What does a winning preseason mean? Nothing really, but the PD reminds us what happened the last two times the Rams had a winning preseason since coming to St. Louis:
That may or may not be a good thing, because in two of the three previous winning preseasons, the Rams coach was fired at the end of the year. The Rams finished 3-1 in 1996, with Rich Brooks fired after a 6-10 regular season. The Rams also went 3-1 during the 2005 preseason, with Mike Martz fired after another 6-10 regular season.
Funny how things change. A 6-10 season would be a huge improvement for the Rams and give Steve Spagnuolo some job security.
Though a decision has yet to be officially made, Brock Berlin made a strong closing argument to retain his grasp on the 3rd QB job. Spagnuolo liked what he saw from Berlin:
He showed me a little grit getting in there. He would have had the first down but he said ‘Na, I’m not going to take the first down, I’m going to get the six points.’ So that was good to see.
From the PD, here's Bill Coats' take on Berlin's scoring drive:
The 15-play, 85-yard, 7 1/2-minute drive in the second quarter, engineered by QB Brock Berlin, was masterful
Masterful indeed. Brian Burwell came away from the game more than pleased with the development of the Rams first round pick, OT Jason Smith. Burwell even proclaimed that the kid should be starting.
The best thing you could say about what Smith did in his final preseason game was this: He made progress. He looked better against the Chiefs than he did against the Jets three weeks ago. He looked better than he did two weeks ago against Atlanta, and he looked better than he did last week against the Bengals.
Next week the real fun begins, and Spagnuolo acknowledges that the Rams are taking nothing for granted in this mix metaphor he offered last night:
We know the mountain is going to get a lot tougher when we tee it up next week. Everybody has step it up a notch, that's what the NFL is all about.
A telling stat from last night's game at Arrowhead Pride:
Third down conversions: Chiefs were 3/16 (18%) and the Rams were 9/20 (45%).
You can take all the total yards you want, it's when the big plays happen and what happens after them that matter.
More from Arrowhead Pride. The Chiefs got 184 yards on just four of t heir total 62 offensive plays. Here's AP's take on those four plays:
Savage's run was more the result of poor tackling by the Rams than anything else. Sean Ryan's 40-yard pass did help set up a Ryan Succop field goal. Larry Johnson's efforts were soured near the goal line after his run. The Chiefs committed offensive holding and then a delay of game penalty pushed them back from the Rams 6-yard line to the 21-yard line. Thigpen's pass to Lelie was just slop.
He's absolutely right about Savage's run in the second quarter. Watch it on the highlight reel posted below at about the 0:53 second mark. I can't tell which Rams players were in there, but clearly it should not have happened. I think this team, partly because of age an inexperience, is going to give up some big plays this season. The key is how they respond to them, and, right now, it looks like they'll bounce back well.
Here's another Chiefs take on the game and the Rams:
A major stinker was Thursday night’s game between the Rams and Chiefs at the Edward Jones Dome. St. Louis grabbed the 17-9 victory to finish the pre-season with a 3-1 record. That may be more games than the Rams win during the regular season. First-year head coach Steve Spagnuolo has a struggling team with few offensive weapons, a banged up quarterback and a defense that’s working hard.
You know how the national media looooves the Rams, here's the only mention of last night's game in SI.com's write up of the evening from Don Banks:
Speaking of recently fired offensive coordinators, it would seem with or without Chan Gailey, the Chiefs still have some work to do on that side of the ball. In its 17-9 loss at St. Louis on Thursday, Kansas City rolled up 406 yards of offense but only converted that production into three field goals.