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  • Rams Report Card vs. Cardinals

    Rams Report Card vs. Cardinals
    By Bill Coats
    St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    !
    Here’s one blogger’s grades for the Rams after Sunday’s 21-13 loss to the Arizona Cardinals:

    QUARTERBACK: Marc Bulger’s statistics — 19 of 37 for 215 yards, 0 TDs, one interception, 57.8 passer rating — suffered considerable damage because his mostly young and mostly new crop of wide receivers weren’t always where they were supposed to be at the end of routes. Still, a couple of Bulger’s passes were off the mark, and he threw a bad interception late in the first half. But this wasn’t his worst day. GRADE: C

    RUNNING BACK: Another determined performance by Steven Jackson, who rushed for 116 yards on 24 carries and became the first ballcarrier in franchise history to top 1,000 in five consecutive seasons. Jackson was targed only twice as a receiver, and he got 0 yards on those catches. GRADE: A-

    RECEIVERS: The young WRs are maturing. Donnie Avery, Brandon Gibson and Danny Amendola combined for 13 catches and 187 yards. Amendola and Avery both made tough grabs in traffic. Gibson occasionally wasn’t in sync with Bulger, not surprising considering his short time with the team. The TEs contributed just three receptions for 23 yards. GRADE: B-

    OFFENSIVE LINE: The unit didn’t have its best outing, although it wasn’t bad, either, against a very good run defense. Bulger was sacked three times and Jackson had to bore out his yardage without much help at times. The absence of RT Jason Smith with a head injury in the second half could’ve been an unsettling factor. Adam Goldberg was whistled for an inopportune personal foul in the late going. GRADE: C+

    DEFENSIVE LINE: DE Chris Long got his third sack in as many games and the Rams put some pressure on the Cards QBs. But the Rams were woeful vs. the run. Tim Hightower and Beanie Wells rolled up a cumulative 184 yards on the ground, including a whopping 126 in the first half, when the Big Red piled up a 21-3 lead. GRADE: D

    LINEBACKERS: Rookie MLB James Laurinaitis was everywhere, getting a game-high 16 tackles (unofficial press-box stats). SLB David Vobora had some good moments, including a forced fumble that the Rams recovered. Paris Lenon did little at WLB. GRADE: B

    SECONDARY: Cardinals QBs completed 19 passes to non-backs, with Pro Bowl WRs Anquan Boldin (8 catches, 103 yards, one TD) and Larry Fitzgerald (8 catches, 87 yards, one TD) doing most of the damage. Rams coverage was spotty: at times, it was pretty good, and at other times, the Arizona receivers were strikingly wide open. GRADE: C-

    SPECIAL TEAMS: Donnie Jones was outstanding, averaging 51.3 yards (46.5 net) on four punts. Josh Brown hit on both his field goal tries, from 40 and 20 yards. Danny Amendola was scintillating on a 40-yard kickoff return to open the second half and averaged an impressive 30.3 on three tries. Rams coverage was OK. GRADE: B+

    COACHING: HC Steve Spagnuolo probably should’ve gone for a FG on 4th-and-7 and the Rams down 21-13 with about 3 1/2 minutes to go. With all the Rams’ timeouts left and the Cardinals getting little out of their offense at the time, the Rams almost surely would’ve gotten the ball back with the prospect of a TD putting them ahead. Nice day for special-teams coach Tom McMahon’s unit. No quarrels with OC Pat Shurmur’s play-calling. DC Ken Flajole’s outfit was shredded in the first half, but rebounded (after Warner left the game). GRADE: C+
    :ramlogo:

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  • Nick
    Report Card: Cardinals 17, Rams 13
    by Nick
    Report Card: Cardinals 17, Rams 13
    By BILL COATS | Posted: Sunday, September 12, 2010 8:36 pm

    QUARTERBACK: The St. Louis Rams certainly weren't shy about showing off rookie Sam Bradford's arm. He unleashed 55 passes, completing 32 for 253 yards and a TD, with three interceptions. Two of the "picks" came late, as the Rams pressed to regain the lead. The Cardinals blitzed heavily and showed Bradford a lot of looks. He maintained his composure throughout. A decent debut. GRADE: C+

    RUNNING BACKS: Despite having little room with which to work, Steven Jackson ground out a tough 81 yards on 22 carries. He also had four catches and did a nice job in blitz pickups. GRADE: C+

    RECEIVERS: Mark Clayton had a stunning Rams debut, with 10 catches for 119 yards. Fellow WR Danny Amendola had six receptions for 67 yards. A total of eight Rams caught at least one pass. But there also were several drops. GRADE: B-

    OFFENSIVE LINE: Bradford was sacked twice and hit several other times. But that wasn't bad against the Cardinals, one of the league's best blitzing teams. The run blocking was a bit disappointing. GRADE: C

    DEFENSIVE LINE: Tackle Fred Robbins and end C.J. Ah You got sacks. There were many more hits, though, as Arizona QB Derek Anderson took a beating. Ah You also forced a fumble that DT Clifton Ryan nearly took to the end zone before fumbling. The Cardinals averaged 5.3 yards per carry on the ground. GRADE: B

    LINEBACKERS: MLB James Laurinaitis had some moments, but overall, just an average day for the unit. GRADE: C

    SECONDARY: CB Ron Bartell was outstanding in his coverage of WR Larry Fitzgerald. The Cards targed Fitzgerald 15 times, and he had just three catches for 43 yards. But Steve Breaston filled the void, getting 132 yards on seven receptions. Nickel back Kevin Dockery had some rough times. S Oshiomogho Atogwe and S Craig Dahl forced fumbles. GRADE: B-

    SPECIAL TEAMS: Josh Brown's first field-goal try was blocked, but he hit on two other attempts. Donnie Jones averaged an impressive 54.2 yards (45.7 net) on six punts, and placed three inside the 20. The Rams' returns were OK; their coverage was just fair. GRADE: C+

    COACHING: DC Ken Flajole gets high marks for his most aggressive game plan in two seasons. The Rams blitzed with abandon and effectiveness. Not enough balance on offense -- 57 pass plays vs. 24 runs. Coach Steve Spagnuolo still is too stingy with his timeouts. GRADE: C+
    -09-13-2010, 07:42 AM
  • RamWraith
    St. Louis Rams report card @ Arizona Cardinals
    by RamWraith
    By Bill Coats
    St. Louis Post-Dispatch


    GLENDALE, Ariz. — Here’s one blogger’s grades for the Rams after Sunday’s 34-10 loss to the Arizona Cardinals:

    QUARTERBACK: Before an interception was returned 99 yards for a touchdown in the final moments, Marc Bulger was putting together one of his better outings — statistically, anyway — in recent weeks. He wound up 22 of 37 for 228 yards, with a 3-yard TD toss and the one pick. His passer rating was 75.1. A couple of Bulger’s incompletions were caused by mix-ups and bad routes. GRADE: C+

    RUNNING BACK: Steven Jackson ran with power and abandon, much as he did before injuring his right thigh almost two months ago. He wasn’t afforded much room, but Jackson ground out some tough real estate. Still, he lost two critical fumbles in the third quarter as the Rams were trying to mount a challenge. One snuffed a promising drive; the other was returned 11 yards for a TD. GRADE: D+

    RECEIVERS: Bulger hooked with 11 different pass-catchers, Torry Holt leading the way with five grabs for 61 yards. Donnie Avery failed to pick up a hot read and still has occasional lapses in his route-running. After two drops last week, RB Antonio Pittman caught both balls thrown his way and picked up 41 yards. GRADE: C

    OFFENSIVE LINE: The pass protection was good — Bulger was sacked just once. The run-blocking was less impressive. Adam Goldberg filled in nicely at RT for Alex Barron, who was yanked from the lineup after showing up late for a team meeting Friday. G Richie Incognito drew another personal foul, although it was offset by an Arizona penalty. GRADE: C

    DEFENSIVE LINE: Cardinals QB Kurt Warner was sacked just once and rarely pressured. Good job vs. the run, limiting the Cardinals to 2.9 yards per carry. GRADE: C+

    LINEBACKERS: Energetic Pisa Tinoisamoa was all over the field and was credited with a team-high nine tackles in the unofficial press-box stats. Quinton Culberson had one of his better games in a disappointing season. Chris Draft wasn’t on the field a lot because of the Cards’ many multi-wideout sets. GRADE: B-

    SECONDARY: CB Ron Bartell set up the Rams’ lone touchdown with his first interception of the year. There were some zone-coverage issues. The Cards’ big three — Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin and Steven Breaston – combined for 18 catches for 225 yards. GRADE: C

    SPECIAL TEAMS: Donnie Jones averaged 55.5 yards on two punts, but his net was just 36.5. Josh Brown missed a 42-yard field goal late in the first half that would’ve trimmed Arizona’s lead to 17-10, but connected later from 51 yards. Derek Stanley’s returns were pretty good. Coverage was so-so. GRADE: C

    COACHING: Even at 2-11, the Rams played with heart, a credit to Jim Haslett. Defensive coaches made some nice adjustments to the Cards’ passing game. Play-calling remains a bit of a mystery at times....
    -12-08-2008, 05:20 AM
  • 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, 08:31 PM
  • r8rh8rmike
    Rams Report Card: D+ For Coaching; D For Secondary
    by r8rh8rmike
    Rams Report Card: D+ for coaching; D for secondary

    By BILL COATS
    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, 07:29 PM
  • eldfan
    Rams Report Card vs. Texans
    by eldfan
    Rams Report Card vs. Texans
    By Bill Coats
    St. Louis Post-Dispatch

    Here’s one blogger’s grades for the Rams after Sunday’s 16-13 loss to the Houston Texans:

    QUARTERBACK: In his second start, rookie Keith Null took a step forward. He was intercepted on a ball that he should’ve thrown away, he fumbled two snaps, and he got the Rams into the end zone only one time. But he managed the game better and finished 18 of 27 for 173 yards, including a 2-yard TD pass to WR Danny Amendola. Null’s passer rating was 81.2. GRADE: C

    RUNNING BACK: Productive once again despite a bad back and a bout with flu-like symptoms late in the week, Steven Jackson finished with 123 yards from scrimmage. He led the team in rushing (82 yards) and receiving (41). GRADE: B+

    RECEIVERS: Amendola got his first NFL touchdown pass. But he and fellow WRs Brandon Gibson, Donnie Avery and Ruvell Martin aren’t doing a good enough job of getting open and totaled just 88 yards — less than half what the Texans’ Andre Johnson amassed. The TEs were targeted only two times. GRADE: D+

    OFFENSIVE LINE: Despite operating with two new guards — John Greco on the right side in place of the departed Richie Incognito and Mark Setterstrom on the left for the injured Jacob Bell – the Rams protected Null fairly well. The run blocking was just OK. GRADE: C+

    DEFENSIVE LINE: Houston’s anemic ground game mustered only 52 yards, but the Texans shredded the Rams through the air. A big part of that was the failure to pressure QB Matt Schaub, who never was sacked. Leonard Little, out with a knee injury, was sorely missed. GRADE: D+

    LINEBACKERS: Sore-shouldered rookie James Laurinaitis had perhaps his quietest outing of the season. Not much from David Vobora and Paris Lenon, either, although the Rams did a better job of containing the perimeter. The unit continues to have some coverage issues. GRADE: C-

    SECONDARY: Johnson had a big day — but, then, he often has big days. CB Justin King had a rough outing, both covering and tackling. S Craig Dahl is a hard hitter and a sure tackler, but he lacks a bit in coverage. CB Ron Bartell and S James Butler had a couple of nice breakups. GRADE: D

    SPECIAL TEAMS: Amendola’s 55-yard kickoff return, plus a 15-yard facemask penalty, set up the Rams at the Houston 25, leading to their only TD. Amendola averaged 31.8 on five kickoffs and got 12 yards on his only punt return. Josh Brown was true on three FG tries, including a 52-yarder that made in 13-13 late in the third quarter. None of Donnie Jones’ four punts (average of 43.5 yards) was returned. GRADE: A-

    COACHING: Questionable decision by HC Steve Spagnuolo to punt on fourth-and-10 near midfield with 2:39 to go. The Rams, who had two timeouts left, never got the ball back. OC Pat Shurmur showed an unusual bit of flair, ordering a pass (good for 16 yards) on fourth-and-inches....
    -12-21-2009, 07:40 AM
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