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Wrapping Up Atlanta

Posted by nickwagoner on November 22, 2010 – 8:24 PM

- Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo just wrapped up his regular Monday, day after the game news conference. As always, Spagnuolo expressed disappointment at the loss to the Falcons but he also is clearly already getting his team ready to move onward and upward for this week’s game against Denver.

- On the injury front, tackle Rodger Saffold had an MRI on his left shoulder which revealed nothing. Saffold will be day to day but the negative MRI is a good sign that he’ll be ready to go this week.

- S James Butler did not play Sunday but Spagnuolo expects him to be ready to go this week after another week of healing for his ankle.

- DT Fred Robbins entered Sunday’s game with some pain in his upper back. But he made it through OK and had no setbacks.

- As for the game, it was a pretty clear consensus that the Rams simply lost to a very good football team. Make no mistake, Atlanta is a legitimate Super Bowl contender. The comparisons between how the Falcons were built and how the Rams are building are quite clear. They both have no-nonsense football men leading the way both on the sideline and in the front office. They both have extremely talented young quarterbacks with offensive lines in front of them that were put into place before they arrived on the scene. They both have excellent young middle linebackers leading the defense.

- Clearly, there are some pieces Atlanta has that the Rams don’t yet but remember the Falcons started their rebuilding process earlier than the Rams.

- Spagnuolo was not pleased with the offense’s penchant for penalties and missing on some third down opportunity. Defensively, he wants to see more on third down and in the red zone.

“Defensively, we did not play well enough to win the football game,” Spagnuolo said.

- Also, special teams were very solid in terms of the punting game but Spagnuolo expressed disappointment with the kickoff return and kickoff coverage. On Eric Weems’ 55-yard kickoff return, Spagnuolo said there was a missed “fit” on the coverage unit. He’d also like to see more on the return units as field position became a major factor.

- All that said, Spagnuolo went home after a home game and did not watch a single down of football. Considering the Sunday night game was Philadelphia vs. the Giants, that tells you how disappointed he was in the outcome. The reason? He truly believes the Rams are capable of winning games against good teams like the Falcons. And, really, they aren’t that far off.

- In looking back at the shovel pass, Spagnuolo said Atlanta got too much pressure up the middle, mainly from DT Jonathan Babineaux. On a shovel pass, it’s fine for pressure to come from the edge. In fact, you want it because it opens up the middle. But when it gets blown up inside, it creates clutter and makes it near impossible to break through.

- Spagnuolo said the Rams simply didn’t want to take a risk on playing WR Danario Alexander after his latest knee surgery. He’s hopeful Alexander will be ready to go this week in Denver.

- The Rams actually hit some impressive statistical benchmarks yesterday. To wit:

- Rams RB Steven Jackson  gained 61 yards from scrimmage Sunday to give him 10,048 career scrimmage yards. He’s the fourth player in team history to reach 10,000 yards from scrimmage, joining Isaac Bruce (14,259), Torry Holt (12,717) and Marshall Faulk (11,030).

-  QB Sam Bradford set an NFL rookie record by going 169 consecutive attempts without an interception. Tampa Bay’s Bruce Gradkowski held the previous mark with 146 attempts without an interception in 2006. Bradford’s streak is the third longest in team history, trailing only Mark Bulger (249, 2005-06) and Roman Gabriel (206, 1968-69). When Bradford’s streak ended in the fourth quarter, it was the first time he threw an interception since Week 5 at Detroit.

-   Bradford finished the game 27-of-42 passing for 233 yards and two touchdowns. He now holds the franchise rookie record for completions (228) and attempts (376) and ranks third amongst Rams rookies with 2,158 yards. Tony Banks (368, 1996) previously held the rookie attempts record, and Dieter Brock (218, 1985) held the franchise record for completions by a rookie.

-  St. Louis held the Falcons to field goals on two of Atlanta’s four trips inside the Rams’ 20 yard line. The Rams entered Sunday’s game tied for eighth in the NFL in red zone defense.

-  The Rams’ offensive line held Atlanta without a sack Sunday. It was the first time St. Louis has allowed zero sacks since Nov. 1, 2009 at Detroit.

- The Rams are back to work on Wednesday after a day of corrections on Monday. It’s Thanksgiving week so the schedule will be altered slightly but the amount of work will ultimately be the same as they prepare for the Broncos.


Posted in From the Sidelines | 2 Comments »


2 Responses to “Wrapping Up Atlanta”

  1. By Rachel Stivers-Stewart on Nov 24, 2010 | Reply

    Nick, the above “Wrapping Up Atlanta” is another great, detailed and engaging Post! As we know, details are a big part of winning! Yes, Happy Thanksgiving To Rams Nation!

    As Wednesday morning has arrived, my weekly posted comment follow-up and new “TEAM RAMS” WISH will be FORTHCOMING as I have been encountering some additional computer system problems which have slowed down my work-related responsibilities. Yes, it looks like a working Thanksgiving holiday! Hopefully, by the end of today, I will be able to post my positive comments as I, too, remain energized and most optimistic about the ST. LOUIS RAMS THIS 2010 SEASON!

    Respectfully & Prayerfully, Rachel Stivers-Stewart, RAMS FAN IN NEBRASKA

  2. By Rachel Stivers-Stewart on Nov 26, 2010 | Reply

    POSTED FOLLOW-UP COMMENTS EARLY THURSDAY EVENING &
    “TEAM RAMS” WISH!

    Yes, the Rams-Falcons 11-21-10 game was an adventurous, competitive matchup of cliff-hanger magnitude for most of the game where the intrigue and suspense did provide some thrilling performance moments! As an athletic Rams fan who is a trail runner, the Ram’s inspired third quarter peak performance is my favorite visualized replay with all three phases in this week eleven game, as outlined in the next paragraph.

    When the Rams marched onto the field from halftime six points behind in this particular game, the Rams were very focused and determined on re-taking the lead. Our Rams defense stopped the Falcons in their tracks, preventing a score on that opening second half drive. Our Rams special teams kickoff return established a successful second half offensive start. Then, our Rams offense “on the move” and in rhythm again SCORED a second passing touchdown off a key dynamite run followed with an effective pass attack and with the extra point kick good, the Rams re-took the lead by one point over the Falcons with a score of 17-16 at that specific point during the game. I call that TEAMWORK, cohesive Rams teamwork that exemplifies capability and trust, as fostered by Rams Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo & Company!

    So I fully agree with your statement, Nick in your prior Rams-Falcons Post, “As for the game, the final score is misleading.” Yes, each team took a few turns with score leads or a tied score throughout the game up until that remaining game time of under four minutes when the Falcons employed a winning edge. With that winning edge, the Falcons secured their lead with some key playmaking that also widened the game’s score margin to their avail and credit in the closing minutes to earn the win. As the Falcons are currently the number one rated team in the entire NFL by USA Today Sports Weekly, it was a competitive honor for the Rams to have had that timely opportunity to contend and further develop and improve the Rams’ winning edge.

    I, too, value giving credit where credit is due and was glad to hear from the reported Rams side with credit being given to each team, one’s own and opposing, as earned and deserved as well as some indicated acknowledgment for the rooting role of fan support that results in an energizing team effect! I believe inspiration can serve as a two-way energizing exchange that is also mutually beneficial. As we know, receiving positive feedback is encouraging, which is a reason for the next paragraph!

    On Mondays, I watch some ESPN television at different times throughout the day and evening. On the 11-22-10 morning SPORTSCENTER show, it was pleasant to hear during the Rams-Falcons highlights reel review, “(QB) Sam Bradford The Rookie Sensation . . .” {Now, in response to Boomer on that Monday Night Countdown C’mon Man! episode, Nick, I send a verbal “C’mon Man!” right back to Boomer while shaking my head and can also verbalize a positive reality check to him!} On ESPN2 that same day, it was affirming to hear on Mike And Mike In The Morning their analyst opinion that the Rams team is definitely headed in the right direction, which we already know!

    Win or lose, I love the “Serenity Prayer” that in humility chooses to move forward with empowering heartfelt words of “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.” This Serenity Prayer’s short version helps me keep my head straight and I choose to pray it as needed, silently or out loud!

    EXCITEMENT remains in the air as the Rams prepare for this week twelve Denver, Colorado road trip. The mountains are a great place to enjoy and have some fun as it is very refreshing to BREATHE IN fresh mountain air that carries away stress and tension on the OUT BREATH while also relaxing some tight muscles for readily being on the move and focusing on the natural landscape in one’s field of vision. I recall Coach Spagnuolo mentioning that the Rams play better when they are having fun!

    Yes, in mountainous territory, one’s SENSES really come ALIVE so I anticipate the whole TEAM of RAMS to have a SENSATIONAL GAME against the Broncos at Invesco Field at Mile High in Denver!

    Wishing “TEAM RAMS” continued heightened COHESIVE TEAMWORK with INCREASED consistency, flow and completeness. May the St. Louis Rams DOMINATE with an inspired PEAK PERFORMANCE in high altitude on the GRIDIRON’S rocky, rugged terrain and firmly secure a WIN over the Broncos!

    Respectfully & Prayerfully, Rachel Stivers-Stewart, RAMS FAN IN NEBRASKA

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