The Rams started out playing like shit. There really isn't any other way to describe it. They went down 24-3 at halftime and I found myself questioning, yet again, why my hopes were so high coming into the season.
Then in the third quarter, I had my faith restored.
It's easy to get dismayed at this young team. They do a lot of things wrong: penalties, drops, blown plays, blown coverage. I could keep going on and on, but you already know all about it. The struggles quite often make you want to pull out your hair. But then, they come through. The coaches have two games to look at. If they don't start making adjustments, going with things that work, then things are going to stay this way.
Here are your five:
Bradford was phenomenal for the second week in a row. His stat line was impressive, but was somewhat limited by drops, batted passes and a fluke interception. Regardless, he's averaging over 300 yards a game- it's been a long time since you could say that for a Rams QB.
While you could name plenty of plays to highlight, the one that stands out the most to me is when Bradford tried to run it into the endzone, only to attempt to truck a linebacker. Of course, it didn't work, but for anyone who doubts him as a leader, look at that play again. The team was fired up; that's how you do it, Sam.
Pettis was the clutch performer against the Falcons and deserves a nod here. Sure, Pettis isn't much more than that, but he is quickly becoming that 'go-to' guy on must-win plays. He's improved since entering the league and his sure hands keep him starting every week.
He's just clutch. I wasn't surprised when Bradford targeted him for that pivotal touchdown. Trust is a hard thing to gain with quarterbacks- Pettis has it with Bradford.
I'm starting to think Isaiah Pead deserves more minutes as a runner (not a kick returner- clearly that's not his forte). Still, he wasn't terrible when he came in. He caught a few passes and considering his lack of playing time, he did quite well.
I'm not going to advocate for him to take over the majority of snaps, but this team needs help running the ball. Why not try and work Pead into some plays? Utilize his strengths, like the Rams did yesterday.
Where to begin with this guy? He's not a bad tackle on either side of the line. But he just cannot stay healthy. Period. I can't even begin to name all the times he's been injured this season alone, and we are only two games into the season. If he was so upset that he'd make less money, you think he'd be more concerned with actually playing instead of switching sides.
There is absolutely zero chance the Rams keep him after this year. I think his badmouthing didn't do him any favors, but the guy just can't stay on the field. Barksdale deserves a shot at this point, merely because he isn't a terrible player and can actually play four quarters every week.
It's difficult to explain Tavon Austin's game. In one way, he was excellent. He had two touchdowns, including the one above (which was a superb catch). On the other hand, he made a few key drops. There is work to be done, but the Rams wouldn't have had a chance without those touchdowns.
I'd hope that Austin and the rest of the receivers would jump on the juggs machine to try and catch some missiles. Bradford has been throwing smoke the entire season.
- The interior offensive line isn't very good. The fact that Bradford hasn't been sacked says more about him as a quarterback than the offensive line.
- I called out Cortland Finnegan last week (much to the chagrin of some folks on the site, I might add). He continued to not impress, but played better as the game wore on.
- The Rams don't have much of a running game. I hope they use more no-huddle; Sam is comfortable in it and the receivers have no shortage of speed. Play to your strengths.
- The Rams have the best depth on the defensive line in the NFL. They played four ends for long periods of time and the Falcons couldn't pick up a single yard on the ground.