The St. Louis Rams were blasted 34-13 by the Tennessee Titans in their first preseason game Saturday night at LP Field in Nashville Tennessee. The Titans ran away from the Rams on this night. The Rams continue to not play well in preseason games under Scott Linehan. For most teams this would not be an issue, but the Rams need to build confidence and a winning mentality especially for the younger players that have only experienced losing with the Rams.
The Rams started the game with Orlando Pace back in action along with Jacob Bell, Brett Romberg, Richie Incognito and Alex Barron. It was nice to see the “Big O” on the field again. It would be nice to see the Rams actually move the ball in the preseason. The Rams starting offense has not scored a touchdown in any preseason game(9) under Linehan.
Brian Leonard started at RB, and on the Rams first drive he was stuffed twice gaining zero yards. After an incomplete pass it was 3 and out for the Rams. It was like watching a replay of many other Rams games, 3 and out along with bad punt coverage. The Titans marched right down the field to the Rams 5 before stalling. Jeff Fisher went for it on 4th down, why not, and the Rams were able to stuff Lendale White and take over at their own 5 yard line.
On the Rams second drive things were no better. After an incomplete pass from Bulger to Dan Kreider and a loss of 3 from Leonard the Rams were in a deep whole 3rd and 13 from their own 2 yard line. After a delay of game penalty moved the ball back to the one yard line you could feel doom coming. Bulger dropped deep into his own end zone to pass, Leonard and Kreider both came out of the backfield and ran crossing patterns, Bulger zipped the ball over the middle, not really sure if it was at Leonard or Kreider, either why it was going way to hard for Leonard who got a piece of it before it glanced off him straight to Keith Bulluck who walked it in from 10 yards out. 7-0 Titans.
The third drive started with Bulger pressured, sacked and a forced fumble by Vanden Bosch, luckily the Titans were offsides on the play. The Rams were finally able to move the ball from their own 27 to the Titans 26 resulting in a 44 yard field goal from Josh Brown. 7-3 Titans.
That was it for the starters for the Rams. Marc Bulger finished 3 for 9 for only 29 yards and a pick that led to 7 Titans points. In general Marc looked a little tentative and slow. Brian Leonard had 5 carries for 12 yards in the game, which included one nice straight up the middle run for 11 yards, meaning he had only 1 yard on his other four carries. At times he seems to slow for the NFL but at others when he just hits a hole going north/south he seems pretty sound. It was great to see Orlando Pace on the field but he was in no way ready for a real game. Pace was very slow with his feet and was run over and around by Vanden Bosch many times in the 1st quarter.
The Rams started on defense with Little, Glover, Carriker, and Chris Long. This unit played all of the 1st quarter, and Long played the entire first half. This unit really did not do much. Glover had a chance to sack Vince Young on Titans second drive but he flat out missed him and Young was able to race up field for 35 yards. The Titans were able to get a field goal on that drive and go up 10-3 on the Rams. Glover and Little were each given credit for one tackle each, while Carriker and Long were held off the stat sheet. Carriker looks really large to me and I still am not sure why they drafted him as a DE and moved him to DT and had him put on all of that weight. Chris Long was handled easy by the Titans, but at least he got in a lot of work.
The rest of the game was pretty much the Titans pounding the rock up the middle against a yielding and out-manned Rams defense. The Titans ran the ball for 340 yards, and they had 495 total yards in the game. As a Rams fan it was not what you wanted to see to start the season. We need to see more emotion and better play out of all of the Rams or it will be another long season.
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