Well, that didn’t go as planned. The Rams were at home in a game with playoff significance, and they had one job: stop Adrian Peterson. Everything looked OK until 12:34 left in the second quarter. To be exact, at 12:31 AP made a cut that literally took three potential tacklers completely out of the play. No one could stop him from there and he had an 82-yard-touchdown.
In case, you need a reminder, in the preceding drive, the Rams scored with a touchdown pass to … Brian Quick. Everyone that has been dying to see positives from Quick was stoked. Minnesota took the kickoff back to the 18 yard line. With 12:34 left, in the 2nd quarter, Minnesota had a 1st down, and the rams called an overload blitz on Quinn’s side with a zone drop of the defensive tackle on Long’s side. What? Against Adrian Peterson, you drop one of four defensive lineman into coverage on 1st and 10? Yes, that is exactly what the Rams called.
Notwithstanding the deranged play call, the run should not have gone for 82 yards. It was set up as draw play between the right tackle and right guard. Quinn set the edge and two blitzers came through the hole between the Quinn and Brockers. The guard blocked both with just a push and pick. Both blitzers were then completely out of the play because they were behind the running back and behind several offensive lineman.
Quinn set the end, so he was not out of it yet. However, he began to jog down field. If he was running at full speed, he could have met Adrian Peterson as he was making the fateful cut at 12:31.
Michael Brockers took on his blocker well, but his right arm got trapped in on his body and the guard literally held on to the arm to keep Brockers connected to him as they both moved towards the running back. By the time Brockers dislodged himself, he was out of the play. Long set the edge as he was supposed to do, and then got blocked. He was out of the play from that second forward.
Now we get to the other defensive lineman. Kendall Langford, took on his blocker for a split second, but then dropped into pass coverage. It just so happens that Langford was in the hole where the run was designed to go. With Langford dropped and Long setting the edge, the full back ran through a gaping hole with no job other than blocking a linebacker. He took on James Laurinaitis at full speed. JL held his ground and bounced off the block a little. He saw Peterson start to go to the right and began to move in that direction. He was done from the point forward. Peterson made the cut to the left and JL was getting blocked to the right.
Langford had a chance to set another edge downfield. Instead, he took a very strange angle and then was blocked in the back right at James Laurinaitis. As this was going on, Peterson was making his cut to the left. Langford was now out of the play.
Now we get to my least favorite Ram, Craig Dahl. He not only fell for the jab step to the right by Peterson, he continued to run forward and to the right. It took him about five steps to stop. While trying Dahl was trying to stop, Peterson made the jab step, cut to the left and was already by Dahl as he began to notice that Peterson was not going to the right. Due to a faulty braking system, Dahl was now out of the play.
The only guy a with a real chance at this point was Janoris Jenkins. He was moving towards the play and had a blocker near him. If he would have continued running downfield, it is possible that he could have caught Peterson. However, as Peterson was running downfield with no one in front of him, Jenkins decided to do a back spin to set the edge. By the time he completed the move, Peterson was five yards past him. What you saw from there was Robert Quinn (now at full speed) chasing Peterson downfield.
In the end, Quinn should have been at full speed the whole time. If he was, I believe he would have been in a great position to stop the cutback. Dahl, as usual, took a bad angle and took himself out of the play. Langford did nothing right, and Jenkins made a very strange decision.
James Laurinaitis maybe could have stopped it by throwing his blocker to one side, but if he threw the blocker out of the way in either direction, I suspect AP would have gone the other way.
With that great little memory, here is the review of the preview:
PREVIEW 1. Control All Day All Game
REVIEW – Epic Fail
PREVIEW 2. Pearson’s Product-Moment Correlation Coefficient (Turnovers)
We don’t need to win the turnover battle; we just need to stay even. Turnover differential has been proven to be a key factor in wins and losses in the NFL. If you don’t believe me try to read through all of this: http://www.scribd.com/doc/57023757/The-Correlation-Between-Turnover-Differential-and-Winning-in-the-National-Football-League . To give you a preview of this fascinating reading: “The Pearson’s product-moment correlation coefficient of .646 obtained from the two-tailed p-test, suggest a strong positive correlation among turnover differential and winning percentage.”
REVIEW – Epic Fail. Rams 2 turnovers – Minnesota 0
PREVIEW 3 – Pass/Run Ratio
The Vikings are fairly even on defense. They are 18th against the pass and 14th against the rush. For one of the first times this year, I do not care about the pass/run ratio. Everything will be dependent on the game circumstances. Some people may suggest that you have to run to keep Peterson off the field. I disagree. A short passing game also keeps the clock moving. The primary way to keep Peterson off the field is to keep moving the chains. Whatever is working to do that, I support it.
REVIEW – It didn’t matter.
PREVIEW 4 –PENALTIES
The Rams were amazing last week regarding penalties. They are at home this week, and they should be able to keep the penalties down. A key way to sustain drives is to avoid stupid penalties. Execution matters.
REVIEW – The Rams had 8 for 47, but the penalties themselves were horrible. How can a center get and/or cause 2 false start penalties.