Fans have been understandably shaky watching the Rams play against the Browns and Packers. Missed tackles, dropped passes and fundamental mistakes have plagued the young team. Still, this is the time of year when things are ironed out. The Rams next face the Broncos, a team with lofty expectations themselves.
With it being the third preseason game, the starters will be out for most of the game for the penultimate season tune-up. It'll be a good test to see where the Rams stand, and here's the list of players you should keep a close eye on:
Rodney McLeod: Darian Stewart hasn't impressed anyone in the preseason; his most recent injury has opened the door wide for McLeod to take over. He's been playing with the first team defense for about a week and it'll be important to see how he transitions and adjusts during the game. The Broncos certainly have a loaded aerial attack and Peyton Manning, regardless of age, is still one of the best in the league. Just don't mention Rahim Moore.
Isaiah Pead: Sure, Daryl Richardson has already been named the starter. But with so many young, talented backs on the roster, the Rams certainly won't be using Richardson exclusively. Pead didn't benefit from the blocking last week, but at this point, it's incredibly important to see how he does with the first team. At this point, I think Pead is trying to hard and thinking too much; hopefully we'll see a boost from the troubled RB.
Ray Ray Armstrong: Armstrong played well last week against the Packers. With Jo-Lonn Dunbar sitting out the first quarter of the season, the Rams have a thin group of linebackers. Already a fan favorite, it'll be vital to see how Armstrong does. There is a good chance he could be called upon sooner rather than later.
Brian Quick: Tavon Austin, Chris Givens and Jared Cook get most of the headlines, but fans have patiently (or not patiently) been waiting for Quick to put it all together. With the Broncos secondary hurting, it's going to be intriguing to see Quick sub-in and out with some of the starting offense- keep an eye out of he has time with Bradford running things.
Chris Williams and Shelley Smith: Seriously guys... One of you has to win this starting spot. Right?
TJ McDonald: Like most of the rookies on this team, he's being asked to fill a pretty big hole very quickly. He's had some growing pains (missed tackles), but he's come up pretty big in practice. Hopefully we'll see that out on the field against the Broncos.