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Rams stop saints 26-23 in OT; The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

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  • Rams stop saints 26-23 in OT; The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    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 play all the way. In overtime, the throw to higbee for 12 yards, and then most importantly, the six yard throw with cameron jordan hanging all over him may well have been the difference between winning and losing. He had a sensational throw to cooks for over 30 yards that was absolutely perfect right before half, which followed a terrific throw for 17 to cooks. That pre half drive was enormous and gave the squad confidence going into halftime despite the debacle of the first quarter on offense. The interception was certainly not on him, the ball hit gurley right in the hands. Great play fake on the one yard td throw to higbee. Great throw to reynolds for 33 yards in the fourth quarter. Huge throw for a first down to woods on the last drive. Goff wound up 25-40-297 with a td and an int and was sacked once for a rating of 83. Certainly not his best day statistically, but if you consider the hostility of the environment, how big the game was, and how he essentially played his best football with the game on the line, you have to give him enormous credit. He led three critical scoring drives at the very end and if any of them fail, our season may well end. The Rams have a franchise quarterback.

    Massive credit to The Leg. 57 yard field goal looked good from 70 and was straight down the middle. A lot on the line there because if he misses that kick new orleans has amazing field position needing only a field goal to win. The 48 yarder at the end of regulation was super clutch and was not straight down the middle, giving us all mass anxiety, but he got it through. Made the short ones and the extra points as well. Atoned for missing the 51 yarder that cost us badly in the game earlier this year in new orleans and earned his place as an all time Rams legend by sending us to the big dance with the game winning kick.

    After a very slow start, our offensive line played very well again today even though they could barely hear goff call the plays. Goff was only sacked once and generally had time to throw. Running was tough today, we gained 77 yards rushing on 26 carries. 378 total yards with 212 in the 4th quarter shows that like Goff, the line played its best when the game and the season was at stake.

    Offensively, you have to be pleased with 378 total yards, 19 first downs, 7-17 on 3rd and 4th downs (especially after a 1-6 start). 212 yards in the fourth quarter with the game on the line! Not our best performance, but again, consider the quality of the opponent and the hostility of the environment. 2-4 in the red zone was ok, still an area for improvement, although the decision by mcvay to take the field goal at the one foot line when down 20-17 in the fourth was out of character and something that surprised me. The receivers played pretty well today, especially cooks 7-107. Reynolds was 4-74 despite a couple of drops and also had a huge 18 yard run to the one yard line on a beautiful reverse where higbee made one of the best blocks you will ever see. In fact, Kudos to Higbee and his blocking today. I never thought i would say this (and this will only mean something to the really old timers on this board), but i think higbee is as good a blocking tight end as David Hill, aka "The Floating Tackle" during the peak of the dickerson years. Woods was only 6-33 but every catch was a huge one and goff missed him for the winning td on two chances at the very end of regulation (one was a nice completion but not in stride and the other goff got rid of too soon, leading to the 48 yard field goal to tie the game). Everett was 2-50, both big catches and higbee 4-25. No passing game out of the backfield unfortunately.

    The defense played a terrific game. Two terrible plays (brockers and joyner, see below), but otherwise a strong performance against a dynamic team with a HOF quarterback. First of all, they shut down michael thomas who was a very quiet 4-36. Second, they shut down the new orleans running game, which wound up with 21 carries for 48 yards, including 8 carries for 15 yards for kamura. Third, they were excellent in the red zone holding new orleans to 2-5 which really was a huge difference in this game. Next, they forced the turnover (fowler hit and great interception by Johnson) that led to the game winning field goal. Next, they held new orleans to 290 total yards, an excellent job. New Orleans was 6-14 on third down after being very successful early in the game. That was also a huge difference. The Rams got a huge stop and forced a punt in the second half when new orleans began a possession on our 46 yard line. Our field position was lousy all game and especially early, when the offense had no first downs in the first quarter, the defense kept us in the game. After the early goff int on the gurley drop, holding them to a field goal was just huge. Suh continues to play sensational football in the playoffs, stout against the run, one and half sacks (fowler had half a sack) and several pressures. Donald was somewhat controlled but made a handful of plays. Johnson was outstanding. Peters and Talib both played well today. The long throw to ginn late in the game that joyner botched was their only really successful downfield throw all game. Brees wound up 26-40-249 with 2 tds and an int and you cant do much better than that against him, especially given all the advantageous field position he had. Littleton had 12 tackles, barron 9, fowler five. I think Fowler at age 24 has to be resigned if at all possible and you have to give snead credit for that trade during the season, he has made a real difference in our edge rushing capabilities. The six yard loss on the running play caused by kong and donald in overtime right before the interception was sensational. Second playoff game in a row where our run defense was super stout and changed the game. We will need that again in the super bowl.

    Luck is important. We got some breaks today, an early dropped td pass by the new orleans tight end and the late non-call on the interference on robey coleman certainly helped, we can't and shouldnt deny that. But there were calls that went the other way as well, including a brutal facemask on goff at the goal line scramble that cost us four points because it should have been first and goal inside the one and a non call on a play where reynolds got his face stepped on after the play was over while he was on the ground after a catch, along with at least one non called late hit out of bounds and more than one play where cooks was clearly held down the field. New Orleans only got three penalties called on them all game.

    I think McVay, Phillips and Fassel get credit for coaching a strong game although again, i didnt like the decision to kick the field goal from the one foot line. We were better today with our use of time outs and you have to give mcvay credit for getting the time out when the clock was about at 0 seconds right before the enormous third down conversion by goff on the long play to everett. McVay and Phillips get credit for in game adjustments and for keeping the players heads in the game when things looked so bleak early on. Veteran leadership i am sure helped but i was concerned about mcvay being overmatched today against a much more experienced playoff coach and that was not the case. McVay is now the youngest head coach to get his team to the super bowl and he has the challenge of his life ahead of him matching wits against bellicheck in two weeks in the super bowl.

    CJ was 16-44, but ran hard. Had one bobble at the end that almost killed us but held on. Converted a couple of third and shorts today. Tough sledding inside vs new orleans defense.


    Hekker punted well and the fake punt pass to shields for a first down helped get us back into the game. It led to a field goal which cut the lead to 13-3.


    The Bad

    7 penalties for 64 yards including three terrible special teams fouls, two against christian and one against countess, all of which killed us on field position.
    Goff too indecisive on the scramble at the goal line. If he decides to run sooner and more decisively he scores the touchdown for sure. Of course, there was a huge non call on the play when the new orleans player grabbed his facemask and it should have been first and goal inside the one which would have lead to a Rams td and a 24-20 lead instead of a tie game.
    Kamura killed us out of the backfield with 11 catches for 96 yards. We did a good job adjusting and taking it away later in the game, but remember, this is a huge part of the new england offense, we need to be ready sooner to defend that play.
    2-4 in the red zone may not be "bad" but it can certainly be improved.
    Brees had too much time to throw for most of the game. Need much more pressure in the super bowl against brady who has even less mobility than brees but is equally deadly accurate.
    Lousy start for the defense on third downs, allowed several early conversions that led to new orleans points.
    Coleman missed one or two chances at interceptions
    The three and out at the start of the second half when we had momentum was bad. The jet sweeps to woods and cooks did not work today and the wide receiver screens were generally ineffective or dropped. Would like to see more quick out timing patterns and more throws to the backs.
    Would love to see us run the ball better against new england. Some of that is scheme and i have been the one preaching that you have to take what the defense gives you.
    JoJo has to come up and catch that punt to save field position.


    The Ugly

    Hard to believe that the Rams could win an nfc championship game with Gurley's performance in the ugly category. He only touched the ball five times, a career low, and i guess we will find out if he is hurt again or simply awful today. He had the one terrific six yard td run on nice blocking, but other than that, he was basically a zero, with 4 carries for 10 yards and one catch for three yards. He had a huge deflection off his hands early in the first quarter that caused an INT and a drop on a play that could easily have been a first down (although there was also an offensive interference call on everett on the play that would have negated the first down). Just an ugly performance. He was on the bike on the sideline, who knows about his physical status, although he was quoted after the game as saying he was just awful today, not hurt. Let's hope he is dramatically improved in the super bowl.

    The brockers offsides on 4th and 2 when the defense effectively held new orleans to a third straight field goal in the red zone was really stupid (new orleans was going to kick the field goal and not snap the ball if we didnt jump). He had a nice pass deflection later, but the ugly offsides cost us four points.

    We had no first downs on our first three possessions, along with a turnover, digging us a 13-0 hole that it is kind of miraculous that we pulled out of.

    The 43 yard completion with the game on the line to Ginn over joyner was ugly. The ball should have been picked off or at the minimum knocked down. Joyner was back there and in position. The timing of his jump and movement of his body was ugly. Certainly did not look like a guy getting paid a fortune under the franchise tag on that play.


    Summary

    The Rams run to the title has one more stop, in atlanta for super bowl LIII against our old nemisis and enemies Brady, Bellicheck and the entire new england team. Today was a sensational win, no other way to describe it. The Rams have taken a huge step forward under mcvay and goff with two strong playoff wins and they got it done today on the back of their young qb without a running game of any real kind and with zero contribution out of gurley. The kick will certainly go down in Rams legend, and i hope people remember how clutch the 48 yarder was to force overtime as that is not an easy kick in those circumstances. The guts to call the fake punt and the execution of the play was critical because if that fails the Rams may well be knocked out by halftime. Our young qb played his best in the fourth quarter with a sensational third down throw to everett to save the season and his short completion while cameron jordan was sacking him in overtime is easily overlooked but was really an outcome determinative play. I really didn't think the crowd was going to have all that much impact today but i was wrong because it was quite clear that communication at the line of scrimmage was almost impossible and it was very difficult even in the huddle. The kind of determination and resiliency that the Rams showed today defines a champion and both the players and coaches deserve credit for a sensational win that we all need to step back and enjoy. What an incredibly special season. 13-3, a dominant home playoff win against a difficult dallas team and a come from behind win against the #1 seeded new orleans team that beat us earlier in the year in the same building. In short, today was the kind of win that makes champions. We need to take into account that we beat a very good football team led by one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. We shut down their dominant running game, kept goff clean, and controlled their superstar wide receiver. The Rams are obviously a different defense with Talib in the lineup and it sure showed today.

    New England is the only thing standing in the way of a super bowl title. We will all discuss what we need to do to win that game, but for starters, running the ball, controlling their running game, and getting pressure up the middle on brady are all critical. Like brees, if you let him stand back in the pocket all day as kansas city did, he will just pick you apart. Red zone and turnovers are always critical, you guys all know my views on that. What is absolutely essential is understanding that bellicheck is the greatest coach in the history of north american professional sports. He will scheme and find ways to take things away. Mahomes torched them for 31 points in the second half, but that was after kansas city gained 36 or so total yards in the entire first half and dug themselves a 14 point halftime hole that should have been a lot worse if brady didnt throw the interception in the end zone. That said, with pressure in his face, brady is mortal for sure and not letting them pound the ball as they did against both the chargers and kansas city is going to be really important. Let's hope that the Rams resurgent and terrific playoff run defense shows up again in the super bowl and that goff and mcvay can take what the defense gives them. I believe that the Rams opened as one point favorites, but point spreads don't really mean anything now. I think the Rams have more talent than new england, but they have all the experience at the qb position with brady and they have bellicheck. A huge challenge for Goff (who is now the youngest qb to win an nfc championship game) and McVay (the youngest coach in the history of the super bowl). I really hope the Rams don't dig themselves a hole early with self inflicted wounds and can convert and play great defense in the red zone because if we can do those things, i think talent is going to get us the title as the game wears on. To kill brady and new england you need to drive a stake and a silver bullet through their hearts, they are almost never dead even when it looks like that is the case so we have to play all out all game and do our best to wear them down and bury them.

    For tonight, everyone enjoy the fact that the Rams are NFC Champions and think about how far we have come in such a short period of time under mcvay and how bright the future looks. That said, we are not satisfied. We have one game to go to win the NFL title. We need to rest up, hope gurley is physically fine and be ready to play the game of our lives, under control, with intensity and urgency, but not with panic or lack of discipline. This is the chance of a lifetime for this Rams team and for all Rams fans to gain revenge for the pain and agony we still feel 18 years after that horrific loss in super bowl xxxvi.

    Ramming speed to all

    general counsel





  • #2
    I am still totally hyped after this game. One thing this game showed more clearly then anything else that we have found a franchise QB. Winning in that noise inferno was not an easy task and it profed beyond any doubt that Goff can make his own plays he is not a puppet guidet only my Mcway genius.

    Comment


    • #3
      The Good? SB's in Atlanta, the home of GC. Tailgate at the house; raid his collection for game accessories; crash at the crib after celebrating victory;

      The Bad? The improbability of any of it happening;

      The Ugly? Ticket an flight prices to get there.

      Comment


      • #4
        Great write-up GC. I like your Johnnie Johnson reference as an older fan this brings back some distant memories.

        I posted a theory about Gurley on another thread and will repeat it. I feel as though McVay saw the game could only be won through the air. That meant Goff needed as much pass pro as possible. Anderson is probably a better blocker than Gurley, plus the knee issue with Gurley cannot be overlooked either. Admitting this to the media would be an insult to Gurley and the FO who signed him to a $60 million contract, so calling it "flow of the game" was a polite excuse.

        For Saints fans bemoaning the non-call, please tell me why when you win the coin toss for OT you cannot drive down the field and score a TD. Defense is part of the game. I admit the non-call was wrong, but I hope the Rams coaches use it to our advantage with the players who will start feeling dissed by the huge out pouring of anger at the refs. Keep talking sports talk radio/TV.

        GC, will you be in attendance? Atlanta is our "town" when it comes to SB's. Now we can hopefully add the name of the facility, Mercedes Benz to our good luck charms.

        A few points to make, Jared Goff reached the next level in his development yesterday. Dante Fowler and Gerald Everett excelled when needed and I had a feeling that would happen before the game, as it usually does. Lesser stars are the ones who come through in the clutch.

        Go Rams!
        Last edited by mde8352gorams; -01-21-2019, 02:03 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Two things I took away from it--actually 3

          Whose defense was that out there because it didn't look like the Rams defense we saw most of the season...as I hoped the closer the Rams got to the SB, the more passion the defense would play.

          Second, very few teams are that strong at home as are the Saints. Its not too surprising, since it seems the Rams' habit is to walk into a hostile stadium and come away with a victory--Seattle being one...and yet up until this last matchup the Saints where 6-0 at home in the playoffs--its a HUGE statement

          Lastly--I really wonder if Gurley is playing hurt. I didn't see him lame or limping after the Dallas game. Still I wonder...saw a statement from Gurley taking ownership of his poor showing, but I wonder if that statement was not for the benefit of the Pats to hide that he is hurt. Nevertheless the Saints where ready for the Rams ground game period. CJ netting only 44 and Gurley 10--yah the Saints watched a lot of game tape from the Dallas game

          An aside... I figured Higbee was going to be the big difference maker against the Saints...yes he did play a large part but how the Saints play defense and having to take away Gurley, Woods, & Cook made it obvious the TE would be open... just wondering what McVay saw going into the game. I had imagined with Higbee burning the Saints consistently would have opened up the Game to either Woods or cook

          Comment


          • #6
            Still no update on the gurley health situation and i am not expecting one any time soon. The more i think about it, the more i think he is hurt because i can't think of any other reason why he would be riding the bike off and on for most of the game.

            Ramming speed to all

            general counsel

            Comment


            • #7
              Great review as always GC. I agree on Gurley. I get the feeling that on Feb 4th, we'll hear of a clean up scoping procedure has been performed or at least scheduled on him. No way he doesn't get in the flow of that game, and a trick knee can give you something to think about when you're supposed to be catching a pass or blocking.
              This space for rent...

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              • general counsel
                Rams lose 45-35 to new orleans: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
                by general counsel
                Despite a valiant comeback to overcome a 21 point deficit and pull even in the fourth quarter, the Rams fell short today on the road against a very tough Drew Brees led new orleans team, suffering their first loss of the season by the score of 45-35 in what could prove to be a preview of the NFC championship game. The offense certainly played well enough to win, but subpar red zone play, failure to take advantage of a crucial turnover in the first half, the weekly torching of Marcus Peters, lousy 3rd down play on both sides of the ball, and most importantly a horrific first half defensively were our our undoing today. The Rams were not going undefeated in any event and this game was likely the toughest one on the entire schedule, but the Rams will fly home for a really important division battle next week against the seachickens with a bad taste in their mouth of opportunities lost to win this game. The key will be what the squad learns from this and how they bounce back next week.

                The Good

                Jared Goff and the offense scored 35 points and gave 483 yards, punting only once. Gurley scored a td for the 12th straight game, although new orleans did a great job of keeping him in check (65 yards rushing and 11 yards receiving). The offensive line allowed zero sacks despite 40 passing attempts by Goff. Goff was 28-40-391-3 td's and one interception for a rating of 115.7. Unfortunately, he made one of his two horrible throws of the game with the outcome on the line late in the fourth quarter when the Rams had a chance to take the lead (see below in bad section on the miss to an open Woods). Goff made several terrific throws, including a couple that were not caught, such as the perfect throw that Higbee dropped in the end zone. The long ball to cooks was terrific and the out pattern to kupp was sensational. The 4th and 2 at the end hit Cooks in the hands. Sure, he got outplayed by Brees, but there is no shame in that. To take the next step, and if realistically we want to win the superbowl or for that matter get to the super bowl, goff is going to have to play his best with the game on the line, something he has not done in the last two weeks. Great catch and run for Malcolm Brown along the sideline for the td.

                It was nice to see the tight ends involved today (collectively 5-88 plus the two point conversion to Everett). Cooks played well with 6-114, Kupp was 5-89 with the 41 yard td catch and run and woods was very strong again with 5-71 including any number of really big catches.

                No injuries that i saw.
                Leg kicked a 56 yard field goal.
                The defense recovered nicely in the 2nd half holding new orleans to 10 points. Not spectacular, but potentially good enough to win if the offense hadn't died with the game on the line.
                Fowler showed a pulse with a couple of nice pressures and a rare hit on brees along with one tackle for loss. Can't wait for him to play more.
                Donald had...
                -11-04-2018, 06:00 PM
              • general counsel
                Rams crunch cowboys 30-22; The good, the bad and the ugly
                by general counsel
                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.

                ...
                -01-12-2019, 11:12 PM
              • 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 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 prevail over panthers 30-27; The Good, Bad and Ugly
                by general counsel
                The defending NFC Champion Rams overcame a sluggish performance and got a few breaks to beat carolina on the road, securing an important early season win by the score of 30-27. We all know that there are no style points in the NFL, and with the Rams (like most teams) not playing their starters in preseason, combined with an on field temperature of 95 degrees and two first year starters on the offensive line, you had to know this game was going to be a crapshoot. Plenty of good today, also plenty of bad and plenty of ugly and a decent amount of luck got us over the top. Super bowl losers were 3-16 in the opening game of the following season and the Rams overcame that history and plenty of adversity to walk out of carolina with the victory.

                The Good

                Littleton had 14 tackles (8 solo), an interception and a forced and recovered fumble. Monster game.
                Leg made a huge 56 yard field goal and drilled a 49 yarder.
                Hekker had 2 60 plus yard punts to get the Rams out of field position trouble.
                Great to see Gurley and Kupp looking healthy. Gurley had 97 yards (64 in 4th quarter) on 14 carries despite doing nothing in the first half. Gurley had some very powerful runs including two for 20 plus yards. Kupp had seven catches and was open a few other times where goff missed him.
                Fowler had two sacks and played very well. Mathews also had a sack in his Rams debut.
                Nice play by Ebukam on the backwards pass/fumble recovery.
                Goff made some nice throws, including the td to higbee that effectively put the game away and some nice third down conversions in tight windows
                Malcolm Brown was outstanding, running hard for 2 td's and 55 inside yards, moving the pile very well. An excellent player, the Rams never need to sign CJ last year if Brown (who is much better than CJ) didnt get hurt. A very underated guy and an important offseason decision to match the offer sheet he signed with detroit.
                Goff was only sacked once and we really picked it up in the 2nd half with 22 first downs, 349 total yards (mostly second half), very effective running with the game on the line (169 yards for the game). On that basis, i am going to say that Allen and Noteboom both must have played pretty well especially for a first start
                Huge play by Havenstein falling on one of the gurley fumbles. Blythe recovered the other fumble.
                Woods had 8 catches for 70 yards. Cooks had two nice back to back catches but that was it. Woods also had a beautiful inside run on a fantastic play design.
                Great to see us pound the ball and run out the clock. Wish we had run even more in the second half.
                Johnson had 11 tackles and Rapp had 8.
                We only had 5 penalties, which is pretty darn good for week one, we won the turnover battle 3-1 and won time of possession 34-16. That was really the difference in the game. If gurley loses those two fumbles, who knows what happens.
                We got very lucky that Newton...
                -09-08-2019, 02:36 PM
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