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RamView: Week 11 – Part II

RamView, November 22, 2009
From Row HH
(Report and opinions on and from the game.)
Game #10: Arizona 21, Rams 13

* QB: It was a very tough day to be a QB in the Dome. Kurt Warner got knocked out of the game by Oshiomogho Atogwe before halftime, and Marc Bulger got knocked out by Darnell Dockett at the end of another frustrating performance (19-37-215, 57.8 rating). Like the rest of this season, there’s plenty of blame to go around, but plenty of limitations on Bulger’s part to ponder. Even at age 38, Warner’s at least twice as mobile as Bulger, who transitions to a runner about as effectively as any Hanna-Barbera character. Bulger killed a drive in the first trying to scramble and then clanging the ball off Daniel Fells’ hip. Dockett ended the next drive by smacking a Bulger sidearm pass backwards. Why is a QB’s height a big deal to NFL GMs again? Bulger ended the first half on a sour note, throwing an INT right to Adrian Wilson. Fells was open, but with Dockett bearing down, Bulger rushed a just-awful throw that would have fallen two yards short if Wilson hadn’t been there. So no, Bulger did not get the Rams off to a strong start, with 77 yards at halftime, only 12 in the first quarter. The offense continued to melt down after halftime, with drives ending on a Donnie Avery drop and a coverage sack. Bulger found Danny Amendola on 3rd-and-9 to prolong the next drive, which would have ended in a TD had Brandon Gibson not lost track of a perfectly good fade pass. He set up a TD in the 4th by just uncorking a throw to Amendola between 2 defenders inside the 5. The Rams finally gathered some rhythm and momentum. They got the ball back down 8 and Bulger hit Avery a couple of times for 50 yards, the second for 21 by pump-faking the crap out of Dominique Rogers-Cromartie, getting him to squat on the short route. But then from the Arizona 7, another failed connection with Gibson, despite Bulger putting the ball right in his breadbasket. The TV broadcast blamed Bulger for underthrowing the pass, not an invalid point, but that ball practically caught itself. C’mon, rook. Failure there left the Rams in desperation mode with 1:01 left, and who knows where that’s left Bulger. Dockett jacked him up on first down, leaving Bulger so woozy he could barely stay on his feet. Little surprise he missed Randy McMichael by a mile on 2nd down, crossed wires with Gibson again on 3rd down and ended the game with a goofy, failed scramble. And a concussion. The surprise was that he finished the game, a testament to his toughness, though not necessarily the alertness of the Rams’ sideline. Other than his tenacity there wasn’t much to like about Bulger’s game while he was conscious. He looked unsteady in the pocket, locked in on receivers, didn’t appear to read the field well. You understand what’s going on because of Marc’s sack and injury history and his inexperienced group of receivers. He is a legitimately tough player. That should never be questioned. But nothing’s getting better here, either.

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