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RamView: Week 15 – Offensive Line

Prepared to meet Hali? The hell. The Rams’ young tackles were repeatedly run over by the Chiefs’ leading pass rusher, and also managed to make a Pro Bowler out of somebody called Wallace Gilberry, whom I wouldn’t have known from Mintberry Crunch Sunday morning. Jason Smith had by far the worst game of his young career. He and Billy Bajema blew the momentum of the Rams’ opening drive with back-to-back red zone false starts. Smith killed the next drive with a hands-to-the-face penalty he needed to commit to prevent getting completely smoked by Tyson Jackson. With Bradford looking to hit a deep throw, Tackleberry beat Adam Goldberg on 3rd-and-20 for the Chiefs’ first sack. The hits kept coming; hits on Bradford, unfortunately. Mike Vrabel blitzed in clean and splattered Sam on a near-pick late in the 2nd. With the Rams trying to mount a drive in the last 2:00, Hali whipped the snot out of Smith and drilled Bradford to force an incomplete, and Jason Brown, who is THE CENTER, false-started the next play. That’s the kind of awesome focus the o-line had today. Life didn’t get any better in the 2nd half. Rodger Saffold false-started – the team had five of those today – to put the Rams in 3rd-and-long, and Buckcherry beat Steven Jackson to force a wild Bradford throw. That was a rare time the Rams actually left blocking help back there for Bradford, who I’m sure would have preferred a lot more. Hali smoked Smith AGAIN in the 3rd to force a bad throw. With the Rams backed up at the goal line late in the 3rd, Saffold got beat to force Bradford out on a fruitless scramble. The domination got worse in the 4th. Hali beat Smith to bat down a pass. Derrick Johnson blitzed up the middle untouched to deflect a pass. The Chiefs called off the dogs long enough for the Rams to score a TD. They only had three on the line for Jackson’s TD run, behind a pull block by Jacob Bell and a good block on the NT by Goldberg. That didn’t last, as the Chief DEs squelched the Rams’ next drive emphatically. Frankenberry made Bell look like a blocking sled, and for good measure, beat Brown, too, to drop Bradford for a sack/fumble, and the very next play, he and Hali made the Rams’ young tackles look just useless and met at Sam’s for Kansas City’s third sack. Just three? It felt like a dozen. Hali and Dingleberry – oh, ok, Gilberry – toyed with the Rams’ tackles – Saffold had his worst game of the year, too – and knocked Bradford around like a lottery ping-pong ball. The raft of bonehead penalties the line committed made things even worse, and when the Rams sent extra men into pass patterns, what was supposed to be Bradford’s safety net turned out to be a shark tank.

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