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RamView: Preseason Week 3 – Stratergery

* Strategery: Hello, I’m agent Mulder, this is agent Scully. I understand your offensive coordinator was unusually creative tonight, is that right? Played a surprising amount of 4-receiver formations? Once with the tight ends split outside? Wow, that is strange. Lots of shotgun? Had a wide receiver run a clearout for a TE/fullback on 4th-and-2 and got 33 yards out of it? Lined up 304-pounder Eric Young as an H-back to spring Jackson for an easy 10 on the 3rd play of the game with a nasty block? Threw down the field instead of running dozens of 4-yard hitches? Is this aberrant behavior? OK, that definitely sounds like an abduction, he could have been replaced by an alien hybrid… you’d rather keep the alien? Yeah, I saw the game, too, you should probably keep the alien. Hey, did you know that Sam Bradford is… never mind, let’s go, Scully.

The alien claiming to be Rams offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur was brilliant tonight. He was creative but not gadgety. He mixed run and pass deftly. He used all parts of the field. THE RAMS THREW DOWNFIELD. The tight end is an actual part of a Ram offense. The Rams scored 4 TDs in the red zone! Even with a short week and a QB they weren’t expecting to start a few days ago, this team was expertly prepared tonight. Could scripting the first 15 plays have had anything to do with it? I don’t recall the staff scripting plays before. On behalf of Rams Nation, I welcome our new alien offensive overlord, and hope that “Pat Shurmur” will continue to share his alien football technology for our common good.

The other thing that impressed me tonight was the mismatch in the two team’s intensities. This impressed me because the Rams have been caught on the wrong side of this trap since forever. But tonight, amazingly, the Rams looked ready to play and meant business, while Bill Belichick’s team was just going through the motions and really got caught off-guard. The Rams got a couple of huge moral victories out of this game. The team that went 1-15 last year went against the dynasty’s starters for a half and came out ahead 20-14. And Belichick felt like he needed to keep his starters on the field for the third quarter, against the Rams’ backups. These football programs are at much different points in their evolution. The Patriots can normally coast in preseason and not have to worry about the regular season. The Rams can’t, and there was no questioning their readiness tonight. This was the 3rd preseason game, the closest thing we’ve had so far to showtime, and in team attitude, Steve Spagnuolo caught Bill Belichick’s team flat-footed. This game doesn’t matter, yet it does. It’s damn good to see the Rams have that gear to shift to for when they do need it. I’m gullible enough to think last night will be a building-block night for the franchise.


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