Saturday, August 27, 2011

St. Louis Rams Preseason Game 3 Grades

Quarterbacks - C+
Sam Bradford, A.J. Feeley and Thaddeus Lewis combined to go 17 of 31 for 159 yards with 2 TD's and 2 interceptions. Yards per attempt back down to 5.1 as the Rams failed to throw the ball down field much against the Chiefs. Bradford was outstanding the first two drives ending each with touchdown passes. On the Rams third possession Derrick Johnson intercepted Bradford on the Rams 7 yard line. Bradford played until half time, and Feeley played most of the second half.

Runningbacks - B+
The Rams running game rebounded from a bad week last week as the blocking was much better from the offensive line. The Rams had 40 rushes for 170 yards and a 4.3 yard average. Steven led the way with the most preseason action I can ever remember him having. Jackson pounded the rock throughout the first half and had 72 yards on 15 carries. Williams and Norwood combined for 70 yards in 19 carries while Toston did see any action.

Wide Receivers - C+
The Rams had receptions from 11 different players on the night. The Rams running backs only had two catches on the evening and I really think the Rams are going to need to get the backs into the passing offense more. Mike Sims-Walker and Lance Kendricks each caught touchdown passes from Sam Bradford. There was not much running after the catch or spectacular plays on this night. The Rams again had a couple of drops and simply have way too many receivers still on the roster (12). Are Mardy GIlyard and Dominique Curry bring enough to the special teams to make the roster?

Offensive Line - B+
A MUCH better effort from the starting offensive line in this one. In addition to the 170 yards rushing how about their fire throughout as they were in several scrums throughout the first half. I think Dahl may just turn this line into something special down the road. Carnell Williams is a very good blocker and hopefully he will teach Steven Jackson how to pick up blitzes better than in the past. The Rams also only allowed 1 sack during the game.

Special Teams B
Mardy Gilyard still does not look very comfortable on the field and I am not sure he is the answer as the kickoff or punt returner. Also when you could not even get on the field for a year don't jump up and down after catching a short pass act like you have been there before. Quinn blocked a field goal attempt and Curry was close to blocking a couple of punts. Brown and Jones are still the best combo but they had little impact on this game.

Defense - B+
The starting defense was outstanding in this one. The Rams basically held the Chiefs scoreless in the first half except for the field goal when the Chiefs took over on the Rams 7 yard line after the Bradford interception by Johnson. The Rams held one of the best rushing offenses to 58 yards on 20 carries after being eaten alive by the Titans last week. Quinn and Hall each had a sack and the Rams had decent pressure throughout. The Rams were unable to create a turnover during the contest and I am still concerned about how invisible Chris Long can seem at times.

Coaching - A-
This was a nice bounce back game for the Rams starting offense and defense. I like how Josh McDaniels set the tone for the game with the consistent running of the ball in the first quarter. The Rams starters appear ready to go. The Rams are 3-0 in the preseason for the first time since moving to St. Louis. The staff will have some very tough decisions to make over the next week.

By Stlvinnie -

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