St. Louis Rams – Blog

Rams Disappointed in Performance

Posted by nickwagoner on November 18, 2012 – 11:12 PM

– As they stood mostly silent in the home locker room following  disheartening 27-13 loss to the Jets on Sunday, there was nary a Ram who could find much in the way of positives to discuss. Not that there were none but they certainly were hard to identify after such a complete dropoff in performance even from one week ago in San Francisco.

– Coach Jeff Fisher perhaps summed it up as simply and best by saying the Rams were outplayed and outcoached by the Jets on Sunday at the Edward Jones Dome. Clearly, it wasn’t the type of game the Rams hoped to put forth after slugging it out with San Francisco last week with one of their better all around efforts.

– Real quick on the injury front, Fisher said that LB Mario Haggan could miss some time with an elbow injury he suffered early in the game.

– WR Danny Amendola suffered a foot injury in the first half but returned to the game to open the second. His status will be more clear as the week goes on.

– Back to the game, this will be a familiar refrain in today’s coverage, but the Rams continue to lose the turnover battle. And it’s no coincidence that they haven’t found a victory in the past five games. So, some simple math, how long has it been since they got a takeaway? Five games.

– The lack of takeaways at this point is somewhat baffling. Just like last week, the defense got some strips, got the ball on the ground a few times, even the special teams had a golden chance for a recovery of an onsides kick. But the Rams just continue to have no luck in that regard. LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar said maybe they don’t have enough people running to the ball quickly. Maybe they’re getting bad bounces (they are) but regardless it’s something they have to get corrected. MLB James Laurinaitis was clearly frustrated when asked about it, searching for answers on how a team that had eight takeaways to open the season suddenly can’t get their hands on one.

– Credit to the Jets on Sunday for battling with their backs against the wall and controversy surrounding them at every turn. They did what was needed to win the game and made more plays, big plays when they absolutely had to.

– On offense, the Rams got off to a terrific start, a start that looked like it was going to spark a big offensive breakthrough. And then everything fell silent. QB Sam Bradford said he and the offense couldn’t find a rhythm and spent the rest of the day searching for it. Bradford struggled to find any open receivers and when they were, couldn’t connect. The protection was up and down and after they fell behind, it was hard to stick with a running game that worked pretty well for the most part. Add to that the three turnovers, including a pick and fumbles by Bradford and RB Daryl Richardson and, well, you get the rest.  Just tough sledding all the way around.

– On defense, aside from the lack of takeaways, the Rams played pretty well all things considered. They were backed up in their own end because of those turnovers and that made it difficult to keep the Jets off the socreboard all together. But New York had just 289 yards of total offense. They came up huge on third down, though, converting seven-of-15 opportunities with some big plays mixed in. Although the Rams held the Jets to just 3 yards per carry, New York was able to run it 41 times, control the tempo and the clock and  make it difficult for the Rams offense to find the aforementioned rhythm.

– Strong performance by DE Chris Long, who posted a pair of sacks. More difficult on the other side for DE Robert Quinn, who was matched up with LT D’Brickashaw Ferguson.

– The special teams did have a good day, though a questionable flag stopped it from becoming a great day.

– Cornerback Janoris Jenkins made a big play to block a chip shot field goal and get an early spark. Same for LB James Laurinaitis staying at home and making  picture perfect read when the Jets attempted a fake punt.

– But the real spark could (and probably should) have come when WR Chris Givens appeared to have a 98-yard kick return for a touchdown to give the Rams a 14-13 lead heading into the locker room. It was a huge play, a momentum play and the type of play that considering the Rams were to get the ball first coming out of the half that could have spurred a big performance in the final 30 minutes.

– Instead, a flag came out on S Rodney McLeod, who was whistled for holding. The penalty was borderline at best as McLeod seemed to have his hands inside and then let go to disengage before tugging on the jersey. Fisher said he believed it was not a hold and McLeod backed that up but those are the kind of punches the Rams seem to be taking in recent weeks. Certainly a, if not the, game changing play Sunday.

– P Johnny Hekker did it with the arm last week, this week it was his leg. He was excellent on punts, averaging 50.2 yards with a net of 44.4.

– The Rams now sit at 3-6-1 with a trip to Arizona coming next week that won’t be any easier.

– Thanks for reading.

Posted in From the Sidelines | 1 Comment »

Rams vs. Jets: Running Blog

Posted by nickwagoner on November 18, 2012 – 4:43 PM

Fourth Quarter

– After two stops, a third down draw the Bilal Powell went 5 yards for a touchdown. It’s 20-7 Jets with 14:16 to play.

– Rams start from the 20. No choice now, have to get points every time they touch it.

– Another turnover by the Rams as Richardson coughs up a fumble on first and 10 from the 35. Jets recovered by LB Garrett McIntyre at the Rams 38.

– An 11-yard touchdown run from Powell should put this one away.

– Jets lead 27-7 with 8:29 to go.

– It’s cliche but it’s cliche for a reason, turnovers kill teams.

– Rams start at their 44 after a 48-yard return from Givens.

– The Rams punched it in on a 2-yard catch for a score for Gibson from Bradford.

– It’s 27-13 Jets with 5:40 to go.

– Jets recover the onside kick and take over at the Rams 44.

– Three and out. The Rams get it back at their 10.

– Nothing doing. The Rams give it back to the Jets at the Rams 23.

– Folk missed from 44 yards out.

– Rams have it at their 34 with 1:56 to go.

– That’ll do it.

The Rams fall 27-13 today and drop to 3-6-1 on the season. Disappointing showing after a spirited effort in San Francisco.

Third Quarter

– Rams start from their 14 and get a first down as a returning Amendola makes a 9-yard grab on third and 1.

– Jackson keeps it moving with a gain of 7 to the Rams 39.

– That was it for the drive, though as Bradford threw incomplete on third down.

– Nice punt from Hekker for 49 yards angled to the sideline forces the Jets to start from their 11.

– Jets get two first downs on a run from Greene and a 6-yard completion to Kerley.

– An offensive pass interference call pushed the Jets back 10 to set up a third and 16 at the Jets’ 32.

– The Rams got the stop and start again from their 20.

– Three and out again, offense struggling to find traction right now.

– Jets have it again at their 32.

– Quick first down on a run from Sanchez and Green for 8 and 4 yards.

– They kept it rolling with a methodical drive, converting on third-and-3 on an 18-yard pass to TE Konrad Reuland.

– That made it first and goal at the 5.

– At the end of three, the Jets lead 13-7.

Second Quarter

– Disaster early in the second as Bradford throws a bad pick to Jets S Eric Smith.

– Jets take over at the Rams’ 13.

– Greene gains 1 on first down.

– Long registered his second sack of the day on second down, dropping Sanchez for a loss of 3.

– The Jets had to settle for a 26-yard field goal attempt. Janoris Jenkins blocked the kick and it went out of bounds. The Rams take over at their 13.

– Big time stop by the defense and special teams.

– Richardson rips off 11 on first down.

– Richardson for 5 more to the 29.

– He only gained 1 on second to make it third-and-4 at the 30.

– An incompletion on third down and a 55-yard punt by Johnny Hekker gives it back to the Jets at their 34.

– McKnight gained 7 on first down to the 41.

– Rams get great field position at their 46 as Laurinaitis blows up a punt fake.

– The offense takes over at its 46.

– Rams give it back after a 21-yard run by Jackson as Muhammad Wilkerson forced a fumble and LB Bart Scott recovered and returned to the Rams’ 28.

– The Jets wasted no time converting as Sanchez got rookie CB Trumaine Johnson to bite on a double move for a 25-yard touchdown pass.

– Just like that, it’s 10-7 Jets.

– Turnovers killing the Rams right now.

– Rams start from their 19.

– Three and out for the Rams. Need a spark from somewhere right now.

– Jets take over at their 34.

– False start and a run for a loss of 1 made it second and 16, but the Rams again fell for  pump fake as Sanchez hit Kerley for 32 yards and a first down to the Rams 40.

– The Rams slowed them down and forced another 51-yard attempt from Folk. He hit again and the Jets lead 13-7 with 57 seconds to go in the half.

– A huge play on the ensuing kickoff was called back as WR Chris Givens had a long touchdown return brought back on a holding call against S Rodney McLeod. Tough call against the Rams.

– They start from their 14.

– Three and out for the Rams as Bradford’s third-down throw for Pettis was deflected.

– Jets start from their 29.

– That’ll do it for the half. As we go to the locker room, the Jets lead 13-7.

First Quarter

– Rams win the toss and elect to defer.

– The Jets start from their 20.

– New York RB Shonn Green picked up 10 and a first down on the first play.

– A pass to WR Jeremy Kerley picked up 5 yards and QB Tim Tebow gained one on second down to set up third-and-4 at the Rams’ 36.

– LB Mario Haggan suffered an injury on the play.

– Sanchez hit WR Chaz Schillens for 8 and a first down and three Greene runs netted 16 yards to the Rams 40.

– An incompletion on a drop by WR Stephen Hill made it third and 6.

– A sack and strip by S Quintin Mikell on third down pushed the Jets back 6 yards and forced a punt. The Rams couldn’t fall on it.

– The Rams start from their 14.

– A heavy dose of RB Steven Jackson to start as he carries for 11, 5 and 2 before QB Sam Bradford hits WR Danny Amendola for a gain of 9.

– Bradford followed by hitting TE Mike McNeill for a gain of 9.

– On third-and-4 from their 47, Bradford hit WR Austin Pettis with a strike down the left seam for a gain of 36 to New York’s 17. Big time catch by Pettis.

– Jackson gained 4 and Amendola 8 on a pass for first down at New York’s 5.

– Jackson gained 4 on first down but two passes were incomplete to set up fourth-and-goal at the 1.

– From there, the Rams went for it and converted as Bradford hit WR Brandon Gibson for a 1-yard touchdown and a quick 7-0 lead.

– Bradford actually had two wide open options in Amendola and Gibson on the play.

– Rams lead 7-0 with 3:45 to go in the quarter.

– The Jets started from their 37 after a long kick return.

– An 18-yard completion to Joe McKnight on third and 3 mov ed it to the Rams’ 38.

– They didn’t move much further before settling for a 51-yard field goal from kicker Nick Folk.

– The Rams lead it 7-3 with 44 seconds left in the first.

– The Rams started again from their 17.

– Jackson rushed for 3 to end the quarter.

Pregame Notes

– Greetings from the Edward Jones Dome where the Rams and Jets are warming up for today’s noon kickoff.

– Good to be back at home after about a month away from here. Have to think the fans are fired up as well.

– Today is the Salute to Service day as the Rams honor the military. There are salute to service banners all over the dome. It’s painted on the back line of the end zone, as well.

– The Rams have donated a number of tickets to local military, who will be in attendance today. All following the visit of local troops to the team’s practice on Friday.

– For the first time in a long time, the Rams have no guaranteed inactives. That’s a good sign, a sign of health.

– Here’s the list for today: QB Austin Davis, WR Steve Smith, S Darian Stewart, RB Terrance Ganaway, FB Brit Miller, OL Chris Williams and DT Matt Conrath.

– TE Cory Harkey was called up to the active roster on Friday. He’ll be active and available today.

– The Jets inactives: QB Greg McElroy, DL Damon Harrison, G Caleb Schlauderoff, G Hayworth Hicks, TE Hayden Smith and LB Marcus Dowtin. The Jets only have six inactives because they are carrying just 52 players on the roster.

– The Rams are wering the all blues today.

– Follow all of today’s action right here.

Posted in From the Sidelines | 9 Comments »