Sunday, December 18, 2011

St. Louis Rams vs. Cincinnati Bengals Grades

Quarterbacks (C+)
Kellen Clemens who had only been with the Rams for nine days made the start for the injured Sam Bradford. Clemens played a solid game going 25 of 36 for 229 yards and a TD to Danario Alexander. Don't lose sight that Clemens was 10 of 14 for 115 yards during garbage soft zone time.

Running backs (C)
The Rams were 2 of 13 on 3rd down conversions so they really could not get any flow going. Steven Jackson had 71 yards on 18 carries but the yards did not seem to come when needed. Jackson also 9 catches for 72 yards when the Bengals switched to soft zone in the 4th quarter. The Rams continue to fail to get a yard on the ground when needed so although they rushed for 95 yards those yards were pretty meaningless.

Wide Receivers (C-)
Rams wideouts caught 12 passes for 132 yards including the 25 yard TD by Alexander. The Rams receivers continue to get no yardage after the catch and are having a hard time getting separation. Same story week in and week out here. Still not sure why Alexander is not on the field more.

Offensive Line (C-)
Well the O-line held up pretty good in this one. The issues this week were penalties and poor run blocking. The Rams failed on every short yardage situation and they also allowed 3 sacks. This unit seems unable to improve.

Special Teams (D)
With the Rams up 6-3 in the 3rd Quarter the Rams allowed a 56 yard punt return by Brandon Tate to turn all the momentum in this one. In addition Josh Brown missed a early FG that could have helped momentum as well. The Rams had no punt return yardage and only a 20.8 yard average on kickoff returns from Norwood. In addition Josh Brown again failed to give the Rams a chance to recover an onsides kick.

Defense (B)
The defense played well and kept the Rams in the game. However as bad as the offense is the defense needs to force more than one turnover and one sack to have any chance to win. The defense also failed to recover any of the Bengals three fumbles. Holding the Bengal under 300 yards was a nice effort by the depleted crew.

Coaching (D)
Nothing seems to improve with coach Spagnuolo or Josh McDaniels. The Rams continue to get outscored and outplayed in the second half. The Rams continue to be very conservative and the 3rd and short play calling is just terrible. If you can't cover kicks put more starters on coverage or kick the ball out of bounds we are getting burned weekly.

By Stlvinnie - http://www.stlouisramfan.com

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