Ya boy is sick as all get out, so let's get through this quickly, yeah?.
St. Louis Rams, 0-2, 4th - NFC West
Denver Broncos, 1-1, t-1st - AFC West
Aug. 24, 8 p.m. ET
This game will be nationally broadcast on your local CBS affiliate except for the following stations:
|KCBS 2||Los Angeles, CA||KCAL 9|
|KFMB 8||San Diego, CA||MeTV 8.2|
|WTEV 47||Jacksonville, FL||MyTV 30.2|
|WFOR 4||Miami, FL||WBFS MY 33|
|WGCL 46||Atlanta, GA||WUPA CW 6|
|WIBW 13||Topeka, KS||MyTV 13.2|
|WKRC 12||Cincinnati, OH||Cin-CW 12.2|
|WBNS 10||Columbus, OH||AntennaTV 10.2|
|WHIO 7||Dayton, OH||WHIO 7.2|
|KCTV 5||Kansas City, MO||KSMO 62|
|KTVO 3||Kirksville, MO||TBD|
|KOTV 6||Tulsa, OK||TBD|
|WTAJ 32||Altoona, PA||TBD|
|KDKA 2||Pittsburgh, PA||WPCW CW 19|
|KTVT 11||Dallas, TX||KTXA 21|
|KVTV 13||Laredo, TX||TBD|
DEN pass v. STL pass D
Peyton looked just fine last weekend against the Seahawks, but Brock Osweiler was pretty disappointing in reserve. There's plenty to test the Rams' starting defense with in Wes Welker, Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker. The depth isn't so bad that the Rams' backups will have it easy; Andre Caldwell, Tavarres King and Trindon Holliday can threaten. Quincy McDuffie, Greg Orton, Gerell Robinson, Lamaar Thomas and Kemonte Bateman should fill out the second half reps.
For the Rams, we know the crew. Janoris Jenkins and Cortland Finnegan have the top CB spots locked up. Keep an eye out at safety where Rodney McLeod has taken up the starting position at SS aside TJ McDonald. The battle for backup spots there is heated too with Matt Daniels, Matt Giordano, Cody Davis, Rashard Hall and recently demoted Darian Stewart all in the mix (though Stewart is likely still sidelined with his hamstring injury). The corner staff is solid too with Trumaine Johnson, Brandon McGee and Quinton Pointer providing quality. Darren Woodard, Drew Thomas, Robert Steeples and Andre Martin are all fighting to stick on the roster. And you can insert your own analysis here on the Rams' backup QB situation. It's not good, and we all know it. Moving along...
DEN run v. STL run D
The Broncos have a gaggle to work through here. Ronnie Hillman, Montee Ball, Knowshon Moreno and Lance Ball all are involved. I was never all that high on Ball (Montee type) at Wisconsin, so I'm not surprised he's listed after Hillman on the depth chart.
The Rams' linebackers look improved as a unit. Of course with Dunbar doghoused following his still to come suspension, it's on Will Witherspoon and Alec Ogletree to supply James Laurinaitis with able teamwork. Daren Bates has been impressive this preseason, and Ray Ray Armstrong has always been a natural talent. Josh Hull's probably a 53-man lock at backup MLB so that leaves Jabara Williams, Jonathan Stewart and Joseph LeBeau at the tail end.
DEN O-line v. STL D-line
Interesting battle here. The Broncos' starters are solid, with Ryan Clady leading what is a top 10 unit in many respects. Zane Beadles, Manny Ramirez, Louis Vasquez and massive RT Orlando Franklin can really clean up out of the base, though they don't really work the open field well. Football Outsiders ranked them 25th in open field yards in fact. We'll likely see plenty from Chris Clark, Quentin Saulsberry, C.J. Davis, Philip Blake, Vinston Painter, Manase Foketi, Steve Vallos, Ryan Lilja, Ben Garland, Chris Kuper and Paul Cornick in reserves.
The Rams' D-line has quickly gelled as the strongest unit on the team, IMO. CBS Sports' Pete Prisco put together a great piece on them on Thursday. Worth your time, for sure. So it may be wise to limit the snaps tonight and in the final game for Robert Quinn, Chris Long, Michael Brockers and Kendall Langford. The backup line has been more impressive than I was expecting. Eugene Sims, Matt Conrath, Jermelle Cudjo and William Hayes are likely locked into the 53-man as well. It's going to be a close shave for Mason Brodine, Garrett Goebel, AL Lapuaho, Sammy Brown and RJ Washington. Gerald Rivers might be the guy in this unit who needs the last two preseason games the most. I could see him grabbing a spot on the roster.
STL pass v. DEN pass D
The Broncos got torched by the Seahawks' passing game last week. It might have been more an issue of dealing with their run-first style. I doubt they're too worried though. They had one of the best units in the league last year. So even though Champ Bailey has been dealing with a foot injury, there's talent with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Chris Harris and Omar Bolden at corner. The safety battles for Denver are intriguing. I'd be surprised if Mike Adams stays ahead of Duke Ihenacho the whole season at the strong. Quinton Carter's a solid third there as well. Rahim Moore is in front at free, though David Bruton and Quentin Jammer are capable reserves.
Sam Bradford's having his best preseason to date, which is great. And while some are quick to deem Tavon Austin's preseason as being disappointing, I think there's some deliberate usage of him in other ways to both get some experience in other areas and to not show the rest of the league how they want to use him. Still, they should know the gameplan anyway come week one. Nothing to hide, nothing to show. I'd like to see Jared Cook involved a bit more as well.
STL run v. DEN run D
Well, the Bronco's front has certainly taken a turn for the worst to this point. Elvis Dumervil booked it for Baltimore and Von Miller was hit with a six-game suspension this week. So that's 29.5 sacks from a league-leading 52 (tied with us, obviously) gone for the first six games and Dumervil's 11 sacks removed entirely this season. Stewart Bradley needs surgery for his wrist injury, so he's gone for a couple of weeks. Along with the injuries up front, let's bear in mind rule #1 for all preseason games: no injuries please.
Ah, the Rams' RBs. Some of y'all were none too pleased at my less-than-stellar assessment of Daryl Richardson. I still think there's plenty of snaps to be earned by one of the backups at this point. As to whether it's Isaiah Pead, Zac Stacy or Bennie Cunningham is yet to be seen. Stacy is apparently healthy again, so we should get a solid look at him tonight. And Terrance Ganaway is off to bigger and better sandwich dreams as he's given up the game.
STL O-line v. DEN D-line
Derek Wolfe suffered a scary injury last week; he's out tonight, but he could be ready week one. The Rams' starters shouldn't struggle with this unit, though. Kevin Vickerson, Terrance Knighton and Robert Ayers aren't that special. IN any case, it's the preseason so we'll get plenty of Malik Jackson, Jeremy Beal, John Youboty, Mitch Unrein, Romney Fuga, big Sylvester Williams, new trade addition Sealver Siliga, Shaun Phillips, Quanterus Smith and Lanston Tanyi.
Rodger Saffold is in all likelihood still out, and Joe Barksdale has an infected cut so there are some absentees on the line. I'm eager to see some of the backups get some work in this week. Ty Nsekhe and Barrett Jones got the most snaps of anyone on offense last week; I wouldn't be upset if that were the case again tonight.
This week's top 3 storylines brought to you by parts of the body I hate:
Noses are just weird. I get the idea of needing other holes to breathe through in case your mouth gets closed. But what are the hairs for? And why two nostrils? Noses don't make any sense.
The Rams' offense hasn't been what I expected. Then again, I expected a preview of the week one offense. I don't think that's what we've seen. We'll probably go another week without the real offense being implemented, which is fine. It's just weird. And hopefully it's not covered in snot. Snot's reaaaaaally weird.
Livers are good for one thing: eatin. That's it. At least they have a purpose unlike stupid noses. But I hate their purpose. Oh you create bile? Aren't you special. Thanks for the metaphors too, ya dumb-o's.
Let's make some history. For the first time in my TST preview history, I don't have a football tie-in here. I just hate livers. See? That's another reason to hate livers.
Knees are proof that God created us as fallible beings. Knees are the worst part of the human body far and away. They are surrounded by stupid rubber band-like tendons that get torn, anything with a miniscus is horrible and the only thing protecting them is a helmet made of bone. That's horrible. Ask Marcus Lattimore.
So as always, the main story in the preseason is always knees. They're the worst, but you need them. So don't get them hurt tonight, fellas. After the game? Well, knees declared war on us thousands of years ago. I think it's high time we get some revenge.