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St. Louis Rams – Blog

Wrapping Up Cleveland

Posted by nickwagoner on November 14, 2011 – 10:39 PM

- Welcome to this week’s edition of Wrapping Up as we put the finishing touches on yesterday’s 13-12 win against the Browns.

- Not going to dive into injuries in this space because we did so ad nausea in the two main features that can be found on the front of the site. Obviously, it’s a lengthy list right now.

- As for the game itself, coach Steve Spagnuolo shed some more light on what happened on the botched field goal by Browns K Phil Dawson.

- According to Spagnuolo, his review of the film showed that DE James Hall actually got his forearm on the kick which might have helped push it wide left. The Rams sent the play to the league to be reviewed so Hall can be credited.

- Spagnuolo also said Hall and DT Gary Gibson along with special teams coach Tom McMahon noticed something in their kick block teams and a weakness to exploit the Browns. They attacked that area on the final miss.

- That gives us a great chance to tip our cap to a guy who probably doesn’t get enough credit…Hall. He’s a team captain and the ultimate in setting the right example for his young teammates. Just another great example of his leadership and why he’s so valued in the locker room.

- Spagnuolo again acknowledged the work done by LB David Nixon, who came in last week and made the big forced fumble happen on the punt return. Spagnuolo said Nixon was good in other areas too and was the team’s most productive special teams player overall.

- It won’t get noticed much but DE Robert Quinn had his best game in terms of staying assignment sound and doing the right things Sunday. Were it not for the benefit of the doubt going to All Everything LT Joe Thomas, Quinn would have had some sacks or at least drawn a flag for holding.

- Very productive day for the Rams’ three starting linebackers. That group combined for 23 tackles.

- DE Chris Long now has eight sacks in nine games. Any guesses on where he finishes? I’m thinking in the 13 range. Breakout year.

- Mentioned it last night but bears repeating: RB Steven Jackson is on pace for the best year of his career in terms of yards per carry. He’s missed three games essentially and he still sits ninth in the NFL with 707 rushing yards. In addition, he’s eighth among regular backs in yards per carry at 5.1.

- Expect to see more of WR Mark Clayton moving forward. Team wanted to be cautious with him in his first game back and he only played about nine plays against the Browns.

- QB Sam Bradford seems to be getting healthier. He should have less restrictions on his ankle this week and will likely get more reps in practice this week.

- The Rams host the Seahawks this week in another divisional game. The Rams are looking to even up their record in the NFC West as they now return home for a pair of games after hitting the road the past two weeks.


Posted in From the Sidelines | No Comments »

Rams Fight Through Mounting Injuries

Posted by nickwagoner on November 14, 2011 – 3:50 AM

CLEVELAND -

- In a season full of injuries, the Rams have gotten used to having to plug and play players. But on Sunday, things seemed to come to a head as they entered the game with six players who were pregame inactives because of injury. Things got worse throughout the game as the Rams were hit hard by even more ailments.

- At the top of the list is a pair of devastating knee injuries. CB Al Harris and TE Mike Hoomanawanui were the victims and coach Steve Spagnuolo indicated that both could miss the rest of the season.

- At various other points during the game, the Rams lost S Darian Stewart (neck), LT Rodger Saffold (head) and RB Cadillac Williams (calf). None of those players returned and they’ll be evaluated further on Monday.

- Things are so bad on the injury front that Williams injured his calf while checking into the game.

- Needless to say, the Rams should get a tip of the cap for battling through all of those things and still finding a way to get the win.

- Yes, the Rams got the benefit of a lucky break on Phil Dawson’s miss from 22 yards out. But two things: 1. The Rams were due a lucky a bounce. Long overdue. 2. The Rams still had to put themselves in position for that bounce to mean anything.

- RB Steven Jackson continues to run as well as he has at any point in his career. He’s just not losing any juice. The guy is getting better every week it seems. This is three weeks in a row where he’s carried the freight even when the opponent has loaded up to stop him. Three straight 100-yard performances. One Twitter follower suggested a new level above “beast mode.” He called it Steven Jackson mode. I like it.

- Nice job by a patchwork offensive line. No issues with C Tony Wragge in his first appearance. QB Sam Bradford said Wragge did a good job with the exchange and clearly the running game didn’t suffer with him in there.

- WR Brandon Lloyd, one word: Wow. What a catch in the first quarter. And a beautiful route for the game’s lone touchdown.

- Some more nice moments for rookie WR Austin Pettis who seems to have a knack for finding the sticks on third down.

- Mark LeVoir and Adam Goldberg filled in nicely when called upon.

- Great effort from the defense. The Browns threw the kitchen sink at them with trick plays and such and they held Cleveland to four field goals.

- Another sack for DE Chris Long. Eight sacks in nine games. The results are coming this year and he’s on pace for a big, big season.

- Welcome back to the Rams, David Nixon. That’s a big play for anyone, let alone someone who has been here for all of about five days this week.

- Right place, right time for Ben Leber. Seems simple but that’s not an easy play for a guy who hasn’t been in that position this year.

- Punter Donnie Jones is still the man. Great effort again this week. Forget the punt return for a TD last week, this guy has been consistently outstanding on distance, direction, etc.

- Likewise, Josh Brown. Tough conditions for a kicker out there today and he got the job done.

- All told, a nice win for a Rams team that faced about every type of adversity it could on Sunday. Wins are hard to come by in this league. You take it any way you can get it.

- Back tomorrow to wrap this one up.


Posted in From the Sidelines | 2 Comments »