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  • Rams Report Card vs. Texans

    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. Play calling overall was OK. DC Ken Flajole showed a number of different looks, trying to disrupt the Texans’ potent passing game. Didn’t do much good. Personnel groupings on the line were hard to figure in a couple of situations. Special-teams coach Tom McMahon had another impressive performance. GRADE: C
    :ramlogo:

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  • eldfan
    Rams Report Card vs. Cardinals
    by eldfan
    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...
    -11-23-2009, 05:58 AM
  • 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 @ 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
  • Nick
    Report card: Defensive line earns an A, coaches an A-
    by Nick
    Report card: Defensive line earns an A, coaches an A-
    By BILL COATS | Posted: Sunday, October 3, 2010 5:22 pm

    St. Louis Rams 20, Seattle Seahawks 3

    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. DC Ken Flajole kept the Seahawks guessing, with different looks up front and well-timed blitzes. GRADE: A-
    -10-03-2010, 06:03 PM
  • r8rh8rmike
    Report Card: A For Secondary; C Minus For Sam
    by r8rh8rmike
    Report Card: A for secondary; C minus for Sam

    By BILL COATS
    Monday, December 6, 2010

    QUARTERBACK: Rookie Sam Bradford didn't have best day. He was a bit inaccurate at times, threw a bad interception and made some questionable decisions. Still, he managed to avoid serious trouble and stayed the course on a day when points were hard to come by. GRADE: C-

    RUNNING BACKS: Steven Jackson's rushing total of 102 yards was slightly misleading; he lost 10 yards on two carries as the clock wound down at the end. Jackson had a 27-yard TD run when he broke a tackle or two and sprinting down the right sideline. GRADE: B+

    RECEIVERS: WR Brandon Gibson continues to perk, getting 54 yards on six catches. TEs Daniel Fells and Billy Bajema combined for five receptions. WR Danny Amendola was targeted just twice, and had one catch. GRADE: C+

    OFFENSIVE LINE: Jackson generally wasn't given much room, although RT Jason Smith helped spring him with a nice block on his TD run. Bradford was sacked twice and pressured occasionally. GRADE: C

    DEFENSIVE LINE: The Rams were gashed early on the ground, but stiffened later. Still, Arizona averaged 5.5 yards per rush attempt. The Rams recorded four sacks (two by DT Fred Robbins) and consistently applied pressure to the Big Red QBs. GRADE: B

    LINEBACKERS: SLB Na'il Diggs was having perhaps his best day of the season before leaving with a shoulder injury in the fourth quarter. MLB James Laurinaitis was his usual steady self, but David Vobora didn't provide a lot at WLB. GRADE: B

    SECONDARY: Interceptions by SS Craig Dahl and CB Bradley Fletcher led to six crucial points. Quincy Butler performed well after replacing the injured Ron Bartell. Kevin Dockery made a couple of plays in the nickel package. FS Oshiomogho Atogwe was active. GRADE: A

    SPECIAL TEAMS: Danny Amendola was very good on returns, averaging 20.5 yards on punts and 26.0 on kickoffs. P Donnie Jones averaged 50.0 gross and 45.5 net. Josh Brown was four-for-four on FGs, including a 52-yarder. The Rams' coverage was pretty good. GRADE: A-

    COACHING: OC Pat Shurmur's approach wasn't flashy, but it was effective. DC Ken Flajole brought the heat, with consistent blitzes keeping the Cardinals QB on their heels. The clock could've been managed a bit better at the end of the half, but no serious issues overall. GRADE: B+
    -12-06-2010, 09:40 PM
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