There wasn't much to like about the first half of the St. Louis Rams preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday night. Jeff Fisher shuffled his team into the locker room trailing 20-6. This is the preseason, so as bad as it looked - and it looked bad - there were enough caveats to leave some room for doubt, or hope, depending on how you look at it.
The offensive line is working with some changes. Harvey Dahl, their top lineman, is out. Scott Wells is in for the first time since spring practices. Barry Richardson is still with the ones, but he probably shouldn't be. Run blocking was lacking, and they struggled against a Dallas team sending plenty of blitzes against an obviously vulnerable unit.
Sam Bradford's play left a little to be desired. He was tentative, which was the most troubling sight of all, after some early pressure and struggles from the offense. It doesn't look like Bradford has much confidence out there. His receivers did not do much to help. Even Danny Amendola failed to catch a pass that he normally would have had in the bag.
Defensively, things were really rough. The cover-2 looks were again way off, leading to Dwayne Harris' second touchdown, one that looked very much like the schooling Torrey Smith gave the same group of woeful safeties last year.
Tackling was really poor, and Fisher is unlikely to let that slide.
Daryl Richardson has been a real bright spot, and he led a drive late in the game that gave the Rams offense a little threat again. It looks like he has replaced Isaiah Pead behind Steven Jackson.
As 3k pointed out, this offense was not the one the Rams will use in the season. Steven Jackson had only a few snaps, leaving so the coaches could judge Pead and Richardson behind the "starting" offensive line. The Rams offense will be leaning hard on Jackson, and they're a better unit when they do.
The defense has its moments, but they are obviously still learning to function as a whole unit.