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RamView: Week 12 – Part 5

RamView, November 29, 2009
From Row HH
(Report and opinions on and from the game.)
Game #11: Seahawks 27, Rams 17

* Defensive line / LB: Once again the Ram defense let one of the league’s worst rushing offenses look like Eric Dickerson’s Rams, as the 32nd-ranked running team romped for 170 behind Justin Forsett’s 22-130. The front seven has more holes than players. It’s basically James Laurinaitis plus an occasional play from one of the other six. Laurinaitis led the D with nine tackles, and started the Rams off the right way by dragging Matt Hasselbeck down for a sack on the game’s very first play. Guess how many sacks the Rams collected after the first play of the game. That’s right, none. Leonard Little got some pressures, but I don’t remember Chris Long doing much of anything despite getting a lot of work at both DE positions. That failure spread over to the run, where if Laurinaitis gets blocked, he’s not getting much help. Like these plays. Forsett broke loose for 25 right after Josh Brown’s missed FG after Laurinaitis was practically blocked into Seattle’s bench, Cliff Ryan got wiped out at the line and Justin King stumbled trying to fill the gap. Little tried to jump into the backfield on Forsett’s first TD run but instead got pushed back across center and gave Forsett the hole. Given a chance to stop Seattle on 4th-and-1 to start the 4th, the Rams instead got steamrolled by Forsett for an embarrassing 11 yards. Nobody attacked his gap; Laurinaitis attacked the next gap over. Forsett’s 2nd TD, two plays later, was an equally easy run after his fullback stoned Paris Lenon in the hole. Dorsett, um, I mean Forsett, humbled the Rams one last time with a 26-yard run right to set up their last FG. Long was pushed WAY outside and Oshiomogho Atogwe missed him in the hole. You’d think one of those would be Long’s, or the Rams’, most humiliating play of the day, but that had to come when Matt Hasselbeck naked bootlegged left for 19 to set up a FG in the 3rd. The whole Ram defense bought the run fake right, leaving the other side of the field empty as the void of space. If Hasselbeck wasn’t slower than me trying to get up from the Thanksgiving dinner table, he would have had a TD. Long was so faked out on that play that he was getting up from being knocked down to continue pursuing the play left even as Hasselbeck was running right by him the other direction. And so the Ram defense hits December an utter failure. They’re getting physically dominated by bad offensive lines. Tackling is slipping. Atogwe and James Butler are getting paid a lot better than they’re stopping runners. Rookie Darell Scott (!) made some nice plays in the middle of the line but the rest of the DTs look like the guys off the waiver wire and 2nd-day draft picks that they are. So do the OLBs, despite Lenon forcing a Louis Rankin fumble in the 1st.  They don’t pass rush very well and they’re as easily fooled by misdirection as my cat. This defense won’t be any good this year. I’m not sure it’ll be any good in TWO years. How do they get there?

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