It is a popular talking point to declare the preseason meaningless, but if you know what to look for you can derive a lot of information. Ignore the scores and focus on individual match-ups. Where should we start?
- Offensive Line: The best performance of any unit on the field, including TEs. As a unit, the line did nearly everything right except for a single missed block by Dahl in the redzone that resulted in a loss. Rodger Saffold and Bell really cleared out running lanes and got downfield very quickly, but each player deserved praise. Pass protection was rock solid. The only time Bradford was touched was on a screen pass that developed poorly, and the line was supposed to let their guys through.
- RBs- No SJack, no problem. Cadilac carried very well, made plays as a receiver out of the backfield, and was at least as good as Jackson in pass protection. Cadilac still has lots of agility, and ran the draw REAL well. Norwood played solidly, but was lining up against and playing with the 2s. He showed nice burst. Behind decent run blocking, Toston looked like a quality third running back. I can't wait to see Steven Jackson behind this line.
- WR- Not much going on the outside. MSW was a scratch early on,as was Avery and Salas. Amendola was sharp (running the same crossing patterns at the same depth as we are used to). Gibby took advantage of a corner playing to far off early in the first quarter and made him look stupid. He also broke off a route that was supposed to go deep ( a play that Bradford had time to go deep). Pettis couldn't bring in two balls that probably shouldn't have been thrown, but otherwise looked nervous. Gilyard looked good on a bubble screen, but ...
- Alexander gets his own category to clear up some things for TST readers. He had 3 for 43 and looked mostly good. His first "drop" was actually batted away by a DB, and his 2nd was a trap...also not a real drop. It was nice to see Alexander play well, I was getting worried.
- Kendricks was powerful, quick, and involved. This performance wasn't a surprise if you have been following the rams through camp. I wont rave anymore about Kendricks. He dropped a couple, but he got himself open all night long. Bajema (filling in for Mike H.) actually landed some key blocks. I hate Bajema. So I don't praise him lightly.
- QB- Bradford played it safe hitting short range targets like Kendricks and Amendola with some backs out of the backfield. A pass he jammed into Pettis in the redzone probably should have gone to a wide open Kendricks. Bradford played well, I'll leave it at that.