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Rams Report Card vs. Saints

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  • Rams Report Card vs. Saints

    By Bill Coats
    St. Louis Post-Dispatch

    Here’s one blogger’s grades for the St. Louis Rams after Sunday’s 28-23 loss to the New Orleans Saints:

    *QUARTERBACK: Marc Bulger threw an ill-advised ball into the end zone that was picked off in the first quarter. But that was his only major miscue on a day in which he produced a season-high 298 passing yards and a solid 93.5 passer rating, despite losing WR Keenan Burton to injury in the first quarter. And Bulger, who hooked up with WR Donnie Avery for TDs of 29 and 19 yards, would’ve had even better numbers if not for a couple of drops. GRADE: B

    RUNNING BACKS: On a day when he passed Lawrence McCutcheon for third place on the Rams’ career rushing list, Steven Jackson again was a force. He pounded out 131 yards on the ground on 26 carries, and added 45 yards on nine catches. GRADE: A

    RECEIVERS: Rookie Brandon Gibson, forced into heavy action after Burton went down, was an instant hit. He finished with seven receptions for 93 yards, both season highs for Rams wideouts. Avery had the two scoring grabs, the first multi-TD game of his career. WR Danny Amendola had a bad drop on a slant that might’ve turned into a touchdown. TE Randy McMichael also dropped a ball. Nice outing for TE Daniel Fells, with three catches for 51 yards. Would’ve been even better if he could’ve held onto to the 2-point conversion pass in the final minutes. GRADE: B

    OFFENSIVE LINE: Bulger was sacked only twice, although he scrambled out of trouble a couple of other times. Jackson generally was given enough room to build momentum. Final-play holding call on LT Alex Barron would’ve been a crusher had Bulger’s Hail Mary pass been completed. GRADE: B

    DEFENSIVE LINE: The Saints averaged 7 yards per run, rolling up 209 yards on the ground. Pass rush was so-so. DE Chris Long got the only sack. DE James Hall had a team-high six tackles, according to the unofficial press-box stats. GRADE: D

    LINEBACKERS: The Saints exploited the Rams on running plays that attacked the perimeter, where the LBs are supposed to help with containment. Even rookie MLB James Laurinaitis was quiet (four tackles). David Vobora’s hard hit on TE Jeremy Shockey jarred the ball loose, and S Oshiomogho Atogwe intercepted. GRADE: D+

    SECONDARY: Atogwe got his first pick since the season-opener. He also slammed into WR Marques Colston near the goal line, causing a fumble that saved a touchdown. James Butler also had an interception. CBs Ron Bartell and Quincy Butler were pretty good in coverage against a dangerous passing team. Nickel back Justin King missed a couple of tackles. GRADE: B+

    SPECIAL TEAMS: The 97-yard kickoff return by Courtney Roby for a TD opening the second half was a killer after the Rams had fought for a 14-14 halftime tie. Rams coverage overall was mediocre, as were their returns. Donnie Jones often was punting on a short field, so his gross average was down (36.0). GRADE: D

    COACHING: OC Pat Shurmur got Jackson 35 touches — 26 carries and nine catches — and he produced 176 yards from scrimmage. Play-calling was a bit more creative. DC Ken Flajole played it fairly conservatively, choosing to defend the dangerous Saints passing game mostly with coverage. That strategy was generally effective, although the defense got caught in the wrong formation a couple of times. Rough day for special-teams coach Tom McMahon’s units. HC Steve Spagnuolo deserves credit for his having his team in position to win at the end. GRADE: B

  • #2
    Re: Rams Report Card vs. Saints

    i think our secondary did amazing A+ considering the saints are top 3 in yards passing in the nfl. the saints defense had all the injuries there offense was fine. Marcous Colston one of the premiere wideouts had only 43 yards. Bartell did a great job covering even though he has a lingering leg injury. two turnovers of course OJ would be in on it. Not to mention our d-line had no pressure on brees up until the Last quater. and they coverd the recievers well for a long time with barley a pass rush.

    special teams really hurt us coming out 14-14 at halftime and we lost all of our momentum, the retuner didnt really break any tackles he just had a huge hole and no one was gunna catch him.


    Related Topics


    • r8rh8rmike
      Rams Report Card: 'D' Line Gets Lowest Mark
      by r8rh8rmike
      Rams Report Card: 'D' line gets lowest mark

      Monday, December 13, 2010

      NEW ORLEANS -- Here are the grades for the St. Louis Rams after Sunday's 31-13 loss to the New Orleans Saints:

      QUARTERBACK: A pair of interceptions by safety Malcolm Jenkins killed Rams drives on the doorstep to the end zone and ruined Sam Bradford's day. The first was picked off at the 4-yard line and returned 96 yards for a touchdown. The second was pilfered in the end zone. Bradford was pressured consistently and simply wasn't as sharp as usual. GRADE: C-

      RUNNING BACK: Steven Jackson and Keith Toston averaged a solid 5.5 yards per carry, although much of Toston's yardage came in mop-up time. Jackson averaged 6.0 yards per carry, finishing with 96 on 16 attempts. He also caught four passes for 38 yards. GRADE: B+

      RECEIVERS: WR Brandon Gibson had some nice moments in amassing 67 yards on four catches. Laurent Robinson made a acrobatic grab on the sideline for a long gain. Danny Amendola has three catches but also a rare drop. GRADE: B

      OFFENSIVE LINE: The run blocking was pretty good; the pass blocking was not. Bradford was sacked three times and pressured consistently, as the Saints found ways to storm the backfield. GRADE: C-

      DEFENSIVE LINE: Saints QB Drew Brees didn't face much pressure at all, as the Rams tried to rely on the front four to get after him. New Orleans ran effectively, averaging 4.5 yards per rush. GRADE: D+

      LINEBACKERS: MLB James Laurinaitis and WLB Chris Chamberlain were active -- although Chamberlain whiffed on a couple of tackles. David Vobora didn't produce much at SLB. Bryan Kehl did a nice job in a reserve role. GRADE: C+

      SECONDARY: The Rams had some mix-ups, but coverage wasn't bad, considering that Brees generally had plenty of time to throw. S Craig Dahl and CB Bradley Fletcher had interceptions. Quincy Butler did a decent job in place of the injured Ron Bartell. GRADE: C-

      SPECIAL TEAMS: Josh Brown hit 38- and 45-yard FGs, but missed from 46 yards. Donnie Jones was stellar, averaging 50.8 yards (net) on four punts and dropping two inside the 20. Rams returns were mediocre; their coverage was pretty good. GRADE: C+

      COACHING: The Rams' approach on defense was puzzling. They chose to try to combat Brees with coverage, thus blitzing rarely. At times, they rushed only two linemen, deploying seven defensive backs. Didn't work too well. OC Pat Shurmur opened things up a bit, taking a few shots downfield. But Bradford wasn't given enough time to make them work as designed. GRADE: C
      -12-13-2010, 04:44 PM
    • eldfan
      Rams Report Card @ Detroit
      by eldfan
      by Bill Coats
      St. Louis Post-Dispatch

      QUARTERBACK: Although he wasn’t sacked and rarely pressured, the numbers put up by an erratic Marc Bulger weren’t impressive: 17 of 35, 176 yards, no TDs, an interception and a passer rating of 51.6. The pick came in the red zone, with the Rams in position to move in front by 17 points. Bulger came up a yard short on a slide that should’ve resulted in a first down. Bulger earned points by wisely calling a timeout before the fake field goal for a TD. Plus, he was in charge for the decisive four-play, 62-yard drive that won it. Still, this was hardly one of Bulger’s better days. GRADE: D

      RUNNING BACKS: In a word, Steven Jackson was fabulous. He ran with heart and intensity all afternoon in rolling up a season-high 149 yards. His 25-yard TD burst was the game-winner, but he had several other key carries. He also caught three passes for 17 yards. The Rams moved 6.6 yards every time Jackson touched the ball. Simply put, Jackson willed the Rams to victory. GRADE: A

      RECEIVERS: WR Keenan Burton had five catches for 54 yards. He was particularly effective early. Billy Bajema’s first two receptions of the year picked up 43 yards, and fellow TE Daniel Fells raced 36 yards to the end zone with a catch off a fake field goal. TE Randy McMichael had a drop, and he probably should’ve held on to another ball near the goal line. WRs Donnie Avery and Danny Amendola were quiet, with just one reception each. GRADE: C-

      OFFENSIVE LINE: Arguably the best outing of the year for this group, even with RG Richie Incognito (foot) on the sideline (Adam Goldberg started in his place). It kept Bulger clean and provided some room for Jackson, especially in the second half. Alex Barron was solid at LT, rookie Jason Smith was stout at RT, and Mark Setterstrom filled in nicely at LG after Jacob Bell left with a probable concussion late in the third quarter. GRADE: A-

      DEFENSIVE LINE: Another impressive showing by DE Leonard Little, who recorded a sack, another tackle for loss and three quarterback hits. DE Chris Long notched his first sack of the year, as the Rams got after rookie QB Matthew Stafford pretty effectively. In the run game, the Lions’ primary backs averaged just 3.3 yards per carry. GRADE: B

      LINEBACKERS: Rookie MLB James Laurinaitis was credited with a team-high seven tackles in the unofficial press-box stats. WLB Paris Lenon had six stops despite problems with his back. SLB David Vobora didn’t do much in his return from a four-week suspension. GRADE: C

      SECONDARY: The absence of dangerous WR Calvin Johnson (knee) was a boost for the Rams, whose coverage was impressive: Lions WRs were targeted 14 times and caught just two balls. CB Quincy Butler was solid in his first career start in a “base” defense. S James Butler intercepted a pass in the end zone, came out a yard or two, then inexplicably retreated back and was dropped...
      -11-01-2009, 07:31 PM
    • r8rh8rmike
      Rams Report Card: Grade A Defensive Effort
      by r8rh8rmike
      Rams Report Card: Grade A defensive effort

      BY JEFF GORDON | Posted: Monday, October 31, 2011 12:05 am | (16) Comments

      Here are the grades for the St. Louis Rams after Sunday’s 31-21 victory over the Saints:

      QUARTERBACK: A.J. Feeley had receiver Brandon Lloyd open twice for TDs on the first drive of the game. He missed short, then long. His untimely goal-line fumble propelled the Saints back into the game. But Feeley made some big throws and finished off the victory. Winning efforts from back-up quarterbacks are hugely appreciated in the NFL. GRADE: B.

      RUNNING BACK: Steven Jacksondid it all Sunday. He fired up the team with a pre-game speech. He blasted the Saints for 159 yards and two TDs on the ground. He caught four passes for 32 yards. He made emotional wake-up calls to teammates when they screwed up. He led this downtrodden team to its first victory with a hallmark performance. GRADE: A-plus.

      RECEIVERS: Lloyd dropped the potential clinching touchdown pass in the fourth quarter. But he called his own route on his earlier 8-yard TD reception and also made a diving catch that helped the Rams eat most of the remaining fourth quarter block. Rookie Greg Salas (5 catches, 37 yards, plus an 8-yard run) was also very good in this game. Minus Danario Alexander (hamstring) and Mark Clayton (Achilles tendon), the group had a solid showing.GRADE: B.

      TIGHT ENDS: Billy Bajema had a bad pass drop, but otherwise the group had a solid game in all aspects. It would be nice to see bulldozing rookie Lance Kendricks targeted for more catch-and-run plays, but that is nitpicking. GRADE: B.

      OFFENSIVE LINE: Minus injured right tackleJason Smith, the group had a solid outing. The unit delivered strong run blocking throughout the game. Feeley absorbed four sacks, but overall the pass protection held up against the pressured Saints. A spate of penalties caused some distress late, but the group gave a winning effort. GRADE: B.

      DEFENSIVE LINE: Chris Longearned three sacks and swatted down a pass coming off the edge. Rookie defensive end Robert Quinn and veteran defensive tackle Fred Robbins also earned sacks. Bouncing back from total capitulation at Dallas, the front seven remained stout against the run. New Orleans gained just 56 yards on 20 carries. GRADE: A.

      LINEBACKERS: The man in the middle,James Laurinaitis, played like an All-Pro. The press box statistics credited him with 10 tackles. He also broke up two passes, earned a sack and put two more hits on Saints quarterback Drew Brees. Chris Chamberlain helped set the defensive tone with two early tackles for a loss and Bryan Kehl also earned one while starting in place of Brady Poppinga.GRADE: A.

      SECONDARY: Safety Darian Stewart was huge. He made five tackles, broke up two passes and sealed the victory with his “pick-six.” CornerbackJosh Gordy also had an interception...
      -10-31-2011, 04:01 PM
    • r8rh8rmike
      Rams Report Card: D+ For Coaching; D For Secondary
      by r8rh8rmike
      Rams Report Card: D+ for coaching; D for secondary

      Monday, November 15, 2010

      Here are the St. Louis Rams' grades after Sunday's 23-20 overtime loss to the *****:

      QUARTERBACK: Sam Bradford had a few errant tosses. But overall, there's little to quibble about. He completed 71 percent of his passes, didn't throw an interception for the fourth game in a row, and compiled a solid passer rating of 94.4. He also was solid on the late drive that sent the game into OT. GRADE: A-

      RUNNING BACKS: Still playing with a broken finger, Steven Jackson piled up 148 yards -- 81 rushing on 20 attempts, 67 receiving on eight catches. GRADE: B+

      RECEIVERS: Though he had eight catches for 72 yards, WR Brandon Gibson inexplicably twice failed to surge upfield after making catches near the first-down marker. Danny Amendola was his usual solid self, with seven catches for 51 yards and a TD. TE Daniel Fells couldn't come up with the grab at about the 7-yard line in the final seconds of the fourth quarter. He might've scored and regained the lead for the Rams. GRADE: C+

      OFFENSIVE LINE: Bradford was sacked three times, but generally was pretty well protected. The run blocking was lacking early, but got better later. Renardo Foster filled in nicely at LT after Rodger Saffold left with an ankle injury. GRADE: C+

      DEFENSIVE LINE: Three of the Rams' five sacks were by d-linemen -- Chris Long, C.J. Ah You and James Hall. The Rams got good pressure on QB Troy Smith, but he often was able to wriggle out of trouble. The ***** mustered only 98 yards on the ground. GRADE: B

      LINEBACKERS: MLB James Laurinaitis had a sack. SLB Na'il Diggs had a couple of good moments, and a couple of not-so-good ones. WLB Chris Chamberlain didn't do much is his first career start. GRADE: C

      SECONDARY: Although it wasn't totally the d-backs' fault, Troy Smith torched the Rams for 356 passing yards, easily the highest total against them all season. CB Kevin Dockery was beaten badly two times in the first quarter, for 32 and then 65 yards. The Rams also committed two costly pass-interference penalties that added 60 yards. S Craig Dahl was credited with 13 tackles in the unofficial press-box stats. GRADE: D

      SPECIAL TEAMS: Donnie Jones was outstanding; the ***** didn't return any of his nine punts. The ***** averaged just 14 yards on three kickoff returns. The Rams' returns were just so-so. Josh Brown hit on both FG tries, but also booted a kickoff out of bounds. Bryan Kehl blocked a field goal. GRADE: B+

      COACHING: OC Pat Shurmur opened the game with four-wideout sets on three of the first four snaps. He stayed creative early, but again turned conservative as the Rams tried to hold a lead. DC Ken Flajole oddly chose to go with four-man rushes on a number of crucial pass situations. HC coach Steve Spagnuolo could be challenged...
      -11-15-2010, 06:29 PM
    • MauiRam
      Report Card: D-line earns an A, coaches an A minus ..
      by MauiRam
      By BILL COATS | Posted: Monday, October 4, 2010 3:45 pm

      Post-Dispatch football writer Bill Coats grades the St. Louis Rams after their 20-3 win over the Seattle Seahawks:

      QUARTERBACK: Sam Bradford threw a bad interception in the end zone, and a few of his tosses, especially early in the game, were off target. But that's quibbling in what overall was a solid effort by the rookie. His 15-yard TD pass to WR Brandon Gibson was a laser shot, but Bradford also showed a nice touch on the large number of screen passes that were called. GRADE: B

      RUNNING BACKS: Steven Jackson gets extra credit for a gritty performance. Playing with a sore groin, Jackson gutted out 124 yards from scrimmage -- 70 rushing, 54 receiving. Kenneth Darby scored a 21-yard TD with a nice run after a screen pass. GRADE: B+

      RECEIVERS: Another strong outing by WR Mark Clayton (5 catches, 72 yards). WR Danny Amendola also had 5 receptions, including a stunning one-handed catch. WR Brandon Gibson was effective, with 3 catches for 50 yards. TE Daniel Fells averaged 11.7 yards on 3 catches. GRADE: B

      OFFENSIVE LINE: The pass protection was spotty. Bradford was sacked four times and scrambled out of trouble on a few other occasions. The run blocking improved as the game went on. GRADE: C+

      DEFENSIVE LINE: A stellar performance, featuring a number of big plays. Seattle QB Matt Hasselbeck was harassed all afternoon, and mostly by a four-man rush. He was sacked four times. The Rams were stout against the run, especially in the second half, when RB Justin Forsett mustered just 16 yards on eight carries. GRADE: A

      LINEBACKERS: David Vobora had a sack. Na'il Diggs was the most active he's been all year. Laurinaitis was solid, it not spectacular, in the middle. Nice job on dangerous TE John Carlson, who had just one catch. GRADE: B+

      SECONDARY: CB Bradley Fletcher had an interception for the second consecutive game. Ron Bartell was strong in coverage again. With Oshiomogho Atogwe getting limited time, Craig Dahl and James Butler did a nice job at safety. GRADE: B

      SPECIAL TEAMS: The Rams thwarted a fake field goal, Kevin Dockery hauling down the ballcarrier. Donnie Jones dropped four of seven punts inside the 20. K Josh Brown hit on both FG attempts. Rams coverage against Seattle's dangerous return units was good. GRADE: B+

      COACHING: Odd call by coach Steve Spagnuolo, eschewing an easy FG late in the game. Still, he obviously prepared his team well, despite injuries to his captains, Jackson and Atogwe, and several others throughout the week. Nice game-planning by OC Pat Shurmur, who hurt Seattle with several screen passes, and used a couple of four-wideout sets. D
      -10-04-2010, 07:01 PM