The Fundamentals

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Playing winning football really only comes down to 4 key elements:

  1. Mastering the Fundamentals
  2. Have a Net Zero to Positive Turnover Ratio
  3. Passion
  4. Luck

Master the Fundamentals – this is exactly what is sounds like, “do ya know how to tackle son?”  Week in and week out a team must be fundamentally sound.  Things like

– protecting your QB
– gaining 4-5 yards per rush attempt
– spreading the field with the passing game
– converting 3rd downs
– making tackles
– getting pressure on your opponent’s QB
– minimizing penalties
– making field goals
Under this umbrella, one glaring issue this season has been our run defense.  We were killed in week one by Viking’s RB Patterson and again in this past weekend’s contest by Bucs RB Rainey.  Part of the solution is better tackling, then smarter play, and mostly just better overall execution.  On the offensive flip side…  In week 1 our RBs averaged 3.3 yards per carry and we lost.  In week 2 we had a much better showing with a 4.1 yards average (and a win).

Net Zero Turnover Ratio – I used to love watching Brett Favre through 5 interceptions and somehow walk away with a win.  99% of the time though, turnovers will kill you.  In week 1 of the season (Rams vs Vikings) we had 2 turnovers; both of which resulted in TDs for Minnesota.  If they never happened and instead resulted in Rams points, the score becomes Vikings 20 – Rams 20.  (If we tackled Viking RB Patterson at some point on his 67 yard TD walk-a-bout the score shifts to Viking 13- Rams 20.)  But we did have the turnovers and we did lose. In week 2 we had a net zero T/O ratio and gave up no points from our 1 turnover.   The outcome was…?

Passion – with the kind of money pro football players make you’d things they’d love every stinking minute of it, but it’s just not the case.  If a team doesn’t play with passion they’re not going to win.  No amount of discipline and competence can make up for it.  In game 2 when EJ Gaines rushed in and blocked that field goal Rams players went nuts.  It shot a lightenening bolt of energy straight into the veins.  And seeing new QB Austin Davis pumping his fist on the sidelines was super exciting and unfortunately it was also super foreign.  We have got to have that passion.  If Sam Bradford can’t get fired up to play NFL football, then he shouldn’t be our starter.

Luck – sometimes everything that can go wrong will go wrong.  No need to tell this to Rams fans.  Call it destiny, football karma, mojo, or almighty God, but there are simply elements in the game that can’t be controlled.  A perfect example occurred at the end of the Bucs game.  The Bucs were driving the field hoping for 1 final field goal attempt to win the game.   McCowan completes a 29 yard pass to WR Evans and the Bucs are technically in FG range.  A Bucs player is injured and they have no time outs remaining.  NFL rules require a 10 sec run off in that situation.  1…2…3… Game over.  The Rams win.

Three of these four elements we can control.  Let’s make it happen Rams players and coaches.  Let’s knock the snot out the Cowboys.  Go Rams!!!


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One Response to “The Fundamentals”

  1. Mike says:

    Bradford has alway been a very level kind of guy. He does get fired up to play, but you can’t tell it by his demeanor. He manages to excite and elevate the players around him anyway. That he doesn’t get down when things go bad is considered an asset. Showing more emotion when things go well would be an improvement. But if he can’t stay healthy, it doesn’t really matter either way.

    Boomer Soonerr & Go Rams!

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