How I Assess The Rams Loss To the Lions

1st Quarter

-The Onside Kick (Lions 1st Drive)

- McMahon must have saw something that made him tell Spags to try it. Obviously, it didn't work. Why do it? On the road, playing a 0-4 team, why make it a shorter field for them? 

- I praise the Rams defense on this first series, because they only allowed a field goal in horrible field position to start the game. The classic "bend and don't break defense" right there.


-Rams' 1st Drive

- Clayton catches last pass of the year. 3 and out.


-Lions' 2nd Drive

- Selvie gets his first career full sack, and the Lions also go 3 and out. Rams defense played well again.


-Rams' 2nd Drive

- CLAYTON DONE FOR THE YEAR, on the first play. FROM THAT PLAY ON, I believe the Rams' gameplan was ruined. You can adjust it, but they were certainly not prepared for it. 

- Jackson has a few good runs.

- Gibson makes a catch, and impressively runs 30 yards down the field to the Lions 9 yard line. You need more plays like that that from Gibson with Clayton out.

- Amendola catches a pass at the 6 and fumbles. Rams drive is over in the red zone. The Rams cannot win games with turnovers and field goals in the end zone.


Lions' 3rd Drive

- Lions go 3 and out again. Bartell most definitely should have had a easy interception because of a great pass rush by Long. It didn't bother as much because the Rams got the ball on the very next play. Still, catch the ball!! Defense still playing well.


Rams' 3rd Drive

- Darby 9 yard run; Amendola 12 yard catch; and Jackson gets 38 yards on 3 carries; Darby catches a short pass; and the Rams can't convert at the Lions 9 on 3rd down, so they kick a field goal. 3-3.


2nd Quarter

The Kickoff Return

- Logan takes it 105 yards to the house. Great tackling by Dahl, Fletcher, Steward, and Grant by the way! Nothing Josh Brown could do. You could stop Leon Washington, but not Logan??? This play gave a HUGE boost to the Lions and might have ended the Rams chances in this game.

Rams 1st Drive

- Very important drive for the Rams to see how they respond, and they go 3 and out. GREAT!

Lions 2nd Drive

- Lions drive down the field with Best, Burleson, Felton, Pettigrew, and lastly Calvin Johnson on a 1 yard TD. Nothing Fletcher could do, Johnson does that to every CB in the league. The Rams defense looks vunerable for the 1st time in the game. No pressure from the front 4, so where are the blitzes? Ask Flajole. 17-3 Lions.


Rams 3rd Drive

- Bradford completes a first down to Amendola, Gilyard has a 17 yard pass play and gets a facemask call. They need him to get more involved as well. Jackson gets 13 yards on 4 carries. After a few Lions' penalties, the Rams are at the 10 yard line and stall. Brown kicks a 28 yard field goal. 17-6. Rams: 0-3 on TDs in the redzone.


Lions 3rd Drive

- Rams COMPLETELY forget about Tony Scheffler and he gets 40 yards on 3 catches. Great recognition! Jonson is targeted 4 times and has 1 catch for 16 yards, 1 TD called back after he only had 1 foot in-bounds, 1 incompletion, and a 5 yard illegal touching call on Bartell. 

- On a key 3rd and 9 on the Rams 20, they give up a 17 yard catch to Kevin Smith.

- With 17 seconds left, Hill has ALL DAY to find Pettigrew in the end zone. Where is the pass rush??? Bad play by the Rams D. 24-6. Lions.

Rams 4th Drive

- LIons have a squib kick to Larry Grant to the Lions 49.

- Fells runs for 27 yards but HE DOESN'T GO DOWN!! The Rams had timeouts, so why do you let him run on?? It would have been 24-9. A two possession game with the Rams getting the ball the ball in the 2nd half. Horrible clock management by Spags.


3rd Quarter

Rams 1st Drive

- 3 and out on 2 negative yardage plays. Way to make halftime adjustments!


Lions 2nd Drive

- Lions start on Rams 41. Lions get 15 yards on 3 plays and Nate Burleson comes in and on a simple pass goes 26 yards for a touchdown. Horrible tackling by James Butler and Craig Dahl. Lions 31-6.

-This is where I believed the Rams gave up (or slowed down). The game should have ended 31-6. There was so much momentum in Detroit's favor. The Rams never had  a chance after the Burleson TD.


Rams 3rd Drive

- A few short passes and a few Jackson runs, and the Rams have a 4th and 10 and can't convert on the Lions 38. Turnover on Downs.


Lions 3rd Drive

- Rams give up a few plays but force the Lions to punt. Both sides know the game is over though.


Rams 4th Drive

- Rams only move 15 yards on 6 plays. They again punt.

- This is the point I would have taken out Sam Bradford, the Rams are losing with a quarter to play and with the other team with the ball. The Rams also are down by at least 3 possessions. Why risk Bradford's health in a game that is over? A game so ugly? Why? 

4th Quarter

Lions 1st Drive

- Drive is slow until Calvin Johnson catches a big pass on 3rd and 4 for 29 yards on Bradley Fletcher. This catch also ends Johnson's day with a shoulder injury but it still hurts. The Lions get no more first downs and score a field goal. Lions 34-6.


Rams 1st Drive

- Amendola with a 16 yard catch on 3rd and 10; then 2 catches for another 15 yards; then the #2 overall pick tips and picks off the #1 overall pick and returns the ball for 20 yards. 


Lions 2nd Drive

- Lions have 3 plays for 2 yards, and kick another field goal. Lions 37-6. Nice stop if it would have mattered.


Rams 2nd Drive

- With Clayton out, its so predictable that the Rams go to Amendola AGAIN and Bradford gets intercepted by A. Smtih for 42 for a TD. Others need to get involved in the passing game. 44-6. Lions.


Rams 3rd Drive

- Jackson is still running strong and hard, and gets 4 carries for 36 yards. Bradford gets passes to Gilyard and Amendola (twice). Gibson can't connect with Bradford on 4th down at the Lions 27.


Lions 3rd Drive

- Lions kneel on the ball. Final. Lions 44. Rams 6. Embarrassing.


Positives of This Game:

Amendola played well with 12 catches for 95 yds.

Jackson kept running for 114 yards.

Gibson had a nice catch and run for 30 yards.

Rams defense played well early, and even late but it didn't really matter by then.

Most of the game, Calvin Johnson was pretty quiet, so an okay job by Fletcher and Bartell.

The offense can MOVE  the ball at least.


Negatives of This Game:

Bradford played like a rookie for once but had almost no help and played  from behind the whole game.

Laurent Robinson did nothing.

The O-line really gave up no sacks but wasn't very good, and made no holes for Jackson.

After the first 2 drives, the Rams D line had ZERO pressure on Shaun Hill.

The outside linebackers played horribly (Grant and Diggs).

Defense gave up way too many yards.

Rams Coaching.

Special Teams play.

Poor Tackling.


Final Thoughts:

I questioned the coaching of the game from the start with the onside kick, and keeping Bradford in the game late. I also questioned the pass to Fells to end the half and the game plan adjustments during halftime. Even the lack of blitzing when the front four had 0 pressure. The Rams lost this game in part by the coaching, but the players need to play better as well.

The offense can't target Danny Amendola 19 times in a game. He isn't Brandon Marshall. Robinson must be really bothered by this foot problem because he is playing like crap. Darcy Johnson should be cut now. Gilyard and Gibson need for extended play now. Also, what happened to the screen passes the Rams ran so effectively last week? I believe I saw 1 all game. The offense next week should have Jackson running, Darby and Jackson on screens, Bajema, Fells, and Illinois Mike heavely involved in the passing game, Amendola does what he does, and Gibson, Gilyard, Onobun and Robinson with extended roles. Next week's gameplan!

The defense played okay for some of the game. Selvie got a sack and that was it for him. James Hall was silent. Chris Long's hit should have forced an interception, but was silent after. Fred Robbins was active in the game, as was James Laurinitius. Larry Grant and Na'il Diggs did not play well. The secondary was okay. Nothing Fletcher could do on Johnson's TD. Burleson's TD was inexcusable. For how bad the score was, I don't the defense shouldn't be as blamed as the offense.

2 special teams plays caused the outcome of this game. The onside kick and the 105 yard kick return. Just poor tackling. Where's Chauncey Washington????? Tom McMahon has some work and explaining to do.


Key Stats:

First Downs: STL - 23  DET - 20

3rd Down Conv: STL - 6-14  DET - 6-13

Total Net Yards: STL - 341  DET - 322

Red Zone Efficiency: STL-  0-3 DET - 2-3

Goal to Go Efficiency: STL - 0-1  DET - 2-2

Time of Possession: STL - 33:16  DET - 26:44


Now you see why the Rams lost.

As I said in my post earlier this week, how do you face adversity? (Injuries - Clayton, Avery) How do you handle winning? (44-6 loss) How do you handle the road? (Losses @ OAK and DET) I said the Rams couldn't win this week because of how desperate the Lions were, but I didn't expect the it to be THAT bad as it was. 


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