August 30, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford (8) hands off to running back Steven Jackson (39) during the first half against the Baltimore Ravens at the Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE *All photos, except of Scott Wells (found on Stlouisrams.com) are taken by Jeff Curry of PRESSWIRE
It's been quite literally an up down preseason for the Rams. Week one was best considered a soft open, gauging the strengths and weaknesses that the team had. Week two saw the Rams kick it up a notch and produce a win, igniting the fan base, only for it to be taken away by the sloppy play against the Cowboys last week.
With the final preseason game in the books, the Rams have a good gauge of where they stand. Who played the best? Who stunk it up? Click the jump and find out.
Sam Bradford, QB
Bradford was dynamite last night. He started off slow, airing out a few passes that he should have been able to complete with ease. As he settled in and found that yes, he did have time to throw, Bradford started to revert back to the player we all were so excited about two years ago.
As Ryan said in his recap, Bradford isn't going to find it as easy to play against the Lions starters as he did against the Ravens' backups. He certainly ended the preseason on the right note, but the slate is now totally clean. The Rams season hopes rest on whether or not Bradford can play like he did against the Ravens.
Scott Wells, C
Wells had an excellent night against the Ravens, and it fantastic to see that one of the Rams biggest free agent acquisitions is gaining ground at the perfect time. Earlier in the offseason, Wells' injury left many doubting whether or not he was worth the contract handed out to him, but boy, did he deliver.
While it was against a mix of first and second string defenders, Wells had a great night. Botched exchange aside, he helped the offensive line keep Sam Bradford comfortable and gave the ground game holes to run through.
Austin Pettis, WR
Pettis has made narrowing down the roster a very difficult decision for Jeff Fisher. While the catch itself was nothing spectacular, I was impressed with how Pettis made it into the end zone. We've seen quite often in the past the general lack of anything from the Wide Receivers. Tonight was a definite exception.
Steve Smith, Pettis and Danny Amendola all played well. While it was clear the competition wasn't exactly the greatest, they made the most out of the opportunities they had. Even though Pettis will be serving a suspension, I'd expect him to make the team.
Look, this is really to the entire defense, but they really need to iron out some issues, fast. At the start of the game, the Ravens second string tore through the Rams starting defense. Destroyed it. Everyone had a collective sigh of relief when they figured out they needed to, you know, not suck.
Still, starters (even more so starters on good teams) will not be so light on the Rams. If they play like that to start games, they are going to give up points. Running lanes that are half the field won't do. It's no wonder it took Isaiah Pead so long to stop trying to edge around everyone as he was used to running against the Rams defense.
Isaiah Pead, RB
Raise your hand if you're feeling good about the Rams running situation! Between Steven Jackson, rookie surprise Daryl Richardson and Isaiah Pead, who finally busted out of his shell, I can't help but feel excited. Pead had found success in special teams, and if he can parlay his success last night into the offense, then the Rams could very well have three backs that they could plug in at any given time.
Think about that. Three. Backs. When Steven Jackson comes out, the Rams can actually run the ball. Awesome.
I know it's a little homerish, but you can't help it. This team hasn't given fans anything to be excited about in a long time, and if the preseason is any indication, it sure seems like the Rams will at least make games interesting. Sure, they probably aren't going to go toe-to-toe with the likes of the NFL's best, but they'll be prepared to do so. If they aren't, you can be sure they will be in top form the next Sunday, because Jeff Fisher isn't one to rest on his laurels.
How do you feel going into the regular season?
The Rams are going all the way baby! (42 votes)
They'll at least make things interesting (399 votes)
Eh, they are OK (198 votes)
It's gonna be a long year (141 votes)
Thank God baseball isn't over. (16 votes)
796 total votes