RamView: Week 17 – Part 5

Defensive line / LB: The Ram defense played what might have been its best three-and-a-half quarters of the season but looked for all the world like they’d quit after San Francisco took a 14-6 lead in the 4th. They forced a ton of 3-and-outs or similarly short possessions. James Laurinaitis set one up by blitzing up the middle untouched for the first sack of Alex Smith in the 1st, and got another in the 3rd by breaking up a 3rd-down pass to Vernon Davis with a solid hit. Chris Long got one by swatting down a 3rd-down pass. Craig Dahl helped set up another with a free run at Smith for a sack off a safety blitz. Long and James Hall were solid against the run. Hall stuffed Frank Gore several times as the Rams held him to just 31 first-half yards. Hall got the Rams’ 3rd sack, and started another 3-and-out, by pouncing on Smith as he recovered his own extremely lame fumble in the 3rd. The 49ers couldn’t put together any offense at all and the Rams had Smith on the run. In the 3rd, though, the 49ers started finding some cracks. Gore went up the middle for 34 after David Baas pulled and engulfed Laurinaitis and James Butler’s utter inability to tackle Gore doubled the length of the play. Gore followed that with a 22-yard screen inside the 5, breaking away after Long and Ron Bartell ran into one another. That led to their first TD. The second TD was a lightning bolt from Davis after the Rams had settled for their hundredth FG near the goal line of the season, and after that, I’m pretty sure the defense was mainly thinking about tee times the rest of the way. Except for Long, who had enough fire left to get into a head-butting incident with a 49er lineman late in the game and get ejected. Ejections (usually of the head coach or manager) have been known to fire up basketball and baseball teams but the Rams saw no such effect. Gore chugged through them for a couple of short TDs meeting very little resistance in the middle and an unpleasant lack of pursuit when he bounced outside. It was 28-6 at the end of the game but 14-6 when the game was done, the Ram defense doing itself a brief disservice after at least 50 minutes of excellent effort today and a season where they’d played almost every game hard from start to finish.


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One Response to “RamView: Week 17 – Part 5”

  1. […] The Huffington Post News Team wrote a very interesting post today.   Here’s a quick excerpt:Defensive line / LB: The Ram defense played what might have been its best three-and-a-half quarters of the season but looked for all the world like they’d quit after San Francisco took a 14-6 lead in the 4th. […]

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