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RamView: Week 7 – Secondary

The MASH unit posing as the Ram secondary can feel proud about their effort today, but they made some HUGE mistakes. Ron Bartell gamely played a lot of the game with an injured shoulder but still covered and tackled well. James Butler was in and out of the game after getting injured on his first tackle. Bradley Fletcher was beaten by Mike Williams for a couple of good gains but played well enough before getting hurt late in the game. Kevin Dockery had to be helped off the field early on but made a great play to break up a sideline pass for Arrelious Benn in the 3rd. The biggest struggler was Jerome Murphy, who Sammie Stroughter juked the hell out of for 18 to set up Tampa’s late first-half FG. Though that never should have happened. Two plays after that catch, Long hit Freeman and turned his attempted pass into a lazy popup. Oshiomogho Atogwe’s practically camped under it. The umpire has practically called the infield fly rule. So what happens? Bryan Kehl makes his one defensive play of the day, he and Atogwe fight each other for the INT, and nobody gets it. That lamentable play cost the Rams three points; the game, in effect. And the Rams weren’t done blowing INTs. Laurinaitis had one right in his hands in the 3rd, couldn’t put it away and lost it running into Diggs. The Rams’ failure to intercept passes thrown at them has to be the dumbest team mental block in the history of sports. Call Aeneas Williams, a sports psychologist, a hypnotist, a psychic, an old priest and a young priest… I don’t care. This has to stop. Back to Murphy, who lost Stroughter on 3rd-and-8 to extend Tampa’s 4th FG drive. Relief did not come on Tampa’s final drive. Kellen Winslow beat Atogwe a couple of times on Ram blitzes. Mike Williams beat Fletcher for 16. Then the coups de grace, on 3rd-and-10 at the Rams 21. Williams wheels after catching a five-yard comeback, and Dockery, Murphy and Craig Dahl all blow tackles that would have stopped him short. He gains 20 instead, down to the 1, making the game all but over, but not before one last possible mistake by Murphy, who didn’t give Long any safety help on the game-winning TD. Like the rest of the team, it’s a shame what happened to the secondary today. They played valiantly and played well for stretches but were never going to survive their self-inflicted wounds.

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