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RamView: Week 5 – Defensive Line and Linebackers

Yeah, the Ram defense sure turned the corner, didn’t it? And walked right into a wall. I don’t think anybody was expecting that wall to be Honolulu blue and silver-colored, either. The 4-man pass rush that finally showed up in the Rams’ two-game winning streak went back into the witness protection program. Chris Long was barely a factor today; two tackles and one hit on the QB. Push up the middle was almost completely lacking. Fred Robbins had just a QB pressure. James Hall’s pressure helped get George Selvie a sack in the first but that was about the only time either of them got within shouting distance of Shaun Hill, a QB who has NEVER lost to the Rams despite having a noodle arm that makes Steve Walsh look like John Elway. But pathetic pass rush left him plenty of time to find receivers underneath and pilot Detroit to long scoring drives. 13 plays, 81 yards in the 2nd capped by a perfect throw to Calvin Johnson’s back shoulder under no pressure. 17-6. 80 more yards in under 1:30 to end the first half, capped by a TD pass to Brandon Pettigrew on which the Rams gave Hill SIX seconds to throw and got no one within five yards of him. 24-6 and game essentially over. Disgraceful. Hill went 14-19-144 IN THE SECOND QUARTER, and it’s ridiculous how the Rams repeatedly make this chump look like a Pro Bowler. But it’s all made possible when you put on no pass rush at all, and it’s where the Ram defense lost this game decisively. Run defense was a better story. Though the Lions were able to run at Hall and Eugene Sims at RDE, and against the Rams’ nickel D, with some success, the Rams’ ground defense was still respectable, with Robbins getting Jahvid Best (18-67) behind the line a couple of times, pancaking the RG once to get there. David Vobora strung out a couple of outside runs nicely. Of course, Detroit didn’t really have to run the ball today. The Rams made their passing game irresistibly easy.

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