Before I get into my first reactions of the Rams 36-35 win over the Patriots tonight, I would like to tell you all a story. I was sitting at work, and I was trying to stay away from following the game so I could watch it when I got home, when my boss came in from covering a high school volleyball game. The first thing he says to me when he walks through the door is “Well, it look s like the Rams found their quarterback.” So, at this point I had to fire up the computer to see what was going on.
Now, I’m in the process of watching the game on my DVR (at 2:48 a.m.), and I’m even more impressed with Sam Bradford than I was when I just saw the stats. The guy really looks like the real deal, and he did mostly all of this without the service of Steven Jackson (5 carries, 22 yards). Not only that, but he did it against the number one defense of a team that is supposed to be pretty good this season. It’s still only preseason, but Rams fans have to be ecstatic about their young QB.
Bradford was the star of the game, but how good is rookie tight end Michael Hoomanawanui? He has really proven to be a more than capable pass-catcher over the last few weeks, and he has certainly been Bradford’s favorite target thus far. If I was Daniel Fells, I would really be getting worried about making this team.
It wasn’t all good news, as wide receiver Donnie Avery suffered what is believed to be a serious knee injury. Obviously, this is a big blow to the offense. You can say what you want about Avery, but not having him available is going to hurt the passing game. This probably opened up a roster spot for one of the other receivers, so someone needs to step up and take advantage. Danny Amendola has also pretty much guaranteed himself a spot on this team, as he has been very good on offense and special teams.
The backup running backs weren’t great again, and I don’t know if Kenneth Darby really helped his cause much despite seeing a ton of playing time. Keith Toston was decent again, but we badly need a legit backup RB.
I thought the defense was very good, especially considering they went up against the first team offense for a bulk of the game. They gave up a few big plays, but it was mostly the second-teamers giving it up against Pats starters. I thought the first team went toe-to-toe with one of the better offenses in the league. Another solid game for Chris Long, and he has been very good in all three preseason games so far. I liked what I saw from Bradley Fletcher, and I maintain my stance the he has a chance to be a really good player.
Before I go, I also want to say that the backup QB’s did a really good job tonight. Thad Lewis really impressed me, and Keith Null led the big game-winning drive at the end. I will be very interested to see who wins that third QB job, and I think both guys helped their causes tonight.
Overall, it was a very encouraging night for the Rams. You have to be excited about the young players, and I think we found our quarterback.
Tags: Bradley Fletcher Chris Long Daniel Fells Danny Amendola Donnie Avery Keith Toston Kenneth Darby Michael Hoomanawanui Neith Null New England Patriots NFL Preseason Sam Bradford St. Louis Rams Steven Jackson Thaddeus Lewis