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Number one thing Rams need to improve in the second half.....

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  • Number one thing Rams need to improve in the second half.....

    In your view, what is the most important thing the Rams need to do in order to make the playoffs (and potentially make a deep run into the playoffs) in the second half of the season. Said another way, avoiding injuries aside (obviously a key consideration for any team), what is the one area of specific improvement that is most needed from the squad.

    My answer? A dramatically improved running game. That comes down to offensive line play, especially on the interior. To me, if we dont get a great deal more production out of the running game, we are not going to come close to reaching our potential as a team. The running game keeps pass rush honest, opens up play action, and keeps us out of the lousy down and distance situations that are always a problem for anyone. Our running game has been flat out lousy in the first half and it needs massive improvement.

    Ramming speed to all

    general counsel

  • #2
    I would agree, running the football but then means a good O Line .......................... there lies the rub

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    Keeping the Rams Nation Talking

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    • #3
      I completely agree with your point about an improved running game enabled by better O-Line blocking. On a positive note Darrell Henderson has shown more aptitude to be a running threat.

      But my number 2 priority is better pass defense. While we won the game, Andy Dalton was able to complete a lot of passes and while we did apply plenty of pressure up front our backfield wasn't as shut down as I feel we need to be. In short, I want to see Jalen Ramsey earn his keep with int's and passes deflected away. Punching at caught balls trying for a fumble isn't the answer.
      Last edited by mde8352gorams; 2 weeks ago.

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      • #4
        The whole team needs to improve as no one has met or improved expectations besides Kupp and he’s blown a few. Only one persons ever walked on water but even the water boys better step their game up. The dude cheerleader better bring his A game also.

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        • #5
          The offense will have to find some magic. Half of the final 8 games are against a Top 5 Defense. Points will not be easy to come by.
          The more things change, the more they stay the same.

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          • #6
            Protecting Goff. Without time, Goff fizzles when throwing the ball, and with time, Goff picks apart defenses. Running is important to open up play action, but we are not a run-first team.

            I prefer leaning into strengths, as opposed to shoring up weaknesses.

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            • #7
              Without question, it's the OL, which is the lynchpin to any team success. The running game, passing effectiveness, sustaining drives, scoring points, keeping the defense off the field, and wearing down the opposition, all pivot off what the OL does. The good news is, the OL has been improving over the last several weeks.

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              • #8
                Les Snead expects to see 'more and more' of
                Darrell Henderson for Rams


                USA Today / By Cameron DaSilva
                Nov. 04, 2019


                Entering the 2019 draft, the Los Angeles Rams didn’t necessarily have any truly pressing needs. They traded back several times before making their first pick and bolstered the weaker areas of the depth chart with future starters, adding players such as Taylor Rapp, David Edwards and Darrell Henderson.

                All three have made an impact as rookies, even if the rest of the draft class for Los Angeles has not. Rapp has filled in for John Johnson, Edwards has replaced the injured Joe Noteboom and Henderson has been a perfect complement to Todd Gurley

                Sean McVay has been pleased with the way all three rookies have played this season, and Les Snead shares that same feeling. Snead was on the Rich Eisen Show recently, where he discussed the performance of Henderson and Edwards thus far.

                He began with Henderson, saying he expects to see more of the rookie as time goes on and he gains experience

                “The last couple games, he has played more. So any time the game is starting to slow down for him, that’s just natural course,” he said. “I think we’ll see more and more of him both running the football and catching the football. But what we do know is when he does have space, he’s proven to be an explosive player, he can break tackles and he can gain yards at a fast rate.”

                Marshall Faulk mentioned the importance of having multiple running backs who can handle big workloads, which the Rams have with Gurley, Henderson and even Brown. Snead agreed, mentioning the impact running back tandems can have when working in harmony.

                “We’ve always seen nicknames like ‘thunder and lightning’ when there’s these dynamic duos that earned those nicknames based on their play. But I think the different styles, whatever the runner brings in his style definitely can help, as well,” Snead said.

                As for Edwards, Snead mentioned him as a pleasant surprise, stepping in for Noteboom at left guard after playing right tackle in college.

                “Because of Joe Noteboom’s injury, we inserted him [Edwards] in as the starting left guard for the last two weeks, and in those two weeks, we’ve played Grady Jarrett, Geno Atkins – who he’s had to go against and has performed admirably. So that’s a very nice, late surprise for us, a fifth-round pick,” Snead said.

                The Rams haven’t gotten a lot out of their other rookies, but the impact already made by Henderson, Edwards and Rapp has been encouraging.

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                • #9
                  Getting the ball out of Goff's hands. The oline is what it is and we can't have Jared making 7 step drops and holding onto the ball while someone gets open down field anymore.

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                  • #10
                    I will chime in with play calling also. How long have many here been calling for more plays where Goff can get the ball quickly out of his hands? Slants, quick screens, etc. should reduce the pressure on the offensive line and increase the pressure on the opposition defense. Surely McVay can be creative with those types of plays also.
                    “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.”

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                    • #11
                      While I agree improved O-line play is critical, I reject the idea that this is the primary reason we're not running the ball well. I feel we're not running the ball well simply because we aren't very good at the position. Gurley is a shell of himself, and the other guys have not lived up to the very fair expectations placed upon them. We'll see if this improves, but one dimensional teams usually fare poorly come crunch time.

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                      • #12
                        Interesting assessment NJ.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by NJ Ramsfan1 View Post
                          While I agree improved O-line play is critical, I reject the idea that this is the primary reason we're not running the ball well. I feel we're not running the ball well simply because we aren't very good at the position. Gurley is a shell of himself, and the other guys have not lived up to the very fair expectations placed upon them. We'll see if this improves, but one dimensional teams usually fare poorly come crunch time.
                          Indeed. I have thought that Gurley has lost that explosive first step that he used to blow past the linemen before they knew where he was. Thus, we've been in 2nd and long all season. Your point about the O-line is also spot on. Most of us have lamented the loss of Rodger Saffold which is valid, but I'm thinking we miss John Sullivan even more at center. You don't lose 40% of your O-line and not miss a beat.

                          That last point also plays into a concern I've had beyond the running game and giving Goff a clean pocket. It appears we've been getting a lot more penalties such as false starts, holding and hands to the face than previously. In general I feel we've been getting more penalties on all side of the ball including special teams. Part of that is my sense that the officiating this year hasn't been very good throughout the league. Regardless, we need to stop shooting ourselves in the foot.

                          Certainly an interesting time to be a Rams fan.

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                          • #14
                            Red zone efficiency must improve and along with it better play calling and o line play. Winning TO battle is a must as Rams under McVay never lose when they win that battle. To increase TOs Wade needs to blitz more. We have guys in the secondary who can apply pressure. Move Goff with roll out. Use all RBS more skillfully.

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                            • general counsel
                              We HAVE to run more
                              by general counsel
                              We HAVE to find a way to run the ball more consistently. The best way to protect the defense is to keep it off the field. If we can find a way to establish a running game, we can both shorten up the game and create even greater opportunities for bulger on play action.

                              The defensive personnel is not going to change or improve between now and the end of the year. Haslett can try all the gimmicks he wants, but the fact is, we dont really have the horses to have a playoff caliber defense. In addition, i dont think our offensive line is good enough to score 35 points a week by throwing the ball all the time.

                              Linehan has tried to establish better balance with the run but its not good enough. I think he should run more from the multiple wide receiver spread formation sets because from a pure power line up and play smash mouth up the middle football, we are still struggling. We really need help at guard but that isnt going to come until the off season.

                              Ramming speed to all

                              general counsel
                              -10-30-2006, 06:16 AM
                            • Guest's Avatar
                              Dr. Freud's pregame analysis-which rams team will show up?
                              by Guest
                              Since the season started, the rams have been afflicted with repeated bouts of schizophrenia. We have shown the capacity to play as well as anyone in the nfl (see the fourth quarter of the seattle game) and we have shown the capacity to play like an expansion team at times (see the stupid turnovers in the new orleans game, the collapse by the defense at the end of the saints game, the failure to make plays on defense, the capacity to give up endless big plays on defense and the worst kickoff coverage in the nfl).

                              We are showing every sign of an above average but certainly not championship caliber team, specifically, that we are playing not to our ability, but to the level of our opponent. When you play like that, you put yourself in a position where a big play or two at a critical time can easily cost you a game against an inferior opponent. The great teams win when they are not at their best, the above average teams seem to find ways to have either the breaks or big plays go against them with games on the line (ie the non-int by butler in the atlanta game).

                              Make no mistake about it, this team has a pulse, but it is marginal at this point. We were incredibly lucky to beat seattle. Notwithstanding the great comeback, better clock management and a couple of catches by receivers that got hit directly in the hands would have ended that game. Think about how different it would look at 3-4 right now without the tiebreaker advantage vs. seattle and the tough teams coming up.

                              This is the time to step up following the bye and play with consistency if we want a chance to contend. We need to play to our potential and we need to make more big plays than we give up. The defense is never going to be the 1985 bears, but when it has chances to take advantage of mistakes, it HAS to capitalize. Dropped INT's are killing us and note that when we dont create turnovers we lose. A dropped INT is really the same as an offensive turnover in the sense that we lose the chance to have possession of the ball.

                              The team at this point is too reminiscent of 2000, with the exception of the fact that the offense, while good, is no where near as dominant and we cant outscore people.

                              Here is what i think we need over the second half.

                              1) We have to give grant williams more help. He is playing as well as can be expected, but its not good enough.
                              2) We have to capitalize on defense, catch the balls when they hit us in the hands, even aeneas.
                              3) We have to stop giving up so many big plays on defense
                              4) leonard little needs to play better to cause more disruption (ie at a pro bowl level)
                              5) obviously, we need to stay as healthy as possible (we need travis fisher up to speed).
                              6) We have to be able to cover kickoffs better, we are giving up way, way too much field position for a defense that is already shaky
                              7) Consistency is crucial. We...
                              -11-04-2004, 05:14 AM
                            • general counsel
                              Great News, we are officially a mediocre, middle of the pack NFL team
                              by general counsel
                              Over the first six games of the Bradford era, the rams have clearly established themselves as a solidly mediocre NFL team that is obviously on the way up. This is a HUGE step considering that we won a total of 3 games in the prior two years.

                              By beating San Diego, we have shown that we can beat a playoff caliber team. Our performance in the first half yesterday was nfc championship caliber football. You can't play much better on defense and offense than we played in the first half yesterday, albeit with a couple of breaks (ie a couple of drops by the SD defense that could have been INT's and a HUGE drop by Gates on a perfect third and long throw by Rivers over the middle). For the game, we had seven sacks and no turnovers, in addition to a blocked field goal and a terrific interception in the end zone. With the game on the line, we imposed our will on the chargers and the Big Boy ran the ball down their throats to run out the clock, despite the obvious nature of the play calling. We have improved a great deal in a short time despite crippling injuries at a key offensive position (WR) where we were already lacking a #1 before anyone got hurt. As with almost every team at any level of football, dramatically improved line play on both sides of the ball has been a critical consideration in our ascension.

                              It should be apparant to the entire NFL that the Rams are a very competitive home team. We are going to beat more good teams at home as the year moves on and the fans enthusiasm can only help the Rams feed off their effort yesterday.

                              The next test for improvement is consistency and the ability to win on the road. If we can play a full game like we played the first half yesterday, the sky is the limit. We have lost two games that we could have easily won, and frankly, we almost let a win slip away yesterday with wildly conservative play calling in the second half (like we were playing not to lose, rather than trying to win). As well as we played defensively, allowing an 80 yard drive in 40 seconds at a key point in the fourth quarter is something that we can improve on quite a bit. I am sure no one wanted to see Rivers get the ball back with three time outs left only needing a field goal. The Rams have shown dominance in flashes this year, we need to learn to finish teams off and to play more consistently. Playing well on the road is a tough task for all NFL teams, we will see if the Rams can answer the call this weekend in what has to be considered a "winnable" road game at Tampa Bay. If we can respond vs Tampa and beat Carolina (which we should do), we are 5-3 heading into the bye week, a result that i doubt anyone could have projected.

                              In short, we have come an awfully long way in a short time and if we want to take the next step this season (rather than in the future), we are going to have to win on the road. For now, the Rams fall solidly into the category of "any...
                              -10-18-2010, 12:34 PM
                            • general counsel
                              The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of our Xmas win
                              by general counsel
                              Merry New Year everyone. Sorry for the delay in getting my post game analysis up on the board, but i had to leave after the game for a xmas eve dinner at a close friend's house. I have virtually no voice left from screaming all game, but it sure was worth it.

                              What a fantastic football game to watch. The quality of the product the nfl puts on the field is really amazing. If you look at the records, neither of these two teams is very good. However, today was a very well played evenly matched game with only two turnovers and limited penalties. Some special teams excitement on both sides provided crucial turning points and ultimately affected the outcome. Can you imagine getting eliminated in a game where a no name kicker drills a 52 yarded with 3 minutes left while Money misses a virtual chip shot with the game on the line.

                              Our playoff prospects our still very tough. We need to beat minny and i believe we need three additional things to happen (unless there are additional tiebreakers i dont know about). We need to saints to beat carolina (good shot), the eagles to beat the falcons (good shot) and the redskins to beat the giants (decent shot). Having all three break our way is going to be tough, but looking at all of the games individually, i think we have a legitimate chance if we can win on our own.

                              The Rams showed heart today and the kind of offensive firepower that we have been waiting for all year. Against a redskins defense that had given up LESS THAN 300 YARDS each of the last two weeks against the saints and the eagles, we tallied 579 yards of total offense and 37 points with only one turnover. WE did it with a balanced attack and absolute superstar performances from both Bulger and The Big Boy. WE also did it with timely play from the defense and a very solid performance from a very young o line that played their hearts out without The Big Man.

                              One thing i think we can all agree on. If we win our last game and dont make it at 8-8 due to the tiebreakers, we can look back at the loss to arizona at home and clearly say that game cost us the playoffs. By far our worst loss of the season in my view, especially since we barely showed up at home against a lousy team. That is NOT the kind of loss a playoff caliber team can afford.

                              For this week, i am really going to enjoy being alive for another week. If we win that last game, i will be thrilled with the strong finish and the play of our young guys, especially on the o line as we look ahead to next year.


                              The Good

                              The Big Boy. LT is the best back in the NFL and an all time great. Right now, stephen jackson is the #2 overall all around back in the nfl and thats that. Gore and larry johnson are having great years, but all around, jackson has them both beat. The Big Boy is truly a manchild. The pick at #20 was a steal when we made it and Jackson can have no doubters left...
                              -12-24-2006, 08:30 PM
                            • swatter555
                              Should the Rams stretch the field more?
                              by swatter555
                              I will just speak for myself and say that the relatively conservative nature of the Rams offensive gameplans are frustrating at times. While we do seem to have some success in the first half of games, we have little success in the second. I see the Rams offense as a one trick pony at this point. If an opponent can stop Steven Jackson running up the gut and get on top of the screens, the Rams are punting the ball. This has most certainly been the case in the second halves against SD and TB.

                              So should the Rams throw deep more often despite the depleted WR corps? Or is someone going to make the case that a conservative gameplan is the best option we have right now?
                              -10-28-2010, 02:52 PM
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