Justin King leads with the face on his tackles. Is that why he was so bad?
I know this isn't the type of result we were hoping for (or expecting, if that's your thing). Whenever a new coach joins a team, there is always some sort of mystique that appears during the offseason. Even if you say you won't buy into it, you do, because you're a fan and that's what fans want to do.
I've been assigned the jovial task of picking five players who didn't play to well (easy) and five who actually did pretty good (slightly harder). The main take away from yesterday's game is that this is a learning experience. Over one-third of this team is rookies. There is going to be growing pains, but there is a light, it is coming, and stop freaking out because this game meant absolutely nothing.
Barry Richardson, OT
Let's start with the bad news first. We brought this guy into replace Jason Smith? I don't want to overreact, but he simply isn't the answer the team is looking for. I don't want to single him out because the offensive line as a whole played very poorly, but if he's option one for right tackle, I'm scared. (Note: If Jason Smith is option two for right tackle, I'm still scared).
Craig Dahl, DB
Poor Dahl. You can clearly see that he's trying his hardest- he's flying around, trying to make plays. But for every play that looked decent (he had a great pass breakup and very nearly had a good sack), he had plays that were major whiffs. You could tell there was no mojo between the secondary, but Dahl was directly involved in at least 14 points the Colts put up.
Danario Alexander. WR
For anyone who thinks he has a chance to make the team, I'm sorry. The biggest high note of the game for me was the wide receiver play. Pettis, Givens and Smith all made contributions. With such a crowded position, Alexander needs to get healthy ASAP if he wants even a chance to crack the team.
Sam Bradford, QB
I'm on the fence about this one. It's clear that Bradford needs to do some more work. However, this is a player who had what I can only describe as a, 'lost campaign,' last year. Did he look like he improved from what we saw last year? Yes. Was he perfect? No. I know it's tough for Rams fans to swallow, even more so given how well Andrew Luck played, but Bradford will get there.
I'd be worried if I was an NFL corporate big whig. In all the games I watched, the refs made bad calls, didn't make calls that were supposed to be made, and they also didn't even bother to follow the rules (No replay for Pead's 'second' fumble?) I get it; they have nerves too. But if they don't know what they are doing, it could really damage the game, not to mention get someone hurt for no reason. The real refs just got an extra bargaining chip.
Austin Pettis, WR
Boy oh boy, what a pleasant surprise. Pettis was great yesterday. He made two outstanding catches that could've gone for more if they weren't so far away from him. Many people (including myself) were skeptical of whether or not he'd be worth keeping around after his suspension. He's certainly trying to prove he belongs.
Chris Givens, WR
He was the best player on the team yesterday. If the QB play would have been better, Givens could have had multiple touchdowns and quite possibly triple digit yardage. He is simply lightning fast. If this is something that happens regularly, the Rams could have something special in him.
Isaiah Pead, RB
Pead started off very shaky. He fumbled the ball twice, which I'll account to nerves (that problem should go away). Other then that, he displayed the shifty, quick nature of his running; at least when he had a block. Pead looks like he'll be a good compliment to a leaner, rejuvenated Steven Jackson.
Robert Quinn, DE
Quinn was a force to be reckoned with yesterday. The defensive line needs to spend more time together, because they are the best unit on the team. Quinn really impressed me with his moves, and the Rams could have quite a potent outside attack with him and Long. Kudos to the Rams for going for broke on the defensive line. It worked.
Janoris Jenkins, DB
Like Pead, Jenkins had an up and down day. However, he displayed the talent that Jeff Fisher was so keen on. I can totally see why the coaching staff is so high on him. I'm very anxious to see how he plays the rest of the month, because he could be something special too.
Breathe, relax, meditate. There are three more games before it matters. Let the team get everything ironed out now, and observe the positives.