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RamView: Week 12 – Secondary

Thank heaven for a couple of clutch plays by the Rams’ safeties, because this team’s corners are absolutely… I’ve run out of synonyms for pathetic, so let’s say “Bartellian”, in honor of the Rams corner who spent most of the game trailing WRs who had burned him deep. 2nd-9 at midfield to start the 2nd, Justin King never has a clue on play-action and gets beat by Jabar Gaffney for 25 on a corner route. That set up only a FG thanks to Atogwe batting a pass on a blitz. Atogwe chipped in a couple of key stops and, back to his old opportunistic self, put his helmet right on the ball in the 3rd to force a Moreno fumble and set up the Rams’ last TD. The 4th quarter, though, had Rams Nation gobbling Tums tablets like popcorn. Lloyd beat Bartell down the sideline with ridiculous ease for a 42-yard TD bomb to open the stanza. Then we had – seriously? The Eddie Royal Show? Let’s watch the Rams turn the nondescript Broncos WR into a Hall-of-Famer, shall we? First, he beats Jerome Murphy, the official turd in the 2010 Rams draft punch bowl, for 24 on 3rd-and-17. Then he’s wide open in the useless Rams zone for 17 to get them in the red zone. Next play, he’s wide open in the useless zone at the 10, turns up field and dives between Laurinaitis and Atogwe just standing at the goal line like doofuses for a TD to cut the lead to 10. The day appeared to be saved with under 4:00 to play when Lloyd couldn’t come down with a barely-overthrown pass despite burning Bartell deep for the third time. 4th-and-8. But these clowns can’t stop 4th-and-18; why should they stop 4th-and-8? And they don’t, with Royal beating Murphy AGAIN, for 17, and the next time Jerome Murphy covers anybody in the NFL, it’ll be for the first time. Two plays later, Bartell and Craig Dahl get burned deep by another shoo-in Hall-of-Famer, Denver’s 4th or 5th wideout, Eric Freaking Decker, for 38 yards down to the 2, Lloyd beats Bradley Fletcher for a short TD, and thank God for Chris Long, or this secondary would no doubt have blown the game. Bartell interfered with Lloyd fairly deep downfield right after Denver got the ball back with a minute left, but got bailed out by an offsetting penalty on Orton. This secondary is just a total basket case when it comes time to play zone, which I can’t figure out any more than I can figure out how or why Murphy gets any playing time. Another rookie, Darian Stewart, broke up one pass and made a nice open-field play on TE Graham in the 1st to hold Denver to a FG. But right now the woeful Bartell and the woefully-overmatched Murphy are putting the Ram defense in a hole from the moment they take the field.

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