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Thoughts on next Monday Night

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  • Thoughts on next Monday Night

    Our starters on O have barely seen any preseason action. The same could be said for the starters on D. Crazy stuff can happen in any given football game. A couple of bad calls, an unlucky bounce of the ball, fumbles, you name it. I hope our players do not believe all the recent hype from the press. We are going to face an angry team and a coach who would especially relish winning this particular game. On paper we appear to match up well. We'll see how far that goes on the field of play. I am still very concerned as to whether we can stop the run.

    We played well on the road last year. That said, this is this year. Oakland is an extremely noisy and hostile stadium. How long will it take before both our O and D gel? On paper, we’ve got a lot of stars, but none of them have played a meaningful down as yet. The eggs have been incubating, and come Monday Night we will find out how many chickens hatch. For now – I just hope the Rams don’t lay an egg. Is this a winnable game? Sure ... It is also losable. Maybe McVay absolutely did the right thing by not playing startes in the preseason - we are about to see. I for one am not brimming with overconfidence. I believe we can win, but I am not expecting it to be easy.



  • #2
    Preseason rust among the starters--sure. How quickly will the starters shake that rust is hard telling.

    The Oakland game actually is a good game to open with because Oakland will test the middle of the field on offense--don't expect them to take on the Rams defensive front, save a few plays to keep them honest. And I don't expect Oakland to go deep and test the secondary. Since the LB core of the Rams are the unknown factor, my guess is Oakland because its quick will attack there--one to negate the Rams' front pass rush, keep the Rams from blitzing, and draw in the secondary to play short so they can go long. Its the only formula I can see Oakland coming up with when dealing with the Ram's D.

    On defense...they are going to spy Gurley like there is no tomorrow. If Gurley gets 100+ yards on the ground and 100 in the air it'll be a long night for Oakland since Gurley would be a back breaker. And that is where I think the Rams will find pay dirt on offense--an Oakland over defense of Gurley. To contain Gurley means they have to defend the center of the field leaving the Ram's wideouts the edges of the field for easy 5-10yard plays. There the Rams have to spread the field--they can't allow Oakland to crowd the box with 7 (the 7th man being assigned to Gurley)--my hope is the Rams have a TE to exploit that situation to catch a 3 yard pass and turn it into 7 yard gain

    But going back to rust and lack of snaps in preseason--I expect at the start to see a lot of dropped passes from the Rams early on. I know McVay wanted to enter the season healthy, but suspect he might have out smarted himself...me if I was HC, I'd have played my ones in the 4th preseason game in the last 10min of the 4th quarter when its the opponents 3s and 4s...I don't care about winning the last preseason game as much as getting full scale scrimmaging going into week one of the regular season to shake off some of that rust

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    • #3
      Looking around the league, it seems to me that we are in a pretty good position at the start of the season. Though we have issues around not having played the starting O at all and the starting D very little in the preseason, concerns about offensive depth, and big question marks in the middle of our defense, you see teams all over the league with serious difficulties and issues. We're starting out with a strong, healthy roster.

      The issue for us on O is obviously the challenge of getting into a rhythm from a dead cold start. You have to assume we intend to rely on Gurley running and a short passing game at the outset. So, you have to expect the raiders to key on Gurley, blitz Goff, and jam receivers near the line, maybe daring us to go deep at the outset. It will be fascinating to see McVay call plays in a manner that gets Goff and the O into a rhythm quickly. I'd love to be surprised by early success, but you've got to figure that this first game will be a grind for the O. And stamina will come into play in the second half. We may not see 20 points.

      On D, I expect a heavy dose of Lynch and running plays that have a little delay or misdirection to try to take advantage of our D line's strong push. In other words, a running game and a short passing game that targets the middle of our D, and tries to keep the chains moving and our O off the field.

      In short, I expect Game 1 to be about running and defense. I'm looking for our defense to win this one for us. I'll say Rams 20-10.

      Comment


      • #4
        I think the Rams are the better team without question, I just hope they're the most prepared and ready to roll coming out of the gate. I'm not too worried about the defense and can't wait to see them in action as a complete unit, but the offense gives me cause for concern. They have zero game speed reps together, and it may take a few series to get things in gear. If the defense keeps things in check early, and the offense doesn't have to play catch-up, I think we're looking at 1-0.

        Comment


        • #5
          I really believe that every team is going to have rust. I also think pre-season does nothing for starters / vets as they are not going 100%, and playing at such a vanilla level that one might actually argue it does more damage than good.

          I think the team will start slow...but by half time begin hitting on all cylinders and by the end, destroy the Raiders. My biggest worry on Monday and for the next few weeks is injuries! They always seem to happen within the first weeks and this would be the one thing that will slow this team down.

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          • #6
            All the above are good comments - no blazing "homer" stuff. Thanks to all!

            Comment


            • #7
              The Rams D doesn't worry me at all. Partly because starters on D actually got some preseason reps in the 3rd game, but also because I suspect they're going to come in with a chip on their shoulders. I really like Carr, but I don't think he's going to have a clean jersey and that'll be the difference maker in the end. The D is going to get after it and I don't think Raiders will be able to sustain a complete game. I'm calling it.... Rams won't have a ton of sacks, but they will have 3+ picks.

              Rams offense could be anything. My expectation is they'll have many lackluster moments, dropped passes, and some huge missed opportunities. Utltimately though, I think they'll put together a couple big plays (1 to Cooks & 1 to Gurley) that'll skew the stats (and score) to make it look like they did better than they did.

              Call it Homerism... but I think they'll pull this one out

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              • r8rh8rmike
                Some Observations From The Game In Oakland Last Night
                r8rh8rmike
                It’s only a preseason win, but IMO, coming out of the gate with two in a row, lays the foundation for the culture change McVay has been preaching. There were a lot of smiles on the sideline, which after 2016, is a welcomed sight.

                Goff looked great last night. He was confident, threw with accuracy, calmly moved around the pocket to avoid pressure, made multiple reads, completed some nice throws on the run, hit receivers on short routes, intermediate routes, and made a perfect deep throw to Watkins in the end zone (which was unfortunately broken up), was smart with his decisions, spread the ball around, and was efficient. If he can carry that through to the regular season, we’ve got something.

                During the broadcast, Marshall Faulk, a pretty smart guy, said the future of the Rams at QB is bright. I’m starting to agree.

                Sammy Watkins surprisingly played on nearly every down with the first team offense. So much for easing him in. He didn’t light it up with a lot of big catches, but he still made a huge impact by occupying two Raider defenders on virtually every play. That opened things up for not only the other receivers, but Gurley as well.

                Speaking of Gurley, he looked like, well, Todd Gurley. Great to see him effectively running with confidence, behind a vastly improved offensive line.

                Hard to get an accurate read on the defense, or what impact Donald’s absence is having, as he, Quinn, Barron, Webster, and Robey-Coleman were all out last night. The sooner everybody gets back on the field, the better for creating a functioning unit, and continuity.

                Hate to sound like a broken record, but Cooper Kupp continues to impress, and looks like the real deal. He always seems to know how to be in the right place at the right time. You can’t teach that.

                Speaking of receivers, they are doing so well as a group, I’m forgetting all about that other guy who can’t stay on the field.

                Fumbles weren’t eliminated, but last night was a huge improvement. IMO, that’s in big part to coaching, and teaching. How refreshing is that compared to Fisher’s “country club” approach to problem areas that never seemed to improve.

                I got a kick out of the Rams having to call timeout on offense when it looked like Goff wasn’t getting the play in a timely manner. He looked frustrated, and walked to the sideline with McVay smiling and trying to calm him down. Reminded me of the same types of situations Warner and Martz used to have. I mention it because IMO, it shows Goff has confidence, knows the offense, and is developing into a QB who knows what he wants to do, and needs to do.

                Jake McQuaide must be popular with his teammates. After he made a tackle on special teams, half the players on the bench came onto the field with huge smiles to slap him on the shoulder in congratulations.

                I really liked Benny Cunningham, but I think the Rams are in great...
                -08-20-2017, 10:11 AM
              • NJ Ramsfan1
                Random Thoughts
                NJ Ramsfan1
                I'm compelled to share a few thoughts prior to GC's usual comprehensive write-up.

                Rams won ugly today. The offense looked disjointed for the first time this season. Give Denver credit for coming to play, putting pressure on Goff and making our receivers (except for Woods, who was excellent) a non-factor. Unfortunately for them, they couldn't also contain Gurley, who was nothing short of outstanding. A tremendous performance by him.

                After showing pretty good discipline thru the first 5 games, we had way too many penalties today, including several that extended drives and made life more difficult than it needed to be.

                Our defensive backs need to look in the mirror. They did not do a good job today, allowing yet another receiver, Emmanuel Sanders, to run roughshod over them. We can't continue to lean on the "Talib is hurt" excuse. Next man up. Get the job done.

                I thought Sean McVay did a poor job of play calling today. There's no guy I'd rather have coaching us, but today, his insistent, almost Martz-like compunction to throw the ball when Gurley was pounding Denver had me fuming. 3rd and 3 with a chance at a possible first down or easy FG and instead of running Gurley, he calls a play where Goff takes a huge loss and Santos then misses the 47 yard FG. Could've extended the lead and didn't. The 3rd down pass which deflected off Reynolds' helmet was also a high-risk play which was unnecessary. McVay also seemingly abandoned the run for the better part of the 2nd quarter before coming back to it more in the 2nd half.

                Needless to say both amazed and extremely happy Kupp came back. No way I thought that would be happening after being taken off on a cart. Longacre and Brockers also both left the game and later came back- good news again.

                I thought Malcolm Brown did a nice job, getting good yardage as Gurley got a breather.

                Rams are a long way from being league laughingstocks and now have a target on their backs every week. It will get tougher before it gets easier, with games vs. GB, NO, CHI and divisional game vs Seattle all coming up soon. Ecstatic we're 6-0, but can't rest on our laurels. As we know, things can change in a hurry in the NFL
                -10-14-2018, 05:38 PM
              • MauiRam
                Random Thoughts Before Today’s Game
                MauiRam
                1) I am really disappointed that Coop and Spruce will not be playing. Having those two interspersed on occasion with Kendricks, Higbee, Britt, Tavon and Gurley should be an interesting dynamic. Guess I have to be patient ..

                2) How will Williams’ defense hold up against the run? We are going to find out if 5 dbs (or more) can stop the run. We’ll also find out if the Sensabaugh acquisition was a plus or a minus – hopefully the former.

                3) E.J. Gaines is out – not a good thing.

                4) Sounds like Havenstein will be available. No reps in preseason – is it too soon? Maybe he’s not starting, just suiting up as a reserve?

                5) Will this be the year we are pleasantly surprised – the gears finally mesh? Fisher has stated this year’s team has “too much talent” to finish 7-9. We are going to find out soon enough.

                6) Gurley! Gurley!! Gurley!!! Gurley!!!! Gurley!!!!!
                -09-12-2016, 11:16 AM
              • Nick
                FMIA Week 8: On the Role a Rolex Played In Keeping the Rams Perfect
                Nick
                FMIA Week 8: On the Role a Rolex Played In Keeping the Rams Perfect
                By Peter King

                LOS ANGELES — When you’re undefeated, you need some luck along the way. The Rams’ luck Sunday was Ty Montgomery, two yards deep in the end zone, choosing to run the ball out—instead of giving the ball to one of the best quarterbacks ever at his 25 with two minutes left, needing just a field goal to win. Montgomery fumbled. Rams recovered. Wisconsin threw a brick through its collective TV set. Game over.

                But that’s too simple. This game was actually a vivid illustration why the Rams, at 8-0, sit atop the NFL mountain approaching the midpoint of the NFL’s 99th season. They will have contenders to the throne, contenders from New England and Kansas City and rising New Orleans (8-0 Rams at 6-1 Saints, next Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET), and maybe even from Minnesota, Carolina, Washington or down the street; the Chargers seem pesky. It’s a good illustration because of Todd Gurley, the friendly guy with the long dreads and skinny wire-framed glasses, who does everything right and fits in on a team with a smart young coach and unassuming young quarterback and a team that plays complementary football.

                One tight game, two exemplary plays.

                I always look for the plays that explain precisely why teams are what they are, and I found two in the Rams’ locker room after the 29-27 victory.

                One: Todd Gurley’s 30-yard touchdown reception in the middle of the third quarter, which looked so ridiculously easy. How does the best back in football, the legit MVP candidate, go untouched out of the backfield, go untouched on a crossing route, and go untouched running all the way for a touchdown?

                Two: The “Rolex Play,” Gurley’s 17-yard run with 65 seconds left, the one when he just stopped running and went down at the 4-yard line, much to the chagrin of Vegas and fantasy fiends alike. You’ve got to hear the Rolex story.

                So … were you watching Sunday? What a tremendous game in a tremendous setting, the 95-year-old Coliseum with the classic peristyles, with a quarterback certain to go down in history waiting for one more shot to win that never came. And the atmosphere. When the Packers came out of the ancient tunnel where so many of the greats in football history have entered, it sounded like Lambeau West—truly, maybe louder than if this game had been at Lambeau Field. “I didn’t really expect that in L.A., but that crowd was fantastic,” Aaron Rodgers said. Sometimes, you’re witnessing an event that’s just different—and this was just different, and great. I’m sorry we didn’t get to see another classic Rodgers late drive, but that’s football. The dumb Montgomery play—it happens.

                But that should not obscure what else we saw in the 29-27 L.A. victory. Namely this: The Rams are not going anywhere. They survived Sunday, but every great team has to survive on days when it’s not at its best, or when the...
                -10-29-2018, 03:58 PM
              • renrawtruk
                Frustrating last game.
                renrawtruk
                always feel like I'm ok if we go toe to toe with another team and they get the better of it, but seems like we always shoot ourselves in the foot. Was such a sloppy performance by the Rams.

                my thoughts on where things went wrong:

                • Hard to argue with resting players at the end of the regular season, but it was clear if they won it was a good idea, and if they looked rusty, you might have to question it. My biggest reason to question it is that we're young and we're just not that good...yet. Didn't play that great vs. The Titans. It's not a well oiled machine like resting Brady and co.

                • I think McVay called better plays early in the season when his team was more green. He tried to simplify things for Goff. I think he is worried about showing other teams plays we've ran before, but to the point that I didn't recognize almost anything they did in that game and it didn't work. We had a 2nd and 2 early in the game due to an 8 yard Gurley run, and then proceeded to get fancy and didn't get the 1st down. The drive could have resulted in points.

                • Rams return game for some reason gets a pass because they have 2 great kickers and have blocked a few punts on special teams. I have no problems with punt returns, bad break hitting a guy in the foot, but I gotta say, I have had an issue with our kick off returns all year long. Just because we got 1 return for TD once does not justify coming out of the end zone with the ball all the time. (Granted many kicks were short in this game)
                •almost nothing good has become of kick returns since they moved the touchback to the 25.
                . •Typically players get to the 15 or 20, rarely past the 25.
                . •Often there is a holding or blocking penalty and getting the ball at the 10 yard line is a game changer when you end up punting and the other team is now at midfield vs. If you just took it at the 25, you have solid field position.
                . • Fumbles: almost one of these per year is enough to say It's not worth taking the ball out of the end zone ever, but I'm sure most teams inevitably have 2+ fumbles per year.

                • We got a turnover on the opponents first drive in something like 7 of our last 9 games... which is a ridiculous stat. I kept wondering "what if we don't get those early turnovers one day" or get behind early? Gurley went crazy in the last few games, "what if a team shuts down the screen plays to Gurley", how would we look trying to beat them with Kupp and Woods and Watkins"?

                Turns out there are 2 sides. On one side, we have arrived and are a good team. On the other side, maybe there was just a little smoke and mirrors in our season. The average NFL power ranking had us about 5th. I think if they revisit this after the season, perhaps we are more like 8th or 9th.

                Either way was so much better than the Fisher years. Hopefully McVay, Goff and...
                -01-07-2018, 09:34 AM
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