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Rams Not Ready For Prime Time

Posted By Chaz Ingram On Sep 21 2011 @ 1:38 am In St. Louis Rams | No Comments

 

After a perfect 2011 preseason St. Louis fans had reason for high expectations. Only two games into the Rams regular season the home team has fallen short of those expectations on several levels. The most recent flop came against the New York Giants in a nationally televised prime time game on Monday Night Football for all the world to see.  After last night’s debacle the

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Rams' head coach Steve Spagnuolo pleads his case

overwhelming conclusion amongst St. Louis fans is that maybe the Rams are not ready for such a stage. The good news is  it’s still early. There are 14 games remaining in the season with plenty of time to right this ship. However, if captain Spagnuolo (as in head coach Steve) doesn’t right this ship soon and it continues to spiral out of control there could mutiny onboard by season’s end. 

 
 
 
In a horrible display of execution the Rams lost to the New York Giants last night in East Rutherford, NJ 28-16. The 12 point difference can be directly related to the three times St. Louis advanced the ball inside New York’s 10 yard line in the first 2 1/2 quarters and came away with three field goals instead of touchdowns. The Rams’ inability to execute in the red zone is not the only reason they are 0-2 to start the 2011 campaign. Four costly mistakes by the offense that either led to or contributed to all four Giants TD also spelled doom for St. Louis.   
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WR Denario Alexander caught for 122 yards

With a no-huddle attack the Rams moved the ball with ease most of the night as

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Rams' Sam Bradford after incomplete pass

quarterback Sam Bradford completed 22 of 46 passes for a career high 331 yards. In fact St. Louis ran New York’s defense so ragged early on that the Giants clearly faked injuries to slow down the potent attack of the Rams.

The Rams moved the ball particularly well on their first two possessions. WR Denario Alexander got behind the Giants defense and made a leaping catch at the Giants 31, fell to the ground and bounced back up and continued sprinting until he was finally corralled at the Giants 1. With three opportunities the Rams were unable to punch the ball in the end zone and settled for a Josh Brown field goal on fourth down.

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Rookie WR Greg Salas muffed punt led to a Giants touchdown

After the Rams defense held serve and forced the Giants to punt the Rams would surrender the first of four major gaffes that lead to Giant scores.  Rookie Greg Salas went back to receive the punt but muffed it and the Giants recovered at the Rams’ 38.  Not long after the Giants took the lead for good when Giants quarterback Eli

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Giants quaterback Eli Manning passed for 200 yards against the Rams last night.

Manning passed to Hakeem Nicks for a 3 yard touchdown.  On their next possession the Rams again moved the ball with consistency with Bradford picking apart the Giants defense and advancing the offense with precision from their own 26 to the Giants 7. However,  the drive stalled and the Rams settled for another Brown field goal.

In what seemed to be an act of kindness the Rams gift wrapped this game and hand delivered it to the Giants, though I am certain the Giants would beg to differ . There were blunders by Rams players that make this loss a hard one to swallow. In the midst of another successful drive by Bradford and the offense something must have occurred psychologically as the Rams were again approaching the red zone. On third and 8 from the Giants 25 running back Cadillac Williams took a lateral pass from Bradford  and in an effort to run before catching it took his eyes off the ball and dropped it.  Apparently thinking the ball was

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Rams' running back Cadillac Williams' gaffe of a Sam Bradford pass helped Giants to beat Rams 28-16

incomplete Williams stood there in disbelief. Giants linebacker Michael Boley picked the ball up at the Rams 35 and raced 65 yards for a touchdown. The blunder, coupled with 13 rushes for a mere 36 yards,  did not help Williams’ case as starting  running back’s Steven Jackson’s temporary replacement.  The score gave the Giants a 14-6 lead and gave Spagnuolo a severe migraine. Did Williams not know the ball was live? When asked this question Spagnuolo could only respond, “I don’t believe he didn’t know, but I’ll have to ask Cadillac.”

What I am sure Spagnuolo does know is that this one was ugly and were it not for crucial mental lapses his team could have come away with a win. That’s neither here nor there now, but the Rams must improve on such mental lapses and become better at the fundamentals if they are to compete in the weak NFC West and become regulars in prime time.

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