Sunday, August 28, 2011

Rams over Chiefs 14-10 in the Governor's cup

It was a game George Allen would have loved. It fit him to a tee. Furthermore, it was the type of game that will garner praise from any old-school smash-mouther.

The Rams looked like they had acquired former Patriot OC Charlie Weiss from the Chiefs, not former Patriot OC Josh McDaniels from the Broncos. What the Rams showed us in this game was a perfect example of Erhardt-Perkins offense, not the Spread. We ran like hell between the 20s and in the Red Zone we took passing-shots at the end zone to score. That is Erhardt-Perkins folks: You run to win, and pass to score. You run between the 20s and take shots at the end zone when you get to the Red Zone.

This is the offense that garners the most praise from the stogie, stick in the mud, fuddy-duddy, old-time religious conservatives of the golden order of St. Vincent Lombardi. Did somebody just say Merril Hoge..?

Did I mention to you that I utterly detest the Erhardt-Perkins offence? It's my least favorite scheme in the whole wide world. It usually means boring, boring football.

Still, I rather enjoyed it last night. Once again, the Rams offensive line fired out and blew the defensive line 4 and 5 yards off the line of scrimmage. They opened some big holes and Steven Jackson rumbled through with ease. This is something we have seldom seen during his career. Usually, Steve has been responsible for blocking 3 and 4 defenders in addition to carrying the football... each and every time he carried the football.

It's nice to see him get some fucking blocking for a change, goddamnit! What took you so long?

It is nice to see a functional offensive line for a change. Just don't let Sam get destroyed again like you did last night. I know that only happened once, but that was a nasty looking sack. We don't need anymore of that.

With that said, the days of the Ram offensive line pissing me off just might be over. We just need the young tackles to stop jumping off sides. I had visions of Alex Barron for a a split second there in the first quarter.

What happened in this game was pretty obvious. We got Steven Jackson back, and we wanted to give him a tune-up behind our re-born offensive line. I am very pleased with what I saw. I am sure Steve was very pleased with what he saw. I am sure the rest of the NFC West was frowning deeply. I am sure they foresee problems in the future.

We all know that the game is won and lost at the line of scrimmage. Whether you run or pass makes little difference. The game is won and lost at the line of scrimmage. You can't pass or run unless you win at the line of scrimmage.

It was interesting to see the impact that this game had on the world of NFL analysts. Mark Schlereth, one of my favorite ESPN analysts [because of his brutal honesty] was downright sanguine about the Rams. He described us as the class of the NFC West. That's a little bit of a double entendre, but we'll take it. It's a lot better than where we've been all these years.

You just knew that all the old offensive linemen were going to love this performance.

There is something to be said for coming out on the first drive, punching the defense in the mouth relentlessly, and throwing a pretty pass into the end zone. You send a Sicilian message to enemy: I'm going to beat you up, take our lunch money, and make you cry. However, the ESPN guys do exaggerate this value.

A few other observations:
  • We certainly aren't showing much of the spread offense Josh McDaniels is famous for. We're showing just a little, but not a lot.
  • Why is this true? Is this because we are playing Vanilla? Is it possible we wish to conceal what we will really do in the first game of the year versus the Eagles? Or is it because Coach Spags wants something more like a Ground-Chuck offense. I frequently chastised Pat Shurmur for our Ground-Chuck offense in 2009. Maybe it's Spags after all?
  • I'm going to hope we are setting an ambush for the Eagles.
  • We scored all 14 of our points in the first quarter. They got nothing in the first quarter. Our starters whupped their starters pretty badly.
  • As you might surmise, depth is a problem for our Rams. We weren't able to sustain anything after our starters split from the game. Compare and contrast that to the way the Chargers' scrubs came back and won the game against the Cardinals. Teams like the Chargers, whatever their ultimate status, are deeper than our Rams.
  • Their scrubs scored all 10 of their points, both scores coming off turn overs. Sam threw a pretty ugly pick in the first half. This setup a field goal. We had a fumble later in the 2nd half which set up a pretty touch down pass. Nothing else happened for the chiefs.
  • As ESPN taught us, the chiefs have had almost as many turnovers as points scored this preseason. They have scored 23 points and had 22 turnovers. The analysts were laughing at that statistic. That's ugly, ugly, ugly.
  • Despite the fact that I have no confidence at all in the Chargers, I think I am going to have to pick them over the Chiefs in the AFC West race. It looks to me like the Chiefs have regressed mightily this year. I don't think the Chargers have improved, but that doesn't matter, they still look better than the Chiefs right now. This is the year the AFC West passes the NFC West as the worst division in football.
  • The Rams now lead the Governor's cup series 7-5.
  • As Packer CB Charles Woodson says, winning preseason games is not important... if you loose. Winning is important... if you win.
  • Robert Quinn showed up in the clutch, blocking a key field-goal attempt that would have set up an on-side kick and the victory drive for the Chiefs. As it turned out, Quinn's block completely snuffed the Chiefs. You should have heard the KC crowd boo, hiss and boo. The Chiefs died quickly after the blocked kick. As you know, I didn't want to take this kid. That's the way to show up and prove your critics wrong, youngblood.
So the Rams have played their third and final preseason game [remember they canceled the Hall of Fame Game] so we have finished our preseason course. It's all looking pretty good. I think we are going to shoot it out with Cardinals for the title. The Cardinals looked damn impressive against the Chargers. I think they are going to represent problems for us. I still think the 49ers and Seahawks are going to trail far, far behind.

The two guys who have impressed me the most are DT Justin Bannan (#95) and TE Lance Kendricks (#88). Justin Banna has the biggest damn arms I've ever seen... setting aside Gary Gibson. These guys are going to have to establish the 30 inch python club. Hulk Hogan has nothing on these guys.

Lace Kendricks is acquitting himself nicely. We've only seen flashes, but they are good flashes. So far so good. It looks like we may have a tighend vertical threat (finally). It would be nice to see us run the Ghost to the Post. As you know, I wanted Greg Little, now with the Browns. What really bothers me is the assertions that we could have selected Little in the 2nd round and gotten Kendricks in the 3rd. If we had done this, I would have been fine with it.

I'm still a rather pissed about the draft, but it looks like we may get away with it.