Wednesday, August 17, 2011

St. Louis Rams Preseason Game 1 Grades

Quarterbacks - B
Sam Bradford, A.J. Feeley and Thaddeus Lewis combined to go 20 of 31 for 173 yards and a TD. Rams quarterback play was solid and efficient however they only averaged 5.6 yards per attempt. I expected more vertical attack in Josh McDaniels debut. A Danario Alexander drop cost A.J. Feeley a touchdown.

Runningbacks - A-
Carnell Williams, Jerious Norwood and Keith Toston were outstanding seeing the majority of the Rams carries on the ground with Steven Jackson not seeing any action in this one. Williams, Norwood and Toston combined for 141 yards on 30 carries and two touchdowns. The competition may have brought the best out of Toston who is fourth on the depth chart. Williams started the game and looked great and Norwood showed his speed and quickness once he came in.

Wide Receivers - C
Second-round draft pick TE Lance Kendricks was the star of the show with 5 catches for 47 yards and a touchdown. Mike Sims-Walker left the game early with a leg injury and Donnie Avery did not play so still hard to tell what the overall squad will look like when the season starts. Overall there were too many drops including Alexander in the end zone. The Rams have to find a solid six wide receivers.

Offensive Line - A-
The offensive line looked great with Harvey Dahl out there. The Rams O-line did not allow a sack or anyone near the quarterback. In addition the Rams dominated time of possession by running the ball 41 times for 169 yards. I still think Jacob Bell gets overpowered at the line from time to time but overall this unit looks very solid.

Special Teams A+
The St. Louis Rams flat out have the best punter/kicker combination in the NFL. Donnie Jones averaged 43 yards on punts not downed inside the 20 in which he had two of those. Josh Brown who stated he lost 14 pounds and is in the best shape of his life showed it by nailing a 60 yard field goal. Brown was 4 for 4 on field goals and had 15 points on the night.

Defense - B+
The Rams held the Colts to 10 of 25 passing and intercepted 3 passes. In addition the Colts did not convert on a third down conversion until the fourth quarter. I love that Craig Dahl and Brady Poppinga love to bring the hammer. New additions Mikell, Bannan and Poppinga all played well. Robert Quinn played quite a while and had some pressure. I would have liked to see the Rams get to the quarterback but they did apply some nice pressure throughout the game.

Coaching A+
I can be tough on the Rams but on this night I applaud the coaching work that has been done. The Rams dominated the game from start to finish. The Rams had only 2 penalties, allowed no sacks, and no turnovers which is fantastic for it being the first preseason game of the year. In addition the Rams had contributions from their free agents and draft picks. Major kudos for getting these 90 guys to play as a unit after less than two weeks of practice.

By Stlvinnie - http://www.stlouisramfan.com

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