– 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.
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