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RamView: Week 7 – Quarterback

Compared to seasons past, it’s one of the better problems to have, but MY GOD the Rams have to learn how to play with a lead. Instead they BLOW a 17-3 advantage, and for the second time this season, throw away a game they have completely won, that the opponent did all they could to hand to them, with a miserable second half. They’re young, and nobody’s saying it’s easy, but they have to finish off games like this to become a winning franchise. For Rams Nation, the waiting, as Tom Petty said, is the hardest part.

Today was far from Sam Bradford’s finest game (13-26-126, 2TD, passer rating 89.6). He didn’t complete much of anything downfield; the biggest pass plays came off quick screens and swing passes. He couldn’t unload as quickly as forced by GREG White on 3rd-and-long inside the 10 on the Rams’ first possession and took a sack/fumble that set up a Tampa FG. From the Bucs 5 early in the 2nd, he badly overthrew Michael Hoomanawanui on a rollout pass and was nearly intercepted. The good news? He hit Danny Amendola on a quick out the next play for a TD. And more good news – he got that rollout pass to Uh-Oh right the next drive for a 3-yard TD that put the Rams up 17-3. After that, though, Tampa really sat on the Rams running game, and the passing game couldn’t answer the challenge. Bradford’s passing has helped make the Rams receivers better this season, but everything seemed out-of-sync today. Bradford read blitzes well, but today he was trying to beat them with timing passes down the sideline to receivers who weren’t even remotely open. It seems like the reads were right, but I don’t know about the scheme. But that wasn’t the only failure of the passing game to sync up. The Rams 3-and-outed right after halftime after Bradford overthrew Laurent Robinson on 3rd down, receiver and QB not on the same page. After a long Tampa FG drive, the Rams again failed to make much happen. A failed sideline jump ball and an inaccurate sideline pass for an open Robinson put the Rams in a hole they couldn’t pass out of. By the time Bradford finally strung a couple of passes together in the 4th, most of the lead had evaporated. Up 17-12, Bradford got the Rams back to midfield on back-to-back passes to Robinson and Uh-Oh, but that drive ran aground on a false start and questionable play-calling, and the offense never got the ball back. The Ram passing game had a lot of flaws today. It didn’t seem like receivers were getting open well. Bradford had mental and physical errors. Play-calling was up and down. It all adds up to a rare less-than-effective day for the Rams’ rookie QB.

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2 Responses to “RamView: Week 7 – Quarterback”

  1. Raul says:

    Bradford made some bad passes, but some of the misfires were clearly mis-reads by the receivers. Sam expected the receivers to break a certain way and threw the ball there, but the receivers didn’t make the break. Sam knew where Clayton was going, because they’ve worked together in the off-season for the past few years. It’ll take some time for the current crop of receivers to get in sync.

  2. Raul says:

    Another thing, the corners were playing real tight, so the Rams tried to make them pay by breaking deep. The receivers couldn’t beat them deep, so that allowed corners to sit tight and take away pretty much everything.

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