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

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  • general counsel
    Rams choke seachickens 33-31; The Good, Bad and Ugly
    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, 09:33 PM
  • general counsel
    Rams beat Cowboys 35-30; The Good, Bad and Ugly
    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, 03:22 PM
  • general counsel
    Rams lampoon lions 30-16; The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
    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, 06:47 PM
  • general counsel
    Rams pound packers 29-27; The Good, Bad and Ugly
    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, 07:21 PM
  • general counsel
    Rams choke seachickens 36-31; The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
    general counsel
    The Rams rebounded from their first loss of the year by pushing their record to 9-1 with a hard fought 36-31 victory at home over the seachickens. The Rams overcame 6 personal fouls, a total of ten penalties for over 100 yards, horrific first quarter defense (again), subpar red zone performance, 273 yards rushing by seattle, a final Russell Wilson possession with a chance to win the game for the chickens and a potentially serious knee injury to Cooper Kupp to emerge victorious. Once again, the Rams did what they had to do to win and simply found a way, despite playing far from their best football. The Rams are a very good team, you can not have a 9-1 record if that is not the case, but if the squad is going to make a serious run at the super bowl there are going to be any number of things that need to be improved on and with kansas city, chicago and philadelphia still ahead on the schedule it is going to take better football than we played today if we want a realistic chance to overcome the loss to new orleans and earn home field throughout the playoffs. The good news is that as a practical matter, the win today effectively clinches the division for the Rams who now enjoy a four game lead over seattle and have beaten the chickens twice. While McVay said that the situation with Kupp's knee "doesn't look good" lets hope that there is a chance that we can get him back later this year.

    The Good

    Goff had another strong game going 28-29-318 with 2 td's, no int's and a qb rating of 113. He made some terrific throws again and only had a couple of "bad" misses, one of which was to an open kupp on a play where his arm did get hit. He showed good presence dropping the ball off to gurley a few times and i loved the way he used the wide receiver screens and throws to the tight ends that so many of us have been looking for all year. He continues to improve although you would really hope he would find a way to improve in the red zone. Our problems in the red zone are certainly not all on Goff, but i think he can get better.

    Gurley had a td in his 13th consecutive game with a strong run for about 16 yards behind great blocking from whitworth and woods. He finished with 16 carries for 120 yards and 3 catches for 40. I thought we should have pounded him even more often, especially earlier in the game before seattle started to stack the box and i didnt like the ball not being in his hands on the first down play on the last drive where we went three and out and gave wilson a chance to win the game. Another all-pro performance.

    Aaron Donald had 2 and a half sacks today and was held 5 times or more. Super disruptive force. Suh had 1/2 a sack and 9 tackles. Littleton had 9 tackles as well and a nice pass breakup on a third down. The defense stepped up when it absolutely had to despite having another rough day. Fowler, who almost cost us the game with a horrible penalty (see below) showed...
    -11-11-2018, 07:34 PM
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