The St. Louis Rams were the better team last week, looking at numbers only. The Rams had 462 total yards to the Dolphin’s 192 yards. The Rams had 22 first downs. The Dolphins only had 12. The vaunted number-one-ranked run defense allowed 6 yards a carry and 162 total rushing yards. Not surprisingly, the Rams also lead in time of possession by almost seven minutes.
Nevertheless, the Rams lost the game. How? Well, the Rams also lead in turnovers with three fumbles with one actual turnover. They also lead in penalties. The Rams had 12 penalties for 94 yards, while the dolphins only had 5 penalties for 40 yards. The victory in penalties was surprising given the dolphins huge advantage with Incognito on their roster. Finally, the Dolphins capitalized on their opportunities, while the Rams squandered theirs.
The second quarter, in particular, exemplified the massive discrepancy in taking advantage of opportunities. The Dolphins had a miserable first drive with four penalties and no first downs. However, the Dolphins boomed a 63 yard punt, which negated any field position advantage the Rams may have earned. The Rams drove from their own 27 to the Dolphins 34, but missed the field goal. The Dolphins now had great field position, and took advantage of it with a touchdown. The Rams proceeded to fumble the next kickoff, giving the Dolphins amazing field position at the Rams 25. The Dolphins gained exactly 0 yards, but still kicked a field goal for another three points. On the next possession, the Rams had a 59 yard drive, but missed the field goal. Miami took advantage, while the Rams failed.
Let’s now take a look at the factors I suggested were important to a win and determine whether there was any validity.
Preview 1 - SCREEN TO RUN