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2015 NFL Preseason St. Louis Rams vs. Oakland Raiders: Rams Limp Through First Tune-Up, Fall To Oakland 18-3

That wasn't pretty.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Well hey, that's not how that was supposed to go.

The St. Louis Rams lost to the Oakland Raiders 18-3 in a game that opened with a spark via Tavon Austin...and fizzled out immediately and throughout thereafter.

Quick point of order: the Rams were arguably the best team in the NFL early on in games in 2014. No defense surrendered less points in the 1st quarter and the offense finished fifth in scoring. We know they can carve up a very good gameplan. So we shouldn't be too surprised that the offense put up some early fireworks especially with Tavon Austin cutting on a freaking dime:

Rams-Raiders Tavon Austin juke


(Don't forget that a year ago, Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher explained that his gameplan for the first preseason game was no plan at all, so yeah.)

Tim Barnes got the start at center, and that's about all I'd have to say on the offensive line. They clearly need more time, and they have it.

The defense wasn't spectacular either, especially considering the level of competition. Still, they got to halftime giving up just nine points, though it required two interceptions in Rams territory to keep it that way: the first from CB Trumaine Johnson, the second from CB Imoan Claiborne.

A couple UDFAs had some nice plays, but there wasn't much in the way of consistent positives. You could assume as much from the scoreline.

One final note that we all knew was coming? The penalties.

A week ago, Jeff Fisher said:

Penalties are way down compared to where we were last year...And that's a point of emphasis for us. So, we're not having the false start things, the frequency of them that we've had over the years. Just the discipline things down the field with the contact and the holding and the hands to face, all of those things that we emphasize. So that's encouraging for me. That'll carry over because we have to get that number down.

The Rams finished with 10 penalties for 75 yards.

The only possible major injury would be to LB Daren Bates. A core special teamer, Bates limped off and Jim Thomas confirmed it was a knee injury. We'll keep tabs, but he's pretty certain to make the 53-man.

A couple of guys had minor issues, but doesn't sound like anything major between G Rodger Saffold, G Brandon Washington (Saffold's replacement) and CB Imoan Claiborne.

In the end, it's preseason fame numero uno. You don't sweat the outcome. You do, though, have to treat the concerns as legitimate.

And at least for tonight, there are plenty.