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  • #41
http://www.milehighreport.com/2014/...will-be-the-starting-quarterback-for-the-rams

Shaun Hill will be the starting quarterback for the Rams this Sunday
By Scotty Payne@Skotty_Payne on Nov 13 2014


Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

On Wednesday St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher announced that the team is going to be making a change at Quarterback for this Sunday's game against the Denver Broncos. The team is going to bench quarterback Austin Davis for veteran quarterback Shaun Hill.

Shaun Hill was initially the starter after starting Quarterback Sam Bradford went down with a season ending injury during the preseason. However Hill didn't make it through week one of season. Austin Davis has started since then, but wanted to go with an experienced quarterback going forward.

"It's never an easy decision when you make a change in the middle part of the season," Fisher said after Wednesday's practice. "But we looked at things Monday night in lengthy discussions with the offensive staff and just felt that the best thing to do at this point moving forward was to lean on the experienced quarterback."

So what can the Denver Broncos defense expect to see from Hill this Sunday? Well Hill has a career passing percentage of 62%, and has 41 touchdowns to 24 interceptions. He's also started 27 career games at quarterback and has a 13-14 record during that span.

So Hill has shown that he can be an average Quarterback at times when called on, so the Broncos defense cannot overlook the veteran quarterback.
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What difference does it make who Jeff Fisher put's in there?
Seriously, they’re a crappy team hanging on by threads and there’s no sense in surgar-coating sour grapes. Fisher’s ability to put a winning team together has been challenged ever since his Titans team was "THAT" close to winning it back in the day. Sure they will win a game every now and then (might even win sunday), but it’s still the same old song sung in a different tune…
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back when my mom was little
and she had a crush on Merlin Olsen, the Rams were an elite team but that’s the 60’s guys, they had their moments through the 70’s and 80’s but 2000 was the last time they’ve really mattered, 2004 I guess, they were a playoff team that year. They are a traditional power that has had hardly any success in modern times. Things are cyclical, that will change.
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I didn't realize that the Rams were so dysfunctional
Bradford is an okay QB but injury prone as hell!

The Denver front four must be salivating! Yeh, yeh, the guy has played QB a few times . . . but there was a reason Austin Davis beat him out of the job. He stinks. And now Fisher is just fishing for anything that might work.

It would have to be the culmination of the perfect twenty storms for the Broncos to lose this game. Manning would have to be playing like he did in the first quarter of the Raiders game for the entire game! The whole defense would have to play like it did against the Patriots.

The Special Teams would have to play like it has all season . . . er, um . . . the O-line would have to play like it did in New York. The wide receivers would have to just not even dress for the game. Von would have to miss the flight. CJ would have to have left his shoes in Denver . . .
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Shaun Hill is 34 and not a good athlete
I sure how we dial up an extensive blitz package this week and take away a lot of those quick throws the Rams will want to use to get him in a groove. Harris is great at defending these. Talib… not so much.

The Rams also really struggle to run the ball so that they’ll be facing the NFL #1 run defense doesn’t bode well for their chances to manage down and distance. Hill is likely to face a lot of third and long. While I hate blitzing top QBs like Rivers and Brady in this situation, I love it vs crappy QBs like Hill. They either panic and throw the 1 yard out to the RB or even worse, try to play hero ball and make a down-field pass. Rivers and Brady can effectively play hero ball. Shaun Hill can’t.

I’m also glad we found out on Wednesday so we can game plan for Hill instead of the more mobile, raw and unconventional younger QB of theirs
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my friends on Turf Show Times
are really angry that the Rams’ front office sucks more than ours does. In fact, some of them have name-dropped us specifically as the type of front office to be like
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We need to buy Fisher a Broncos Manning Jersey ....
So that he can feel like a winner again…(video link)


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The Rams are a strange team
because they have been drafting at the top of the round for decades. Some of their struggles can be attributed to risk factors inherent in the old rookie draft scale, which forced teams to give top first round players huge contracts that often turned into millstones around the neck of the team.

But no doubt it’s a fantastic group of athletes, whatever their skill at football. Their ability to "hang around" against better teams is probably related to speed and strength.

It’s not a reason to fear them but it is a reason to pay attention. They have come close to picking off some very good teams and beating the Broncos would be an instant season highlight for a basement team.
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It will also ruin their draft position to go after a QB with a high 1st round pick
Denver has not lost a single game to a bad team since Manning was our QB.

Manning’s lost to teams with great QBs or good QBs playing well.

He’s never lost to a Shaun Hill scrub backup QB since he’s been a Denver Bronco. If Shaun Hill and the Rams can put 28 points on us, then I’ll be worried, but that is so very unlikely.

Manning and Co will get theirs in a dome game. I just don’t see how the Rams can keep up in a scoring contest.

Do you know how fast Von Miller is going to look on faux grass in a temp controlled dome!
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Whichever QB plays for them this Sunday…. We had better not allow him to look like a stud. Drag blast it!

I can’t help but wonder what is going on in the Jeff Fisher pic that Atmx posted above. Or this one, for that matter:

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at least the Rams have the good sense to wear blue and white together in that pic
their all-blue design looks atrocious
, personally I wish they’d go back to these ones

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and of course, Flipper was a Bronco for a little while

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I remember when Wilie Flipper Anderson broke record for most receiving yards in a game
Something like 330 yards but that included OT.

Previous record holder was Stephone Paige of KC with 275.

Why do I remember this crap? I feel like Rain Man.
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Rams Secondary
They’re too banged up to synchronize their coverage to the down and distance, which is the key to getting impact from the pass rush. Manning is going to pick them apart or he might just find the pull tab on their secondary and unzip their scheme to the tune of 30 points or more.

A clean game on all sides of the ball will allow the Broncos offense to practice some valuable grinding skills without exposing QB1 to hits from a desperate line. Let the RBs take the hits. That’s what they are there for.

Little espn vid, if anyone is interested:
http://espn.go.com/blog/nfcwest/post/_/id/116346/rams-buzz-2
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Ouch for them
Jenerous Jenkins isn’t nearly as good as I thought he’d be. Dude takes way too many risks and plays too much hero ball. Gives up a lot of big plays as a result. I’m sure we’ll run a bunch of double moves at him to test his patience. He’ll see a ton of passes his way is my guess.

I’m sure we’ll put them in that nickel D and run our bigger RBs at them. Good week for Ball to come back. I like our chances to manage down and distance in this one. Unless we rack up a bunch of false start penalties again.
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He's been injured recently.
It must be tough for some of these top athletes playing for an irrelevant team year after year. Football is so not an individual sport, especially for defensive players, they need coaches, systems, and game plans or it’s all just cashing the checks and signing the ’graphs.
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Jenerous Jenkins is a great athlete in a prototype CB body, but he’s not a good CB and never really has been. He’s an underachiever. And his issues are mental and likely never will get fixed. There is not a good football player in that mind of his. Not dissimilar from other busts like JaMarcus Russell, Charles Rodgers, Peter Warick and Marius Claiborne.

Gotta be able to vet these guys better pre draft via interviews.
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Shaun Who?
I think it may be time for me to hang ‘em up. I consider myself a well-informed football fan, an excellent Xs and Os man from my days as a coach. I’ve been a Bronco fan for a little while; I was at the very first Bronco game and held down Section 00, Row 48, Seat 3 at Bears stadium, never missing a single game (My dad always gave me $1.25 at half time, which got me three Bronco Dogs, a coke, and a nickle back!). I remember, like it was yesterday, Scarpitto, Goose, Denson, even Steve Tensi, the only quarterback in NFL history who was literally afraid to take a snap.

But today I read that Shaun Hill, a name I can’t find a single reference to anywhere in my memory banks, is a THRITEEN YEAR NFL VETERAN!! Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot? How is this possible? Where have I been? This looks like my office.

Mr. Peabody! Trizzle, Trazzle, Trozzle, Trome, Time for this one to go home.
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He played a bit for San Fran and Detriot around the year 2009-2010 due to injuries to starters
played pretty well for a stretch. That was also five years ago when he was in his prime.

He’s a 34 year old now and really damn rusty.

He’s never been starter material.

Manning vs Shaun Hill is one of the biggest QB mismatches you’ll see this season. factor in the lack of talent the rams have at TE, RB and WR vs ours and it’s a little absurd.

St Louis is only 1-3 at home this year with that win coming against Seattle? WTF is right. That said, the Rams have a history of playing their NFC West opponents tought. They lost to the Vikings by 26
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yes, he did well for the Lions when Stafford was always injured in those days
Hill played in the Vikings game incidentally and that was horrendous football by the home team. The Rams have taken 2 out of their last 3 home games against Seattle so that’s actually to be expected.
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St Louis
If you look at their schedule, it’s actually been really hard. They started the year with two cup cakes (and got killed at home by one of them / Minnesota), but have been playing nothing be good teams since that time.

Of course they’ve lost most of those games, but have played several teams tough with the exception of a butt kicking @ KC. A big problem for the Rams is that they’ve scored 7, 13 and 14 points in their last three games… hence the new QB this week.

The Rams seem to play well defensively vs the mobile QBs. Manning will be a real test for them since they haven’t faced a top shelf pocket passer this season.
 

DaveFan'51

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The Rams seem to play well defensively vs the mobile QBs. Manning will be a real test for them since they haven’t faced a top shelf pocket passer this season.
If Manning can stay in-the-pocket, wit Brockers, and Donald coming at him up-the-middle, I'll be shocked!!:D
 

12intheBox

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I can understand Broncos fans having a bit of swagger - the Broncos are SB contenders. And I can understand them looking over the Rams - we probably aren't all that intimidating to have on the schedule right about now.

But I think the Rams are going to show up on Sunday. I think they are going to be no fun at all to play against this week.

I want these Denver fans to remember this weekend for the rest of the season - win or lose.
 

RamzFanz

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Hi all- Broncos fan here.

First off, St. Louis is an unfamiliar opponent for Denver, so I don't think you'll see a lot of pre-game evaluation and talk (at least on the boards that I go to). There's been some frustration by Denver's play two weeks ago against N.E. and during the first half of the Oakland game last week, so I don't think people have a "ho hum" attitude. We do have a really good team all-around, with no obvious weak spots in the starting 22 (and great depth), but Denver is fully capable of execution problems (penalties, missed throws, wrong assignments) in key situations. When the ceiling is high fans get mad when you have incomplete passes or give up scores, so our message boards get annoyingly bad. Peyton Manning is still playing at a very high level, and the recipe people have been using to slow him down is to drop a lot of people in coverage and hope to get pressure with 3 or 4 people up front. Denver can secretly run the ball now though. Peyton is going to make a lot of big plays, it's really just a matter of whether you can force him into enough mistakes for 60 minutes to have a winning chance. When the offense gets hot, it's unstoppable- after a slower first half, Denver scored 35 points in just under 17 minutes against Oakland, and that sort of efficiency isn't unique to that game. But they can take a while to "get going," especially on the road. But if your only opportunity to watch Denver was the SB, you may be disappointed.

Denver defense is playing very well, but struggled against Brady and NE. When playing with a lead, there's no better pass rush in the NFL than Miller, Ware, and co. Offensively, you have to pass the ball against Denver with some shorter, efficient passes, and move the chains on third down. Running the ball doesn't work against Denver, they have several big guys clogging the interior and fast LBs (and CBs/S's that can tackle well) to cut off the edge. And they haven't given up too many big plays. They play man-v-man because of two pro bowl level corners and a first round rookie who is playing good, and they usually win the battles on the outside, but you can get TEs and #3-4 receivers involved, run crossing routes, pick plays, etc. They've been inconsistent on third down, though. They can force 5 three-and-outs in a row but then give up a couple of 3rd and 15's.

I'm not trolling but playing Denver is tough, they have too many playmakers. It's a problem of limiting mistakes, executing very well on third downs, hoping for a few goofs on our end (more than probable), and a bit of luck.
Welcome!

Things about the Rams that may surprise you this game:

1) The pass rush. With the youngest team in football for the third season running and a new DC, Rams had a lot of trouble the first 5 games setting the league's lowest sack total ever at 1. They now have 17. The talent was always there with Quinn and Donald and a stable of better than average D linemen but they were disorganized. Looking at the stats sheet will definitely fool you.

2) Skill player talent. Britt, Austin, Cook, Bailey, Kendricks, and all of the RBs are very good and Cook and Austin can turn nothing into a TD at the drop of a hat. They haven't been doing that this season for a number of reasons but we are hoping the switch to Shaun Hill makes it possible this week. They just weren't getting the ball or it wasn't in the spot they needed to make the extra yardage they are capable of. While Hill is an unknown in this offense, at least he's different and probably more able to diffuse the pass rush and deliver the ball to the receiver in stride.

3) Run stopping. Again, the statistics can fool you. The Rams have contained some of the best runners in the league. Their issue has been "the other guy" like Patterson or Wilson. Unless Manning is planning on running a lot, you can't count on rushing yards against the Rams.

4) Special teams. Rams have a very good special teams. They know how to play field position football. They can definitely pull off the trick play when called. The punter is one of the best in the NFL. Austin hasn't impressed this season on punt returns, but he can return one for 6 at any time with a little blocking. Cunningham has emerged as a very good kick returner. GZ has missed some field goals but I attribute that to almost never being used this season. He has a leg that can kick for miles.

The Rams Glaring weakness is the O-line, especially the right side. If Shaun Hill can't counter the mighty Denver pass rush better than Davis did against other good defenses, this game is over before it starts IMHO. But I for one believe he can. He's a vet that reads defenses and blitzes well, uses the hot route, and anticipates the open receiver. He can also throw an accurate but lofty bomb. Lofty's not necessarily a bad thing as Britt is big and a fighter and will go up and get those.
 

Prime Time

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  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #47
http://www.denverpost.com/broncos/ci_26927718/denver-broncos-vs-st-louis-rams-preview

Broncos vs. Rams Preview: Who has the edge?; how to watch; more
By Troy E. Renck/The Denver Post


After routing the Raiders in Oakland, Peyton Manning and the Broncos take on the Rams in St. Louis on Sunday. (Joe Amon, The Denver Post)


The Broncos (7-2) cap their three-game road trip with a Week 11 meeting with the Rams (3-6) at Edward Jones Dome on Sunday. Here's what you need to know about the matchup.

WHO HAS THE EDGE?

When the Broncos run:
The Broncos, if nothing else, keep their ground game interesting. They have made four changes along the offensive line over the past three games. They are poised to start their third running back this season. C.J. Anderson runs as if he's playing on a one-day contract, his effort and attitude appreciated by coaches and teammates. Montee Ball will attempt to show he's better suited to play 12 pounds lighter at 212 pounds. This week offers the first real test for the revamped line and could determine if guard Richie Icognitio remains a free-agent target over the next two weeks. Edge: Rams

When the Rams run:
With Zac Stacy surprisingly no longer a factor, the Rams lean on Auburn rookie Tre Mason. He shows potential, but hasn't gained traction. The Rams rank 23rd in rushing yards and 10th worst in yards per attempt. No teams stops the run better than the Broncos. Edge: Broncos

When the Broncos pass:
Uh-oh. The Rams' secondary continues to shuffle because of injuries. Compromised defensive backs are to Peyton Manning what a bag of Doritos are in front of George Foreman. Manning plays well on turf, his quick release, precision-guided attack built for the controlled-climate indoors. Demaryius Thomas seeks his seventh consecutive 100-yard game, one shy of the NFL record. Julius Thomas remains on pace for 21 touchdowns, and Emmanuel Sanders needs 148 yards to reach 1,000 for the season. Edge: Broncos

When the Rams pass:
Shaun Hill, in his 14th season, replaces benched rookie Austin Davis. The Rams want Hill to protect the ball after Arizona's defense scored twice last Sunday. Can St. Louis beat Denver with a game-manager? Hill likely will need a big catch-and-run from Tavon Austin, who has yet to score this season. Edge: Broncos

Special teams:
The Rams take chances befitting their losing record. They single-handedly tripped up the Seahawks with expert work on special teams, faking a punt and tricking Seattle on a punt return for a touchdown. Austin has been a disappointment on punt returns, averaging 6.3 yards. Isaiah Burse made his best return last week, a 30-yarder nullified by penalty. He continues to show progress. More important, he is showing he can catch the ball in wind and traffic, a huge improvement from training camp. Edge: Broncos

SCOUTING REPORT

1. Protect Peyton
The Rams aren't very good, but they are big and nasty. They pressure the passer, even quick-release specialist Peyton Manning. It's why they were capable of upsetting the 49ers and Seahawks. The Rams boast 16 sacks in their past four games. Robert Quinn gives fits, and Aaron Donald, a defensive rookie of the year candidate, provides push up the middle. It will test the remade offensive line, especially right tackle Louis Vasquez and right guard Manny Ramirez.

2. Back in the saddle
The Broncos remain a popular fantasy league topic because of their revolving door at running back. They are likely to have their third starter in 10 games. C.J. Anderson, who has improved his pass blocking, earned the honor with his breakout performance at Oakland. Montee Ball returns lighter and determined to regain his spot. Anderson is expected to get the first chance, but coordinator Adam Gase won't hesitant to play the hot hand.

3. Release the hounds
Shaun Hill replaces rookie Austin Davis at quarterback for the Rams. The Broncos should greet him with a relentless surge from the outside. He will look to checkdown, but it doesn't mean Von Miller (nine sacks) and DeMarcus Ware (eight) won't have opportunities. Miller lived in David Carr's face last Sunday, and remains in the conversation for defensive player of the year honors. With the Broncos poised to stuff the run, it would be a surprise if Miller and Ware don't combine for three sacks.
 

Prime Time

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I guess I wonder where they can play that Manning won't so the slice and dice thing ???
Bump them at the line, stay close to them, and make them pay if they catch the ball. This is especially true on third down plays. Manning is much too smart to allow the constant pressure he will be facing to dictate his offense. He's watched Rams game films and will get rid of the ball more quickly than usual.

But yeah, with Peyton Manning it will be extremely difficult for our db's no matter the scheme. Look for at least two big plays were he recognizes the blitz and burns us.
 

Cygnus

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Aaron Donald vs Broncos interior linemen... who you got?

http://www.orangemane.com/BB/showthread.php?t=117200

http://slumz.boxden.com/f16/pff-ther...ecial-2137725/












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That defense can be scary. I'll be relieved if/when we come out of there with a win.
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Unfortunate that we are on the road and he can really time up our snap. If we were at home, I know Manning would be able to neutralize his jump...on the road...going to be interesting to see how we defend that burst.
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That DL is what worries me most.

Our interior vs him and Brockers is a nightmare.

Can already see Ramirez whiff him and Donald sack Manning.
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He must have Ebola, doesn't even look like the offense is trying to block him.
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Had this game as a loss when the schedule came out, really don't like the matchup against them. Their D is legit.
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fortunately, their offense isn't.
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Screens or push that rb up on the line for pass protect up the middle and let Manning light em up. I don't think running early is a good idea against the Rams.
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I'm glad we're playing these guys now. If you can hold your own against these guys, you deserve to start. If not, you deserve to ride the bench.
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The reason why I would have loved to have had Donald.
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Yep. Everyone was talking about how he was so small and wouldn't do much in the NFL. Doesn't matter. Dude has great first step and reaction off the line. The rest of the guys around him are great too. They have built a great defense in St. Louis -- they just need help on O.
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Manning will need to get rid of the ball even quicker than usual.
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Ugh..that could be bad..hope Peyton is on his game.
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Slant patterns, screens. I'm not confident the Bronco interior can hold up that long on longer types pass routes.
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how about Robert Quinn vs whoever the RT is (assuming StL moves him a round a little)?
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I'll be relieved if we come out of there with Manning intact.
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Me either babe..not w/ his line. Not afraid to say it..I'm worried for him..totally hate it when he gets sacked. This is the worst line he's had since he has been here. positive note is he owns Fisher so hopefully Peyton will do his thing and all will be well.
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Perfect scenario Broncos rush for over 200 yards and Manning only has to throw 20 passes in a romp.
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Manning should tear it up in the dome. Rams Defense is only #30 DVOA.
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Fisher had to put together an Andy Reid type game plan which relied on mistakes and trick plays to beat the Seathugs. Their DL is streaky but Manning is good in domes and can avoid sacks. Get the run game established early and it will be like playing the Raiders in the 2nd half of the 2nd quarter and on.
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Just put in an Olineman at RB to block and we are fine...their secondary will cave.
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I can tell you this, if we have to resort to the guard slapping the center on the silent count, this guy will eat that **** up all day long.
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are you saying the way to beat Donald is with an audible cadence instead of a silent count?
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the dome will be half broncos fans. not a true road game. the noise shouldnt be too much of an issue. but that slapping business is/was ridiculous.
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Even if we could, lets see if Gase remembers to adjust the scheme to give Manning more help.

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They play tough but their offense isnt. Close game but Denver wins. Our receivers are too much for them. Running back and/or Virgil Green better help out on the pass rush.
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What in the hell is with this board? It's a 3-6 football team. You'd think the Broncos haven't won a game all year.
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i was waiting for this post. Though I'd say people are talking up STL like they are 9-0
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remember...Oakland is a dangerous team and will play us close as well, we very well could have been their first victory.
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What worries me most about this game is that Fishers Teams always play dirty.

hope we will come out with a win and now major injuries.
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Didn't the rams take about half the year to get a 2 sacks? Rams play their division well and such outside of it. Denver blows them out.
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As long as Hillman isn't blocking, it will be fine...

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Looks like they have the same concern I would like this move

The Broncos brought in Richie Incognito for a workout and visit. Denver is 26th in NFL in rushing and Sunday shuffled their line
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hell yeah, we need some bullies on this team. maybe the team will play with a little more attitude.
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If he can help us play football better, fine with me. I dont have to spend time with him.
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While I do not like the match up between our O-Line and the Rams D-Line I most certainly like the match up between our Defense vs the Rams Offense. Peyton and the offense shouldn't have to win every game for us. The D is capable of bringing home wins too.
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Well, it depends on whether Gase can actually come up with an offense that
doesn't require Manning standing in the pocket for extended time.

Keep a TE or RB in on Mannings Right to block rushers coming through Ramirezs gap? Try to RUN the ball from under center? USE PA from under center? Use pitch outs? Have our BEST RB ( CJ) in for those runs?

If we don't see a lot of the above and instead see 3 WR sets, look out. The defense will need to keep the score under 24 for ST L. They should be able to do that.
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Rams 1 sack first 5 games and 16 the past 4. How good is the pass rush? They did get Kaep 8 times a couple weeks ago.
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The Rams team clearly shows how much more valuable a good QB is than a bunch of really good defensive lineman. Notice all the stars they have on defense and then look at their record.
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I got Arron Donald!

Here's a little known stat for some of ya!

Rams' are 3-0 this year in games where the bowling ball D lineman #99 gets a sack.

Let's all hope he gets one come Sunday!
 

iced

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This is dumb. Talk about a gross oversimplification. This reminds me of my neighbors arguing both sides of the health insurance debate, clearly have no understanding outside of a few soundbites what they are talking about. If our QB and OC had even an average game we would have easily won last week against the best team in the NFL. I would think the Falcons are a prime example of having a great QB and a bad team.
I don't think Matt Ryan is a Great QB....

Least not Peyton, Brees, Rodgers like..

problem is bronco's fans need to realize that as long as Peyton is playing they're not gonna have a high pick for a qb
 

blue4

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I don't think Matt Ryan is a Great QB....

Least not Peyton, Brees, Rodgers like..

problem is bronco's fans need to realize that as long as Peyton is playing they're not gonna have a high pick for a qb
I think he is.

They're SB contenders, why on earth would they be worried about high round picks?
 

iced

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I think he is.

They're SB contenders, why on earth would they be worried about high round picks?
they're gonna need a successor to manning

Ryan's good, but I'm not putting him top 5.
 

iced

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I wouldn't either. I think he's 7th best, which is still a great QB.
not with the way he's been playing lately. 2nd year in a row he's been struggling, and the falcons are 3-6 with him, 2 wins coming over the bucs and the season opener against the saints...losses to vikings, giants, ravens, bengals, lions,bears.. couple ugly performances in there too, with a couple of low scoring games
 

Mojo Ram

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Pretty much how I see it too. Peyton gets rid of the ball too quickly to bring the house against him. So we're probably gonna have to stay in our base defense and disguise coverages with maybe some gap blitzes thrown in for good measure.
Which has shown to be a better way for this group to get to the QB and play better overall defense anyway.
 
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cmc0605

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Welcome!

Things about the Rams that may surprise you this game:

1) The pass rush. With the youngest team in football for the third season running and a new DC, Rams had a lot of trouble the first 5 games setting the league's lowest sack total ever at 1. They now have 17. The talent was always there with Quinn and Donald and a stable of better than average D linemen but they were disorganized. Looking at the stats sheet will definitely fool you.

2) Skill player talent. Britt, Austin, Cook, Bailey, Kendricks, and all of the RBs are very good and Cook and Austin can turn nothing into a TD at the drop of a hat. They haven't been doing that this season for a number of reasons but we are hoping the switch to Shaun Hill makes it possible this week. They just weren't getting the ball or it wasn't in the spot they needed to make the extra yardage they are capable of. While Hill is an unknown in this offense, at least he's different and probably more able to diffuse the pass rush and deliver the ball to the receiver in stride.

3) Run stopping. Again, the statistics can fool you. The Rams have contained some of the best runners in the league. Their issue has been "the other guy" like Patterson or Wilson. Unless Manning is planning on running a lot, you can't count on rushing yards against the Rams.

4) Special teams. Rams have a very good special teams. They know how to play field position football. They can definitely pull off the trick play when called. The punter is one of the best in the NFL. Austin hasn't impressed this season on punt returns, but he can return one for 6 at any time with a little blocking. Cunningham has emerged as a very good kick returner. GZ has missed some field goals but I attribute that to almost never being used this season. He has a leg that can kick for miles.

The Rams Glaring weakness is the O-line, especially the right side. If Shaun Hill can't counter the mighty Denver pass rush better than Davis did against other good defenses, this game is over before it starts IMHO. But I for one believe he can. He's a vet that reads defenses and blitzes well, uses the hot route, and anticipates the open receiver. He can also throw an accurate but lofty bomb. Lofty's not necessarily a bad thing as Britt is big and a fighter and will go up and get those.
Hi, thanks for the insight.

I'm not a huge stats person when it comes to analyzing single games. Stats give you some indication of how teams rank in a statistical sense, and thus what you might expect between two given opponents in a multi-game sample, but you can't say much about any given third down or a single drive. All these games take on their own personality. In any case, sacks aren't a very good proxy for QB pressure.

From what I've heard, Denver has spoke very highly of St. Louis' d-line...both run stopping and in pass rush...so I get the impression that the trenches are going to be a critical factor in this game (as is usually the case, but I'm highlighting this aspect here).

Denver's running success is intimately tied to the passing success. We've seen examples of Peyton having success without the run game going, but not usually the other way around, not because of incapability but because we don't usually line up in run-favorable setups (e.g., I-formations with six o-lineman or two TEs, etc). Put simply, it's not a run-first offense (though some games have been an exception). We play under center sometimes but usually from the shotgun, and almost always no-huddle (but not necessarily fast-paced, Manning is usually going through his signals and girations as long as he can). He doesn't like to waste plays, so he'll run if your defense is showing a run vulnerability.This becomes less of a talent question as much of a schematics problem. If we're passing good, and you guys are in a dime D, you might see some runs up the gut, and we can get chunk yards that way. You guys are one of the top teams in the league at forcing negative run plays though, so I'm sure we'll lose some of those battles. Again, stats tell you about the average, but it's the tail of the distributions (the big play and the scores, which happen relatively infrequently compared to the total number of plays) that determine games.

Similarly, our passing game isn't just based on having receivers all run their own routes and playing the game of who's better, the CB or receiver. It's a fun offense to watch because there's a lot of screens, pick plays, scheming to get a particular guy open and in space, and Manning does a good job of orchestrating it pre-snap. But we have four guys that can usually beat single coverage, so the ball is usually going to one of them. We can dink-and-dunk and also throw the long ball...the only teams that have found success in slowing it down are those that can cover really good while generating pressure without blitzing, but also that can tackle well before the sticks.

Denver is fully capable of five 3 and outs, getting us frustrated, getting you guys excited, then scoring TDs the next three drives in less than two minutes each. You have to prevent Manning from getting hot. Once he gets hot, the personnel logistics become irrelevant.
 
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Mojo Ram

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They've been very stingy since their bye week, holding McCoy to 81, Gore to 38, Lynch to 53, Charles to 67, Gore to 49, and Ellington to 23 last week. This should be a very difficult team to run against with our O-line struggling.
A Broncos fan who is paying attention.
 
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