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Dr. Freud's pregame analysis-which rams team will show up?

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  • Dr. Freud's pregame analysis-which rams team will show up?

    Since the season started, the rams have been afflicted with repeated bouts of schizophrenia. We have shown the capacity to play as well as anyone in the nfl (see the fourth quarter of the seattle game) and we have shown the capacity to play like an expansion team at times (see the stupid turnovers in the new orleans game, the collapse by the defense at the end of the saints game, the failure to make plays on defense, the capacity to give up endless big plays on defense and the worst kickoff coverage in the nfl).

    We are showing every sign of an above average but certainly not championship caliber team, specifically, that we are playing not to our ability, but to the level of our opponent. When you play like that, you put yourself in a position where a big play or two at a critical time can easily cost you a game against an inferior opponent. The great teams win when they are not at their best, the above average teams seem to find ways to have either the breaks or big plays go against them with games on the line (ie the non-int by butler in the atlanta game).

    Make no mistake about it, this team has a pulse, but it is marginal at this point. We were incredibly lucky to beat seattle. Notwithstanding the great comeback, better clock management and a couple of catches by receivers that got hit directly in the hands would have ended that game. Think about how different it would look at 3-4 right now without the tiebreaker advantage vs. seattle and the tough teams coming up.

    This is the time to step up following the bye and play with consistency if we want a chance to contend. We need to play to our potential and we need to make more big plays than we give up. The defense is never going to be the 1985 bears, but when it has chances to take advantage of mistakes, it HAS to capitalize. Dropped INT's are killing us and note that when we dont create turnovers we lose. A dropped INT is really the same as an offensive turnover in the sense that we lose the chance to have possession of the ball.

    The team at this point is too reminiscent of 2000, with the exception of the fact that the offense, while good, is no where near as dominant and we cant outscore people.

    Here is what i think we need over the second half.

    1) We have to give grant williams more help. He is playing as well as can be expected, but its not good enough.
    2) We have to capitalize on defense, catch the balls when they hit us in the hands, even aeneas.
    3) We have to stop giving up so many big plays on defense
    4) leonard little needs to play better to cause more disruption (ie at a pro bowl level)
    5) obviously, we need to stay as healthy as possible (we need travis fisher up to speed).
    6) We have to be able to cover kickoffs better, we are giving up way, way too much field position for a defense that is already shaky
    7) Consistency is crucial. We cant continue to turn it on and off, no one, least of all this team, is good enough to get away with that in the nfl.
    8) we have to win the next two games

    I am sure that there are plenty more considerations, but i am trying to think big picture here. We can still make this a very, very special season, but it starts this week with a very winnable game at home against an injured patriots team, leading us into the key game of the year, seattle at home. If we can win these two we can have real momentum, which we also had after the first seattle game, but this time, if Dr. Freud helps cure our schitzophrenia, maybe we can sustain it.

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel

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  • general counsel
    Great News, we are officially a mediocre, middle of the pack NFL team
    by general counsel
    Over the first six games of the Bradford era, the rams have clearly established themselves as a solidly mediocre NFL team that is obviously on the way up. This is a HUGE step considering that we won a total of 3 games in the prior two years.

    By beating San Diego, we have shown that we can beat a playoff caliber team. Our performance in the first half yesterday was nfc championship caliber football. You can't play much better on defense and offense than we played in the first half yesterday, albeit with a couple of breaks (ie a couple of drops by the SD defense that could have been INT's and a HUGE drop by Gates on a perfect third and long throw by Rivers over the middle). For the game, we had seven sacks and no turnovers, in addition to a blocked field goal and a terrific interception in the end zone. With the game on the line, we imposed our will on the chargers and the Big Boy ran the ball down their throats to run out the clock, despite the obvious nature of the play calling. We have improved a great deal in a short time despite crippling injuries at a key offensive position (WR) where we were already lacking a #1 before anyone got hurt. As with almost every team at any level of football, dramatically improved line play on both sides of the ball has been a critical consideration in our ascension.

    It should be apparant to the entire NFL that the Rams are a very competitive home team. We are going to beat more good teams at home as the year moves on and the fans enthusiasm can only help the Rams feed off their effort yesterday.

    The next test for improvement is consistency and the ability to win on the road. If we can play a full game like we played the first half yesterday, the sky is the limit. We have lost two games that we could have easily won, and frankly, we almost let a win slip away yesterday with wildly conservative play calling in the second half (like we were playing not to lose, rather than trying to win). As well as we played defensively, allowing an 80 yard drive in 40 seconds at a key point in the fourth quarter is something that we can improve on quite a bit. I am sure no one wanted to see Rivers get the ball back with three time outs left only needing a field goal. The Rams have shown dominance in flashes this year, we need to learn to finish teams off and to play more consistently. Playing well on the road is a tough task for all NFL teams, we will see if the Rams can answer the call this weekend in what has to be considered a "winnable" road game at Tampa Bay. If we can respond vs Tampa and beat Carolina (which we should do), we are 5-3 heading into the bye week, a result that i doubt anyone could have projected.

    In short, we have come an awfully long way in a short time and if we want to take the next step this season (rather than in the future), we are going to have to win on the road. For now, the Rams fall solidly into the category of "any...
    -10-18-2010, 11:34 AM
  • general counsel
    This is an UPSIDE game
    by general counsel
    Injuries aside, this game really has only upside. Its a very tough road game against a team we dont match up well against, even with their injuries. We are healthy, coming off a bye and hopefully rejuvinated for the rest of the season, but we have been unable to consistently stop the run all year and this is one of the best running teams in the nfl with what is maybe the best back in LT and a solid young improving qb. They have a stout defensive line and a monster nose tackle.

    If we can find a way to stay in this game, we have a legit shot to win at the end of course. If we can protect bulger, we can score on them, but of course, merriman is a part of that and his status remains up in the air at this point. I hope we have a plan to control that nose tackle, but i suspect this is one of those cases where a plan is great but execution is very very tough. If jackson cant run at all and we spend the day in long yardage situations, its going to be even tougher.

    We are 9 point underdogs which is a very big spread and tells you that the oddsmakers, who know more than any of us, think that bye or no bye, injuries or no injuries, we are in big trouble.

    To me, our shot at this game is simple. We have to win the turnover battle convincingly and score tds in the red zone. In short, we will need to play our best game of the year and hope that they make some mistakes. If we can do that, we have a shot in this game. If we only play a half or maybe even three quarters of football, it wont be enough on the road against sandiego.

    At the end of the day, this is NOT a game we have to win. Thats what i mean when i say it really has only upside as long as we dont get hurt. The game we will have to win is the following week at home vs kc.

    Ramming speed to all

    general counsel
    -10-24-2006, 08:24 AM
  • general counsel
    the turnovers plus the three plays we didnt make
    by general counsel
    Obviously, the turnovers killed us. You arent going to beat a team as good as kc, home or road, with a minus three differential very often if at all. Throw in a complete inability to stop the run, consecutive moronic false starts on barron and one terrible terrible INT call on ike that cost us a legit shot to win and you have another loss to a quality team. As many of us feared, the 4-1 was largely an illusion, built on the backs of close wins against three of the worst teams in the nfl./

    What i want to focus on is the three plays we DIDNT make that dont really show up in the box score. The ball that hit coakley in the numbers that he couldnt catch, costing us 60 yards in field position. The non sack by fisher who whiffed and tripped over his own feet which led to a td rather than a sack right before half and our inability to fall on LJ's fumble despite the fact that we had two guys right on top of the ball.

    Playoff caliber teams make plays, .500 teams talk about what ifs. We beat ourselves today both with our own failure to execute and our inability to make plays when we had the chance.

    We just arent a playoff team guys. I wont give up, but reality is reality. Our best shot at this point is a win next week and a collapse by seattle which somehow enables us to sneak into the west title, but given our incompetent defense, i just dont see it happening.

    Bulger is an all pro. Little is a guy we need to have back. Steven jackson is outstanding. I think OJ stinks. I think he is weak in run support, his coverage is lousy and his ball awareness is beyond awful.

    Not much else to say at this point, i could go on indefinitely about 40 yard runs on third and 8 from the goal line, crappy tackling etc, but at this point, i am too disappointed to do so. We didnt give ourselves a chance to win this game, we just didnt make the plays and didnt capitalize when we had a chance.

    It really was a terrible call on the ike interference, i do think that we were going in for the tying td and i think we had a great shot to win the game, but you cant say we lost on that call with all the other terrible mistakes we made all day long.

    Ramming speed to all

    general counsel
    -11-05-2006, 01:31 PM
  • sbramfan
    3 Keys to success
    by sbramfan
    Aside from the specific positions that need improvement, the Rams will need to improve in 3 major areas to have a chance to succeed (overstating the obvious here, of course):

    1. Starting field position:

    You just can't expect to win many games when you can't get the ball out past the 20, and they start on their 35 all day long.

    2. Winning on the Road:

    The game in San Diego was another example of how much of a different team these guys are on the road. Just can't go 2-6 on the road again. That ain't gonna cut it.

    3. Turn over ratio:

    I don't expect this defense to lead the league in turn-overs, but they need to find a way to get some defensive turnovers. The offense is going to give a few away, so it's up to the defense to try to keep this number in the positives, with take-aways.
    -08-28-2005, 01:31 PM
  • general counsel
    What a difference a couple of games can make...looking ahead
    by general counsel
    Depsite the gloom and doom and the appearance that the defense cant stop anyone, lets assume for a second that we can find a way to beat both the saints and jacksonville and get healthy in the bye week.

    Think about how excited and geared up we will all be to head to seattle for a little payback. A healthy bulger and bruce. A jelling offensive line. Little back at full strength, a little momentum. Who knows, maybe an injury or two for seattle to some key guys (and i am not talking about receivers that while talented cant hold onto the ball anyway, i am talking about guys like haselback, alexander, jones etc), maybe a game where the refs dont shaft us and best of all, maybe a game where for one time we play to our potential for a full 60 minutes rather than digging a hole early or playing great early and then collapsing either on defense or via turnovers.

    Guys, if we win the next two, rest up, then beat seattle on the road, we will feel night and day different than we do right now. I dont think this falls into the category of believing that the earth is flat or the easter bunny is real, merely a matter of getting healthy and getting break here or there. I honestly feel we are not as bad as we look and a play here or there (especially at the end of both the seattle and san fran games) and our record would be a lot different. They say that the breaks even out over the course of a season. IF that is true, we have some breaks coming to us and it all starts this week by beating the saints at home. If we cant win this game, i think it could be an incredibly long year and time to get serious both about playing the kids and doing our draft prep work.

    Ramming speed to all

    general counsel
    -10-20-2005, 06:59 AM
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