Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Almost a Win

The St. Louis Rams almost pulled one out on Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Rams ended up losing again 20-13. The Rams defense has been suspect all year long, especially against the run. 

With playoff aspirations, the Bengals came to St. Louis hoping the Rams would roll over. The Rams defense had a good game. They held the Bengals to just three points in the first half and actually lead at halftime 6-3. They let the Bengals get the best of them in the second half. The Rams did hold the Bengals to 283 total yards. The Bengals rookie sensation QB Andy Dalton to 15 of 26 for 179 yards,  an interception and no TD’s. 

The Rams also held the Bengals to only 110 yards on the ground. The Rams defense did their job, again they did it with smoke and mirrors.

Injuries have been a nightmare for this team. With the season winding down it will be an interesting off season for the Rams. 

The Rams have Pittsburgh this week. Pittsburgh got beat up by the 49er’s on Monday and they will be mad. They need to win for a better position in the playoffs. An almost win for the Rams does not look promising.

“See You On The Hit Side” #21  

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Well Rams fans, it is the same old song. The St. Louis Rams played the Arizona Cardinals in St. Louis on Sunday. The outcome was the same, another Rams loss, 23-20. 

The Rams defense again let the game get away from them. Arizona’s starting QB Kevin Kolb was still hurt so the Cardinals started John Skeldon. The Rams should have known that he was not the threat this week. They were right. Skeldon ended up 12 of 23 for 144 yards. The Rams picked him off twice and sacked him three times. That was the good news for the Rams defense. The bad news is even though they knew the Cardinals couldn’t pass they had to stop the run. Well that didn’t happen at all. Beenie Wells had a career day rushing the ball. He set a Cardinal franchise record in yards with 228 yards on 27 carries. That is 8.4 yards a carry, which high school teams are used to giving up, not pro teams. The Rams knew what was coming, but couldn’t come close to stopping it. 

The Rams special teams also didn’t fare well. They allowed another punt return for a touchdown from Patrick Peterson of 80 yards. That’s right, the same Patrick Peterson that returned one 99 yards in overtime for the win against the Rams a few weeks back. I guess you can’t teach old dogs new tricks. 

I did hear an interesting statistic on one of the pregame shows. They stated the Rams had 18 players on injured reserve. That’s one third of the Rams team. I can’t fault Spags for that, or the coaching staff. They are playing with what they have. I would hope that the Rams players start playing with a little more pride & enthusiasm. We’ll see what happens this week. I just wonder what records will be broken this week when the Rams play the 49er’s?


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Defense Rules

The St. Louis Rams hosted the Seattle Seahawks last Sunday. As this season goes by, nothing is surprising any more for the Rams. They lost again 24-7. 

The Rams defense has played fairly well as of late and this game started out in the same fashion. In the first quarter, the Rams had two interceptions and a blocked punt. They only managed seven points on those turnovers. 

After the first quarter it was all Seattle. Their defense showed up big time. The Seahawks held the Rams to 185 total yards. The Rams had only 42 yards rushing for the game. This was the second worst offensive showing of the season. 

The Seahawks were all over Sam Bradford too. They picked him off once, caused two fumbles, and sacked him five times. The Rams had four sacks of their own, but it wasn’t enough to stop the Seahawk’s offense. The Rams defense gave up only 298 total yards, but Seattle made the most of their offensive possessions. They held the ball 35:00 to 25:00 minutes. The Seahawks defense made the Rams punt ten times. That is a terrible statistic. 

The Rams have the Cardinals this weekend and are going to be looking for some payback since their loss to them in overtime earlier this year. I just hope it’s the Rams defense that rules this weekend.

“See You On The Hit Side” #21

Monday, November 14, 2011

Ugly Game

The Rams played the Cleveland Browns on Sunday in Cleveland. The good thing is the Rams won the game 13-12. That is about the only good thing about this game.

The Rams had players getting hurt left and right. It seemed like a Ram player was getting hurt on every series whether it was on offense or defense. Five Rams players went out for the game.

CB Al Harris and TE Michael Hoomanawanui both suffered serious knee injuries. Their status will be known later this week. The Rams secondary is looking like a M*A*S*H unit. The Rams lost two starters for the season already and are looking to lose a few more.

At one point I was wondering if the Rams coaching staff was going to go into the stands and have to ask one of the beer vendors if they could play in the secondary. It’s that serious Rams fans. Even Sam Bradford and Steven Jackson got nicked up, but they were able to stay in the game.

On the plus side the Rams defense held the Brown’s inept offense to just 4 field goals. The Brown’s should have had a fifth field goal, but the snap was botched and Dawson missed a 22 yard chip shot with 2:13 left in the game. The Rams defense held the Browns to 126 yards rushing and Colt McCoy to 209 yards passing. The Rams defense had two sacks and one fumble recovery.

That’s about all I can say about this game. There was nothing spectacular about this game. It was hard to watch. The Rams host the Seattle Seahawks in St. Louis next week, I hope that doesn’t  turn into another ugly game.

“See You On The Hit Side” #21

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

What Happened?

The Rams played the New Orleans Saints on Sunday and actually won a game. After the Saints beat the Colts the prior week 62-7, I was expecting a blowout. It was not to be. The Rams defense showed some heart at attacking the Saints offense. They pressured one of the leagues’ top quarterbacks all day. Drew Brees and the Saints offense couldn’t get things going. The Rams defense sacked Brees six times and had pressure on him all day. They also picked him off twice, with the last one a 27 yard pick six by Darian Stewart. That play put the game away for the Rams. 

Going into the game I was concerned about the defense against the run. The Saints tried to run early, but had to scrap that plan as the game wore on. The Rams offense helped that by keeping the ball and the Saints’ offense off the field. The Rams only gave up 56 yards on the ground. Compared to the 160+ yards rushing per game they have been giving up this year, that’s quite an improvement. With only giving up 283 yards total offense to the high powered Saints offense, it was a stellar performance by the Rams defense. 

The Rams travel to Arizona this week for a divisional matchup. Hopefully the Rams defense can build on this weeks’ performance, and stifle the Cardinals offense. I would love to see Kevin Kolb and Beenie Wells wake up Monday morning asking themselves “What happened?”

“See You On The Hit Side” #21     

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Well this is starting to get real depressing. The Rams played the Cowboys on Sunday. I guess that’s what you have to call it. I was hoping that the Rams had started to turn the corner and at least be a .500 team this year, but I am wrong. 

The Rams defense was awful this last week. I’ve seen some great running backs in my lifetime. Barry Sanders, Walter Payton, Jim Brown and Eric Dickerson. Barry Sanders is the best I’ve seen, but that is an argument for another day. The Cowboys have had their share of great running backs over the years too. Emmit Smith is an all time great as is Tony Dorsett and Herschel Walker. I’ve watched a few games where those guys blew up the Rams defense. On Sunday a rookie running back for the Cowboys blew up the Rams defense. DeMarco Murray torched the Rams for 253 yards on 25 carries. He set an all time Cowboy record with the most rushing yards in a game. A rookie took the record away from Emmit Smith who owned it at 237 yards? He also broke Jim Brown’s record of the most yards against the Rams since 1957. I couldn’t believe what I was watching. 

Tony Romo was only 14-24 for 166 yards. He didn’t have to throw, because we couldn’t stop the run. The Cowboys ran for 294 yards as a team. In the NFL today, that is amazing. The Rams have the worst run defense in the league giving up 163 yards a game. The Rams have New Orleans this weekend. I don’t think the Saints will run close to 300 yards against the Rams defense, but I can see them throwing for 500 yards against them. Drew Brees was 31 of 35 for 325 yards and FIVE touchdowns in their 62-7 win over the Colts. It’s not looking any better for the Rams. 

All I hope is that the Rams don’t leave me speechless again.  

“See You On The Hit Side” #21  

Monday, October 3, 2011

What's Going On?

Another NFL Sunday and another loss by the Rams. This is becoming all too familiar. 

The Rams hosted the Redskins on Sunday in the dome. The outcome was the same as the first 3 games of the season, a loss. Looking at the game, it is a pattern that is starting to worry me, not so much on the defense side as the offensive side of the ball. The Rams “D” only gave up 17 points. On a positive note, the Rams defense held Washington to 339 totals yards. Rex Grossman had a day just like he was supposed to. He was 15 of 29 for 143 yards 1 TD and two picks. The Rams “D” had trouble again against the run. They allowed 196 yards on 40 carries.

 It was obvious what the Redskins wanted to do, the Rams just couldn’t stop them. The Redskins had a big edge in time of possession, 35:10 to 24:50.  That is a lot of time for the defense to be on the field. This wasn’t the Rams defensive fault. The Rams offense was non-existent for the first 3 quarters. Bradford was less than stellar, but in his defense, he was under a lot of pressure. 

The Rams didn’t sack Grossman once, but the Redskins got to Bradford for SEVEN sacks. Kudos to their defense. 

The Rams have their bye week coming up. It couldn’t come at a better time if you ask me. Maybe some rest and re-evaluation will do them some good. It couldn’t hurt. Hopefully they will come out in two weeks refreshed and ready to go, and hopefully they will know what’s going on.

“See You On The Hit Side” #21   

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


I can admit when I’m wrong. I was really wrong on the Rams vs. Ravens game. I was thinking that after the way the Rams played the Giants, it would be a close game. It was far from that. 

The Rams looked like the Rams of old, getting blown out 37-7. The Ravens struck quickly with big plays against the Rams defense. Three TD’s from Flacco to Torrey Smith in the first quarter sealed the fate of the Rams. 

The Rams are not ready to come back from that kind of deficit. The Rams defense gave up 389 yards through the air and 168 yards on the ground. Flacco averaged eight yards per completion and the Ravens averaged 6.5 yards per carry. Game over. 

The Rams only got two sacks on Flacco, and didn’t pick him once. The Rams offense didn’t help the Rams defensive cause. The Rams allowed 5 sacks, had a pick and one fumble that went for a 28 yard touchdown. 

I can’t think of one positive from this game. 

Washington comes to town this week. Hopefully the Rams defense can stuff the run of Hightower and rely on Rex Grossman to try and beat them. If they can get to Grossman we might have a chance. If not, this could be ugly too.

“See you on the hit side” #21  

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Another Close One

Patience is a virtue so they say. Two weeks into the NFL season, it seems that this reflects the play of the Rams. 

The first game against Philadelphia showed Rams fans a glimmer of hope. Some good plays on defense and unfortunately, some big plays that they gave up. The Eagles have a balanced and explosive offense. I was not that upset when the Rams lost. 

Going into last night’s game, I had a more confident feeling for the Rams defense. I’ve never been a big Eli Manning fan and I was hoping that he would prove me right. The Rams played tough. They picked Eli off in the first half and took an early 3 point lead. Watching the game unfold, I started feeling as if the Rams were snake bit. Especially on offense. 

The defense played well enough to win the game. They held the Giants to 300 total yards. The Giants had 119 on the ground and Eli had 181 with two touchdowns and a pick. One of his TD passes was Domenik Hixon which was an acrobatic catch, it will make the highlight film for the year. It was well defended, just a great catch by their wide out. The Rams had a mixture of defenses. They covered well, had a great pass rush and ended up sacking Eli three times. 

The Rams have their hands full with the Ravens this upcoming week. The Ravens are coming off an upset loss to the Titans. They will be fired up against the Rams. I have hope that the Rams play them well, and will win the game. I think it will end up being another close one.

“See you on the hit side” #21

~Cromwell's Corner~

Thursday, July 14, 2011

There Will Be Football

In the last few weeks there has been a glimmer of hope for NFL football fans. The owners and the players union have had constant talks, with no posturing. This is a good thing. I believe they have set their personal issues aside and are focusing on getting this thing done. 

Late last week I had heard that the owners and union reps have stepped aside and their respective lawyers have taken over the negotiations. This also is a good sign. When I heard that, I can only assume that it has come down to a few details. 

The lawyers of the two groups now have the direction and the responsibility of ending this. They don't have the emotional attachment and are getting paid regardless. I am hoping and truly believe that they will sign the new agreement and have it wrapped up by 7/22. This will give teams a small window to sign non drafted players and hunt for free agents. 

The camps will be limited, but they will happen. There will be football.

"See you on the hit side" #21      

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


This is the time of year that I can't stand. Sports news is at it's weakest. NBA finals? Who cares! Hockey? Very little interest for me. Baseball is in full swing (no pun intended) but with so many games, there is not a lot to talk about. I will watch almost every baseball game I can, but the networks like the "matchups". It gets old watching the Yankees and Red Sox every week. I hate both of those teams. 

College football? Sure ESPN likes to tease us with the Spring games, but unless you're a fan of those teams, do you really watch them? Do you really care? You can go to ESPN Classic and watch re-runs, but you should know the outcome of the 2007 Sugar Bowl by now. 

The NFL? Well, we should be talking about signings and trades and free agency. As fans of the NFL, that is what we like to hear about and talk about right now. With the owners and players union crawling along in their negotiations, we don't get hardly any news from them. Maybe a daily posturing update from both sides, but that's it. We do get speculation of what's going on from all the NFL talking heads, but do they really know what's going on? They're in the same boat as the rest of us, in limbo.

"See you on the hit side" #21        

Saturday, May 28, 2011

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Will There Be Football on Sundays?

It seems like months have gone by since the NFL draft. Although the draft was just weeks ago, the excitement has worn off. Usually during this time of the year,  NFL fans are following rookie signings, trades and free agency. Not now. There is nothing to follow. The only news NFL fans are hearing is lawyer speak. 

With the NFL players being locked out by the owners, the news in the NFL is a trickle of what it should be. Lawyers on both sides get to go on TV and hear themselves crow. The biggest news this week is that Peyton Manning had minor neck surgery. 

As a Ram fan, I could care less.  The billionaire owners and millionaire players need to get this thing done. Put your ego's aside and start to get this resolved. There are rumors that college football has made a contingency plan to have some of their games on Sunday's. It's a smart move on their part. It would generate a lot of money for the schools involved and take money out of the NFL's pocket. 

That would be fine by me, I guess there would be football on Sundays.

"See you on the hit side" #21

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Watching the 2011 NFL draft, I had my ideas and hopes of what the Rams would do. With Julio Jones gone the Rams picked Robert Quinn defensive end out of North Carolina. I liked this pick. With no standout receivers sitting there, Spags turned to defense. Quinn is a speed rusher and will make a good bookend to Long on the other side. He has good size, but he's known for his speed. 

The Rams then used their second round pick to take TE Lance Kendricks from Wisconsin. I was confused by this pick. I know that the Rams are trying to get some help for Bradford, but this is a wait and see pick for me. The Rams then took WR's  Austin Pettis and Greg Salas in the third and fourth rounds respectively. Both are not from your typical "BIG" schools, but that doesn't bother me. 

Pettis is the all time leader in receptions and touchdowns at Boise State. Salas had 285 career receptions at Hawaii, which is third there all time and tied for 15th in NCAA history. Both might not be from "BIG" schools, but they have big time production.

 In the fifth round the Rams took Jermale Hines a safety from Ohio State University. I have to admit I am a Buckeye. I watched them almost every game this year and this guy can hit. With the last remaining picks, the Rams stuck to defense by taking Mikail Baker DB from Baylor, Jabara Williams OLB from Stephen F. Austin and Jonathan Nelson a DB from Oklahoma U. If these guys make the team, they are most likely to play special teams. The Rams need help there too. 

Time will tell how the draft class of 2011 will turn out, but it was an interesting draft.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A New Year

With the 2011 NFL draft starting this Thursday, a new crop of Rams will be taken. As always, this is a major crap shoot. Since I took a year off from writing for Planet Rams, a lot has happened to our beloved Rams. After a year, Sam Bradford proved to be worth his #1 pick overall. I was skeptical and wary of this pick when the Rams took him. A history of shoulder problems, and coming from Oklahoma, I didn't have a lot of faith. I'm glad to say that I was wrong. 

Now that we are getting back on track to being a winning franchise, what do the Rams need next? The first thing the Rams need is a stud at WR. We need to get Bradford some help. Julio Jones from Alabama is a good fit here. The biggest problem is that he had an amazing combine performance and helped his draft ranking. If the Rams could trade up a few spots to grab him, I would be ecstatic. The Rams also need to look at drafting a running back sometime in the first 4 rounds. Steven Jackson is not getting younger, even though he can still bring the pain to defenders. 

For the defense (which if you've read this column before, I focus on the defense), there are two glaring spots I think we need help in. If the Rams take a defensive lineman in the first round (Julio would have to be gone) you would be able to hear me scream all the way from Georgia. The Rams need a free safety. Losing Atogwe to the Redskins backfired on the Rams. The other need for the Rams defense is another beast of a linebacker. James Laurinaitis needs some help, he can't do it all by himself. The Rams can fill the other 3 picks with what they think are their needs. As long as we get a WR,RB,LB and safety, this should make for a great weekend and the start of a great new year.

"See you on the hit side" #21