A couple of days ago, the St. Louis Rams won their second preseason game in a row. The preseason record doesn't mean anything, but it does show that the Rams depth has gotten deeper. The Rams backups are balling out there and some of these players could be good contributors when their name is called. This is probably the best team in a long time depth-wise.
The starters are a different story. They didn't look that good against the Titans. It's a good thing that this is a preseason game and not a regular season game. The Rams are using a pretty "vanilla" playbook during the preseason. You wouldn't expect them to put their cards out there scheme-wise, but the starters could have played better.
After Bradford's long bomb to Brandon Gibson, the Rams first team offense didn't look good. If you thought that the Rams starters were going to put together a long drive this game, you were also disappointed. The defense had a few miscues that resulted in easy first downs and points. In their defense, the Rams offense put them in bad positions.
With all that being said, it's still preseason. These kind of mistakes are common. Most of the miscues on offense and defense can be fixed with time and practice. The defense will be the easiest to fix, their problem was mostly miscues by the starting linebackers.. The offense, however, will need a lot more time to gel. McDaniels' playbook might be explosive, but it will take sometime for all of the players to get it down. The good news is that the Rams still have two more preseason games to get it right. Down below are the five things you should take away from the game.
1. The run defense shouldn't be a big deal.
It looked real bad Saturday. However the defensive line did a good job for the most part. You can't expect the defensive line to play great the whole game. Yes they did get pushed back some, but the linebackers are supposed to help. Cut backs really hurt the Rams defense and most of the time the first team linebackers didn't respond. Of course, they will do their best to keep James Laurinaitis occupied, but that's why you have three linebackers and not one. The Rams are now working Brady Poppinga and Ben Leber with the starters. Those two players should give the Rams the upgrade they need on defense.
2. The new offense seems like it will be exciting
It's not just because of the long pass from Sam Bradford to Brandon Gibson. Just look at the different sets that the Rams have run the last two games. The Rams ran a spread, a three WR set, a three TE set just to name a few. Then the Rams will adjust their offense to whoever they are playing. All those factors should make this offense more exciting. The Rams don't have the best weapons, but they aren't bad. The biggest difference is that you can tell that the flow of the offense will be more varied than last seasons.
3. The wide receiver race isn't as exciting as advertised.
Right now, the race looks just like it did during training camp. Right now it looks like Brandon Gibson and Danny Amendola are the only locks. Could one of the two rookies get cut? Some people are saying that, but you won't hear me saying it .Mike Sims-Walker most likely will be a starter with Brandon Gibson. Everyone else is fighting to get a spot. It's still a close logjam at WR. A case can be made for any of the WR's to make the team or be cut.
4. The Rams secondary looks impressive.
The secondary looks real strong this offseason. It doesn't look like the Rams will miss O.J, because Quintin Mikell has looked real impressive the first two games of the preseason. He is real smart and a good run supporter. The Rams paid a lot of money to bring Mikel in and it looks like he will be worth every penny. The corners look good also. Bringing Al Harris looks like it was a great idea. Justin King worries me, good in run coverage, but hasn't looked good covering. Ron Bartell and Bradley Fletcher are picking up where they left off. Craig Dahl looks like he will start, but Darian Stewart has really looked good this preseason.
5. The offensive line still needs work.
Okay, not trying to overreact. Sam Bradford called most if not all of the pass protections, so you can't put all the blame on the offensive line. With that being said, they did have a lot of breakdowns. Those breakdowns should be fixed when they have more time to gel. The run blocking also had me concerned, tt looked real 2010ish against the Titans. Jacob Bell didn't play, but he isn't a good run blocker. Let's just say it would be more encouraging if the Rams O-Line is impressive against the Chiefs. The Rams played 16 games with their starting O-Line last season. That was good, but injures do happen. Let's hope that they play better than they did against the Titans.