Rams Lose To Chiefs 7-34

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There is a word to describe what the Rams did in the second half of this game. Recently, I’ve used this word a lot when talking about the Rams. I wanted you to know I’m not using the word flippantly. I’m not generalizing or sensationalizing what I see going on. In fact there are many other words I’d rather use when describing the performance of our beloved Rams, but I can’t. The word is ‘meltdown’. I know I know it seems cliché to say again except that’s exactly what they did. Again. They didn’t get beat on a technicality. They didn’t get out performed in one or two areas. They didn’t even catch some bad breaks. They melted down. Again.

At the half the score was Rams 7 – Chiefs 10 and at the end of the game the score was Rams 7 – Chiefs 34. 24 unanswered points slapped on our behinds. The Chiefs defense blew up our offensive line. Rams QB Davis was sacked 7 times and the Chiefs were in his face the entire second have. Davis often looked like a chicken with his head chopped off; frantically scrambling for his life with no apparent options for relief. The Chief’s offense moved the ball with (almost) ease the entire second half. The Chiefs had the ball 6 times in the second half and scored 4 times (3 TDs).

I don’t care how good Fisher’s resume is… it’s time for a change. If it were me… Fisher, Schotty, and Williams all axed. Hey, it’s Halloween. Just say the headless horse man did it.  Hey, 0ur record for the season is 2-5.  We deserve better Rams fans.

Rams vs Chiefs – Halftime Summary

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In the opening drive of the game the Rams in 6 plays drive 65 yards for a TD (one yard pass to Lance Kendricks). In the opening drive of the 2nd quarter the Chiefs returned the favor. They went 53 yards on 10 plays to score their only TD of the half (one yard run via Jamal Charles). The difference in the game was a 38 yard field goal attempt by Rams’ Greg Zuerlein. Zuerlein missed his kick while the Chiefs’ kicker Santos was able to drive a 53 yard kick right through the middle of the goal posts. The score at halftime is Rams 7 – Chiefs 10.

I can’t say this game is a thing of beauty, but it has been a well fought match. Neither team has yet to establish any kind of running game, but there hasn’t been many penalties or turnovers (2/2 penalties and 1/1 turnovers). The Chiefs have won the third down battle, but overall most things are equal. So, the game is out there to be taken. Let’s go out there and take it Rams! Enjoy the second half.

2014 Rams – High Level Analysis

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It’s really hard to analyze the Rams. I’m not talking about comparing them to other teams, but looking for trends. Like how do they tend to perform on 3rd down when it’s late in the third quarter? The Rams have played such sporadic football this season that I’m not sure you’re going to see a lot of trends. When we look at the team comparisons or rankings, I think we get a pretty good picture of our Rams (although what’s glaringly missing from these numbers are turnovers).

Offense Ranking
passing 11
rushing 18
touch downs 23
total yards 13
Defense Ranking
passing 19
rushing 5
sacks 32
tackles 29

Our offense has seen an increase in both productivity and offensive (passing) output since Austin Davis has been at the helm. Our running backs (Mason and Cunningham) have come through for us in some key situations, but in general they’re still ranked below the median. Again what’s missing from our numbers and our view are turnovers. What QB Davis has brought to the table in terms of energy and bravado has at times been overshadowed by ill timed turnovers. At least 3 times this season we’ve had what appeared to be the final possession of the ball while being within a single score of tying or winning. On all occasions Davis has executed a turnover.

On defense we’ve been extremely tough on the running game which is not our historical SOP. This makes us extremely tough in the red zone and on third down situations. But if a running back breaks through our line, there is a good chance he’ll break at least 1 tackle. Our passing defense is below the median which is still higher than what I expected after seeing our secondary getting picked apart week after week after week. I was surprised to see WR Austin Pettis released recently. I don’t necessarily disagree with the decision, but with all the problems on the defense, I hardly see that move as being very important to the team overall. Getting back to the defense… the last 2 rankings (sacks and tackles) are where we are obviously getting killed. Going into the season our defensive line was ranked first in the NFL. We were expected to be a fearsome sacking machine. How many sacks do we have 2014 to date? 4 (last n the NFL)

So we have a lot of work to do. As far as talent I think we’re pretty much there (except the defensive secondary and I wouldn’t mind see Jenoris Jenkins sitting on the bench, how many times do we have to see him getting burned before we see a change at that position?). Most of what I see is what I’d label ‘under performance’ and that’s a coaching problem. But we have good coaching right? Once again it’s been a tough year for the Rams and for Rams fans. But with all this said, I’d still say our team is on the upswing. For now the main thing I’d like to see is consistency (stop missing tackles, do the fundamentals well) and solid performance during key situations (no more melt downs). There is still a lot of football to be played this season. Hopefully Fisher and company can get some things figured out. Go Rams!!!

Same Ole Rams Beat Seahawks 28-26

Seattle Seahawks v St. Louis Rams

Seems like the Rams have developed a SOP (Standard Operating Procedure).   Our SOP is to play well in the first half, gain what seems to be a comfortable lead, come back from the halftime break and let the other team run all over us, wake up late in the 4th quarter, and then play valiantly for a short period of time at the very end of the game. Now we stray from this formula a little, but the trend is becoming clear.

Usually the outcome of this kind of play is negative and we lose. Today we followed our SOP to the letter and somehow came away with a win.

Just like last week against the 49ers we went up early against the Seahawks.  Two Austin Davis TD passes and an eighty yard punt return by Stedman Bailey and the Rams had an 18 point lead (3-21) with 7 minutes remaining in the 2nd quarter.

Unlike last week’s game we did not cough up a last second half ending TD. Well, we did, but were saved by a Seahawks holding penalty which wiped it out. Instead, the Seahawks were held to a field goal and the Rams went into the half with a much more comfortable lead of 6-21.

Just like weeks past the Rams came out in the second half and displayed a typical meltdown. The Seahawks owned the play clock as they marched 82 yards and then 92 yards for back to back touchdowns.

After missing a 2 point conversion the Seahawks had closed to within 2 points of the Rams (19-21) with nearly 10 minutes left in the game. Straying a little from the formula the Rams then pulled off an impressive 80 yard drive that ended in another short Austin Davis TD pass.

This score had little effect on the Seahawks as they immediately returned the favor with their own 80 yard drive also culminating in a TD. The score is Seattle 26 – Rams 28. At 3:18 left in the game our SOP is to be a score down, have possession of the ball, and have barely time for 1 final drive. This time we lead by 2 points and have one final drive to run out the clock. We have to get a first down or we will lose this game.

The Rams run 3 plays, but barely burn 20 seconds off the clock. It’s fourth down and my jaw has hit the floor.   All we needed was a single first down and game over, but nooooo. We’re in punt formation and the ball is snapped. Hekker breaks out and passes the ball to Cunningham.

IT’S A FAKE PUNT!!! The pass is good and Cunningham has the first down. GO RAMS!!! This game is all but over when Tre Mason runs the ball off the left tackle. He busts through the line and fumbles the ball!!! Everyone scatters and the Rams have the ball. No wait… the ball is loose and the Seahawks have the ball in the middle of the field with a minute remaining.

NOOOO. Disaster has shown his ugly face again, but wait… the officials step in and say the ball is dead at the spot of the initial recovery. From the replay it looked like the ball was still live, but the officials called it as they saw it. The Seahawks are out of timeouts and cannot challenge. The Rams kneel down and the game is over. The Rams win the game 26-28 and the crowd goes wild.

Although I’m extremely frustrated by the Rams sporadic style of play, hats off to Jeff Fisher for such a gutsy call. The fake punt (along with some lucky officiating) made the difference in the game. The Rams season record improves to 2-4 as we beat this very tough division opponent.   The scoring summary is below. Go Rams!!!

Team 1 2 3 4 T
SEA 3 3 7 13 26
STL 7 14 0 7 28

49ers vs Rams – Another Heartbreaker

charlie_brown_lucy_football(Ever felt duped?  Again, and again, and again?)

If you watched the first half of the game you were feeling pretty good. In the first quarter we took a 14-0 lead after a 80 yard drive completed with a 1 yard run (RB Cunningham) and another (55 yard drive) finished with a 22 yard pass to Kendricks. In the 2nd quarter the 49ers were able to score a field goal, but the Rams were still basically in control. So the half is about to end. There are 14 seconds remaining and the 49ers are deep in their own territory. The 49ers throw a deep pass to a wide open Brandon Loyd (covered by S Jenkins) who takes it all the way for a touch down. Bone crushing. Worse. It’s like someone ran their fingers down the chalkboard of my soul. Forever reverberating. The play changed the course of the game.

We come back out of the halftime break and I hope I’m the only one whose soul ‘s crushed with that last 49ers play. Maybe everything is fine? 12 plays and 80 yards later the 49ers score on another touchdown pass and S Jenkins is burned again. The Rams couldn’t recover. Up until 4 minutes remaining in the game the Rams had only gained 18 yards on offense (1 first down) in the entire second half. Where did the team go? Then in true Rams fashion we come up with yet another valiant (but futile) game ending effort. Our defense comes up strong with not 1, but 2 4th down defensive stands.   We score a field goal and with a little more than a minute left we are 7 points down and have the ball for 1 final drive.

I’ve already been searching Google for ‘Rams support groups’ and ‘sports induced depression’ when I find we’re kind of back in this game. So after suffering through nearly 2 quarters of miserable Rams football my heart (against my wishes) begins to bleed blue and gold again. Davis throws a quick 6 yard pass to Cunningham. My emotions leave the realm of depression and near the state of mania. The ball is snapped and Davis throws a short pass to the right which is intercepted (Johnson) and run back for a 49ers TD. And game over. (Final score: 49ers 31 – Rams 17) Is it possible to lose a game in a more painful manner? I used to say, “well, at least I’m not an Oakland Raiders fan”, but even that has lost its consolatory value as our season record just sank to 1-4.

Does anyone know where Janoris Jenkins lives? Is it still funny to toilet paper someone’s home? Next week we take on the 3-2 Seattle Seahawks. That should be fun right? Go Rams!

49ers vs Rams – Game Preview

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I went back and looked at the last 4 contests between us and the 49ers.  I thought something might stand out as a key to the game, but nothing did.  All four games were uniquely different.  Here is my summary:

Date Site Commentary Score1 Score2
12/01/2013 at SF stats very close Rams 13 SF 23
09/26/2014 home completely shut down our run game and ran for over 200 yards Rams 11 SF 35
12/02/2013 home SF ran better 4.1 vs 3.1 avg, other stats similar, SF had 1 t/o and Rams none (we won in OT) Rams 16 SF 13
11/11/2013 at SF SF sacked us 5 to 2, STL had 1 t/o, we passed 150 more yards Rams 24 SF 24

 So we’re stuck talking about the basics: control SF RB Frank Gore, get pressure on QB Kaepernick and make sure he’s always accounted for (the man can run), don’t leave their receivers wide open… yada, yada, yada.  In other words play good.  Our games against the 49ers are always very physical and of course this game has the added dimension of being on Monday Night Football.  A national audience always gets the blood boiling.

Let’s be honest… we’ve been playing bad in just about every area.  Philly had its way with our o-line.  We can’t seem to stop the run for our lives, and we havent’ had an offensive run over 20 yards all year.  If we play this way next Monday, we’re gonna get hurt.  Now, can we win?  Absolutely.  We have the ability and playing on MNF gives us the motivation.  We have to want it more than the 49ers.  The 49ers have been sloppy and sporadic.  Their defense is not what it used to be and Kaepernick has been the poster child of confusion on occasion.  They are hanging just above .500 for the season and are prime for a take down.

So let’s do this!  Go Rams!!!

 

Poll: MNF – Who Wins the NFC West Battle – Rams or 49ers?

San Francisco 49ers vs St. Louis Rams


NFL Week Six Capsule – San Francisco at St.Louis MNF

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (3-2) AT ST. LOUIS RAMS (1-3)

SERIES

49ERS RAMS
MON. RECORD 45-25 26-30
SERIES LEADER 63-62-3  
STREAKS 2 of past 3  
COACHES VS. OPP. Harbaugh: 4-1-1 Fisher: 3-4-1
LAST WEEK W 22-17 vs. Chiefs L 34-28 at Eagles
LAST GAME 12/1/13: Rams 13 at 49ers 23. San Francisco TE Vernon Davis has 82 receiving yards, including 17-yard TD catch. 49ers WR Anquan Boldin adds 9 receptions for 98 yards.
LAST GAME AT SITE 9/26/13: 49ers 35, Rams 11. San Francisco RB Frank Gore rushes for 153 yards & TD. Boldin catches 5 passes for 90 yards & TD. Davis adds 12-yard TD reception.
BROADCAST ESPN (7:30 PM CT): Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden, Lisa Salters (Field reporter). Westwood One: Kevin Harlan, Kurt Warner, Hub Arkush (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 88 (WW1), 93 (SF), 92 (StL). XM: 88 (WW1), 225 (SF), 226 (StL).

STATS

PASSING Kaepernick: 97-150-1113-7-4-91.3 A. Davis: 97-143-1129-6-3-96.8
RUSHING Gore: 77-365 (3C)-4.7-1 Stacy: 53-223-4.2-1
RECEIVING Boldin: 25-303-12.1-0 Quick: 21-322-15.3-3
OFFENSE 352.0 392.8
TAKE/GIVE +5 (2C) -3
DEFENSE 282.8 (2L) 344.8
SACKS J. Smith: 3 Donald (R): 1
INTs Cox: 3 (T1L) 3 tied: 1
PUNTING Lee: 47.1 Hekker: 43.6
KICKING Dawson: 44 (3C) (11/11 PAT; 11/13 FG) Zuerlein: 30 (9/9 PAT; 7/8 FG)

NOTES

49ERS:Have won past 6 on MNF, outscoring opp. 164-49…QB COLIN KAEPERNICK went 2-0 with 113.4 rating last year vs.StL. Is 3-0 on MNF with 6 TDs, 0 INTs & 126.8 rating. Has 100+ rating in all 3…RB FRANK GORE aims for 5th in row vs. StL with TD. Has 15 rush TDs in past 14 meetings…WR MICHAEL CRABTREE aims for 4th MNF game in row with 100+ yards or TD. TE VERNON DAVIS aims for 3rd in row vs. StL with TD. Since 2009 (incl. playoffs), is 2nd in NFL with 53 rec. TDs. WR STEVIE JOHNSON aims for 3rd in row with TD catch. WR ANQUAN BOLDIN has 97 catches & 1,326 yards in career vs. StL, his most vs. opp. Has 5 TDs in past 4 on MNF…In 10/4/09 meeting, LB PATRICK WILLIS had 2.5 sacks & 23-yard INT-TD. Is only player in team history with 2.5+ sacks & INT-TD in game. Since entering NFL in 2007, is only player with 20+ sacks (20.5), 15+ FF (16) & 8+ INTs (8). DT JUSTIN SMITH has 3.5 sacks in past 3 on MNF…RAMS: QB AUSTIN DAVIS has 300+ yards & 3+ TDs in past 2 starts. QB SHAUN HILL played 3 seasons with SF (2007-09). Played 18 games with 16 starts (10 wins) & had 87.3 rating…RB ZAC STACY rushed for 134 yards in only MNF game (10/28/13 vs. Sea.). Had 4 100-yard rush games in past 7 at home…WR BRIAN QUICK had career-high 2 TDs last week. Has 3 TDs in past 2. Had TD catch in last meeting. WR KENNY BRITT had TD last week. WR-PR TAVON AUSTIN has 6 career TDs (4 rec., 1 rush, 1 PR)…DE ROBERT QUINN had sack in last home meeting. Has 4 sacks in 3 career MNF games. Has 20 sacks in past 21. Since entering NFL in 2012, CB JANORIS JENKINS has 4 INT-TDs, tied for most in NFL. Since entering NFL in 2009, LB JAMES LAURINAITIS is only player with 12+ sacks (12) & 9+ INTs (9).