There are three preseason games tonight, each having a Rams opponent. Preseason football can be fairly anticlimactic since the starters either don’t play or are only in for a series or two, and the final results often don’t have much correlation to the regular season. Still, there are a couple of good reasons for Rams fans to pay attention to these games.
Oakland at Dallas
The Raiders are the Rams week 2 opponent, and they're obviously a team a lot of people think offers a great chance for an early season win. Al Davis’ comparisons of Jason Campbell to Jim Plunkett aside, the Raiders have looked much better than last year -- so far. The Cowboys are short on TE’s right now and will in all likelihood run a pretty vanilla offense against the Raiders. It’ll be interesting to see if Marion Barber can run against the Raiders, since that might be the closest thing to a Steven Jackson-type that the Raiders will have to defend.
Bonus: bask in the glow of every Alex Barron penalty. Your problem now, Cowboys.
Carolina at Baltimore (on ESPN)
The comparisons between the NFL play of Bradford and Clausen officially begin. And they might officially end when Bradford starts for his team and Clausen doesn’t. Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops was on SportsCenter this morning saying Bradford was ahead of where the Rams thought he would be, and from what I saw his footwork looked pretty damn good on tape. I’m happy with our QB but still, seeing Clausen struggle against the Ravens D tonight will make me feel better.
On a side note, I really wanted one of the top TE’s in the draft. I think it makes a huge difference for a young QB to have a pair of big, reliable hands waiting 3 or 4 yards away. The Ravens drafted two of the better receiving TE’s in Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta. After seeing Fells fumble during the scrimmage game, there’s no way I can watch these guys and not wonder "what if." That’ll all come to an end as soon as one of our guys shows he can make a play not on a fake field goal.
New Orleans at New England
The Rams play at the Saints in week 14, and that might be the only reason this game has anything whatsoever to do with the Rams’ season. But hey, it’s something.