Tuesday, October 4, 2016

It’s hard to take the Rams seriously when their offense stinks

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The NFC West is not supposed to be this way. Sure, it was expected that the Seattle Seahawks to be among the division leaders - perhaps even among the best in the NFL - but they were supposed to fight him with the Arizona Cardinals, not the Los Angeles Rams.

But the Rams are demanding to be taken seriously, as the Cardinals struggle to maintain relevance.

Sunday was only the latest surprise in a league known for its parity. The Rams were oppressed of 10 points against Arizona, and feed rate had ESPN football Cardinals as the most likely to win his duel week 4 (83 percent probability of winning). Instead, Los Angeles forced five turnovers and quarterback Carson Palmer Cardinals left the game with a head injury en route to a 17-13 victory Rams on the road. Los Angeles is now 3-1 for the first time since 2006 and is a part of the tip of the NFC West division.

"Once you're 3-1 people begin to see that as a real winning team," linebacker Mark Barron told reporters after the game. "I think we're starting to get in that light."

The defense is certainly doing its part. It allows 1.47 points per unit, and the Rams have the No. 2 defense behind Seattle for Pro Football Focus. Football Outsiders defense ranks 12th in DVOA Rams behind its ability to bind to a three and out 31.4 percent of opposing units, the fourth highest rate in the NFL.

And it all starts with defensive tackle Aaron Donald.

Donald was credited with 1 1/2 sacks and a forced fumble against Arizona on Sunday and is the best player in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus, thanks to its ability to stop the pass and the run.

The Rams offense is another story. His disorder is what is keeping the team from being considered a serious contender.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Carson Palmer, Cardinals seek bounce-back performance vs. Rams

LOS ANGELES - Peut-être que vous ne reconnaît pas tout à fait la version de cette année des Cardinals de l'Arizona, une équipe largement attendue à combattre pour un championnat NFC. Ils étaient tout simplement démantelés par une mauvaise équipe des Bills de Buffalo, dimanche, leur défense permettant de 208 verges au sol et leur quart lançant quatre interceptions au quatrième trimestre. Les Cardinals ont maintenant perdu quatre de leurs six derniers matchs datant de 2015, trois d'entre eux par des points 15 et plus.

Les Angeles Rams Los espère qu'ils ne viennent pas soudainement à la vie ce dimanche, dans une semaine 4 matchup de University of Phoenix Stadium qui débutera à 13h25 PT. Les Rams sont à venir au large une palpitante 37-32 victoire sur les Buccaneers de Tampa Bay, de passer à 2-1 - assez bon pour la première place dans la NFC Ouest - pour la première fois en 10 ans. Maintenant, ils feront face à un essai routier difficile contre un adversaire de division qui les a battus quatre des cinq derniers temps.

Voici six joueurs adverses à surveiller, avec la permission de ESPN Cardinals journaliste Josh Weinfuss.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Bucs can't weather woes against Rams -- and it will get worse

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TAMPA - The thunder and lightning provided the appropriate backdrop for Tampa Bay Bucs Sunday afternoon.

They need an umbrella. A big. It's raining, baby.

The Bucs are now perfect.

Four consecutive opening home loss.

A 69 minutes delay late in the game simply delayed the inevitable for the Bucs: another loss and high career day lost to the quarter Jameis Winston, who threw for 405 yards and three touchdowns (). It still was not enough to beat a team that has not scored a touchdown in his first two games.

In the country famous for gentlemen's clubs, the Los Angeles Rams made it rain. They scored three touchdowns of 40 yards or more in a 37-32 upset of the Bucs. It is always difficult to assess the different degrees of pain, but it will sting for a while.

Perhaps an entire season.

The Bucs are 1-2 and drew the unfortunate scheduling a visit by the Denver Broncos next Sunday. Super Bowl champions. impressive defense. Currently undefeated. And it's the NFC champion Carolina Panthers on the road on Monday evening.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Bucs-Rams: Five things to watch in home opener ...

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It's Bucs game almost more notable for who is missing - injured stars like Doug Martin and Robert Ayers, detained / waive players like Austin Seferian-Jenkins - but there's plenty to watch out for the home opener Bucs' against the Rams on Sunday afternoon.

This includes old but new pregame video on the Bucs pirate ship firing on and sinking ship with flag opponents - this time it should be like a football IMAX, with cannonballs flying over the stadium on the new "ribbon" video card along both sides. On the field? Here are five things to watch:

1st Attack of the rookie defensive ends: Second-round pick Noah Spence likely get his first NFL start with Robert Ayers out with an ankle injury. He can raise against the run as well as rush the passer? Three of the five defensive reasons the Bucs' will be newcomers, the undrafted gems Davon Lambert and Channing Ward.

The cool thing that Lambert, Ward and rookie CB Vernon Hargreaves have in common? All three deal with Rams RB Todd Gurley college. Lambert dropped him for the loss of 4-yard with Auburn in 2014, Ward tackled him at the 2-yard gain with Ole Miss in 2012 and Hargeaves he twice got to the Gators in 2013.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Rams O-line 'going to make it easier' for Todd Gurley

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Todd Gurley needs help.

The Los Angeles running back rammed against brick walls in the first two games of the season. Gurley compiled only 98 yards on 36 carries, for a measly 2.7 yards per carry.

On many parts, Gurley tacklers to pay just to get back to the line of scrimmage. In each of the past two weeks, the star running back gained more yards after contact than before the contact. In Week 2 against the Seahawks, Gurley averaged 0.6 yards rushing and 1.9 yards before after hitting by Pro Football Focus.

The offensive line knows to help Gurley.

"We must ensure that we understand this - it's still a sophomore," left guard Rodger Saffold said, via ESPN.com. "He will still have to continue to learn. But it's not on his shoulders. We never put that on his shoulders. We put that on our own. So we'll make it easier for him to be crowned success."

The first four starts of his career went for 141.5 yards per game on average. Then the defenses of the NFL responsible for the box, holding Gurley 62.9 yards per game in 10 starts since.