Posted on: December 14, 2009 1:01 am

Rams @ Titans Recap

i didn't expect much of anything going into this game today, and I was by no means suprised by the outcome.  I had a pretty good idea of what the Titans were gonna do offensively.  Most of their gameplan should and did involve Chris Johnson.  He is a big play threat everytime he touches the ball.  He can turn a simple swing pass into a 50+ yard touchdown like he has done so many times this season. 

The Rams offense was pitiful today.  No one had a good day on the stat sheet.  With Marc Bulger and Kyle Boller both hurt the Rams had to turn to their No. 3 quarterback, rookie Keith Null.  I hate to say it but in his first start he obviously "nullified" any chance the Rams had of winning today as he successfully completed 5 passes to Titans defenders.  In his professional debut Null finished 27 of 43 for 157 yards with 1 touchdown and again 5 interceptions.  His lone touchdown came in the 4th quarter with the Rams trailing 33-0 when he hooked up with tight end Randy McMichael for an 11 yard score. 

Steven Jackson wasn't effective by any means.  He had his worst game of the season as he only rushed for 47 yards on 19 carries.  Jackson hadn't practiced at all during the week as he is nursing a back injury.  In matter of fact in the past few games he hasn't practiced during the week but still started despite being questionable on the injury report.  I give Steven Jackson slack for always showing up and giving his all no matter how bad the team is trailing. 

The Rams defense looked overmatched today.  Chris Johnson had a huge game offensively for the Titans.  With 28 carries for 117 yards and 3 catches for 69 yards, he is going to be good for several years.  His three touchdowns helped put this game away early.  Vince Young and Kerry Collins each threw for a touchdown and Young added a 44 yard scramble in which he hurt his leg on.  He didn't return for the remainder of the game. 

All in all the Titans outgained the Rams 446 to 240 in the game and on 8 plays fewer.  This Rams team has a tough blowout loss to overcome as they head home next week to take on the high powered Houston Texans offense.

Posted on: November 30, 2009 4:09 pm

Seahawks @ Rams Recap

St. Louis had several opportunities again on sunday, but couldn't put it together to win.  Being without Marc Bulger didn't help but Kyle Boller did have his best start of the season in relief.  Steven Jackson hadn't practiced all week, but was still able to suit up and start for the Rams despite a bad back.  The Rams had crucial turnovers and the defense couldn't stop Justin Forsett.  It all adds up to the Rams 10th loss of the season.

Josh Brown missed a 46 yard field goal on the Rams opening drive of the game.  That attempt is well within is range as he later made a 55 yard field goal right before halftime.  Kyle Boller threw an interception at the Seattle 34 yard line on 4th and 4.  The Rams declined going for a 52 yard field goal attempt, and it backfired as Seattle extended their lead.  That is a potential 10 point swing if Brown makes that 52 yard attempt.  Later the Rams had great field position starting out at the Seattle 35 yard line after a terrible punt by the Seahawks.  Then Boller threw another interception on 3rd and 10 from the Seattle 23 yard line.  Midway through the 4th quarter the Rams had another trip into the Red Zone but walked away empty handed again.  If things had gone differently earlier in the game the Rams might have been able to just kick the field goal.  However it was 27-10 at the time and St. Louis had to go for it on 4th and 4 from the Seattle 17.  After an incomplete pass the Rams turned it over on downs. 

St. Louis did a great job at stopping Matt Hasselbeck, but they couldn't figure out Justin Forsett.  He ran all over them for 130 yards and 2 touchdowns.  He was the only offense that Seattle would need.  The Rams defense was quiet, only sacking the quarterback once.  The lone turnover came on a kickoff return in which the Rams recovered a fumble.

If you look at the stats you would have thought the Rams won the game.  They outgained Seattle 347-265.  Had more first downs 23-15.  And also won the time of possession battle 33:32 to 26:28.  However the Rams shot themselves in the foot several times and fall again to another divisional opponett.

Next week St. Louis travels to Chicago to take on the Bears.
Posted on: November 23, 2009 11:11 am

Cardinals @ Rams Recap

Steven Jackson had never rushed for 100 yards in a game against the Cardinals until yesterday.  However, it was not enough to pull off an upset as the Rams lost 21-13 on Sunday.  Steven Jackson also became the 1st running back in franchise history with 5 consecutive 1000 yard rushing seasons breaking Eric Dickerson's record of 4. 

The Rams offense was one dimensional yesterday.  The passing game failed to help the Rams out.  Marc Bulger looked awful.  He was 19 of 37 for 215 yards and one interception.  Bulger also had two fumbles but the Rams recovered both.  Down eight points the Rams had multiple chances late in the 4th quarter to possibly tie the game.  The best opportunity came on the on the Arizona 7.  The Rams turned the ball over on downs, as Bulger was inaccurate on consecutive passes.  I also thought the routes the receivers ran were not sufficent either.  The Rams had better success rushing the ball.  Steven Jackson rushed for 116 yards on 24 carries.  His 1 yard touchdown run brought the Rams to within 8 haflway through the final quarter. 

The defense for the Rams was a tale of 2 halves.  In the 1st half Kurt Warner had success burning the secondary.  Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald each had a touchdown recpetion and 8 receptions each.  Tim Hightower had 110 yards rushing on 14 carries while Beanie Wells added 74 rushing yards.  The Rams did force 2 turnovers as they recovered a pair of fumbles.  The Cardinals were held to 0 points in the second half after they scored on 3 consecutive possessions in the first half.  Kurt Warner wasn't in the game the second half as he suffered a head injury.  The Rams caught a break by having Matt Leinart come in.  He wasn't able to get the dynamic offense of the Cardinals on the scoreboard. 

Next Week the Rams their third consecutive home game against the Seattle Seahawks week 12. 
Posted on: November 16, 2009 2:21 am

Week 10 Saints @ Rams

New Orleans couldn't be stopped in their 8 previous games, and today would be no different.  Despite getting 175 total yards out of Steven Jackson, and winning the turnover differential battle; the Rams couldn't pull off the upset. 

The Rams offense today was pretty solid piling up 434 total yards that went for 23 first downs.  Marc Bulger just fell short of a 300 yard passing game as he finished with 298 yards and 2 passing touchdowns.  Both of his touchdowns went to wide receiver Donnie Avery.  Avery finished with 4 receptions for 67 yards.  His two touchdown receptions were good for 29 and 19 yards.  Steven Jackson was the workhorse once again as he piled up 131 yards rushing on 26 carries.  He scored his second touchdown of the season late in the second quarter on a 2-yard run.  Jackson also caught 9 passes for 45 yards.  Rookie receiver Brandon Gibson led the rams with 93 receiving yards.  He was acquired in the trade that send Will Witherspoon to the Philadelphia Eagles

The Rams defense wasn't able to get the job done though despite forcing 3 turnovers.  Drew Brees was intercepted twice and O.J. Atogwe forced a key fumble of Marques Colston right near the goal line.  The ball actually went out of the side of the end zone for a touchback.  The Rams couldn't get pressure on Drew Brees as he was only sacked once.  The Rams had trouble stopping the big play as they gave up two runs of 40+ yards.  The opening kickoff was returned for a touchdown by Courtney Roby and broke the 14-14 tie.  It would put the Saints ahead for the rest of the game as they improved to 9-0.

Next Week St. Louis faces tough opposition as the Arizona Cardinals come to the Edward Jones Dome for a 3:05pm kickoff.  The Cardinals currently lead the division at 6-3. 

Posted on: November 2, 2009 12:35 am

Week 8 Rams @ Lions

Its finally over.  The 17 game losing streak has been snapped with the victory over the Lions!  As the weeks passed on during the season this game was looking as one of the possibilities for a win.  The win is surely welcomed, but it shouldn't be a huge surprise.  Now you can say what you want about the Lions being without one of their best offensive weapons in Calvin Johnson, or even the fact that this was Matt Stafford's first game back from injury in which he missed two games; however that shouldn't take away the fact that the Rams got the job done today.  It wasn't pretty at times.  Like most Rams games this season there was a key turnover in the redzone, but St. Louis wasn't going to let it come back to haunt them today. 

On the offensive side of the ball today the Rams played a pretty decent game.  Steven Jackson was a beast out there again.  He carried the ball 22 times for his season high of 149 yards.  He also scored the winning touchdown late in the 4th quarter to break the 10-10 tie.  It was Jackson's first touchdown of the 2009 season and it couldn't have come at a better time.  The Rams were already into field goal range, but Jackson's 25 yard scamper would mean the Lions would have to score a touchdown in order to force overtime.  I must add that I am pretty happy for Steven Jackson getting his touchdown.  Not only because I have him in fantasy football, but there isn't another player in the NFL that deserved one more than he did.  He has busted his hump every week as he is third in the NFL in rushing yards, but hasn't had many chances at scoring.  So its good to see a guy get rewarded after putting forth such great effort to give his team a chance to win.  One of the reasons that Jackson hasn't had many opportunities in the red zone is due to turnovers.  It seems as if once the Rams enter this area of the field they self-distruct.  Today the Rams only had one turnover, but it came at the Detroit 18 yardline when the Rams still had a 10-2 lead and could have started to put more pressure on the Lions offense.  That drive in which Bulger was intercepted bothers me.  With 1st and 10 at the Detroit 18, the offense passes on 3 straight downs - and intercepted on 3rd down - why wouldn't you give the ball to Steven Jackson once?  He was breaking tackles on almost every carry he had.  I'm sure the secondary for the Lions got tired of seeing him truck at them. 

The Rams defense played pretty well, but they didn't have to worry about Calvin Johnson.  Matthew Stafford didn't have a very good game as his completion percentage was under 50%.  The Rams sacked Stafford twice and also caused an unlucky turnover that the Lions actually benefited on.  James Butler intercepted Stafford in the second quarter.  The Lions had the ball deep in Rams territory, but Butler got the interception just outside of the goal-line.  He then went into the end zone to try to advance the ball but was tackled by Kevin Smith for a saftey.  It was a dumbfounded play.  Butler wasn't using his brain, he was thinkng of making highlight reels with hopes of a 100 yard return.  Instead he makes sportscenter for a dumb mistake.  Kevin Smith and Maurice Morris combined had a decent game rushing, but the Rams did a pretty good job of containing them. 

The special teams of the Rams had a very key play in this victory.  Not only did Josh Brown nail a 41 yard field goal to give the Rams the early lead, but he threw a touchdown pass as well.  It was a perfect playcall as the Rams faked a field goal.  Brown then threw the ball to hit Daniel Fells for a 36 yard touchdown late in the second quarter.  I liked seeing the coaching staff gamble a little to prove that they wanted to win. 

Overall I thought it was a great game.  I was expecting a little more scoring due to the fact of how poorly these teams have played during the season, but a win is a win and I'll take it.  The Rams have the upcoming week off as they have the Bye. 
Posted on: October 26, 2009 3:00 am

Week 7 Colts @ Rams

It was another long sunday afternoon for the Rams as the Colts won big with the final 42-6.  St. Louis never was in contention of winning as Peyton Manning had his way with the Rams defense.  Despite getting a big performance from Steven Jackson the Rams are now 0-7 as they are still looking for their first win.  The Rams were never able to put pressure on Manning as the defense never sacked him.  The big plays the defense gave up hurt such as Donald Browns 50 yard run to set up another scoring drive for the Colts.  The Rams look lethargic in pass defense against tight ends as Dallas Clark became one of many tight ends to score a touchdown against the Rams defense. 

On offense, St. Louis has many woes.  Marc Bulger threw two interceptions and only piled up 140 yards passing.  The turnovers hurt again, one coming in the red zone and another was returned for a touchdown.  St. Louis overall was 0-2 in the red zone on Sunday.  Time of possession was about even which was an improvement from last week.  The only bright spots were Steven Jackson and Josh Brown.  Steven Jackson carried the ball 23 times and rushed for 134 yards.  He had a solid outing but never reached the end zone.  His longest carry was 14 yards, but had several 10+ yard gains.  Josh Brown was 2 for 2 on field goal attempts hitting from both 30 and 45 yards out. 

St. Louis goes to Detroit as they look to get their first win after starting 0-7 after this loss.  They have a chance at winning, but the Lions will be rested as they had their bye week.  St. Louis should have success running on Detriot, and since Jackson has been putting up solid rushing stats, I would personally give him 30+ carries.  The passing game is non-threatning and usually only creates turnovers instead of first downs.  Give Jackson credit.  He is out there playing hard wanting to get this team a win.  In my opinoin he is the reason the Rams aren't the worst team in the NFL.  I've seen a lot of blogs and have heard the sports talk shows talking about who's the worst team in the NFL.  A lot of them say the Rams are.  I don't put them in the bottom three though.  I rank Cleveland, Oakland, and Tampa Bay worse.  These teams don't have a playmaker that is as good as Steven Jackson.  They wish they had someone as solid as him to give him a workload.  If the Rams didn't have Jackson my opinion would change.  I think Jackson has the ability to take over a game and win it for you.  Let's hope he can do that against a Lions defense that plays poorly against stopping the run.
Posted on: October 19, 2009 1:01 am

Week 6 Rams @ Jaguars

A football team from Missouri celebrated its first win of the season today, but unfortunately it wasn't the Rams.  It was however a game that St. Louis had a very good chance of winning.  The Rams played a much better football game offensively this week then last when they had four key turnovers.  This week they limited themselves to only one, a Marc Bulger interception.  The defense however, got eaten up by the Jaguars via the pass and rush. 

The Rams scored 20 points today which is their 2009 season high despite only achieving 13 first downs.  The Rams weren't able to have much success rushing the football as Steven Jackson could only muster 50 yards on 16 carries.  Marc Bulger added a little spark though in the beginning as he led the Rams to an opening drive that went for a touchdown.  A 9 play 73 yard drive was capped off by a 17 yard touchdown reception by Donnie Avery.  It was Avery's only catch of the game as he later injured his hip. 

Jacksonville had their way offensively with the Rams defense.  St. Louis couldn not stop Maurice Jones-Drew.  He scored all three of the Jaguars touchdowns and accumulated over 175 yards total offense.  St. Louis also allowed two players to amass 100+ receiving yards as Mike Sims-Walker and former Ram Torry Holt each accomplished that feat.  David Garrard had a 300+ yard passing game but didn't throw any touchdowns. 

While the Rams defense did give up a lot of yards, 492 to be exact, they only allowed 23 points.  They were able to cause 3 turnovers, and racked up 3 sacks.  Rookie James Laurinaitis picked off Garrard for his second interception in consecutive games.  Leonard Little not only sacked Garrard, but he also intercepted him at a key time in the game.  Leonard Little's interception return of 36 yards gave the Rams a 17-13 lead late in the 4th quarter. 

It is hard to point fingers at the defense for losing this game because it is hard to overlook what the offense wasn't able to accomplish.  The Rams defense was on the field for nearly 38 minutes, and it really showed on the final two drives of the game.  Jacksonville was having no problems what-so-ever as MJD bulled into the endzone to give Jacksonville the lead back.  Then when the Rams put together the drive in which Josh Brown hit his game-tying 27 yard field goal I thought they blew a key chance.  The Rams kicked that field goal on 3rd and 9 with :07 left on the clock.  I believe they should have tried a quick pass to the end zone.  You don't want to get sacked because the game might be over before you can spike the ball, but you have to take a chance when you are on the road and staring 0-6 in the face. 

The game went to overtime and the Rams defense couldn't stand ground as Jacksonville was able to hit the game winning field goal to end the game 23-20. 

Overall I think this game showed some improvements, but also showed some areas that need addressing.  I hope one thing that gets addressed is the offense.  I think something has to be done to give our defense a break.  To me it looks as if the offense only goes out there and tries to give the defense a short rest before they take the field for another long drive.  The offense has also not done our defense any favors.   They have turned the ball over deep in their own end setting up an immediate scoring chance for the opposition.  Not many defenses can recover when they can only allow 10 yards before they give up points.  

In week 7 St. Louis is home to take on the Indianapolis Colts.  Let's hope maybe the Rams can pull one out and get an upset. 
Posted on: October 12, 2009 7:15 pm
Edited on: October 12, 2009 7:15 pm

Week 5 Vikings @ Rams

I know this is later than usual.  I just got back from St. Louis this afternoon.  My dad takes me to one game a year and this was it.  I had interest in seeing Brett Favre since he's surely a hall of famer.  Many will debate him as one of the top 5 quarterbacks to ever play the game.  So at 40 years old, there wouldn't be many more chances to see one of the games best performers. 

What started out good got ugly in a hurry.  The Vikings scored a touchdown on the first possession of the game and the Rams were putting a nice drive together in enemy territory when it didn't take long for St. Louis to be down 14-0.  The Rams committed their first turnover and Jared Allen picked up a loose ball and returned it for the touchdown.  Now I despise Jared Allen.  I think he is a jerk and an ass dating back to his days in Kasas City with the Chiefs.  However, he is a damn good football player, plays with lots of intensity, and never quits.  He's a monster on defense and plays the game you want a player to do so. 

Like most Rams games this year, this one had a similar tale.  Turnovers and the inability to produce points in the red zone killed the Rams chances of winning the game.  On paper this game had the makings of a blowout.  Minnesota coming in 4-0 off a big win monday night against the Packers; while St. Louis got beat 35-0 by the 49ers to drop to 0-4.  However, if the Rams didn't create four turnovers this game would have been a different story.  The fumble by Kyle Boller was returned for a touchdown.  The three other turnovers all took place in the red zone.  In all St. Louis was 0-4 in the red zone on sunday.  St. Louis outgained the Vikings in yardage 400 to 377.  Had more first downs, 27 to 21, but could only muster 10 points.  A Josh Brown 29 yard field goal in the 2nd quarter, and a Donnie Avery 27 yard touchdown reception were the only tallies. 

Steven Jackson had a good game going up against the Williams Wall of the Vikings.  He gained 84 yards on 21 carries for a 4.0 average.  The Rams just couldn't hang onto the football.  Besides Boller who also threw an interception, Jackson and Daniel Fells each fumbled. 

Adrian Peterson had two rushing touchdowns but was held to 69 yards on 15 carries.  I thought he would have a 100-yard game on sunday. 

The Rookie, James Laurinaitis had his first career interception.  This kid looks like a good talented youngster.  I remember saying in my draft blog how I wish we had Curry, but Laurinaitis will also develop into a great pick.  I know he has a long ways to go before I can say for certain, but he looks better and better with each game he plays.  Just wait for a few years from now.  He'll be a force in the middle. 

There has been a lot of talk about the Donnie Avery celebration dance after his touchdown in the 4th quarter in yesterday's loss.  I have mixed views on it.  I do think it was inappropriate due to the score being 31-3 at the time, but I have another perspective.  I hope it lightens things up a little bit.  It has to be a little tense in a locker room that has lost 15 straight games dating back to last year.  No it wasn't a smart thing to do, but a young player does foolish things.  I am sure it is something Steve Spagnoulo will address with Avery, but there haven't been many touchdowns this year to celebrate. 

Next week the Rams travel to Jacksonville to battle the Jaguars who got shutout 41-0 at Seattle.  Not a good sign as I am sure they are looking to rebound. 

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com