Show on Turf was at its height from 1999 to 2001, it was the
    multiple options on offense that made the Rams so tough to defend.

    Jackson got 10 carries against the *****, a high in his young NFL career. When
    veteran Seattle defensive coordinator Ray Rhodes goes over the Rams' red zone
    offense, he'll have to spend at least a minute or two going over "20 Fullback
    Crunch" - the play on which Goodspeed scored his first NFL touchdown.

    Lost in the shuffle Sunday was the fact that Kevin Curtis replaced Dane Looker
    as the Rams' slot receiver in three wide-receiver sets. Curtis is healthy after
    a case of preseason shin splints and brings an added dimension of speed. He had
    three catches for 22 yards against San Francisco, two of which went for first
    downs in first-half TD drives.

    Martz also did some interesting things formation-wise, using a lot of two tight
    end sets early, but also mixing in some two-back sets employing Jackson and
    Faulk.

    The biggest wrinkle defensively was the sight of Leonard Little shifting from
    his usual left end spot to a standup "linebacker" spot in the middle on a few
    occasions.

    "Everybody in the last few weeks has turned their protection and double-teamed
    (Little) with two linemen," Martz said. "That's why he's not been as productive
    as you would expect.

    "So what we tried to do is move him around a little bit. I don't know how
    effective it was ... but we'll continue to experiment."

    Overall, Little had a productive evening, finishing with seven tackles, three
    hits on the quarterback, one sack and one fumble recovery. Those are the types
    of games the Rams need week in and week out from Little, their top defensive
    playmaker.

    After the ***** game, Martz dropped some not-so-subtle hints that more new
    wrinkles were on the way in the defensive scheme of coordinator Larry Marmie.

    "I want to continue to change some things on defense," Martz said. "I want to
    be aggressive and attack people, and not let them get in any kind of rhythm in
    terms of what we're doing. That's kind of the direction we're headed."

    Some aggressive early blitzing led to a half-sack by linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa
    - he shared it with defensive end Bryce Fisher. And it led to the sack by
    blitzing linebacker Tommy Polley that caused the fumble Little recovered.

    Up front, rookie defensive end Anthony Hargrove was worked into the rotation
    behind Fisher after not playing a down from scrimmage against New Orleans.

    "I thought Tony Hargrove did some nice things in the short time that he was in
    there," Martz said.

    Hargrove was flagged for illegal hands to the face on ***** quarterback Tim
    Rattay while chasing him out of the pocket. It was a silly penalty, but
    undismayed, Hargrove pursued hard down the line of scrimmage to drop running
    back Kevan Barlow for a 1-yard loss on the next play.

    __________________________________________________________
    Keeping the Rams Nation Talking

  • #2
    Re: Rams give Seattle food for thought

    A tough task to be sure. But if nothing else, the Rams gave Seattle something to think about on several fronts with their impressive 24-14 victory over San Francisco.
    Impressive win? Getting shut out the second half. Giving up 14 unanswered points in the second half. If the 9ers hadn't spotted the Rams 14 points off of stupid turnovers the Rams would have lost 14-10.

    Sorry, but I didn't think that was an impressive win at all. A win is a win, particularly on the road against a division rival. But they'll have to play a whole lot better than that in Seattle if they expect to win IMO.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Rams give Seattle food for thought

      ah, the pride of confidence, lets hope your team think the same way.

      __________________________________________________________
      Keeping the Rams Nation Talking

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Rams give Seattle food for thought

        heh Dez nice to see you back mate!!! hope you had a good time...


        You know whats nice is the fact that different players are now getting in volved in this O, like what was being said..... Those players made us an O to be reckoned with, not just the Bruce, Holt Faulk show....I just hope they step up BIG sunday.....Jackson is going to be a star!!!!!!!! player


        steve :ramlogo:
        "The breakfast Club":helmet:

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Rams give Seattle food for thought

          Sorry, but I didn't think that was an impressive win at all. A win is a win, particularly on the road against a division rival. But they'll have to play a whole lot better than that in Seattle if they expect to win IMO.
          Whatever dude; Just make sure your back here after the shesquawks loose Sunday to take your lumps. :tough:

          :ramlogo:
          JUST WIN ONE FOR THE FANS
          :ram::ram::ram::ram::ram::ram::ram::ram::ram::ram::ram::ram::ram::ram::ram::ram::ram::ram::ram::ram::ram::ram::ram::ram::ram:

          "HIT HARD, HIT FAST, AND HIT OFTEN"
          Adm. William "Bull" Halsey

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Rams give Seattle food for thought

            Originally posted by akseahawkfan
            Impressive win? Getting shut out the second half. Giving up 14 unanswered points in the second half. If the 9ers hadn't spotted the Rams 14 points off of stupid turnovers the Rams would have lost 14-10.

            Sorry, but I didn't think that was an impressive win at all. A win is a win, particularly on the road against a division rival. But they'll have to play a whole lot better than that in Seattle if they expect to win IMO.
            You obviously didn't watch the game. The Rams were in control througout, and could have blown out the Niners had they wished to do so. In fact, one of the Niner assistants expressed gratitude that the Rams elected not to run up the score.

            Whether a win - convincing or not - against the Niners proves anything is certainly worthy of debate. But make no mistake, the Rams dominated that game.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Rams give Seattle food for thought

              Originally posted by RAMMAN68
              Whatever dude; Just make sure your back here after the shesquawks loose Sunday to take your lumps. :tough:

              :ramlogo:
              I'll be back win or lose.

              Comment

              Related Topics

              Collapse

              • RamWraith
                USA Today's Inside Slant
                by RamWraith
                The Rams weathered a storm with their win over San Francisco Sunday night, and now they head west again with a chance to make a statement against the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks are 3-0, ranked at the top of the league on defense and coming off their bye week.

                A win, and the Rams would be just one-half game behind Seattle. Lose, and the gap widens to 2.5 games. While the second half of Sunday's game plodded along, the Rams were able to show some different things throughout the game that could make Seattle's preparation a bit more vexing.

                The balance shown on offense against San Francisco wasn't as much about coach Mike Martz proving the critics wrong as it was about showing that the offense is capable of running or passing depending on the situation. And that the offensive line, while a work in progress, is coming together as a unit.

                Said Martz, about the line, "I mentioned last week that (in our) nine-on-seven drills, the offensive line has practiced as well as I have ever seen a group here practice. It was exciting to watch. So when we got into the game, we have always been pragmatic about things, that's our approach. You stand on the sidelines, you look and see that they are playing a soft cover-2, you start handing the ball off, and they start rolling pretty good. The offensive line took it upon themselves to make things happen, and they certainly did.

                "It's just like in the passing game, you hit guys and you keep going with it. You do whatever it takes to win. If you get rolling in one particular area, you'd like to mix the other in there. Our offensive line at this point allows us to do both, which is something we haven't had in a while. At this point our offensive line is playing as well as any that we've had. I'm very pleased with them."

                What Martz is also mixing in are other players. While running back Marshall Faulk had another 100-yard game and wide receiver Isaac Bruce had his fourth straight 100-yard receiving game, three players scored their first NFL touchdowns against the *****.

                In addition to some crushing blocks leading the way for Faulk, fullback Joey Goodspeed scored on a 2-yard run. Rookie running back Steven Jackson scored on a short run, while second-year wideout Shaun McDonald had a six-yard scoring play. While Dane Looker was the most-used third receiver last season because McDonald and Kevin Curtis were often injured, the latter duo is beginning to contribute more to the offense.

                "These are guys that we've been counting on" to contribute, Martz said. "This isn't the Isaac and Torry and Marshall Show. To be able to use all of those people is vital. They're integral parts of what you do offensively. It's very important. And it's hard on the (opposing) defense."

                Defensively, the Seahawks' offense will present more of a challenge to the Rams than San Francisco did, but...
                -10-07-2004, 02:02 PM
              • Nick
                Rams Inside Slant
                by Nick
                Inside Slant

                The unit has been maligned throughout the early stages of the season. The rankings don't lie; the Rams' defense is at the bottom of the NFL in yardage allowed: 28th overall, 28th against the pass and 29th against the run.

                But it was the defense that kept the Rams in the game against Seattle, allowing the offense to hit some big plays and win in overtime. It was the defense, after being gashed for 306 yards at halftime, that allowed only 85 yards in the second half and just 44 after running back Shaun Alexander ran for 41 yards on Seattle's first play of the third quarter. Of those 44 yards, 14 were on a scramble by quarterback Matt Hasselbeck.

                "None of this is possible without the terrific effort by our defense in the second half," coach Mike Martz said. "We throw an interception on the sideline, give them great field position, and we hold them to a field goal. That wins the game for us ... that clearly wins the game for us."

                Martz was referring to a Marc Bulger interception as the fourth quarter began. The Seahawks started on the Rams' 40-yard line but later were stopped at the 16, and a field goal gave them a 27-10 lead. From that point on, Seattle ran eight plays and gained 11 yards. The Rams never forced a takeaway, but they made plays when that had to.

                "The three-and-outs (were important)," Martz said. "That third and one at the end of the game and they don't get it. The intensity really picked up in the second half. The fight that's in this group is incredible."

                "This team never gave up," defensive end Leonard Little said. "Coach Martz has talked about resolve all year and we showed that today. We knew if we made plays on defense and get the offense the ball that we could score points and get back into the game. That's just what we did."

                What has also been talked about is limiting big plays. It sounds insane to say the Rams defense actually didn't play that badly in the first half, but it's not far from the truth.

                Of the Seahawks' 306 yards on 44 plays in the first half, 165 yards came on just six plays. Do the math, and you see that Seattle gained just 141 yards on 38 plays in the rest of the half, or 3.7 yards per play.

                Taking it further, running back Shaun Alexander had 98 yards on 14 attempts at halftime, 65 coming on three attempts. Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck had passed for 188 yards on 15 completions, with 100 yards gained on three of those passes.

                For the game, Alexander rushed for 150 yards on 23 carries, and 95 were on three rushes. He averaged less than three yards a pop on his other 20 runs.

                But what happened in that game is nothing new. The Rams play a gap-control defense, and the problem of giving up big plays is nothing new for them. The only game where it hasn't been an issue was against...
                -10-14-2004, 05:03 PM
              • RamWraith
                Rams are fearless, and nearly peerless, in Seattle
                by RamWraith
                By Jim Thomas
                Of the Post-Dispatch
                10/11/2004

                Aeneas Williams' sarcastic gesture drives home the point to an already muted crowd after the Rams' improbable comeback win.
                (Gabriel B. Tait/P-D)

                The Rams' 33-27 overtime victory over Seattle was improbable, unexpected and - in the annals of NFL history - almost unprecedented.

                Only once in the 85 seasons of NFL football has a team rallied from a larger deficit with so little time remaining in a regular-season game.

                Interestingly, it happened just last season, when Indianapolis overcame a 21-point deficit in the final 6 minutes of regulation to defeat Tampa Bay 38-35 in overtime on Oct. 6, 2003.

                According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Rams' rally from a 27-10 deficit in Seattle was the second-largest comeback within the final 6 minutes of play in league history.

                Small wonder then, that Mike Martz rated it as one of the most meaningful victories he has been involved with as a coach.

                "I think it's obviously at the top of the list," Martz said. "Right there next to the '99 Super Bowl, I would think."

                Martz was offensive coordinator on that squad, which defeated Tennessee 23-16. The stakes weren't nearly as high Sunday at Qwest Field, but there was still a lot on the line against the Seahawks.

                "God forbid if we would've lost the game, it would've been tough to close on them," offensive guard Adam Timmerman said. "They'd have been 4-0; we'd have been 2-3 - down three games on people in your division."

                But as a result of Shaun McDonald's game-winning touchdown reception from Marc Bulger, the Rams (3-2) are just a half-game behind the Seahawks (3-1). And there's a good chance the Rams could be back on top of the NFC West by this time next week.

                That's because the Seahawks travel to New England next Sunday to play the defending Super Bowl champions. The Patriots are in the midst of a league-record 19-game winning streak.

                Meanwhile, the Rams play host to Tampa Bay (1-4) on Oct. 18 in a Monday night game at the Edward Jones Dome. After that game, the Rams travel to Miami - currently winless (0-5) and offensively impaired - on Oct. 24, then take their bye week.

                If the Rams take care of business against the Buccaneers and Dolphins, they should be 5-2 entering critical home games against New England (Nov. 7) and Seattle (Nov. 14). The picture would have been bleaker - much bleaker - had things ended differently Sunday.

                "This was such a thrill," Martz said. "To watch these guys. Just to be on the sideline and watch them - their attitude. How they responded to everything. How positive they stayed throughout the game, even in the first half."

                But as happy as he was about the Seattle game, Martz isn't ready to make any...
                -10-12-2004, 02:45 PM
              • RamWraith
                Rams let it slip away
                by RamWraith
                By Jim Thomas
                ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
                Sunday, Oct. 09 2005

                Never mind that the scoreboard read: Seattle 37, St. Louis 31.

                Given the recent history of the series, the Rams had the Seahawks right where
                they wanted them. They were getting the ball back with just over 3 minutes to
                play. And in good field position, too, since the Seahawks' Tom Rouen was
                punting in the shadow of his end zone.

                A couple of passes here, a run there, and - Presto! Whammo! - the Rams would
                score a dramatic game-winning touchdown, thus driving another dagger into the
                hearts of the Seahawks. That's the way it's always supposed to go against the
                Seahawks, right?

                Well, not this time.

                Last year at this time - on Oct. 10, 2004 - Shaun McDonald's career-long punt
                return of 39 yards helped launch an improbable St. Louis comeback in a 33-27
                overtime victory at Qwest Field in Seattle.

                On Oct. 9, 2005, McDonald fielded Rouen's 41-yard punt in a crowd at the St.
                Louis 40, tried to cut back, but was stripped of the ball by Seattle's Jordan
                Babineaux at the St. Louis 39. Seahawks teammate Jean-Phillippe Darche
                recovered the fumble on the St. Louis 37. And the Rams were done.

                Oh, there was still 2:51 left to play and the Rams had a timeout in their
                pocket. But the Rams haven't stopped anybody the last two games, and the final
                2:51 Sunday at the Edward Jones Dome would be no different. Three runs by Shaun
                Alexander netted two first downs, ate up the Rams' final timeout and took the
                clock to the 2-minute warning.

                Three kneel-downs by quarterback Matt Hasselbeck took care of the rest of the
                clock, snapping the Rams' 12-game home winning streak against NFC West foes.
                Seattle left town at 3-2 and in first place in the division, winning for the
                first time in five tries against St. Louis.

                The Rams fell to 2-3, their worst record after five games since the '02 squad
                started 0-5. Barring some miraculous turnaround by the defense - particularly
                the pass defense - the Rams are staring at 2-4, because their next opponent is
                unbeaten Indianapolis, in a Monday night game Oct. 17 in Indy.

                In winning two of their first three games, the Rams' defense played noticeably
                better than the defense of the '04 squad. But in losses to the New York Giants,
                and now Seattle, the bottom has fallen out. In those two games, the Rams have
                yielded 81 points and 889 yards.

                What's going on there?

                "That's a good question," defensive lineman Tyoka Jackson said. "I don't have
                an answer for you right now. But we're going to try to come up with one.

                "I know one thing: I'm going to show up to work Monday....
                -10-10-2005, 05:48 AM
              • RamWraith
                Martz puts emphasis on playing with attitude
                by RamWraith
                By Jim Thomas
                Of the Post-Dispatch
                Saturday, Nov. 13 2004

                Mike Martz began the week in a frenzy, and never really calmed down. He is at
                his wits' end over the current state of the 2004 Rams and is trying shock
                therapy to revive his team's fortunes.

                "I've never seen him like this," wide receiver Torry Holt said. "I hate to see
                him like this, because that tells us we ain't getting things done. But it shows
                me that he does care how we perform as a football team, and where we are as a
                football team.

                "So hopefully, we can go out there and give him a performance to kind of cool
                him down."

                Martz's tense, at times abrupt, and at times surly interchanges with the media
                weren't for show this week. The players got a similar - even stronger - message
                behind closed doors. He's tired of mistakes. He's tired of counting on players
                who aren't delivering. He's tired of missed blocks and half-hearted tackles.

                "After that meeting, it was a little quiet around here," Holt said. "Guys were
                a little more focused. Guys were a little more quick in their steps. If that's
                what it takes for us to get back on the winning edge, then I'm all for it."

                Which meeting? Monday's?

                "Every day, actually," Holt said, laughing.

                There is no time like the present, because if ever a season boiled down to one
                game, it's Sunday for the Rams. Seattle comes to the Edward Jones Dome in first
                place in the NFC West with a 5-3 record. The Rams are 4-4.

                Both teams would be 5-4 if the Rams win, but by virtue of their comeback
                victory Oct. 10 in Seattle, the Rams would have the tiebreaker edge. In
                essence, they'd have the lead in the NFC West.

                And what if the Rams lose? They would be 4-5 with four of their next five games
                on the road. Seattle would be 6-3 with their next three games at home against
                Miami (1-8), Buffalo (3-5) and Dallas (3-5). In short, that's not a pleasant
                possibility for the Rams, even with seven games remaining in the unpredictable
                NFL.

                "With all the problems we've had, we're sitting in a situation where if we can
                win one game right now, then we'll be OK," defensive lineman Tyoka Jackson
                said.

                "We've been pretty fortunate in that respect," quarterback Marc Bulger said.
                "We are not playing our best right now, but we are still in halfway decent
                shape in this division. We could've built a nice lead, but we didn't. But
                playing as bad as we have, and knowing that we could be tied for first place
                after this game, is a saving factor."

                But even Bulger concedes it's a dire outlook if the Rams...
                -11-13-2004, 07:04 PM
              Working...
              X