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RamView: Week 13 – Offensive Line

We’re not talking Seven Blocks of Granite here, but the Ram o-line knocked the other guys around a little more this week than past weeks and finally got Jackson a little running room. Rodger Saffold and Jacob Bell executed a very nice X block at the line, and Daniel Fells WIPED OUT his man downfield, to spring Jackson right up the middle for 21 in the 1st. There were times when Bradford got more time to throw than he’s gotten all year. Saffold was just toying with the Big Dead outside rushers at times. At other times… well, nobody blocked Alan Branch when he stuffed a run in the 2nd, how do you miss that guy at 350 pounds? They gave up one of two sacks the next play. Kerry Rhodes got it on a dog blitz from safety, but Bradford would have had plenty of room to step up had Bell not been beaten badly by LB Darryl Washington. On the Rams’ FG drive to end the first half, Adam Goldberg got beaten twice by Darnell Dockett. Dockett stuffed Jackson early in the drive, and later timed the snap perfectly on 2nd-and-goal to get a hit on Bradford and force an incomplete pass. Dan Williams batted down what would have been a TD pass to force that FG, I believe over Jason Brown. The entire line appeared not to know the snap count on the first play of the 2nd half, and when that drive 3-and-outed, the feeling of oh, no, here we go again started to set in, but the line responded. Goldberg made a key cut block to free Bradford for a 3rd-down scramble in Arizona territory. The next play, with Fells just barely keeping Dockett off Jackson, Jason Smith, returning from an ankle injury earlier in the drive, led Jackson out on a right sweep and got him a kickout block to spring a 28-yard TD run. Calais Campbell killed the next drive, though, deflecting a 2nd-down pass and blowing up a screen on 3rd down so well he even got the other sack of Bradford despite starting at him from about 10 yards away. Up 19-6, the Rams failed on their first try to put the game away, with Brown, Bell and Bajema failing on blocks to get Jackson stuffed. But, if not gold, they were at least silver over the final 5:00. The left side got Jackson a gaping hole for 9, then Brown and Goldberg had blocks to spring him for 6 more before Bajema’s final big gain. That wrapped up a game in which, though not dominating, they were good enough, hopefully the start of an improving trend.

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