Talk about a Jekyll and Hyde performance, the Rams’ offense totally flipped the scoreboard in their second bout of the preseason. As always, we have to take the preseason outcomes with a grain of salt, but as far as what you are looking for from your first teamers, you could not ask for a better performance. Here are a couple of players from the Rams vs. Chiefs whose performance went up or down from last week:
Sam Bradford: Up
Analysts jumped all over Sam Bradford following the Colts opener, condemning his “inaccuracy” on his two failed pass attempts. Tonight, Bradford quickly dispelled those claims with a 35 yard bomb to Danny Amendola streaking on a deep corner. Bradford finished with a solid 6 of 9 passing, for 102 and 2 touchdowns. Most impressively, those stats were compiled within the 1st Quarter!
Isaiah Pead: Down
Pead followed up his shaky performance against the Colt with a shakier performance tonight. Pead refused to hit the hole, and continued to run laterally. Marshall Faulk, who was commentating for the Rams Broadcasting Network, noted the Pead will have to learn that as a pro, he cannot outrun the defensive to the outside and there is no “reversing the field” at the NFL level. Those claimed were cleary justified in Pead’s -5 yard rushing performance on 6 attempts, including a -9 yard run where, instead of laying it down a the line of scrimmage, he attempting to break free and reverse the field. He also was underwhelming on his lone punt return, running 50 yards laterally for a 1 yard gain. Lucky, it is only Week 2 of the preseason, so hopefully Jackson can knock some sense into him.
Darryl Richardson: Up
While Pead was underwhelming in his time on the field, Richardson looked every bit the change-of-pace back that the Rams expected him to be with the 7th pick in this years draft. Richardson hit the holes well, patiently followed his blocking, and put up a solid 35 yard performance on 8 carries. Those who follow the Rams closely had been a little nervous about Richardson, with him missing significant time due to injury during camp, but it does not seem as if those fears were justified. Again, it is a preseason and he was working against second/third team talent, so we will see how he progresses with more touches throughout the next couple of games.
Austin Pettis/Steve Smith: Down
The two wide receivers that stood out in Week 1 against the Colts dropped out of the spotlight tonight against the Chiefs. Overall, there weren’t a lot of passes to go around within the crowded wide receiver field, but one reception a piece is not going to make you stand out in this crowd of receivers.
Danny Amendola/Lance Kendricks: Up
Talk about about a one-two punch at TE and WR, Amendola and Kendricks stole the show tonight with their pair of touchdowns. Amendola started off the night with a beautiful sliding catch from Bradford and ended his night with a touchdown catch in the back of the endzone, where he was forced to adjust to the ball being thrown to the back shoulder and while the defender was being called for pass interference. Kendricks built off his performance against the Colts with a spectacular 23 yard catch and run that results in a touchdown, with defender dangled from his arm as he crossed the goal line.
Tom Brandstater: Down
For a player battling for the 3rd quarterback spot, his performance was pretty underwhelming in comparison to Austin Davis. Brandstater had trouble with reading the coverage and did not handle the pressure from the defense well, ending in a couple of three-and-outs to cap off his night. Davis on the other hand, looked very comfortable in the backfield, and showed some good accuracy on his 5 of 7 passing for 70 yards.
Greg “the Leg” Zuerlein: Up
Apparently also know as Young GZ at camp, Zuerlein made a 52 yard boom of a kick look like a chip shot. Zuerlein himself had told reporters that he had not kicked for a crowd of over 6,000 people. For anyone worried about how he would take being on the “big stage,” the yardage speaks for itself. The kicking position is the most under appreciated in the NFL. A good kicker can tack on an extra point at the end of a game and chip in some field goals if the offense fails to produce in the red zone. A great kicker can guarantee putting points on the board once you get into your 35 and make sure your defense is in good position with consistently placed touchbacks on kickoffs. It looks as if we have the latter taking the field on our special teams plays.