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RamView: Week 12 – Part 8

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

* Coaching: If not now, when? The Seattle Seahawks had not won a road game all year (0-5). They came in with a 3-7 record and were playing their third straight road game. They ran for four yards the week before. Not four yards a carry. Four total yards. The schedule-maker was handing the Rams a gift here. (About time, by the way.) And while the Rams drove downfield successfully in the 1st quarter, in the stands, you could sense the Seahawks packing it in. They were ripe. All the Rams needed was some killer instinct. NOT a milquetoast FG attempt on 4th-and-1 inside the opponent 30. I begged Steve Spagnuolo last week to show he gets it, and he doesn’t, not yet. We are sick of the Rams losing home games (11 straight now). We are sick of losing EVERY game we play in the division (14 straight now). And it’s sure getting tiring losing EVERY TIME to a Seattle team that hasn’t even been any good the last two years. But it’s 10 straight to them now, with no sign it will EVER let up, because the head coach of a 1-9 team wants to play it safe in scoring territory at the start of the game. How did that work out, by the way?

More after the jump!

I’ll buy some reasons Spagnuolo didn’t want to go for it on 4th-and-1. Jackson had just been stuffed on 3rd-and-1, and maybe he didn’t have a read on Steven’s health yet and was reluctant to slam him in there again. And you’re certainly not going to rely on Frick Gado or Frack Darby on 4th-and-1. So why not sneak Boller? He’s 6’3”, all he has to do is fall down. Or bootleg him. Or keep Jackson in as a decoy, play-action and throw a seam route to the TE. For Christ’s sake, I don’t care if you want to go Mike Martz on their ass and run the dreaded end-around, do something! I know much of anything creative scares this coaching staff, especially on offense, but show us you’re mad as hell at all these pathetic losing streaks and you’re not going to take it any more! I also suspect Brown missing the 4th-and-1 FG led Spagnuolo to go for it on 4th-and-4. Can’t trust him to hit from 46, you’re not going to trust him from 52. So that just compounded the decision to kick on 4th-and-1 when 4th-and-4 failed as miserably as it can fail, with a pick-six. Sure, I’m an irrational fan, but good luck convincing me Spagnuolo didn’t cost his team 17 points today. Could have taken ten, gave up seven instead. Rams football: it’s fan-tastic!

You could tell Boller was back in the lineup today, huh? Very first play Pat Shurmur calls is a rollout. I thought he was smart to use a lot of play-action, though the Rams could sell it a lot better. The Avery TD, where they sold it perfectly, could have been the Sweet Play of the Week had everything else about the Rams not sucked. Avery motioned left, and while the whole offense faked a Jackson handoff left, Avery doubled back right and was open pretty handily for the toss from Boller rolling right. Now, if he’d just started using blitz-beating plays like the Avery smoke route BEFORE getting blitzed by Seattle for three quarters. That adjustment was like the Titanic hanging a left after hitting the iceberg. Defensively, I thought the Rams had a good blitz mix working, getting pressure with it without getting burned by it. Seattle is extremely potent with screen passes and the outside players made a very successful effort to take that away from them, though you wonder how much that took away from the run defense, which simply cannot continue to be this wretchedly awful. A last question, I really don’t know the answer: does this team ever run blitz? Do our DBs ever slash in and stop a back in the backfield? Does a  team this bad against the run have anything to lose by gambling like that more? OK, that was three questions.

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