Rams Beat Browns 19-17
Despite only 172 yards of total offense (only 107 after the first drive) the St. Louis Rams managed to beat the Cleveland Browns 19-17 behind 4 short field goals by Josh Brown. The Rams took advantage of early turnovers to go up 13-0 13 minutes and 25 seconds into the contest. The NFL is all about winning but in preseason sometimes how the team plays can be even more important, however it was nice to see the Rams put one in the win column.
A.J. Feeley played very well going 4 of 5 for 46 yards and a touchdown pass to Daniel Fells. Feeley was injured on the opening drive hurting both his arm and thumb after a hit from Chris Gocong. X-rays taken last night were negative. The injury let Sam Bradford enter the game earlier than expected. The constant rain throughout the night played havoc with Sam and his ball security. You could tell Sam was unable to get a good grip on the ball as he again bobbled a couple of snaps and threw some wobbly passes down field. Bradford finished 6 of 14 for only 24 yards.
Overall the Rams played much better than they did against the Minnesota Vikings last week. We will break the game down into the Good, Bad, and Ugly of the night.
The Good - While playing in the rain the entire night the Rams forced 5 turnovers while not turning the ball over themselves. Winning the turnover battle is the key to success in the NFL. The offensive line play was much improved as the Rams did not allow a single sack of their quarterbacks. The starting O-line played for the entire first half. A.J. Feeley was solid and I feel confident that if he starts the season against Arizona he will do fine. Steven Jackson saw some preseason action gaining 20 yards on 4 carries. Steven Jackson is the key to the Rams offense, when he is not in the game the Rams are simply unable to move the ball. Mardy Gilyard was able to play with a cast on his wrist. Gilyard returned 3 kickoffs for 70 yards and 3 punts for 49 yards almost busting one. He looks explosive and instinctive in the return game. I can't wait to watch him get more time at wide receiver when his cast is off. The defense has to get props for creating 5 turnovers and forcing 4 sacks. A much better all around effort than last week.
The Bad - The Rams had to settle for four short field goals and were only able to punch it in for a touchdown on the first drive of the game. After Steven Jackson left the game the Rams backup running backs were only able to gain 45 yards on 25 carries which is just not good enough. The Rams are down right pitiful on offense without Steven Jackson's presence.
The Ugly - It was raining but 6 of 14 for only 24 yards has to be considered an ugly and disappointing performance from Sam Bradford. I really wish he would have gotten in more work in perfect conditions but that is how it goes. The Rams starting wide receivers continue to not get open or make plays. Donnie Avery, Keenan Burton, Laurant Robinson and Mardy Gilyard combined for zero catches, and rookie Dominique Curry dropped a touchdown pass from Keith Null. The Rams only had 3 receptions for the game from their wide receivers. With 10 receivers in camp we should be getting better play than this from that group. The Rams will not be able to compete with this kind of effort.
The Rams will take on the New England Patriots Thursday night.
By Stlvinnie - http://www.stlouisramfan.com/