Rams come out smoking against Chiefs - RAMS WIN! RAMS WIN!! The first victory of the new era is officially in the books. Six days after compiling 215 total yards and a field goal, the St. Louis Rams amassed 151 yards and 2 touchdowns in the first quarter. The "vanilla" offensive approach instantly became sweet when the first two plays traveled 53 yards. Two plays later, Sam Bradford and Lance Kendricks connected for an easy first score. Bradford led the charge in both of his two possessions.
After Kansas City's first drive - which Janoris Jenkins quickly cut short by forcing a Jonathan Baldwin fumble - Danny Amendola hauled in an 8-yard TD with (not two hands, no one) barely an arm. Thankfully, he was not hurt on the play. Call it lucky, but you can't call it unimpressive. Danny is obviously poised for a very productive season.
All of the starters left the field soon after the first quarter, but the fun didn't stop. Rookie running backs, Isaiah Pead and Daryl Richardson both had the type of touchdown runs to make fans forget about past backups such as Kenneth Darby and Cadillac Williams. In addition, I'm only half being facetious when I throw an early nomination to Greg Zuerlein - who drilled a 52-yarder - for rookie of the year. Someone X-ray his leg.
For obvious reasons, the offense is getting much of the attention from this game. The unit nearly tripled its average scoring output (12.1) from last year. The defense, though, is noticeably progressing. Give them some more time to "gel" together. Robert Quinn, in particular, appears to be in for a break-out season.
More on the Rams being .500 after the jump...
Rams' focus unchanged - Following a 38-3 pounding via the Indianapolis Colts in week 1, the St. Louis Rams remained confident and focused. After Saturday's impressive 31-17 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs, the Rams will stay modest ... and focused. Preseason or not, winning or losing, Jeff Fisher's team will stay the course according to his plan. Other than a few mistakes, there aren't many negatives to take away from this past weekend's game. If you need to have one though, from a fanatical standpoint, look no further than first-team playing time. Just like the first two games, the starters will likely only be on the field for the first quarter in Dallas next week. That normally isn't the case for week 3, which is usually the closest thing to a dress rehearsal for the first real game. Expect the same in the final week.
Rams trending young in Fisher's first season - You already knew that, though. It's a risky intention in the beginning - the league's youngest roster is sure to have its hiccups - but there are many more advantages and purposes. Most obviously is to strictly maintain cohesion and chemistry down the stretch, seasons (hopefully) far in the future. Also, there is no need to wean a losing attitude out of a player who doesn't yet have one, and the team overall remains energetic and hungry for competition, with which many starting positions are currently filled. For a little more perspective of just how young the Rams are, consider that the 90-man camp roster consists of 31 rookies and only 36 veterans with at least 3 years of experience.
Mike Sando's three things revisited - Going into Saturday's contest, Sando's three things to watch for were first-team execution, an Isaiah Pead rebound and progression of the pass defense. At least one of those "keys to win" was passed with flying colors. Sam Bradford and the starting offense moved the ball with - dare I say - ease against the Chiefs, scoring touchdowns on both possessions. On the flip-side, more is left to be desired from Pead. He's quick, and he knows it, but this isn't the college level, where backs can get away with running horizontally. Also, while the defensive backfield played considerably better, the unit needs to continue to improve.
Jim Harbaugh not happy with officiating - San Francisco 49ers head coach, Jim Harbaugh has been frustrated with the struggles and miscues of the league's replacement officials in the early goings of the season. In fact, the never-timid coach told listeners during his post-game press conference that he had a headache caused by all of his yelling on the sideline. Players and coaches have been advised and warned to not publicly criticize the stand-in referees, but it's a feeble attempt to brush an obvious problem under the rug. One missed call during the Rams-Chiefs match-up was a face mask on quarterback Ricky Stanzi by defensive tackle Darell Scott. Stanzi fumbled the ball on the same play, and it was recovered by the Rams. An uncalled penalty such as that is a game-changer.
Jason Smith on Being Demoted "It's great. I needed it."
If this is Smith's game day and practice demeanor, then it's no wonder why the guy has struggled. His words are that of a man with a fire under his rear end, but his expression looks absolutely demoralized. My expectations have completely dissipated.
Sam Bradford, Steven Jackson and James Laurinaitis on the Rams win.
With, of course, a dose of Tony Softli.
Greg Zuerlein is dropping jaws in St. Louis