2011 Rams Week 2: Five observations

September, 22, 2011
9/22/11
10:26
AM ET
Five things I noticed while watching the St. Louis Rams during their 28-16 defeat to the New York Giants in Week 2:
  • The fake injuries looked worse on TV. Replays showing the Giants' Deon Grant and Jacquian Williams falling down to stop the Rams' no-huddle offense were comical. Neither player was touched. A Vlade Divac flop would have been more convincing. No wonder the league threatened to issues fines for future shenanigans.
  • Sam Bradford threw to the covered guy. Receiver Brandon Gibson was wide open on a second-and-2 pick play from the Giants' 7-yard line. Bradford had time to throw even though the Giants rushed seven against six blockers. He threw outside to Mike Sims-Walker, who was covered, while Gibson skated free toward the left hash on the same side of the field. Gibson would have scored easily, it appeared. By design or through an oversight, Bradford never seemed to notice him.
  • Three tight ends weren't a charm. The Rams ran four snaps with three tight ends. Those plays produced two incomplete passes, a 1-yard loss on a running play and a 15-yard sack when the Giants stayed home to cut off the bootleg, something they did well.
  • Robert Quinn and James Hall played together. Both are right defensive ends. Hall starts and Quinn comes off the bench. Because Hall is stout for an end, yet still a strong pass-rusher, he's well-suited to rush from the inside on passing downs. That's what he did in this game, lining up at right defensive tackle. Quinn, making his regular-season debut, was at right end. Hall beat Giants left guard David Diehl to the inside for a sack on third-and-7, getting through before center David Baas could help. Will Beatty, the Giants' left tackle, blatantly held Quinn on the play, gripping the rookie around the shoulders to restrain him. There was no flag.
  • Quinn's first career sack was a freebie. They all count the same on the stat sheet, but the Rams' rookie defensive end will not get many opportunities like this one. The Giants did not block him. Quarterback Eli Manning did not account for him. Quinn raced around the left tackle, who was blocking safety Darian Stewart. Manning was alone in the backfield from a shotgun formation. Quinn took five steps directly to the quarterback.

Generally I'll get these files done earlier in the week. The Monday night game pushed back the usual schedule. Still playing catchup.

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