Wiping off the dirt of another preseason loss; Rams updates


The weekend proved to be another disappointing one for St. Louis Rams fans. A 24-14 loss to the Indianapolis Colts put the Rams in an 0-3 hole heading into the final week of the preseason. Now, let’s be clear, the preseason means absolutely nothing in terms the teams record. In 2008 the Detroit Lions would finish the preseason 4-0, only to produce the sports only 0-16 regular season. Even the 2007 New England Patriots, that would finish the regular season 16-0, had a very pedestrian preseason finishing at 2-2.

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One of the main goals of any team in preseason play is come out on the other side relatively injury free. The Rams are doing well in that department, but have still suffered some setbacks. Starting LG Rodger Saffold is still out with a nagging shoulder injury. His injury has forced rookie Jamon Brown, who suffered an ankle sprain on Saturday, to relocate his position on the line from right guard to left guard. When Saffold returns he may find himself at right guard as he was in 2013.

Running back Tre Mason suffered a right hamstring injury in Saturday night’s game agains the Colts. The injury doesn’t appear to be serious, but head coach Jeff Fisher has already ruled Mason out for the final preseason contest against the Kansas City Chiefs, and it’s possible he could miss the season opener against Seattle. With rookie Todd Gurley still rehabbing his torn ACL, this leaves the door wide open for third string back Benny Cunningham and Isaiah Pead. Cunningham produced less than 250 rushing yards in 2014, and Pead did not record an offensive stat.

Aug 29, 2015; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams running back Tre Mason (27) carries the ball during the first quarter of a football game against the Indianapolis Colts at the Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports

There where some bright spots over the weekend as well. New starting quarterback Nick Foles finally began to show signs of life completing 10 of 11 passes for 128 yards and a touchdown. His lone score was a ball in the hands of wide receiver Chris Givens on a 44-yard pass. Givens pairs this long ball with the 80 yard reception he scored on last week against the Titans. Givens has quietly been the best playmaking wide receiver for St. Louis this preseason. All this on what might have been the offensive lines worst performance so far.

With all the shuffling on the Rams offensive line it’s no surprise they have yet to find any shred of consistency. The battle for the center position is still up in the air, and Fisher may be doing his squad a serious disservice by not announcing a starter, either that or the choices are all equally bad. Barrett Jones got his shot against that Colts and performed well, but the players flanking him couldn’t say the same.

Second year standout Greg Robinson is still making the transition to LT and will play an important role in 2015. Saffold, as discussed earlier, may void his LG position and return to the right side. That’s important because, currently, the Rams have two rookies starting on the right side. Second round selection Rob Havenstein at RT, and third round choice Brown at RG. Against Indianapolis, Demetrius Rhaney was pulled from the mix at the center position and thrust in the RG slot. At this point if your head isn’t spinning form all the combinations your a better man than most.

Finally, if all that wasn’t enough, the penalties have slowed this squad to an almost screeching halt once again. The Rams have made a bad habit out of piling up the penalty flags under the regime of Fisher and it looks like 2015 will be no different. Posting 10 penalties for 75 yards against Oakland, 9 penalties for 71 yards against Tennessee and 10 penalties for 83 yards against Indianapolis makes you sick. There’s nothing wrong with being a tough team, but there’s a difference between tough and stupid and St. Louis seems to find themselves on the wrong side of that line more often than not.