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How they scored against the Texans

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  • How they scored against the Texans

    Quarterbacks - If Keith Null didn't earn the keys to the truck for the final two games of the season, I'll lose serious confidence in this staff. Null rebounded nicely from the 5 INT performance against Tennessee. He again looked poised and calm in the pocket. He delivered the ball in rhythm and rarely looked confused. He spread the ball around to many targets. He made several audibles on the line, including one that resulted in a nice gain to McMichael. His pass to Gibson in traffic was a big league throw. His INT was garbage, but Null knows that - that play might have worked in D. II. The coaches must have confidence in this kid, they employed four and five receiver sets throughout the day. Null is argubly playing at the same level Bulger and Boller did with even less to work with.

    Grade: B

    Running Backs - Geez. What is there to say about Jackson. He continues to run with incredible heart despite being hurt, with a very raw offensive line. He showed great burst getting around the edge on the long run today, and made some nice moves on a screen pass that got big yards. He ran away from Karney a couple times and missed some big holes. Regardless, Jackson is keeping this team afloat, and his teammates feed off his energy. Darby has solidified the third down role, touching the ball five times, and converting first downs on four of them. Blitz pickup was so-so

    Grade: B+

    Offensive Line - Tough to grade this group today. The tackles did a solid job, keeping pressure off of Null around the edges. Most of the problems came up the middle on delayed blitzes. Null has to recognize these and get out of the way. Run blocking was below average today. Occasionally, these guys would blow Jackson open a nice hole, but he was stopped for a loss way too many times. There are numerous reasons for this, and a raw offensive line with too many new starters is one of them.

    Grade: C

    Wide Receivers / Tight Ends - Wishy-washy day for this group. Avery made the most out of the shorter passes he caught. He had a DB beat deep down the sideline but Null just barely missed him. Gibson ran a slick route to get open in a Texan zone. Amendola caught his first touchdown on an awesome call by Shurmur. Martin was seen early again, but disspaeared after that. Not much production from tight ends.

    Grade: C-

    Defensive Line - Great day against the run. The trio of Cliff Ryan, Dorrell Scott, and Leger Douzable has come on of late. Six tackles for no gain or loss by these three. Long held up well against the run today, and make some sick moves on pass rushes. He nearly got to Schaub about a half dozen times, using a variety of bull rushes and spin moves. The Texans resorted to double teaming him about half the time. No pressure at all off the other end. James Hall made a play that must be seen, dropping back into coverage and running stride for stride with a receiver to prevent a completion. Best game of the year against the run, as the year interior defensive line continues to gel.

    Grade: B-

    Linebackers - Seemingly quite day from this group, partially because of the good perfomance by the defensive line. Few plays got into this level of the defense. Alll three supported the run fairly well, but they do not get deep enough in coverage. Laurinaitus is incredibly smart, and it showed in him smelling out a misdirection pass across the field to the tight end on play action. He noticed immediately, and started out of position, but corrected to stop the play. Paris Lenon had a nice pass breakup and forced a fumble. We need a rangy player here. Very few, if any, blitzing from this group.

    Grade: C+

    Secondary - There is a problem with the scheme here overall, and I think this is because of the lack of pass rush. There was a plan today, and that was to keep Andre Johnson in front of them. The Texans made several plays to Johnson where we had him covered well, but they intentionally underthrew him, to which Johnson came back and made the easy catch. Great tackling from this group today, minus Gorrer's horrible missed tackle. Butler and Dahl were beastly against the run. Bartell also supported well and had a nice pass breakup on Johnson in the endzone. King is still learning in coverage, but he is a very physical tackler. This unit will improve drastically if we ever get a pass rush. They are having to play way too soft in the zone.

    Grade: C- for coverage, A for run support

    Special Teams - Very nice day again for this group against one of the best special teams units in the league. Coverage was fairly sound. Amendola busted a big return. Brown hit another 50 yarder, and is quietly having a nice season, converting 80% of his kicks, many of them from 50 plus. Jones was Jones.

    Grade: A-

    Coaching - Offensively, we saw Shurmur open the playbook. He's been doing this a little more each week, employing some wide open four and five receiver sets this week. Beautiful call on the TD to Amendola. We run WAY too much on 1st down. Defensively, I think they did what they wanted to accomplish, and it kept us in the game. We need to find some way to get more of a pass rush. Spags made a gutsy call on the first 4th down to convert. At first, I didn't like him punting on 4th and 10 near the end, but in retrospect, it was the right, if not unpopular call, in that case. Amazing job of keeping the guys motivated despite the beatdown last week and the 1-12 record coming in.

    Grade: B+

  • #2
    Re: How they scored against the Texans

    Originally posted by RamsInfiniti View Post
    Quarterbacks - I

    Coaching - Offensively, we saw Shurmur open the playbook. He's been doing this a little more each week, employing some wide open four and five receiver sets this week. Beautiful call on the TD to Amendola. We run WAY too much on 1st down. Defensively, I think they did what they wanted to accomplish, and it kept us in the game. We need to find some way to get more of a pass rush. Spags made a gutsy call on the first 4th down to convert. At first, I didn't like him punting on 4th and 10 near the end, but in retrospect, it was the right, if not unpopular call, in that case. Amazing job of keeping the guys motivated despite the beatdown last week and the 1-12 record coming in.

    Grade: B+
    I agree with most of your analysis, nice work here. I respectfully disagree with your assessment on the punt call on 4th and 10. Take a chance, team is 1-23 and needs a win give it a try. If the team was trying to make playoff, on the cusp etc. then punt the ball. This team needs a win and as such, should have tried. I did not like it yesterday and still do not like it today.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: How they scored against the Texans

      Originally posted by macrammer View Post
      I agree with most of your analysis, nice work here. I respectfully disagree with your assessment on the punt call on 4th and 10. Take a chance, team is 1-23 and needs a win give it a try. If the team was trying to make playoff, on the cusp etc. then punt the ball. This team needs a win and as such, should have tried. I did not like it yesterday and still do not like it today.
      Disagree. We'd been stopping the run all game, the punt was the right thing to do. With 2 timeouts we could have easily gotten the ball back.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: How they scored against the Texans

        Originally posted by The Rammer View Post
        Disagree. We'd been stopping the run all game, the punt was the right thing to do. With 2 timeouts we could have easily gotten the ball back.
        With no pass rush and Schaub and johnson playing pitch and catch all day, I was not concerned about Texans getting first down on the ground.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: How they scored against the Texans

          Seems as if Shurmur opened the playbook past page two. That call to Amendola reminded me of a play Wes Welker would do. Amendola deserved a touchdown yesterday.

          Keith Null has to finish the year off. Who knows, with more practice and time with our starters, we might be a good choice for QB next year. And please, don't throw the "he's from a small school" crap at me. A kid from a big school won't develop into a good player without time either. We need to give him all the time in the world, who knows, we might not have to draft a QB next year.

          Comment

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          • RamsInfiniti
            Rams V. Packers Grades
            by RamsInfiniti
            Here it is:

            Quarterbacks - Bulger left with an injury before he ever got a chance to do much. Boller came out and gave a spark, and threw two touchdown passes that were as beautiful as any I've seen. He moved around well in the pocket, ran for a couple first downs, and even laid a crushing block. However, the second half was terrible, he threw a terrible INT on a play where Amendola had a step, and has a difficult time hitting his man when staying in the pocket. He appears to be much better on the run.

            Grade - C

            Running Backs - Jackson played like a man possessed today, running hard when there was no hole, and making good use of the small holes he did find. It is amazing to see a man his size run like he does. He also made the best of several short passes out of the backfield, and even blocked well in the pass game. Darby had a great catch and run to convert a third down.

            Grade - A-

            Wide Receivers - Robinson got off to a nice start before leaving the game with an ankle injury. Avery dropped yet another pass and his confidence seems to be shot. Burton looked good in the first half, but Boller barely looked his way in the second half. Amendola got a few reps in the offense, and got open twice from what I could tell. Boller missed him for the INT, on what could have been a nice run and catch. This group is in shambles.

            Grade - D

            Offensive Line - This group generally blocked ok in the pass game today. Hard to tell if this was a solid effort or just because Boller was able to move around a little more effectively than Bulger. The run blocking was so-so, and Jackson probably made them look a little better than the actually were. Goldberg seemed to hold up well enough on the rightside. Nobody in particular stood out in this game.

            Grade - C+

            Tight Ends - Fells showed an ability to run some nice routes and made a pair of nice grabs on the TDs. We need to get him more involved. McMichael made a great one handed grab early, but killed a drive with a critical 3rd down drop on a great throw by Boller. Bejema was noticable in the blocking game and did well.

            Grade - B-

            Defensive Line - This group held up very well to the run today, and this is seen in the lack of tackles made by linebackers. Ramsey again showed an ability to be a disrupter and deserves more reps. Gibson had a nice pass defensed and was very active against the run. Chris Long may not be getting to the passer yet but he is superb against the run. Little had two early sacks. Ah You is a non-factor. Where is Big Vic? Hollis stuffed a run. The pass rush was actually decent in this game, but containment of Rodgers often brokedown.

            Grade: B-

            Linebackers - This group had an up and down game. Both Vobora and Witherspoon had tackles for loss when shooting the gap on run plays. They generally played...
            -09-28-2009, 09:10 AM
          • RamsInfiniti
            Rams Report Card v. Washington
            by RamsInfiniti
            Here's how I saw it:

            Quarterbacks - Bulger looks to be gaining confidence in the line, even if he shouldn't. Only one sack on Bulger, but he was consistently hit all day long. He continued to battle, moved well in the pocket, ran when he had to, and took what the defense gave him, including a nifty flip pass while being hit. His pass to Robinson for the TD was a thing of beauty. Bulger impressed with his ability to plant despite heavy pressure, leading to several third down conversions.

            Grade: B-

            Running Backs - Jackson ran hard and caught a few passes out of the backfield. He showed great burst on the long gainer. There was little room to run early, but Jackson continued to

            press and wore the Washington defense down as the game went on. However, a huge mental error caused him to miss a gaping hole caused by Karney, that would have likely led to a TD (Avery would fumble the next play). Karney looked much, much better today.

            Grade: B-

            Wide Receivers - Robinson looked like a #1, making a great grab in the end zone on the fade route. He also pulled one off the carpet for a third down conversion, an even more impressive grab to me. Avery was terrible, dropping at least three passes, having a critical fumble, another block in the back, and questionable effort on the games final play. His confidence seems to be waning. Burton made two clutch grabs, one in heavy coverage, and he spun around on a comeback route for a big gainer. He looked Isaac Bruce-ish on that second grab. Ruvell Martin should give this unit a big boost.

            Grade: A- for Robinson and Burton, F for Avery, C overall

            Tight Ends - McMichael looks old and slow. He dropped a TD pass, and hasn't shown much ability to get open or downfield. Fells and Bejema were non-existant.

            Grade: D-

            Offensive Line - Incognito got beaten routinely in the passing game, but worked hard in the run game the final three quarters. Didn't notice much out of Bell. Haynesworth seemed to be consistently getting across the line against Brown and whoever was helping. Barron had a crucial holding penalty and looked somewhat lethargic in pass coverage. He needs to work a little holder. Smith looked solid until he got hurt. Goldberg filled in and was acceptable, as was Setterstrom who got some snaps at center. Overall, this unit only gave up one sack, but Bulger was hit repeatedly and hard. The pocket was simply not big enough.

            Grade: C-

            Defensive Line - Chris Long continues to be active in the run game, but not getting much pressure off the edge. He was active in breaking up two screen passes today. Not much pressure from Little, but he did bat down one pass at the line, and went out into coverage on Randle-El on another pass play, resulting in a near interception. Hall nearly forced a safety with a sack. Ryan and Gibson were adequate if unspectacular in the...
            -09-20-2009, 04:16 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
          • MFranke
            RamView, 12/20/2009: Texans 16, Rams 13 (Long)
            by MFranke
            RamView, December 20, 2009
            From Row HH
            (Report and opinions on and from the game.)
            Game #14: Texans 16, Rams 13

            There once was a team from St. Lou / That was hit with a case of swine flu / After a week's worth of vexin' / They got beat by the Texans / But they'll get to draft Ndamukong Suh.

            * QB: If you were to argue that Keith Null (18-27-173, 81.2 rating) lost the game today, I'd have a hard time refuting it, due to two costly turnovers. After the defense turned Houston over in the 1st, Null led the offense's opening possession across midfield before dropping a snap from center, which blew the timing of a scheduled handoff to Steven Jackson. Null still tried the handoff, but Jackson didn't look ready for it anymore, and Mario Williams recovered the gaffe to set up a Houston FG. Many areas of Null's game are developing, but one that regressed was the simple exchange from center, as he put two or three snaps on the ground today. That's an issue Null had better get a grip on quickly. Null's other huge error was an interception early in the 3rd. Coming as it did from the Houston 25, it cost the Rams at least 3 points, and the Texans would score 7 for themselves off the turnover. Trying to avoid a sack from Antonio Smith, Null fired while going down and was picked off by Dominique Barber. With experience, Null will learn that eating that ball would have been better there. I won't rip Null for those plays like I would if Marc Bulger or Kyle Boller committed them, because those two veterans should know better and execute better. And Null's just trying to make a play both times. He's trying to get the ball in Jackson's hands on the fumble, certainly a good thought. He appeared to have Ruvell Martin open on the INT; he just needed to remember at that moment that he isn't Brett Favre. Null continues to hang tough in the pocket. He'll stand back and make throws at times where you'd see Bulger cringing for impact, or Boller scrambling off with unpredictable, mostly not good, results. Null's got the team behind him. You can see he cares out there. The defense sees it, too. They were all tapping Null on the helmet, promising to pick him up after the INT. (They didn't.) The coaches' confidence in Null has already increased. He got to try a couple of long balls; one barely too long, one pretty underthrown. They had him throwing on 4th-and-1 in Ram territory right before the INT. Null hasn't developed killer rapport with one receiver yet, but he's hit nine different guys in both of his starts so far. One INT today is certainly an improvement over last week's five. I didn't see all the double-clutching he did last week, either. A lot of what's good about Null's game comes because he gets the ball out quickly. He's accurate on the short stuff. He can get throws off with a man in his face. The offense had good rhythm a lot of the day. There was just one 3-and-out, the inevitable Ram post-halftime fizzle. Null's...
            -12-21-2009, 03:52 PM
          • RamsInfiniti
            Report Card = Rams @ 49'ers
            by RamsInfiniti
            Here is the way I saw it:

            QUARTERBACK - Bulger passed for nearly 300 yards, but he had a typical erratic day that we've seen all season. Bulger can seemingly put together two or three consecutive good throws, only to follow with a horrible mistake. Bulger worked to get the ball out quickly today, but he often reacted to pressure that was not there. On two of the sacks, he had at least five seconds to throw, and failed to find an open receiver, or to throw it away. He just looks very confused at this point. He just barely missed Avery on a deep seam route in the first quarter - the ball was slightly underthrown, but the rookie has to find a way to make that play. The main problem I saw in Bulger again this week is predetermining his throws before the snap. It's hard to pinpoint how big an issue this really is, but some great camera angles in this game often showed wideouts sitting open in the flat, particularly on some third downs. It seems either Bulger throws to the flat too quickly before the routes develop, or he is absolutely deadset on throwing deep to Avery, often into double or triple coverage. A very shaky day but Bulger, a day when he had enough time to be dangerous. It should be noted that he made a nifty move and put his head down on a run to get a first down. No doubt the guy is tough, but he is just too big a mental case right now to be a success.

            GRADE: D-

            RUNNING BACKS: Superb effort by this group today. It's really hard to complain when your backup running back and a guy off the street manage to rack up 200 yards of offense. Pittman ran hard and seemingly regained his burst. He picked his holes wisely and showed an ability to get through the second line of defense very quickly, a trait we haven't seen from him in the past. He failed to haul in a potential TD pass early, but he was well covered. Darby continues to show that he can be a definitive option as the third-down back on this team. He picked up one blitz nicely, and ran very hard. Ignore the big five yard loss as that was not on him. Most impressively though, he caught 8 passes out of the backfield and showed an ability to make the defender miss. This is something we do not have with Travis Minor. I didn't see anything of value out of Kreider today, and we definitely need to upgrade that position. Regardless, Pittman and Darby caused significant damage against a 49'ers defense that has not been generous to running backs the past two weeks.

            GRADE: A

            WIDE RECEIVERS: Donnie Avery showed the entire arsenal today, making some yardage out of some smoke routes, cataching a couple intermediate routes, and making an awesome catch down the sideline for a big gain. He needs to make the play on that seam route that Bulger throws in the first quarter. He needs to work on positioning his body better, but overall, Avery showed how big a weapon he can be today. He seemingly has great hands, something that was questioned...
            -11-17-2008, 11:24 AM
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