Sunday, August 19, 2007

Phillips Sproles and Chargers down Rams 30-13

The St. Louis Rams lost 30-13 Saturday night at the Edwards Jones Dome. The Rams opening drive ended in a Madison Hedgecock fumble on the Chargers 19 after Shaun Phillips pulled the ball free a split second before he was down. The Rams challenged the call but it was not overturned. From there the Chargers drove 81 yards in 10 plays with the final play being a Rivers to Vincent Jackson 5 yard pass. Jackson was ruled pushed out by Chavous who was late getting to the corner on the play.
That was pretty much it for the Rams on this night. The Rams looked sluggish from the outset. I believe and hope that most of the reason for their play was due to the two-a-day work outs in the intense heat up through Thursday including a scrimmage on Wednesday night.
On this night Shaun Phillips and Darren Sproles were the story for the Chargers. Shaun Phillips forced two fumbles and also recorded a sack and outplayed Orlando Pace to boot. Darren Sproles ran a punt back 81 yards to give the Chargers an 14-0 lead in the second quarter. Sproles ran straight up the middle through the heart of the Rams coverage that was once again porous on this night.
Marc Bulger had a rough night going 8 of 12 for 79 yards and one interception. Marc also through another ball that should have been intercepted and was also rocked a few times by the Chargers front 7 that was coming hard all night. It seems to me that Marc rarely start off a game well in the first quarter. We seem to be behind 7-0 every game with the same plot playing out. The Rams will have some mistakes and misplays in the fist quarter and the other team will run the ball hard up the middle at will and take a lead early. The Chargers ran for 111 yards on only 21 carries and LT did not play.
Steven Jackson played the very first play of the game and then came out of the action. Brian Leonard had 19 touches which I thought was a bit much since we know he will make the squad and also has hurt ribs from the games against the Vikings. The Chargers are one of the best defenses against the run and did not give Brian much room. He earned 49 tough yards up inside. The Rams then turned to Rich Alexis in the second half who carried 7 times for 24 yards.
The choices made by Linehan on this night seemed a little weird to me. Leonard had way too many attempts with hurt ribs. I don’t think there is a clear cut #3 back on the team yet, but Minor and Kay Jay Harris did not play at all. On offense I thought playing Holt and Bruce the entire first half was too much. In addition Bennett played most of the second half until he was hurt late in the 4th quarter. Bennett has a 30 million dollar contract we must believe he knows how to play. Let Hagans and Stanley get all of the balls.
Mistakes were many in this game. The Rams had two turnovers, 5 penalties, poor tackling, and terrible special teams play. Overall it was a poor effort. Before you despair look around the NFL many teams have played 1 great game and one poor game. Look for the Rams to play much better next week against the worst team in the NFL the Oakland Raiders.
Until then go Rams!!!!

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