Rams vs Packers – 2014 Preseason Game 2

ramsWith Red

It’s halftime at the Edward Jones dome.  The Rams trail the Packers 10-7, but if you only watched the first quarter you would have gone away extremely discouraged.  GB QB Aaron Rodgers was smooth, accurate, and appeared untouchable.  He moved the Packers down the field with ease.  The man to man match ups did not favor the Rams as I watched CB Johnson,  DB McGee, and LB Armstrong all get burned on different plays.  Rodgers played on 2 drives.  Both drives were built out of 12 plays and both resulted in putting points on the board.  The Rams put little pressure on Rodgers and I saw too many missed tackles by Rams linemen and linebackers.  We definitely did not see a return on our investment with the defense that was on the field.

Rams QB Bradford lead a pathetic drive in the first quarter that took me back to 2011.  A variety of short anemic passes, ineffective running by Zac Stacy, and the one pass Bradford threw for more than 20 yards was way off the mark.  It was very tempting to just turn off the TV.  Luckily I held on for the 2nd quarter and Bradford’s second and final drive.  In this march down the field, the Rams offense looked like a real and effective NFL football squad.  We still didn’t get much from the back field, but a couple of great catches were seen from WR Kenny Brit and TE Lance Kendricks.  The final play of the drive was an 11 yard strike to Kendricks right up the middle for a TD.

And that was all she wrote for the starters on both teams.  I have to tell you I was expecting more out of Gregg William’s defense, but its only preseason game #2 and there’s still a lot of time to fine tune (or simply tune in this case) the defensive product.  Except for the guys competing on the field for a possible job, the rest of the game is fairly meaningless.  Hey, no reason not to enjoy the heck out of the second half, but we can definitely put the analytical aside of the brain  on pause, grab a cold beverage, and kick it.

Have a great weekend Rams fans!  Go Rams!

Rams 2014 Season Predictions

 

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The 2014 Rams Cheerleaders have been announced and that means it’s time to to make this season’s predictions.  Before I do, a couple stats I took into consideration:

2012 Away Games 2013 Away Games
W L TTL Win W L TTL Win
3 5 7 2 6 7

I wanted to keep in mind recent away game win/loss numbers.  In the last 2 years we have won 7 games a year.  In 2012 3 of them were on the road and in 2013 we only had 2 road wins.  In 2014 I am forecasting 3 road wins.  My picks are also based upon opponents 2013 records, opponents 2013 off season grades, and Rams culture in general.  And with that said (drum roll please….), here are my 2014 picks:

WK DATE vs OPPONENT Location W/L
1 Sun, Sep 7 vs Minnesota Home W
2 Sun, Sep 14 @ Tampa Bay Away L
3 Sun, Sep 21 vs Dallas Home W
4 BYE WEEK
5 Sun, Oct 5 @ Philadelphia Away L
6 Mon, Oct 13 vs San Francisco Home L
7 Sun, Oct 19 vs Seattle Home W
8 Sun, Oct 26 @ Kansas City Away L
9 Sun, Nov 2 @ San Francisco Away W
10 Sun, Nov 9 @ Arizona Away W
11 Sun, Nov 16 vs Denver Home L
12 Sun, Nov 23 @ San Diego Away L
13 Sun, Nov 30 vs Oakland Home W
14 Sun, Dec 7 @ Washington Away W
15 Thu, Dec 11 vs Arizona Home L
16 Sun, Dec 21 vs New York (G) Home W
17 Sun, Dec 28 @ Seattle Away L
Win 8
Loss 8

In most of the analysis I have read 2 common themes usually appear: 1 If the Rams were in a different division they could be a lot more successful and 2 One of the key factors to the Rams having a good season is the performance of Sam Bradford.  There is nothing we can do about being in our division, but Sam Bradford is the true variable.  I think Bradford is an average QB.  I think if he had a full career in the NFL he might have a couple great years.  Personally, I’m not sure he’s the right fit for the Rams and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him replaced half way through the season.

Rams 2014 Season Prediction is 8-8.

Go Rams!

 

Rams Solid in 2014 Preseason Opener

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In relation to this being the first preseason game, the Rams played solid against the NO Saints.  RBs Tre Mason and Chase Reynolds had some success and I really liked the performance of QB Shaun Hill.  Here is the scoring summary:

Team 1 2 3 4 TTL
NO 3 13 10 0 26
STL 7 10 0 7 24

A couple of field goals go our way and we get a win here.  Below are some of the stats from the night:

First Downs 22 22
Total Yards 375 388
Turnovers 2 0
Time of Possession 28:36:00 31:24:00
First Downs 22 22
Third Down Efficiency 5-12 7-17
Avg Gain Per Play 5.9 5.5
Net Yards Rushing 123 150
Rushes 24 32
Yards Per Rush 5.1 4.7
Net Yards Passing 252 238
Comp-Att 27-40 21-34
Yards Per Pass 6.3 6.3
Times Sacked 0 4
Interceptions 2 0
Penalty Yards 104 118

I’ll spare you any kind of analysis since most of the stats are not from the starters, but I’ll say it again… I like QB Shaun Hill’s numbers. For the night he had 2 TDs, 71.4 pass completion percentage, no interceptions, and a QB rating of 151.2.  I think we finally have a go to guy if we decide to pull the plug on Sam Bradford.  Next week we have another home game against the Packers.  It should be a lot of fun and we’ll be a week closer to the beginning of the 2014 season.  Go Rams!!!

 

 

Rams vs Saints – 2014 Preseason Opener

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Welcome back professional football. Oh how we’ve missed you. Although we may not miss Lebron, Bosh, or Wade; we have missed football. Nope, no one man shows around here. We’re talking head-to-head, ‘IN YOUR FACE’, get your sorry butt off the turf football. Now we’re going to have to ease back into it. I know, I know patience doesn’t always seem like a virtue, but tonight we’re only getting a taste. Of course a taste of NFL football is like a taste of Beluga caviar, or a taste of a medium rare Porterhouse steak, or a taste of Speyside 30 year malt scotch. Ok, ok like a taste of Cool Ranch Doritos, crispy fried chicken, and a cold Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Tonight we won’t see much of either team’s starting lineups. (Although it will be nice to see our first round draft pick Glen Robinson playing on the o-line). Tonight is basically a televised and glorified practice. Coach Fisher has already said we won’t be running any schemes or working any strategies or keying off any players. Their going out to run, pass, block, and tackle. That’s about it. And unfortunately Saints QB Drew Brees is out with a slightly strained oblique (It’s unfortunate because we wished we could give it to him.). I think the only match up I’ll be looking at tonight is how the Rams’ defensive secondary fairs against the Saints first round draft pick and up and coming receiving talent Brandin Cooks.

Now here’s what I want you to do… 5 minutes before the game starts… grab a can or bottle of your favorite cold and carbonated beverage, step outside to your front or back porch, shake that bad boy up, let out you’re best primal yell, pop the top, and do a little victory dance because football is back baby.

ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL? GO RAMS!!!!!!

Tavon Austin – On A Whole Different Level

This could be the quietest time of the year for NFL fans.  Too quiet if you ask me.  So let this sick Youtube video put the smile back on your face ‘Tavon Austin 2013 Rams Highlights’  Enjoy!!!

Go Rams!!!

Can You Smell It?

Photo of Zac Stacy

Photo of Zac Stacy

It’s beginning to smell a lot like Football Season. Everywhere you go… Yep OTAs are finishing up and training camp is just three weeks away. It seems like forever since I’ve seen a game. There have been some post NFL fillers (thank God).   It was great to see someone other than the Heat win the NBA finals, we’ve had the World Cup (congrats to team USA for making it out of the group of death), and we have the MLB season now firmly underway. In between each of these has been the distant scent of football. Free agency and the 2014 Draft perked our nostrils. Well, the aroma may not have filled Rams fans’ nasal passages (because we engaged in little activity during either), but regardless we sniffed, we listened, and we breathed it in baby.

Ahh man, we are getting closer to the beginning of the upcoming and amazing 2014 NFL season (can you say “I love you football?”) In just a few weeks rookies will throw on shoulder pads for the first time in their professional careers. In just a few weeks reformed defensive coordinator Gregg Williams will begin his quest for redemption. In just a few weeks grown men will slap each other on their butt cheeks and no one will give it a second thought.

This coming season we’re going to have very tough offensive and defensive lines. I want to complain about a lot of things, but I know that if our lines are strong, a lot of good things can happen. And good things are going to happen in 2014. Go Rams… AHHHH@!!!!

2014 Rams – Ulterior Motives?

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The Rams did very little in free agency and very little in the 2014 draft. Why? There are only a couple reasons why a team who hasn’t had a winning season in 10 years would bypass their only major avenues for improvement. The three reasons that come to mind are 1) a lack of money, 2) the belief your club is good enough as it is and 3) team ownership has ulterior motives.

1 Lack of money – according to Forbes the Rams reported $21M in operating for 2013. That means after all operating expenses were paid, Rams ownership walked away with a cool $21M profit. The Rams are making money so this is not the reason.

2 We are good enough – after a disappointing 2013 and after picking up mostly mediocre talent in the off season, could Rams management and coaching believe they’re sufficiently staffed to right this ship that’s been off course for so long? Well, Pro Football Focus has just ranked 2014 NFL rosters and if you think the Rams are ok, you’re not going to like what they had to say. Pro Football Focus ranked the Rams 31st out of 32 teams (only the Jaguars ranked lower). To make things crystal clear here is a quote from Pro Football Focus’ article published by ESPN ‘Ranking the rosters 1-32’

70.8 percent of the projected (Rams) starters’ grade out as average or worse, with the entire back seven from the defense fitting that description. Safeties T.J. McDonald and Rodney McLeod represent a starting pair that have graded out poorly so far, a stark contrast to the quality elsewhere in the division at the position.

Don’t fool yourselves; our team is not ok.

That only leaves us with…

3 Ownership has ulterior motives – my definition of ulterior motives is when operational decisions are driven by anything other than a pure desire to win.   Now, if I was an owner and I was getting ready to move my team, there is a possibility I’d want to save some money. Rams owner Stan Kroenke recently purchased a large amount of property in LA, CA. Right now the city of Los Angeles has plans on the table for a $1 billion football stadium (according to Forbes). Did I mention the Rams can legally walk away from the Edward Jones Dome in 2015?

I don’t know if the Rams are moving (please don’t move to London), but the Rams are not singularly focused on winning. Where do we go from here? Well, we wait. We wait for unexpected talents to defy the odds and lead us to victory. We wait for the universe and the stars in the sky to align. And we wait for the time when Rams ownership is singularly focused on winning.

Go Rams!

Rams Sign Long Snapper

Rams sign (or resign) former long snapper Jorgen Hus. Hus played for the Rams during the 2013 preseason before being released. He was very recently picked up by the Seahawks (April 2014), but it was probably just to shake up their own long time snapper Clint Gresham. For whatever reason, Seattle released Hus in May and he is once again a St Louis Ram.

Hus stands 6-foot-1 and weighs in at 232 pounds. His collegiate career was spent at Canada’s University of Regina. Hus has gained a little notoriety via his Youtube trick snap video (check it out below).

Welcome to the team Hus.  Go Rams!!!