St. Louis Rams – Blog

Rams Struggle to Find Rhythm

Posted by nickwagoner on November 21, 2011 – 1:53 AM

– The Rams fell to Seattle 24-7 on Sunday at the Edward Jones Dome in a loss that didn’t seem like it was going to come considering the way the Rams started the contest.

– For four consecutive weeks, the Rams have received a strong defensive performance. The offense and special teams did enough to provide the points to get wins in two of those games. On Sunday, there simply wasn’t enough, though.

– Make no mistake, it’s a team game and everyone must contribute but as QB Sam Bradford and coach Steve Spagnuolo said after the game, by hook or by crook, they have to find a way to put more points on the board.

– Before we dive into that, a quick rundown of the injuries:

– Defensive end Chris Long suffered an ankle injury in the first half but was able to finish the game.

– Llinebacker Josh Hull aggravated his hamstring injury early in the proceedings and also did not return.

– Tight end Lance Kendricks took a blow to the head late in the game and also did not return.

– LT Mark LeVoir, starting in place of Rodger Saffold, who was placed on injured reserve with a torn pectoral, suffered a right shoulder injury early on that kept him out the rest of the game.

– Receiver Austin Pettis took a shot to the knee and was in and out for the rest of the game. Cornerback Marquis Johnson was hit in the ribs and defensive tackle Justin Bannan injured his shoulder.

– All of those injuries will be revisited on Monday to determine severity.

– Back to the game, let’s start with the positive and the defense.

– Great start despite the trick play early on.

– LB Chris Chamberlain continues to impress. He made his first career interception Sunday in the same week in which he became a father. Nice week for Chambo, who is a solid young player and a really good guy.

– Nice to see a big play from S Quintin Mikell. His early interception was a big one and led directly to the Rams’ only touchdown of the game.

– The pass rush continues to be very good. The Seahawks threw everything at Long and he still managed to break through multiple times to generate pressure. Congrats to him on his career high ninth sack.

– Rookie DE Robert Quinn continues to emerge. He picked up his fourth sack of the season and got a piece of a punt. He’s becoming a full on weapon on special teams.

– MLB James Laurinaitis was all over the place. He had 13 tackles in unofficial pressbox statistics.

– Another strong game from S Darian Stewart. He had eight tackles, a sack, two tackles for loss and a quarterback hurry. He’s my vote for Most Improved Ram this year.

– Elsewhere, there wasn’t as much going on.

– QB Sam Bradford discussed what the offense saw on tape of the Seahawks and noted that teams had great success going empty backfield and deploying four and five wide receiver sets. Unfortunately for the Rams, they couldn’t take advantage.

– With so many moving parts and Kevin Hughes forced into action at LT, the Rams never found a rhythm after Bradford found Brandon Lloyd for a 30-yard touchdown early in the game.

– Hughes did his best in a tough spot. Chris Clemons is one of the league’s best pass rushers and he gives everyone fits. Hughes will be better for it. After the game, Spagnuolo acknowledged the Rams will need to look for additional outside help at that position, though, particularly if LeVoir’s injury is anything that will keep him out awhile.

– Tough sledding in the run game today. Seattle loaded up to stop RB Steven Jackson and was successful. Everyone loads up to stop him. Few do it. Tip of the cap to the Seahawks.

– Not the best day for special teams, either as P Donnie Jones had a couple of punts returned for big gains by Leon Washington.

– PR Austin Pettis, who has done a good job of stepping in recently, erroneously fielded a punt at the 1 that helped swing field position.

– Pass interference is obviously the most subjective call in the NFL. But it’s still hard to understand what is and is not going to get called right now.

– Bradford says he’s as frustrated as he’s ever been in his career and isn’t sure how to get out of the hole though he says that won’t keep him from trying…

“I’m beyond frustrated right now,” Bradford said. “I have never been a part of a team that has been in this situation. I don’t like it. I hope this is the only time in my career I am in a situation like this. I do know this: there’s six games left, I am going to continue to work as hard as I can to do everything I can to help this team win. I’m not going to quit. I’m going to push our guys to continue to work and I think that’s all we can do right now. It’s not what we had envisioned at the beginning of the year but that doesn’t mean because we are 2-8 right now, we can give up. There’s no excuses. We have got to continue to fight and we have got to figure out a way to win games.”

– That’s all for this evening. Back tomorrow to wrap this one up before we dig into the rematch with Arizona for next weekend.


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