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Rams crunch cowboys 30-22; The good, the bad and the ugly

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  • Rams crunch cowboys 30-22; The good, the bad and the ugly

    The Rams won their first playoff game of the McVay era and advanced to the nfc championship game next sunday by thoroughly running the ball down dallas' throat on the way to a hard fought 30-22 victory. The Rams gained 273 yards rushing on 48 attempts for a 5.7 average against a dallas defense that completely shut down the #1 ranked chickens run game in their playoff win last weekend. Both Gurley (16-115) and CJ (23-123) ran for over 100 yards, the first time in Rams playoff history that two backs have done so in the same game. The Rams recorded three rushing touchdowns and the dominance by the offensive line in the trenches allowed the Rams to control the clock, leading to an almost 37-23 advantage in time of possession. When you consider that the Rams did not turn the ball over all game, punted only once, held Elliott to 47 yards rushing on 20 carries, converted 7-13 on third and fourth down while holding dallas to 1-10 on third down and recording one huge fourth down stop, you pretty much explain the Rams victory. But for some early redzone struggles and a brutal drop by Ebukam on a sure pick six, this game would have been over a lot sooner. The Rams really deserved to win this game and they now await the winner of the philadelphia vs new orleans game to see who they play for a chance to go to the big dance.


    The Good

    Offensive line, offensive line and offensive line. Absolute dominance both in the run game and in pass protection. 273 yards rushing!!!!! Goff was not sacked and was not hit much. The holes at the point of attack in the running game were sensational, especially when you consider the quality of the opposition. All five guys played well and they were terrific as a unit. Needless to say, if we can run the ball the way we did today, we are going to be very very very tough to beat by anyone anywhere. Just absolutely outstanding play. With the game on the line and McVay going hyper aggressive on 4th and about one and a half rather than kicking the field goal to make it a two score game, the oline did the job and created enough of a hole for CJ to plow into the end zone and make it a 15 point game. Really can't say enough about the way the Rams offensive line took over the game and imposed their will on the dallas defense. By far Sullivan's best game of the year.

    Gurley and CJ were both terrific, showing power, speed and ball security. Gurley showed great burst on his 35 yard touchdown run to put the Rams ahead 20-7 late in the second quarter. Great run. CJ was critical today because Gurley obviously needed to be spelled because of his month off on the cardio side. You have to give Snead huge credit for finding CJ after Malcolm Brown went out for the year with the shoulder injury. We are not here in my view without CJ and he will likely remain an important part of our title run because he can keep Gurley fresh and provide very hard running between the tackles.

    Goff played well. Not the greatest, but he had some drops that hurt his numbers, including ones by Higbee and Cooks in the end zone. He wound up 15-28-186, had a key fourth down qb sneak and the 7 yard run to clinch the game which was a sensational decision since it was clear that he had a path to that first down and he is not always decisive running the ball. He missed some throws, but he also made some excellent ones and most importantly stayed away from the big mistake. He managed to fall on the fumble that enabled us to retain possession and kick the 44 yard field goal. He can still play better, but i don't think you can say that he didn't play a good game today to get his first playoff win.

    Woods 6-69 and cooks 4-65 were both fine, woods especially. Higbee had a couple of nice catches and a couple of misses.

    The offense had 30 first downs, 459 yards, 7-13 on third and fourth down, and of course the 273 yard rushing. 30 points without any turnovers from the defense. Excellent work in a playoff game, especially against a solid defense like dallas. No turnovers was critical in this game, as was Leg hitting all his extra points and the 44 yard field goal along with the chip shot field goals early in the game (he was long enough on the 63 yarder just before halftime, but pushed it a bit right). Time of possession advantage of 37-23 wore down the dallas defense and allowed our defense to rest. I LOVED how we finished off the game without punting the ball back to them and i was proud of mcvay for throwing on 3rd and 7. In that situation, i am glad he was aggressive and played to win given the time outs dallas had remaining. That was the spot to try and win the game especially with them having 8 guys in the box.

    Nice random punt return for 17 yards by Sam Shields. Glad that JoJo hung on to the ball today.

    Defensively, i thought we played very well on the whole. Elliott was held to 48 yards and Prescott did not hurt us running the ball. We gave up only 308 yards and 19 first downs. We had some missed coverages (see below) and a couple of stupid penalties, but this was a solid overall performance. Suh played very well today and we had a HUGE fourth and one stop on Elliott. Donald made some plays but was double and triple teamed (and held as usual) all game. He had one of the greatest bursts into the backfield i have ever seen to try and stop a fourth down run but elliott ran wide away from him to convert. We only had one sack (fowler, an in the grasp call) and could have pressured better, but did a nice job on cooper (6-65) after the early 30 yard td catch. Dallas was 1-10 on third down and that was great work by the defense (although they were 3-4 on fourth down). Littleton had a couple of nice plays and its clear that we are a different team in the secondary with Talib in the game (notwithstanding the INT at the end, see below). It was absolutely huge to stop dallas both right before halftime when prescott was sacked to knock them out of field goal range and also stopping them to start the second half. Talib, Johnson and Littleton led the Rams with 7 tackles each.

    We only had 4 penalties for 41 yards today, although two were terrible (peters after the play which cost us 15 yards and the talib INT at the end).

    We got a huge break early when we were losing and on 3rd and 14 dallas had a really stupid hands to the face penalty that gave us a first down. That was a very big play in the game.


    The Bad

    The Rams red zone problems allowed dallas to stay in this game. Cooks dropped a td that led to a field goal and then we failed to convert a second time. Both drives were first downs inside the ten. We missed a 3rd and 2 from inside the 10 on our first drive when Goff missed an open Gurley for a td under pressure. This has been an issue all year and something we need to improve materially to win the title.

    Peters was bad today, although he had one nice pass breakup in the fourth quarter. He had at least two blown coverages, one of which led to a long catch over joyner and a stupid 15 yard penalty. The physical issues are a problem, but the mental issues are even worse. Had one terrible tackling effort that was just awful.

    Higbee dropped a td pass that went right through his hands (we got a td on that drive anyway).
    Hekker only punted once and it was a lousy punt, only 29 yards and didnt pin them down inside the 20.
    While we ran the ball phenomenally well today, i don't think mcvay ran it enough. Dallas simply was not stopping the run and we had too many plays on 2nd and 2 or 3 where we got greedy down the field instead of continuing to pound the ball. I think we could have put the game away earlier. I also think his use of time outs is terrible and he had a bad challenge on a ball that was a catch by dallas. He deserves a lot of credit for coaching us to the win, but given our physical dominance today, i thought we should have knocked them out sooner. I still dont see why we dont run more slants, throw short routes to the tight ends, more wide receiver screens and why dont we involve gurley more in the passing game (he had 2 catches today for 3 yards). Call me crazy, but i didnt like the decision to go for the td on 4th and 1. I think you take the field goal and make it a two score game at that point.

    The early 30 yard td by cooper was bad defense.
    The fumble on the exchange between goff and cj when woods ran into the ball was a bad play, disaster averted when goff fell on the ball and leg kicked the 44 yard field goal.
    Gallup hurt us badly today with 6 catches for 119, a good deal of which was against peters including the one long catch down to the one yard line where peters completely lost him in coverage leaving joyner to try and catch up which he could not do (note, it was a nice throw and catch).
    I sure wish we had stopped the dallas two point conversion when we had the chance. That was a very big play for them.

    Seeing Talib leave the field for concussion protocol was very bad news. We are very fortunate that he was able to come back in the game.
    I hate seeing 40% of our stadium filled with fans from the other team, but it seemed on tv like our fans did a nice job of screaming for the squad.


    The Ugly

    Ebukam dropped a pick six in the second quarter that literally hit him in the hands and would have completely changed the game. He has to make that play.
    The Talib INT in the end zone on 4th down at the end was ugly. He did not need to push the receiver out of bounds. The game would have ended without that penalty in my view. Instead, they had a first and goal and kept it a one score game once they went in and fortunately, we ran the clock out on the great scramble by Goff.


    Summary

    The odds of winning an NFL playoff game when you force zero turnovers and give up 273 yards rushing are close to zero and that is what happened to dallas today. The Rams were the better and more physically dominant team and deserved to win this game. But for the red zone problems and the drop by Ebukam, this game would have been over by the end of the third quarter. However, all plays don't always go your way and the Rams showed the kind of physicality and offensive line play that gives us a legitimate reason to believe that we have a shot at the title. The Rams are making their run (literally) and no matter who wins tomorrow, will get a rematch with a team that beat them earlier this year. We are as physically healthy as anyone could hope at this point of an NFL season. One thing to watch tomorrow will be whether either team suffers injuries that could impact the outcome of the nfc title game. Detailed analysis on the championship game will come once we find out who we are going to play, but to state the obvious, a dominant running game like we showed today would certainly be a factor that would give us a great chance to beat either team. It is likely that whoever we play is going to stack the box and try and make goff beat them. If that is the case, we will see if we can still run the ball and if Goff is up to the task. I really think we need to play better in the red zone, that is a crucial factor. 2-4 is not a disaster, but converting those all of those opportunities to touchdowns makes an enormous difference, especially inside the 10 yard line after long drives.

    The Rams should be incredibly proud of their players, coaches and front office. This season has really been special and after all this suffering for so long, we finally have a legitimate run at the title and a team that really showed up against a quality opponent when it mattered the most in the post season. We are not done and not satisfied of course, but 13-3 in the regular season with two terrible games in december would not have felt anywhere near as sweet if we were one and done in the playoffs. The squad has taken a big step forward from last year with the playoff win, but let's hope that the best is still to come as we seek the nfc championship next week and then a potential super bowl title.


    Ramming speed to all

    general counsel


  • #2
    Excellent job GC. ...'Excelente'.

    Much obliged for your time and talent to comment on this great game and win by the Rams.

    Comment


    • #3
      Nice write up as always!

      For me the best part was that we beat them Cowgirls with what they where surposed to do to us Hard running and stout run defence. I love this victory!!!! When you can run the ball like we did yesterday it makes us REALLY dangerous no matter who we meet in the next round!

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks, gc, for another thorough assessment. This game illustrates that stats donít mean everything. Given our dominance with offensive yards and time of possession, it should have been a blowout. Our mistakes on D kept them in the game. We have to further limit mistakes to improve our championship chances.

        If our O line keeps up the play they just showed, we will be very tough to beat.
        “Oh, 100 percent,” Donald said. “I feel like the words, ‘Thank you,’ ain’t enough. You’ve got to show it... Instead of saying thank you — show it.”

        Comment


        • #5
          Excellent synopsis. I completely agree with your assertion that we should have run the ball even more, having completely dominated Dallas' line all night. One particular sequence in the 3rd quarter stands out: 8 yard run by Gurley across mid-field, 2nd and 2 and we pass incomplete twice- both awful throws by Goff- coupled with a couple of declined penalties and a 29 yard punt by Hekker. Bad sequence which illustrates your point and could've come back to hurt us.

          The offensive line was outstanding. Just a super performance, and enough can't be said about them as a unit this season, every guy starting all 16 games- something we need to appreciate, as this won't be duplicated. Without them, it's a different season.

          How about CJ Anderson? Guy is cut twice this year, has virtually no time to learn the playbook after we sign him and he proceeds to rack up a couple of 100 yard games, including one in the playoffs. Unheard off. What a job- and the ability to give Gurley a blow is invaluable.

          The defensive line and linebackers played pretty well but had only 1 sack on a questionable in-the-grasp call. Suh played perhaps his best game as a Ram, which was encouraging.

          Despite some nice tackles coming up from the corner to shut down Elliott, our overall defensive back play leaves much to be desired. Peters stinks. The guy has not been a good fit for our defense and not much has changed all year. Our coverage was not great tonight (why the hell are the d-backs playing 12 yards off the receivers in the 3rd quarter??), and there were several catches by wide-open receivers with no one near them. Speaking honestly, we were helped by Prescott's inaccuracy in spots- a luxury we will not have against either Brees or Foles, who seemingly turns into Johnny Unitas this time of year. Talib's 4th down end zone interference penalty was inexcusable for anyone, much less a guy of his pedigree.

          I feel Goff was average tonight. He did have a couple of potential TD passes dropped, but they were not easy catches. And he did run for the critical 1st down late to prevent Dallas from getting the ball back. And he avoided the critical mistake. But with the outstanding play of the defensive line and the effectiveness of two running backs his numbers should have been better. He missed badly on a few throws. Goff needs to be much better next week.

          Congrats to the Rams. It's been an outstanding season- a 10-0 start, an epic win vs KC, divisional excellence and our first playoff win in 16 years among the highlights. But when you get this close, you have to seal the deal with a Super Bowl berth. Let's hope we can do it!

          Comment


          • #6
            Thank you, GC. As always, the definitive Rams game summary.

            First of all...yay!!! We are playing in the conference championship game! The impact of Sean McVay on the Rams team and organization is a virtual miracle. The more interesting and satisfying brand of offensive football, and the wins, are a gift for all of us loyal fans who have sat stupefied in front of our televisions these past 15 years or so, watching a bad and often boring football team lose a lot. But it is the winning character of this team that is the real McVay miracle. It really is a new era, not just another chapter of the same book.

            Apt and insightful points and observations made by many in all the post-game threads here. I agree with many, and will try to add a few without being repetitive. And there are,of course, issues to keep working on as we continue to move forward:
            • McVay has shown me a lot in the way he responded to the Rams' late-season offensive slump. He figured out that, as successful as our offense was in the first 11-12 games, it needed to be refreshed and re-invented after the loss of Kupp and the general wearing down of the O line and Gurley. He understood that Goff under pressure trying to just pass his way to the end zone wasn't going to get it done, and he needed to rebalance the offense for us to succeed in the playoffs. Bringing in CJ Anderson was a masterstroke that has enabled the rebalancing to succeed, while resting Gurley!
              And his veteran presence is an addition too.
              Impressive GM and coaching accomplishment. I hope McVay now sees that we are better with a 1A/1B running back approach rather than a 1/2, and that it will extend Gurley's productive career. Will be interesting to see if they bring CJ back next season, or find a younger 1B (if it's not Brown or Kelly).
            • Just can't say it enough...congratulations to CJ Anderson. Cut by multiple teams, apparently considered too far past his prime, given an opportunity makes himself a major factor in the championship tournament. Respect.
            • I questioned whether Whitworth and Sullivan had enough left in the tank for this playoff push. And they answered that question rather emphatically. I believe the bye week rest was a big benefit for the O line. And they've got to be inspired by CJ Anderson, and by the prospect of having Gurley and Anderson together for the playoff push. The continuing high level play of this unit is absolutely critical for us to win another 2. I feel good about it, after last night's dominant performance.
            • I would like to see more patience and commitment to the run down in the red zone, especially when the O line is winning. Doing better at getting 7 when in the red zone is obviously a big issue for us.
            • On defense, commendations to Wade Wilson for a effective game plan. He biased the defense to defend the run, and it paid off. And it sure helped that we finally saw Suh do what we needed him to do - play as a complement to Donald, taking advantage of Donald being doubled and tripled, and playing to stop the run. Excellent game by Suh.
            • The defense giving up a TD on Dallas' opening drive was a significant failure. Just can't start slow like that and continue to win playoff games.
            • So, that run-biased approach by us on defense gave Dallas and Prescott opportunities in the passing game, and put our DBs on the spot. And guess what? Our defensive back play leave a great deal to be desired. Fortunately, Dallas wasn't able to do enough in their passing game to counter what we were doing on offense. But one has to be concerned, as we consider the prospect of facing Brees or Foles, and Rivers or Brady or Mahomes. This is one of my major concerns going forward - a great QB ( I don't put Prescott in that category) vs. our shaky pass defense. Donald wouldn't say it, but he must be dying to play with some stud DBs. I also add my voice to the consensus on Peters - a waste of the draft picks we spent to acquire him and I hope we cut our losses on him and don't re-sign. He's got talent. But he's got an immature, selfish attitude and lack of discipline that makes him an unreliable member of the unit. Joyner spent half his night chasing down receivers that Peters should have been on. It reminds us to consider why another team is willing to part with a talented, young player, before we expend assets to acquire that player.
            A great day to be a Ram fan. Today we get to relax and enjoy the Sunday divisional games, and watch the Saints and Eagles play for the opportunity to face us. I would love to get a rematch against the Eagles in L.A. But either way we get a rematch and a championship opportunity. A moment to savor.




            Comment


            • #7
              Something was off in the Rams' timing in the passing game and I don't recall Goff throwing so many bad passes. Could it have been the time off during the BYE....game speed and practice speed are night and day to each other. And of course why risk injury during practice. Noticed after the regular season BYE the Rams where "off" on their timing and the plays where more chaotic on offense. But chalk this win up to the Rams defense

              This is the paper tiger defense that came to play as real tigers. For the most part Dallas did what they needed to do and that was not let Donald be a game factor. Donald made plays for the Rams--not enough of them that would have changed the course of the game, but other Rams defensive players filled in the rest. Suh finally showed up to play and proved he was a first round pick. On the other side of the coin, there where some really bonehead plays the Rams defense committed. Come the next game those stupid penalties and blown assignments could prove fatal.

              All the Rams had to do was stop, and contain Zeke and Prescott--and damn they where stopped. Squawks/Cowboys the difference was depth of talent at other skill positions--Dallas had more depth Squawks didn't. Rams/Cowboys the difference the Rams had more depth...the pick up of CJ just doubles the Rams chances to make it to another Super Bowl. And if that same defense shows up and the same OL performance at the Saints, we can talk about the Super Bowl and who is the better match up.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by NJ Ramsfan1 View Post

                Goff needs to be much better next week.

                Absolutely. Especially if the OL keeps providing the strong support it showed during last night's game.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by RealRam View Post


                  Absolutely. Especially if the OL keeps providing the strong support it showed during last night's game.
                  Goff is still growing. He will learn from his mistakes. It was only his second playoff game.
                  “Oh, 100 percent,” Donald said. “I feel like the words, ‘Thank you,’ ain’t enough. You’ve got to show it... Instead of saying thank you — show it.”

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Most of my observations have been beaten to by others. But some still stick out.

                    The good? Luck. It used to be that if it wasn't for bad luck the Rams would have no luck at all. About time the tide turned. The Rams were lucky that Saffold wasn't called for holding on the 4th and 1 play at the goalline; the Rams were lucky that Prescott was called in the grasp (by his own lineman no less) on 3rd down moving them out of field goal range; the Rams were lucky that Sampson's drop of the pick six didn't come back to haunt them. Not going to belabor the point, but I think there was some good luck on their side for a change.

                    The bad? The OffGoff. He had way too many overthrows, underthrows, and missed throws. He was serviceable, but the only time he was truly under pressure, the first drive into the redzone, he ducked away from the blitz while throwing erratically to an open TG - even Gurley had to throw up his hands at that. This stretch of missed opportunities has gone on too long now. I suspect the reason he ran at the end was 'cuz he was scared he was going to miss that throw as well. I can't put my finger on it, but he has regressed quite a bit since I sang his praises on composure and accuracy in the not too distant past. Maybe if his QB coach goes, the next one will bulk him up and teach him to make a good throw while taking a hit instead of curling up into a fetal position. Right now he's not even making throws with just ghosts around him.

                    The ugly? The Coverage. From the scheme of playing 12 ft off, to the missed assignments, to the dumbasss penalties, to the poor safety play, their only saving grace was that they had Dax throwing into it. And as much credit goes to the DL and some LBing play for showing up and stuffing the run, I will tell you that I would not be unhappy if Wade were to accept a coaching position elsewhere and take his "scheme" and half-a-dozen of his players with him.
                    Last edited by adarian_too; -01-14-2019, 07:26 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Great write-up as usual GC.


                      The biggest thing that worries me about the upcoming NFC Championship game is Goff. His timing and his accuracy has been subpar ever since the bye week. Before the bye, he was throwing pinpoint darts left and right (i.e. Chiefs and Vikings games), but since then, he's looked off. He looked off again last night.

                      If we get into a shoot-out with the Saints where we have to deviate from our run game, Goff NEEDS to be sharp.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Most of my observations have been beaten to by others. But some still stick out.

                        The good? Luck. It used to be that if it wasn't for bad luck the Rams would have no luck at all. About time the tide turned. The Rams were lucky that Saffold wasn't called for holding on the 4th and 1 play at the goalline; the Rams were lucky that Prescott was called in the grasp (by his own lineman no less) on 3rd down moving them out of field goal range; the Rams were lucky that Sampson's drop of the pick six didn't come back to haunt them. Not going to belabor the point, but I think there was some good luck on their side for a change.

                        The bad? The OffGoff. He had way too many overthrows, underthrows, and missed throws. He was serviceable, but the only time he was truly under pressure, the first drive into the redzone, he ducked away from the blitz while throwing erratically to an open TG - even Gurley had to throw up his hands at that. This stretch of missed opportunities has gone on too long now. I suspect the reason he ran at the end was 'cuz he was scared he was going to miss that throw as well. I can't put my finger on it, but he has regressed quite a bit since I sang his praises on composure and accuracy in the not too distant past. Maybe if his QB coach goes, the next one will bulk him up and teach him to make a good throw while taking a hit instead of curling up into a fetal position. Right now he's not even making throws with just ghosts around him.

                        The ugly? The Coverage. From the scheme of playing 12 ft off, to the missed assignments, to the dumbasss penalties, to the poor safety play, their only saving grace was that they had Dax throwing into it. And as much credit goes to the DL and some LBing play for showing up and stuffing the run, I will tell you that I would not be unhappy if Wade were to accept a coaching position elsewhere and take his "scheme" and half-a-dozen of his players with him.

                        Last edited by adarian_too; -01-14-2019, 08:07 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by IsaacBruce4ever View Post

                          Goff is still growing. He will learn from his mistakes. It was only his second playoff game.

                          Oh, I know that. I support Goff. And I realize that TIME is an added weight of pressure on his shoulders, i.e., the fact that the time to learn and perform is now, precisely because it is a playoff game.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by general counsel View Post
                            The Rams won their first playoff game of the McVay era ...
                            ...
                            ...
                            ...and the Fisher era, and the Spagnuolo era, the Haslett era, the Linehan era, and the Vitt era.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by RealRam View Post
                              Oh, I know that. I support Goff. And I realize that TIME is an added weight of pressure on his shoulders, i.e., the fact that the time to learn and perform is now, precisely because it is a playoff game.
                              I cannot disagree with that. You're right, the sooner Goff figures this out, the better off he is and the Rams are.
                              “Oh, 100 percent,” Donald said. “I feel like the words, ‘Thank you,’ ain’t enough. You’ve got to show it... Instead of saying thank you — show it.”

                              Comment

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                              • general counsel
                                Rams choke seachickens 33-31; The Good, Bad and Ugly
                                by general counsel
                                Apologies to everyone for the delay in writing my weekly summary. I was on a plane during the game and was finally able to watch the replay between midnight and 3am last night.

                                The Rams battled through some severe adversity on Sunday to choke the seachickens 33-31 in a brutally hard fought division road game to push their record to 5-0 and their division lead to a full three games. Championship caliber teams win games when they are not at their best and the Rams simply found a way to win this one in part by saving their best defense for when it mattered most and in part due to some extremely bold decisions by Coach McVay. The Rams lost Cooks and Kupp in the first half, suffered through some horrific officiating, saw their stud young quarterback come back to earth a bit after his perfect performance last week against Minnesota, scored three points total on two trips to the one yard line, missed an extra point, threw an interception in the end zone, lost the turnover battle two to zero, allowed 7 conversions in 12 tries on third down, had two key sacks late in the game negated by penalties in the secondary, watched Peters get torched all game (including for two td's), gave up 190 yards rushing, allowed Wilson a passer rating of over 132, could not kick off deep, self destructed out of scoring range at the end of the first half, and still found a way to emerge victorious in just about the most hostile road environment in the NFL. This game is really a high quality win and something the squad and coaching staff should feel good about, despite all the obvious areas for improvement.

                                The Good

                                Overall, Goff played well, albeit not close to the vikings game. He was 23-32-321 with one td, 2 int's, 2 fumbles and a passer rating of 88.2. He also had one nice scramble for 12 yards and a big first down. A couple of drops kept the numbers from being better and the interception in the end zone to Gurley certainly hurt. The second interception was a hail mary at the end of the first half. Kupp dropped a ball at the three yard line on a low throw that could have been a td and cooks failed to hold onto the throw where he got his bell rung (more on that later). The interception in the end zone was a clear hold on Gurley, the defender had his arm completely draped around Gurley's torso, and the deflection was unlucky, but the throw could have been a lot better. He missed Woods at around the five yard line as well. His mystery fumble in the last 30 seconds of the first half effectively knocked us out of field goal range, coupled with the false start and the negative run. At the end of the day, he drove the team when he needed to and got the big go ahead field goal and let's not forget that we did score 33 points, many of which we directly related to some very nice throws. He certainly was not helped by playing the second half without kupp and cooks, although Hodge made a huge catch for 14 yards on the last drive and...
                                -10-10-2018, 08:33 PM
                              • general counsel
                                Rams beat Cowboys 35-30; The Good, Bad and Ugly
                                by general counsel
                                The young Rams took a massive step forward today winning a playoff caliber game against a high quality Dallas team on the road 35-30 to move their record to 3-1. In a game that i personally did not think they could win, I am THRILLED to be proven wrong. The Rams were remarkable resilient in hanging around after a horrific defensive first half and rode a sensational performance by Todd Gurley, a strong second half job by the defense, and 7 field goals from the LEG to emerge victorious. There is a lot to talk about, but how about this for starters? The Rams scored on 9 of 11 possessions and had zero turnovers. That is how you beat good teams. Could we have finished them off sooner with better red zone play? Sure. But no one should be complaining today. With Seattle on the horizon at home next week, the Rams have showed that they are indeed a legitimate team, not just a vastly improved young team not ready to win a big game against a strong team on the road.

                                The Good

                                Can't say enough about the offense. Let's start with the offensive line. One sack allowed, plenty of clean pockets, and some running room for gurley and austin (168 yards on the ground). We scored 35 points, only one score (a td) with the benefit of a short field after the fumbled punt by dallas. We had 24 first downs and were competitive if not excellent on third down. Gurley, who became only the second Ram (after The Big Boy, Steven Jackson) to run for 100 yards (23-121-5.3 average) and have 90 yards receiving (7-94 with a terrific 53 yard td on a post route) was sensational. He was aggressive, patient, punishing. Those hurdles look great on TV, i wish he wouldnt do it so often, i worry he will get killed in the knees one of these times. Goff had a very solid game with some key throws and didnt make any big mistakes (one miss deep to higbee and one bad throw for higbee into triple coverage that he was lucky didnt get picked off). He was 21-36-255 with 2tds and a rating of 98.7 (again, NO INT's). There should be no more questions about whether Goff is going to be a franchise qb. I am not suggesting he won't have ups and downs as he continues to learn, but if he has this kind of running game and pass protection, he is going to have a very big year and only continue to improve. The throw on 3rd and 10 for 17 to woods from our own 10 yard line late in the game was really key and the 53 yard td to gurley was perfect. Kupp was solid with 5-60 and a td. Higbee and Everett played well. Austin, showing a pulse, had 6 carries for 48 yards. 412 yards total is impressive and scoring on 9 out of 11 possessions speaks for itself, especially in a hostile environment and a situation where we didnt possess the ball very much in the first half. Punching it in for the td after the first dallas turnover was big (after the refs nullified what looked like a td catch by woods) Let's say it this way. While the defense has a long way to go, we are going to...
                                -10-01-2017, 02:22 PM
                              • general counsel
                                Rams lampoon lions 30-16; The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
                                by general counsel
                                The Rams overcame a subpar performance by Jared Goff, pushing their record to 11-1 with a 30-16 road win against detroit by riding Todd Gurley, outstanding red zone defense, and an another otherworldly performance by Aaron Donald. The Rams win today clinched the NFC west title for the second year in a row and gave the Rams a one game lead over new orleans in the race for home field in the nfc with four games remaining. The giants win over chicago in overtime (aided by huge defense plays by former Rams Tree and Janoris) gives the Rams a three game lead over chicago in terms of the week one bye in the playoffs. Today was far from the Rams best game, but keep in mind that detroit has been strong defensively under patricia, especially of late against the run, and beat new england at home earlier in the year. The performance of the defense today was encouraging, albeit against a detroit team that is offensively challenged at the skill positions. To state the obvious, there are no style points in the NFL and the win is what counts. This was a game that could have gone either way in the fourth quarter, and once again the Rams found a way to get it done.

                                The Good

                                There are no words any longer to describe the impact that Aaron Donald is having on a weekly basis. He had two sacks today, one of which was a strip sack fumble recovered by Ebukam that was the critical play in the game when the Rams had a three point fourth quarter lead and detroit had the momentum. He had a third sack called back for a penalty. He had 5 overall tackles which included four tackles for loss. He drew three holding penalties and was held another ten or more times. I have watched 50 years of football and i have never seen an interior lineman play the way Donald is playing week in week out and while he is surrounded by other first round draft picks, he is not surrounded by other linemen who are exactly lighting it up. Just another incredible performance and he was as or more responsible for this win today as anyone.

                                Red zone play. The Rams were 3-4 in the red zone today offensively and held detroit to 1-5. The one time the Rams were stopped in the red zone, Reynolds was clearly held in the end zone on the third down play. The td pass to woods on 3rd and goal from the 8 before half gave us a 10-3 lead and was huge.

                                Todd Gurley had an excellent game with 23-132 and 2 td's rushing along with 3 catches for 33 yards. It was tough going most of the day for gurley, especially with malcolm brown out early with the shoulder injury and Gurley being the only active back on the roster. Very tough for him to get any room up the middle with snacks harrison clogging things up. He had two huge runs, the td run from the 13 with great blocking and the game clinching long run where he alertly fell down on the one yard line forcing detroit to use the rest of their time outs and putting the Rams into a position where even if they don't...
                                -12-02-2018, 05:47 PM
                              • general counsel
                                Rams pound packers 29-27; The Good, Bad and Ugly
                                by general counsel
                                The Rams pushed their record to 8-0 for the first time since 1969 with a playoff caliber 29-27 win over Aaron Rodgers and his green bay packers. Rallying offensively after punting on their first four possessions, the Rams once again found a way to win a very close game that was undecided until the last minute. The Rams are demonstrating every week that they are a team with the capability of winning a title. It's a long way from happening at this point, but the Rams are talented, deep, well coached and have a legitimate shot if they get lucky with injuries and continue to play turnover free and virtually penalty free football. Today's game featured only one turnover, but it was a huge one, with Ramik Wilson earning his spot on the squad for the year by causing a gigantic fumble on the kickoff return with 2 minutes left after Leg's field goal put the Rams ahead. Did any of us want to see Rodgers back on the field and down by only 2? Not a chance. Kudos to Wilson for the huge play and to the Rams for running Gurley successfully when they absolutely had to in the last two drives. One thing that today's game proved definitively, Rodgers is truly sensational and can do almost anything, but he can not score from the bench and finding a way to not give him a chance to win the game was really sensational news.

                                The Good

                                Gurley 25-114 and 6-81 with one td and a game clinching 3rd and 13 run for a conversion that could have been another touchdown if Gurley had not wisely fallen down inside the five yard line to end the game. Huge catch down the sideline getting his feet in to get the Rams a touchdown a couple of plays later and some momentum before halftime. Gurley had any number of plays where he had no holes, but he got better as the game went on. We actually got a break when he did not get in on two runs right before half because it ran the clock all the way down before the first Reynolds td catch and prevented rodgers from getting the ball back with any time left on the clock. Gurley also had a nice catch on the 2 point conversion and a couple of nice blitz pickups. Solid overall game with nearly 200 yards of total offense and a nice looking 30 yard catch and run for the td.

                                Goff. Not his best game, but he played well despite being under siege for the entire first half and a good portion of the second half. He wound up 19-35-295 3 touchdowns and no interceptions for a rating of 111. Made some really nice throws, including a beautiful long ball into the end zone to cooks that hit him in the hands but cooks could not pull down. Great looking throws on both Reynolds td's and the gurley td catch. Goff remained calm out there despite being sacked 5 times and his performance on third down was pretty good when he was not getting sacked or clobbered, completing a number of timely balls to woods and a couple to cooks. Best job he has done all year standing in against the rush, something he is going to need...
                                -10-28-2018, 06:21 PM
                              • general counsel
                                Rams stop saints 26-23 in OT; The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
                                by general counsel
                                The Rams overcame an extremely hostile road environment and rallied from behind to defeat new orleans 26-23 in overtime on a booming dead center 57 yard field goal from The Leg to advance to super bowl LIII for a super bowl xvi rematch against new england. The Rams dug themselves an early 13-0 hole with some ugly play and frankly, the score could have been a lot worse if not for some outstanding red zone defense. A fake punt completion from Hekker to Shields got the Rams moving and a sensational throw from Goff to Cooks followed by a six yard run by Gurley (one of his only five touches for the day) closed the gap to 13-10 at half. Despite going down 20-10 late in the third, the Rams rallied again with 212 yards of offense in the fourth quarter to tie the game on a 48 yard field goal by The Leg with 15 seconds left in regulation, forcing overtime. In overtime, new orleans won the toss but a qb hit by fowler forced a wobbly fly ball from brees which johnnie johnson made a sensational interception on while lying flat on his back, giving the Rams a first down at their own 45. Two sensational throws and plays by Goff, both short gains, but both critical, put the Rams close enough for the Leg to bomb in the game winner. We can now add "The Kick" to "The Catch" and "The Tackle" in Rams folklore of sensational plays. I am so incredibly proud of the resilence that the squad showed today. True, we got a huge break at the end on the non-interference call on Robey-Coleman that may well have ended our season, but if anyone wants to say that non-call in the reason new orleans lost just point out the obvious missed facemask on the Goff scramble at the goal line that cost us four points. Games don't turn on one call. There were lots of close calls and plays in this game. No class at all out of new orleans in their post game comments, but at this point, i could not care less, just looking ahead to the super bowl and our chance to avenge the darkest day in Rams history, at least since the brutal loss in the 1950 title game.

                                The Good

                                The Rams as a team never gave up, left it all out on the field and fought their hearts out. Digging a 13-0 hole in that environment and then getting down 10 again at the end of the third was a huge mountain to climb, but we never stopped fighting our hardest and we made enough plays to get it done against a really good team in just about the loudest stadium anyone could ever imagine, against a first ballot hall of fame quarterback.

                                Goff was not perfect today, he certainly missed some throws and was indecisive when he had a chance to run the ball into the end zone for the go ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter. However, with the game and the season on the line, he outplayed first ballot hall of famer brees and got the job done with some spectacular plays. The third and three scramble late in the fourth quarter that led to the 39 pass to everett was an all-pro...
                                -01-20-2019, 09:30 PM
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