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RamView: Week 5 – Offensive Line

The Lions’ defensive line garnered plenty of respect before the game, and the Rams o-line did little to change that during the game. Rodger Saffold was the biggest disappointment, getting beaten by washed-up Kyle Vanden Bosch badly at least six times. Vanden Bosch won the matchup decisively without registering a sack. He goaded Saffold into a false start and a hold, blew up a Jackson run in the red zone to help force a FG, and pressured Bradford into rushing a pass that Ndamukong Suh tipped and picked off. And Suh wasn’t even the Lions DT who had the big game. Though it’s difficult to ascertain how much of his domination was aided by uncalled offsides penalties, that honor still goes to apparent unstoppable force and future Hall-of-Famer… Corey Williams? Yet Jacob Bell couldn’t do much with him. He stuffed early Jackson runs, then really turned the tide of the game with a great play to get downfield and strip Amendola inside the 5 for a crucial turnover. Out of halftime, Williams stuffed a draw to Jackson for -4, then blew up a screen to Fells for -6, and for God’s sake, either get a blocker on the guy, remind Bradford to hard-count, or tell your highly-paid veteran center he’s tipping off his snaps, but do something. No, instead, we’ll turn a Detroit Lions jabroni into the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Week. The shame is that the line wasn’t far from having a good day. The only sack of Bradford was a cheapie handed to Julian Peterson for being nearby as Sam scrambled out of bounds. There was a lot of good blocking. Mike Karney sprung Jackson a couple of times on 10- and 12-yard draw plays, along with Darcy Johnson, who wiped out a LB on the latter run late in the 1st. John Greco UNLOADED on a Lion lineman and decleated him to save Bradford on one scramble. Adam Goldberg was probably the best Rams lineman today, repeatedly getting Jackson nice holes for big gains while on the pull. Goldberg threw Jackson two excellent blocks on an 18-yard draw late in the game, and I daresay, for the most part, kept Suh in check. Cliff Avril smoked Johnson and Jason Smith for a couple of pressures over RT, but Smith, and also Bell, made good run blocks throughout the course of the game. Unfortunately, the struggles with two players wound up losing the Rams the battle in the trenches. Saffold’s mentally tough; he’ll bounce back. I’m not so sure what the antidote is for an interior line that gives up a career day to a guy like Corey Williams, though.

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