The Rams started off very fast against the Broncos. After stopping Denver's offense, Tavon Austin returned the punt inside the 10, and the Rams scored a TD on the first play for the offense. The team easily could have packed it up, went home and got everything they needed out of this preseason game.
But that's not how football works. The Rams had to play the rest of the game.
General thoughts from it.
- This was the Rams best pre-season game by far.
Alec Ogletree started off the game very poorly, missing multiple tackles, but he was able to turn it around in a big way. He forced a fumble and returned it for a TD, and he later added an interception. He nearly had another in the redzone.
- Alec Ogletree may be able to help the Rams in an area they really need improvement in, forcing turnovers. They forced 4 tonight, which is a huge positive.
- Jared Cook had 4 catches for 50 yards and a sweet TD catch. He has looked great so far in the preseason. He could very well be on his way to having a pro-bowl caliber year.
- Sam Bradford looked solid. Give him time, he'll put the ball where it should go. I still have some concerns about his ability to read blitzes and anticipate throws. Those things won't hurt him much if he gets protection like he did tonight in the regular season.
- Giving up 290 yards in the first half is unacceptable. I don't care how vanilla the Rams defense was playing or that Peyton Manning was the opposing QB. Giving up 290 yards in a half is not going to lead to many wins.
- The words illegal formation and on the Rams come about far too often. You would think after the 49ers game last season they would have learned their lesson.
- Tavon Austin had two explosive punt returns, and that should have been a TD, if he had better blocking. I can't wait until the Rams let him loose.
Daryl Richardson, don't juke. That's not your game. Run forward and take your yards.
- The rookies were making plays. TJ McDonald blocked a kick, Ogletree showed off his athletic ability, Tavon showed how Tavon he is, and Steadman Bailey reminded me why I liked him so much in the draft.
- Rodney McLeod is SOOOOOOOO much better than Darian Stewart.
- I am very concerned about the Rams offensive line. The starters are solid, but all have injury issues. The second team has played poorly through the pre-season. You know one of the starters will get injured. We are going to need a lot of Paul Boudreau magic.
- Rookie Darren Woodard made some good plays, including an interception. This game may allow him to survive the first rounds of cuts.
- The Rams playing Tim Jenkins over Kellen Clemens ought to tell you that Kellen Clemens isn't making this team.
- Also, the Rams backup QBs are a disaster. I think they may be looking for some QBs come cut day.
- The Rams were very flat in the second half. Didn't seem to have any juice...
- Until the end of the game. The Rams bounced back, and were able to pull together a TD drive after a turnover from the defense. They went for two, and were unsuccessful, but in the regular season, this would have tied the game. Great to see.
- I really hate preseason football. Like really hate it. Only one more everyone. We can do it.
For the most part, the Rams played well with their starters against one of the better NFL teams. It's a positive sign for the Rams moving forward.
Cuts start Tuesday. I'm going to miss some of the guys who get cut. They've been fun to watch for preseason football at least.