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Rams' Little, Colts Manning Share Long History

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  • Rams' Little, Colts Manning Share Long History

    Rams’ Little, Colts’ Manning share long history
    11 hours, 24 minutes ago

    ST. LOUIS (AP)—In his home, St. Louis defensive end Leonard Little proudly displays a photograph of himself sacking Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning(notes).

    “I want to be able to show my kids that I sacked a Hall of Fame quarterback,” Little said after a recent practice.

    In fact, Little had two sacks in that Dec. 30, 2001, game in St. Louis, which the Rams won 42-17 en route to their second Super Bowl appearance in three years.

    Times have changed since then for Little and Manning, who were teammates for two years at Tennessee and will face each other Sunday. Manning is two years younger than Little—who turned 35 on Monday—and has lifted the Colts to an elite team that’s made the playoffs in nine of the last 10 years.

    Meanwhile, the Rams are 0-6 and suffering through a 16-game losing streak. The Rams are 5-33 since 2007.

    “Any win would be big for us right now,” Little said. “We need to get that first one under our belt.”

    Little, who has four sacks this season, was battling the effects of strep throat last Sunday against Jacksonville when he snared David Garrard’s flare pass and returned it 36 yards for a score with 4:36 remaining. Little ended the run by diving headfirst into the end zone pylon for his third career touchdown and first since Dec. 12, 2004. It was his first career interception.

    “I just made a play, but we didn’t win the game so that was disappointing,” Little said.

    Little relishes the opportunity to go against the Colts (5-0), who are coming off a bye week and have won their last 14 regular-season games. He said he knows the defense has a big job in trying to stop Manning and company.

    “We’re running into a great offense and a great team,” Little said. “Guys have been working real hard in practice and I hope we step up to the challenge.”

    The Colts rank fifth in the NFL with 27.4 points a game and third in the league with 404.8 yards a game. Indianapolis is the best in the league at not allowing sacks.

    “There are a lot of sleepless nights,” defensive coordinator Ken Flajole said. “I could give you the old Lou Holtz line and say I sleep like a baby in that I get up every two hours and cry. They’re a heck of a football team. Everybody knows we’re facing a future Hall of Famer.

    “There’s no question they present some difficult matchup problems.”

  • #2
    Re: Rams' Little, Colts Manning Share Long History

    It is good to hear that the defense is eager to face this challenge.


    • #3
      Re: Rams' Little, Colts Manning Share Long History

      Originally posted by UtterBlitz View Post
      It is good to hear that the defense is eager to face this challenge.
      This is good to hear, but I am extremely concerned about the big plays our secondary is giving up. Jacksonville gained yardage in big chunks through the air. Guys like Dallas Clark always seem to make big plays for Indianapolis. I hope our defense is eager AND up to the challenge.


      • #4
        Re: Rams' Little, Colts Manning Share Long History

        The Colts rank fifth in the NFL with 27.4 points a game and third in the league with 404.8 yards a game. Indianapolis is the best in the league at not allowing sacks.
        Wow the Rams has to find a way to shorten this game, as simple as block tackle and run.


        • #5
          Re: Rams' Little, Colts Manning Share Long History

          Originally posted by eldfan View Post
          Wow the Rams has to find a way to shorten this game, as simple as block tackle and run.
          Simple. ;)


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          • r8rh8rmike
            St. Louis Rams Prepare For Tough Indianapolis Colts D
            by r8rh8rmike
            St. Louis Rams prepare for tough Indianapolis Colts D
            BY JIM THOMAS

            Understandably, much of the pregame buildup for Sunday's home game against Indianapolis has focused on Peyton Manning and the Colts' precision offense. But that's only half the problem for the winless Rams, because Indy's defense presents its own set of problems.

            In what falls into the category of well-kept secrets, the Colts come to town with the NFL's seventh-ranked defense. That's a higher rating than any of the Rams' previous opponents this season except for No. 5 Washington.

            "They're a fast defense," Rams offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur said. "We just got done playing a big physical style (Jacksonville), and this is the flip side of the coin. Very fast. Very explosive. They really like it when you're in passing situations, so they can just rare back and come after you."

            The Colts love playing with the lead. That's when they unleash what might be the NFL's best set of pass-rushing ends in Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis. Freeney and Mathis have played side-by-side for much of the decade and have five Pro Bowls between them. Mathis has averaged 10 sacks a season over the past five seasons; Freeney has averaged 10 sacks a season over his entire seven-year career.

            They're up to their old hijinks this season, with a combined 10 1/2 sacks in five games. (Indianapolis is coming off its bye week.)

            "They've got the athletes over there, and the speed to make you try to beat 'em," Rams quarterback Marc Bulger said. "So we just can't let them get up big on us. If you play from behind against that team, it's very difficult because of their pass rush, and how well they play their (Cover 2)."

            Until Sunday's overtime loss at Jacksonville, where the Rams held a slim lead for most of the game, St. Louis had led for only 12 1/2 minutes all season. Of course, the easiest way to keep the score from getting out of hand Sunday is to keep the ball out of Manning's hands.

            "We're going to need to control the football," Shurmur said.

            Steven Jackson, that's your cue. Somehow, the Rams need to chew up the clock with a steady progression consisting of Jackson running the ball, combined with an efficient passing game.

            "They're really trying to put you in third down-and-long situations," Jackson said. "We have to be really good on first and second down. You don't have to get eight yards on first down. If you can keep getting four-yard gains, that puts you in third-and-2.

            "We just have to be good and manageable on first down. Switch things up. See what the defense is anticipating and try to do what they're not expecting."

            Indianapolis doesn't have a reputation for good run defense, but you'd never...
            -10-24-2009, 11:51 AM
          • RamDez
            Powerful Rams' offense will reveal the real Colts' defense
            by RamDez


            South Florida Sun-Sentinel

            FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - (KRT) - No one knows better than Tony Dungy that his papier mache defense, which has given up only two touchdowns in the first five games, is going to come crashing down Monday night against the St. Louis Rams.
            That doesn't mean Dungy isn't going to coach Indianapolis to 6-0. There is a very good chance the Colts will remain the NFL's only undefeated team, playing an opponent that not only lacks adequate defense but which has an offensive line that can't consistently protect quarterback Marc Bulger.
            Still, this isn't the Ravens or Browns, to name two of the offensive stiffs the Colts have chewed up during the first third of the season.
            This is a Rams team that has three excellent receivers in Torry Holt, Shaun McDonald and Kevin Curtis even without injured Isaac Bruce. And Bulger, when he hasn't been on his backside, has completed 64.7 percent of his passes, 10 for touchdowns.
            The Rams are going to be scored upon, but they are going to score as well, and it wouldn't be surprising if the Colts slip away from this litmus test with a 38-34 victory that will surely put them in a more sober perspective.
            "We've played games where we knew we wouldn't be challenged and we wouldn't have to score a lot of points and could still win. This is a game where we're going to have to score some points," Dungy said.
            For those that don't understand the oblique language known as coach speak, what he's saying is, "The free ride is over."
            There was ample evidence of the fragility of the Colts' defense a week ago in San Francisco, where the Colts struggled for most of three quarters to knuckle under a very bad ***** team.
            If you're an apologist for the Colts, you can take a higher road by attributing key interceptions in that game to the great pressure that has been applied by defensive ends Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney, and by defensive tackle Montae Reagor in the middle.
            But if you examine this Indianapolis secondary with a sense of balance, it hasn't profited nearly enough by the pass rush. No one is sending cornerbacks Jason David and Nick Harper to the Pro Bowl and free safety Bob Sanders is questionable to play this game because of injury.
            Meanwhile, the Rams' problems have been well documented. Coach Mike Martz is trying to recover from a very serious viral infection attacking the lining of his heart and the play-calling has been turned over to offensive coordinator Steve Fairchild.
            Fairchild, if he's given complete authority, will probably run Steven Jackson more than 15 times, which is his average. He should, given the sloppy tackling the Colts exhibited against Barlow.
            But Bulger remains the key factor in the St. Louis offense. He's been sacked 20 times, and that has forced the Rams receivers into shorter routes. Also, he's very accurate and on a fast track in a...
            -10-16-2005, 01:57 AM
          • thoey
            Well, if we can beat the Colts, history says our future is bright...
            by thoey
            From KFFL:

            October 11, 2005 11:55 AM ET
            Colts: Dungy looking to take next step

            The News

            The Colts are 5-0, but the last two times Tony Dungy has brought an undefeated club into its sixth game, things haven't worked out so well. "The two times I've been 5-0, we've ended up losing big games," Dungy told the Indianapolis Star. "We really need to get this one, and it will be a good feeling if we can get to six."

            Our View

            In 1997, Dungy's Buccaneer squad went 5-0 before losing to Green Bay. In 2003, the Colts started 5-0 before falling to Carolina in overtime. It's interesting to note that both the Packers and Panthers went on to the Super Bowl in the season they stopped Indy's winning streak. The last time Indy went 6-0, they finished 9-3 and won the 1958 NFL Championship.
            -10-12-2005, 06:53 AM
          • general counsel
            I would blitz manning like crazy
            by general counsel
            I think the only remote shot we have of staying in this game is early turnovers from the colts that we convert into tds and i dont see that happening without lots of pressure on manning. Given our recent performance, leonards injury status and the quality of the colts line, along with the quality of their running game, i estimate the odds of getting real pressure on manning using only the front four as twofold- slim and none, with slim having left the building.

            I appreciate that blitzing manning generally backfires, but if we dont do it, we will get picked apart for sure and we will have no hope. I would prefer to swing for the fences and see if somehow we can stay in the game. In any game, you always have a shot to win IF and its a big IF you can stay in it into the fourth quarter.

            Our corners and safeties in coverage stopping the colts if manning has time to throw? Better shot at world peace breaking out in the third quarter of the game.

            Should be interesting to see how young barron does against their stud mr. freeney.

            ramming speed to all

            general counsel
            -10-14-2005, 11:05 AM
          • nfllives
            Colts ready to spend huge money to keep Manning for years to come
            by nfllives
            National Football League superstar quarterback Peyton Manning continuous to receive huge rewards due to his strong plays the past season of the premier professional football league in the planet.
            Indianapolis Colts president Bill Polian said the team is willing to spend huge amount of money and make Manning the highest paid NFL player of all time to ensure their superstar quarterback will stay with the team once his contract ends this year.
            Polian said he is confident that they can re-sign Colts once his contract ends after 2010 NFL season.
            He said the team this early is now preparing to things needed to offer Manning the most lucrative contract in NFL history to entice him to stay with the franchise for many years to come.
            Polian, is credited for helping create the league's salary cap in the 1990s.
            He has been a master at crunching numbers. The list of Indy players with contract values of $30 million or more include Manning, Dwight Freeney, Reggie Wayne, Bob Sanders, Robert Mathis and Kelvin Hayden.
            Manning, of course, has the richest contract $98 million.
            While most NFL teams have struggled to remain competitive with a glut of high-priced stars, Polian has managed to find low-priced help
            in the draft and in free agency, and nobody can quibble with the results.
            The Colts has won at least 12 games in a league-record seven straight seasons, made eight straight playoff appearances, played in two Super Bowls and won one.
            But the burden for extending that streak falls to the 34-year-old quarterback with the big right arm.
            Since Polian took Manning with the No. 1 pick in the 1998 draft, Manning has broken every significant passing record in franchise history
            and has helped the team go from league laughingstock to league model.
            He has never missed a start, set an NFL record by winning his fourth MVP Award last season and also earned Super Bowl MVP honors following the 2006 season.
            With the money they are willing to spend for Manning the team hopes to keep their superstar and other top guns for the team for many years to come to keep their winning tradition.
            The NFL season promises to be a slam-bang and exciting affair so do not miss the chance to watch the games live by getting cheap NFL tickets online.
            -06-30-2010, 10:30 AM