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  • Chandler throws on a running play

    NFL.com wire reports



    TEMPE, Ariz. (Dec. 19, 2004) -- The NFC West is so bad that a team with a losing record could win it -- even the Arizona Cardinals.

    The St. Louis Rams had a chance to take control of the league's worst division, but they fell flat in a 31-7 loss to the Cardinals.

    Josh McCown threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more and the Cardinals snapped a four-game losing streak.

    McCown, starting his second game since being benched for three, went 22-of-34 for 287 yards with no interceptions. He had TD passes of 8 and 4 yards to Larry Fitzgerald, and scoring runs of 1 and 9 yards.

    A victory would have moved the Rams into a tie with Seattle atop the division, since St. Louis holds the tiebreaker with two wins over the Seahawks. Instead, the Rams fell to 6-8, just one game ahead of the Cardinals (5-9), who improbably are still alive.

    "We didn't see this coming," Rams wide receiver Torry Holt said. "If there was any game on the schedule that we felt confident about coming in and winning, it would be Arizona."

    If Arizona wins its last two, and both Seattle and St. Louis go 0-2, the Cardinals would take the division title at 7-9.

    "I'm surprised that a 5-9 team is in it, but I'm not surprised that it's this team," McCown said. "We have it in us. We have the talent, we have the capability to do this, it's just a consistency thing."

    With quarterback Marc Bulger out with a shoulder injury, 39-year-old Chris Chandler lasted just one quarter for the Rams before he was replaced by Jamie Martin, who saw his first regular-season action in two years. He was signed by the Rams earlier this month when Bulger was injured.

    St. Louis coach Mike Martz put much of the blame on Chandler, saying the veteran quarterback threw the ball on a run play on the first series and made other elementary mistakes.

    "It's tragic for this football team, for that position to hold this whole football team hostage," Martz said, "but that's where we are."

    Martz praised Martin's play, considering the circumstances, but said, "I just don't know what to call when you've got a guy in there that's never been in there."

    The Rams' touchdown came on Leonard Little 's 61-yard fumble return with 7 seconds left in the first half.

    "When you score 31 points, hold a team to seven points and basically no points against the offense -- and not in position to kick even field goals -- then you feel like you've done a very good job," Arizona coach Dennis Green said.

    St. Louis' only serious offensive threat ended when Holt was hit by Ifeanyi Ohalete and fumbled as he was about to cross the goal line. Ohalete recovered in the end zone for a touchback.

    The Rams had minus-20 yards of offense in the first quarter. Chandler, intercepted six times last week, was 1-for-6 for 1 yard with an interception. He was sacked twice.

    Arizona went 73 yards in 10 plays on its second possession. McCown's 30-yard pass to Bryant Johnson and Emmitt Smith 's 19-yard run set up McCown's 1-yard sneak for the score.

    Then, Chandler overthrew Isaac Bruce and David Macklin intercepted at the St. Louis 44. Neil Rackers ' 48-yard field goal made it 10-0. McCown's 8-yarder to Fitzgerald made it 17-0.

    With seconds left before halftime, Arizona moved from its 20 to the St. Louis 29, but Leonard Davis missed a block and McCown was hit by Anthony Hargrove. Little picked up the ball and ran it back, cutting Arizona's lead to 17-7.

    The Cardinals went ahead 24-7 on McCown's 4-yard pass to Fitzgerald halfway through the third quarter. A roughing-the-passer penalty on McCown's third-down 18-yard completion to Obafemi Ayanbadejo set up McCown's 9-yard touchdown sweep and it was 31-7 with 10:54 left.

    McCown has had two strong showings since his benching. He said that he learned from watching after being in the action for awhile. Also, while he was benched, a close family member died -- an experience that has made him more relaxed on the field.

    "Just realizing how short life is and wanting to come out and play like it's your last game every time, and just cutting it loose," McCown said, declining to identify the relative.

    Notes:

    Rams LB Tommy Polley was thrown out of the game for punching Arizona NT Russell Davis on the sideline with 13:32 remaining.
    St. Louis allowed over 30 points for the sixth time this season.
    The Rams lost to an NFC West team for the first time this season.
    Emmitt Smith left with a sudden migraine headache in the second quarter, but came back in the second half.

  • #2
    Re: Chandler throws on a running play

    I just hope that chandler is CUT NOW.....

    steve :ramlogo:
    "The breakfast Club":helmet:

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Chandler throws on a running play

      Martz should cut him before the 3pm news conference today. It’s the right thing to do both politically, and talent wise. I watched Chandler practice at Macomb, and before games. He never could hit the broad side of a barn. Strong arm, but no accuracy. Mix is a bit of confusion and you get a disaster.

      Martin should be applauded for his effort. It’s nice to see a couch potato strap on a helmet and play acceptably well.

      I played high school ball, so if Martz calls, I got some game left….J


      :smile:

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Chandler throws on a running play

        You have to wonder if sometime during the game Jeff Smoker and Steven Jackson looked at each other and thought... "why did he bother drafting us if he's not going to use us?"

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Chandler throws on a running play

          You have to wonder if sometime during the game Jeff Smoker and Steven Jackson looked at each other and thought... "why did he bother drafting us if he's not going to use us?"
          I'll agree with that completely....

          Comment

          Related Topics

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          • RamWraith
            Sun Sets On Rams In Arizona
            by RamWraith
            Sunday, December 19, 2004

            By Nick Wagoner
            Staff Writer

            TEMPE, Ariz. – Just when it appeared things couldn’t get much worse for the Rams after the debacle in Carolina last week, they might have topped it Sunday.

            At the end of the first quarter, the score was 10-0 Arizona. It might as well have been 7-0, as in first downs gained for the Cardinals and first downs (or lack thereof) by the Rams. Another option would have been 108 to negative 20, as in the total yardage for Arizona versus total yardage for St. Louis.

            A stunningly bad first quarter set the stage for a shockingly awful performance that led to Arizona’s 31-7 win at Sun Devil Stadium on Sunday. The loss was the Rams’ first to the Cardinals since they became divisional opponents two years ago.

            More important than any of that, though, St. Louis missed a prime opportunity to take back control of the NFC West Division and its playoff hopes. Before Sunday’s game even began, the Jets drubbed Seattle and Carolina had lost to Atlanta. A win for the Rams would have moved them to 7-7 and into a tie with the Seahawks for first place in the division.

            Instead, St. Louis fell to 6-8 and has two difficult home games coming up to save its playoff hopes. Arizona improved to 5-9 on the season.

            Perhaps the worst part about losing to a team that had lost its four previous games was the fact that it seemed that Arizona, not St. Louis was the team playing for a playoff spot. The Rams came out as flat as can be and were punished for it early and often.

            Without quarterback Marc Bulger because of a sprained right shoulder, Chris Chandler made his second straight start. Chandler was coming off a six-interception debacle on Dec. 12 against Carolina. In that game, at least, Chandler had a number other than zero in his quarterback rating statistic afterward. Because of that performance, Chandler entered Sunday’s game on a short leash.

            That leash was pulled in after another rough performance. Chandler barely made it out of the first quarter after going one-of-six for 1 yard, an interception and two sacks. Jamie Martin replaced Chandler on the Rams’ first possession of the second quarter.

            But St. Louis’ hopes for a win appeared dashed in that first quarter. Compounding Chandler’s continued struggles were a lack of running game (two carries for negative 1 yard) and a poor defensive performance (108 yards allowed).

            After the Rams’ second straight three-and-out, Arizona promptly marched 73 yards on 10 plays, capped by quarterback Josh McCown’s 1-yard touchdown sneak. Kicker Neil Rackers’ extra point made it 7-0. Rackers added a 48-yard field goal on the Cardinals’ next possession to make it 10-0, after Chandler was picked off by cornerback David Macklin.

            Martin, who was out of football entirely a little over two weeks ago, had slightly more...
            -12-20-2004, 04:49 AM
          • RamWraith
            Rams leave Tempe empty--MUST READ
            by RamWraith
            By Jim Thomas
            Of the Post-Dispatch
            12/19/2004

            Arizona's Josh McCown fumbles the ball after a sack by Anthony Hargrove of the Rams (on the ground behind McCown). Leonard Little (91) recovered and returned the fumble for a touchdown.
            (Rick Hossman/AP)

            TEMPE, Ariz. - Even before the opening kickoff, the Rams knew the scores, understood the playoff picture, realized the opportunity that was at hand.

            "We knew Carolina lost," defensive end Leonard Little said. "We knew Seattle lost. We knew Philly won, but one of their major players (Terrell Owens) got hurt. We were aware of everything. Was that an incentive for us to go out there and win? Yes."

            So with just three hours of hard labor Sunday at Sun Devil Stadium, the Rams could move up from the No. 7 seed in the NFC - and out of the playoff picture - to the No. 4 seed and in.

            And with just two weeks remaining in the regular season. Many NFL players live for the opportunity to be in such a situation. But with so much at stake, the Rams responded with one of their worst efforts since the move to St. Louis in 1995.

            Playing against a 4-9 Arizona team that had lost four in a row, the Rams got outscored 31-7 and outgained 402 yards to 185. How in the world did that happen?

            "I don't know," offensive guard Adam Timmerman said.

            "There's no easy explanation," wide receiver Isaac Bruce said.

            "I wish I had a clue," defensive lineman Tyoka Jackson said.

            Well, coach Mike Martz had some thoughts on the subject, and those thoughts started and ended with stinging criticism of starting quarterback Chris Chandler.

            "I think everybody realized what was at stake," Martz said. "I'm sure that's why it hurts so much. Not just losing, but to lose it so decisively. It goes back to the inability to function at one position. You hold the whole team hostage."

            Martz was talking about the quarterback position. More specifically, Chandler at the quarterback position.

            "He made some bad decisions," Martz said. "You'd call plays, and the ball's going to the wrong guy completely. I have no idea what he was doing. He had to come out of there."

            Not even in the dark ages of Rams football, when the team went 22-42 from 1995 to 1998, had the team been as pathetic in an opening quarter as it was Sunday.

            Arizona outgained the Rams 108 yards to minus-20, and outscored them 10-0 in the opening quarter. And if you thought Chandler was shaky last week against Carolina, well, he took it to another level against the Big Red.

            In three series against the Cardinals, Chandler was one for six for 1 measly yard. He threw an interception on an out pattern in which Torry Holt slipped making his cut. And he was sacked...
            -12-20-2004, 06:14 AM
          • Nick
            Words can't do justice to describe QB's ineptitude
            by Nick
            Words can't do justice to describe QB's ineptitude
            By Bryan Burwell
            Of the Post-Dispatch
            Sunday, Dec. 19 2004

            TEMPE, Ariz. - Before we get to the really heavy lifting in the wreckage of
            this disastrous Rams season, let's shove some of the light debris out of the
            way first.

            Cut Chris Chandler right now.

            Don't waste another day or another ounce of aggravation on someone who clearly
            doesn't care enough about his job to prepare properly to help his team win. The
            Rams' postseason hopes have all but disintegrated in the span of the two weeks,
            and in the aftermath of another catastrophic defeat that has his fingerprints
            all over it, Chandler is the easiest (though clearly not the only) culprit to
            identify.

            Somehow, after 17 years in the National Football League, the 39-year-old
            Chandler has mysteriously forgotten how to play quarterback, as evidenced by
            his pitiful display in Sunday's 31-7 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. One week
            after playing one of the worst games I've ever seen a proven, veteran NFL
            quarterback play (six interceptions and three sacks in a 20-7 loss to
            Carolina), Chandler outdid himself against the Cardinals.

            I cannot overstate how bad this guy stunk up half-empty Sun Devil Stadium. In
            only one spectacularly abysmal quarter of play, Chandler completed one of six
            passes for 1 lousy yard, was sacked twice, threw an interception and had a 0.0
            passer rating. By the time Mike Martz yanked him at the end of the first
            quarter, the Rams had already fallen behind 10-0 and had been outgained in
            total offensive yards 108 to minus-20.

            Here's how his day went out here in the Arizona desert, and too bad it wasn't a
            mirage.

            Three and out.

            Three and out.

            Interception.

            Three and out.

            Benched.

            He was beyond bad. He was flat-out incompetent, and maybe worse than that.
            Incompetence, as bad as it might be, is at least excusable. But indifference is
            an unpardonable transgression. You expect a rookie to play incompetently. You
            might even expect a free agent, walking in cold off the street, to be clueless.
            But who could expect a 17-year veteran who has been to two Pro Bowls, won an
            NFC championship and played in the scorching heat of a Super Bowl, to play
            without a clue, and with so little passion?
            Chandler was not only bad, he was calling passes when he was supposed to be
            calling a running plays. He was throwing to the wrong receivers. He was
            floating balls like they were filled with helium. And when he wasn't doing
            that, he was showing all the mobility of an oak tree, feet deeply rooted in the
            ground and unable to move...
            -12-20-2004, 01:17 AM
          • RamWraith
            Words can't do justice to describe QB's ineptitude
            by RamWraith
            By Bryan Burwell
            Of the Post-Dispatch
            12/19/2004

            Cut Chris Chandler right now.

            Don't waste another day or another ounce of aggravation on someone who clearly doesn't care enough about his job to prepare properly to help his team win. The Rams' postseason hopes have all but disintegrated in the span of the two weeks, and in the aftermath of another catastrophic defeat that has his fingerprints all over it, Chandler is the easiest (though clearly not the only) culprit to identify.

            Somehow, after 17 years in the National Football League, the 39-year-old Chandler has mysteriously forgotten how to play quarterback, as evidenced by his pitiful display in Sunday's 31-7 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. One week after playing one of the worst games I've ever seen a proven, veteran NFL quarterback play (six interceptions and three sacks in a 20-7 loss to Carolina), Chandler outdid himself against the Cardinals.

            I cannot overstate how bad this guy stunk up half-empty Sun Devil Stadium. In only one spectacularly abysmal quarter of play, Chandler completed one of six passes for 1 lousy yard, was sacked twice, threw an interception and had a 0.0 passer rating. By the time Mike Martz yanked him at the end of the first quarter, the Rams had already fallen behind 10-0 and had been outgained in total offensive yards 108 to minus-20.

            Here's how his day went out here in the Arizona desert, and too bad it wasn't a mirage.

            Three and out.

            Three and out.

            Interception.

            Three and out.

            Benched.

            He was beyond bad. He was flat-out incompetent, and maybe worse than that. Incompetence, as bad as it might be, is at least excusable. But indifference is an unpardonable transgression. You expect a rookie to play incompetently. You might even expect a free agent, walking in cold off the street, to be clueless. But who could expect a 17-year veteran who has been to two Pro Bowls, won an NFC championship and played in the scorching heat of a Super Bowl, to play without a clue, and with so little passion?

            Chandler was not only bad, he was calling passes when he was supposed to be calling a running plays. He was throwing to the wrong receivers. He was floating balls like they were filled with helium. And when he wasn't doing that, he was showing all the mobility of an oak tree, feet deeply rooted in the ground and unable to move out of the way of the various blitzes the Cards were throwing at him.

            How does this happen? Was Chandler so traumatized from last week's bad experience that he was paralyzed with fear this week? Was he sleeping in meetings and didn't know the game plan? Was the wireless microphone in his helmet picking up shortwave signals from Sri Lanka? Did his dog eat his playbook?

            "Guys, I don't know," said a seething Mike Martz in the head coach's...
            -12-20-2004, 03:22 PM
          • Nick
            Rams' bullpen does the job
            by Nick
            Rams' bullpen does the job
            By Jim Thomas
            Of the Post-Dispatch
            Sunday, Dec. 05 2004

            Chris Chandler has seen Marc Bulger go down - and go down hard - on more than
            one occasion this season. But this time, Bulger was slumped over, holding his
            shoulder.

            "And then he started running off the field, waving," Chandler said.

            Waving for Chandler to take over. Like clockwork, you can count on Chandler at
            quarterback for the Rams once every 10 years. He played in 10 games for the Los
            Angeles Rams in 1994. On Sunday he made his St. Louis Rams debut at quarterback
            when Bulger went down with a sprained right shoulder late in the first quarter.

            The Rams got just enough passing from Chandler, with plenty of runs sprinkled
            in from rookie Steven Jackson, to sweep the season series from rival San
            Francisco with a grinding 16-6 victory at the Edward Jones Dome.

            There weren't many points, or style points, for that matter. The offensive
            showing was a far cry from the "Greatest Show on Turf." Sunday's point total
            was the lowest for the Rams in a victory since a 15-14 bloodletting over the
            New York Giants in 2001.

            Nonetheless, a victory it was, something the Rams had accomplished only once
            since mid- October.

            "There's winning and there's death," defensive lineman Tyoka Jackson said. "And
            we won today. So come check with me next week."

            The Rams have been doing a lot of "dying" lately, losing four of their previous
            five games. But Sunday's victory evened their season record at 6-6, gave them a
            5-0 mark in the NFC West and kept their sagging division and playoff hopes
            alive.

            "We needed it," safety Adam Archuleta said. "We needed a win. We needed the
            defense to play well. We needed a confidence booster back there.

            "We've got to get some momentum. We've got four more games. We're still there.
            The season is far from over."

            Chandler threw for 216 yards and a touchdown. Jackson, replacing the injured
            Marshall Faulk, rushed for 119 yards. Wide receiver Torry Holt had a
            season-high 10 receptions for a season-high 160 yards.

            Holt scored the only touchdown of the game on a 22-yard reception from Chandler
            with 9 minutes 29 seconds to play in the first half. Just two plays earlier,
            Holt hauled in a grossly underthrown Chandler lob for 40 yards.

            "On that deep ball, Torry's so fast," Chandler said. "You have to release it
            and throw it far, early. When I was getting ready to throw it, he was only 15,
            18 yards down field."

            So Chandler kind of hesitated on his follow-through....
            -12-05-2004, 11:34 PM
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