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Rams-Browns: Ups & Downs

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Looking back at some of the standouts from last night's Rams-Browns contest...for better and for worse.

Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports

There's plenty to sift through from last night. Let's take a look at who put up some of the better performances and those that left us wanting.

Thumbs-up_medium Sam Bradford

Four completions in nine attempts normally wouldn't qualify for a positive performance, but it certainly did last night. Consider when some of those completions came: 2nd and 10 (to Brian Quick for 21 yards), a wiped out 3rd & 7 (to Jared Cook for 21 yards), the subsequent 3rd & 12 (again to Quick for 13 yards) and on 3rd & 25 (to Kenny Britt for 36 yards). It was a crazy drive that took the air out of the game when Sam limped off the field after getting them into the red zone. It was flash of what Sam can do when things are clicking. It's something we need to see more of when the season gets going...and when Sam gets back on the field.

Thumbsdown_mediumJake Long

It was Long's struggles last night that led to the hit that injured Bradford. For someone as capable as Long, he's locked into the starting left tackle spot. So when he was cleared to return after tearing his ACL and MCL last year, there were no questions that he should immediately get on the field. Nor should there be. Let it be a reminder though of how crucial line play is...and how important it is for Long to shake off the rust and get back to top form.

Thumbs-up_medium The Rams' Starting WRs

Chris Givens had two catches for 94 yards on the back of his 75-yard touchdown. Kenny Britt had two impressive routes that resulted in two receptions for 68 yards. And Brian Quick amassed four catches for 47 yards and a touchdown. If you're looking for optimal production from these top three, last night showed us what it would look like.

Thumbsdown_medium The Rams' RBs

Benny Cunningham continues to establish himself as a legitimate NFL player on the back of his performance last night racking up 32 yards on just five carries, but Zac Stacy and Tre Mason weren't able to get the Rams' running game on track. Those two combined for just 40 yards on 15 carries...Stacy alone grabbed just 11 yards on his five carries. For a team that by all accounts is comfortable leaning on the run this year, the preseason returns might be cause for concern.

Thumbs-up_mediumThe Rams' TE Depth

Alex Bayer and Justice Cunningham are in one hell of a battle for the assumed final TE spot on the roster. Bayer continues to excel in the receiving game while Cunnnigham has shown more blocking chops. It's the kind of problem you want to have as a coach, but one you don't want to get wrong.

Thumbsdown_mediumInjuries

Sure, this could have gone first, but by all accounts the only outstanding injury with long-term implication is the knee injury sustained by Trumaine Johnson last night. Still, it was a tough half to get through. And as always, I feel obligated to spread the word to all of mankind that we are in a constant war against knees. They are committed to ruining our way of life. Time to take up arms, folks.

Thumbs-up_mediumMichael Sam

Two sacks, and the indelible image of making Johnny Football's money sign back at him. Sam's been one of the best performers among the depth on the roster. He should make the first round of cuts due this Tuesday. His fate beyond that is one of many tough choices ahead for the coaches in finalizing the 53-man roster.