ST. LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 20: Brandon Gibson #11 of the St. Louis Rams catches an 83 yard pass for a touchdown against the Tennessee Titans at the Edward Jones Dome on August 20, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Szczepanski/Getty Images)
A lot of people think that the Rams may be the team to beat in 2011 and a lot of it has to do with the idea that they've got their franchise QB in Sam Bradford, and he and new Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels and have some shiney new weapons to utilize. They made some changes in the offseason, drafting TE Lance Kendricks, WR Greg Salas, WR Austin Pettis and signing FA WR Mike Sims-Walker.
The Rams added first round pick Robert Quinn at defensive end to an already decent defense and could give the Seahawks some trouble this season. They are 2-0 in the preseason thus far and won their matchup against Matt Hasselbeck's Titans on Saturday 17-16. I haven't had the chance to watch that game yet but here are some people that did and have provided their take on it. From what I understand, Sam Bradford threw an 83-yard TD pass to Brandon Gibson on the first offensive play of the game for the Rams. Awesome.
Rams vs Titans recap: Shades of 2010 - Turf Show Times: This is the week where we remind ourselves that this is a preseason for the opposite reasons we did the same last week. The St. Louis Rams made an 83-yard statement to start the game. Unfortunately, what should have been a tone setting play, looked more like an off-note as the first half unfolded and the Tennessee Titans outplayed the Rams starters. Sam Bradford and the handful of starters left on the field at the end of the half, packed it in down by a score of 16-7. Like I said above, this was a preseason game. When the Rams get back to practice, they will have a list of things to work on before next week's game against the Chiefs and the start of the regular season. Let's review the starters after the jump.
Head coach Steve Spagnuolo not pleased with his starters - Turf Show Times: Not a total disaster, but the St. Louis Rams' starting units came up shot last night, underwhelming the heightened expectations they set for themselves. The second and third teams turned in some impressive performances. The starters, on the other hand, left their head coach displeased. Here's head coach Steve Spagnuolo:
Thaddeus Lewis, Fendi Onobun Lead St. Louis Rams To Preseason Victory - SB Nation St. Louis: The St. Louis Rams' third-string quarterback, Thaddeus Lewis, came through with an outstanding drive in the final minutes to lead them to a 17-16 victory over the Tennessee Titans.
Rams-Titans Recap: Getting the win the hard way. | Preseason: If you started watching the Rams game Saturday night 16 seconds after it started, you missed the most exciting play of the game. In an offensive set that featured three TEs, Sam Bradford executed a perfect play action fake and delivered an 83-yard bomb to Brandon Gibson for a touchdown. It looked like Bradford and company picked up right where they left off last Saturday night when they were dismantling the Colts. The problem was for the rest of the 59 minutes and 45 seconds of the game, the Rams looked less like the team last week and more like those teams during the 6-42 years of 07, 08, and 09.
Drive breakdown: Missed tackles and blown assignments cost the Rams 7 points - Turf Show Times: I woke up early to watch the video of the St. Louis Rams' win last night. Compulsive. Sick. Sunday mornings are for sleeping in, not watching preseason football, not at Turf Show Times. Truth be told, I have yet to make it past the first half of the game, rewinding and watching plays over and over again. A few series from the starters will be interesting to break down, but let's start with the Rams defense and the Titans' first quarter touchdown drive, the one that resulted from Sam Bradford's interception. To start with, the defense was back on the field after barely more than a minute and a half, after working for five and a half minutes on the Titan's first possession. Not exactly a break, but it is early enough in the game that it shouldn't be a huge problem. Of course, the preseason and just a few weeks in camp, maybe there was a little rust because it's early. Maybe. Let's look at the scoring drive.
The Quick Five: Preseason Week 2 - Turf Show Times: I know it's the preseason, but this one probably left a sour taste in our mouths. The things we saw last week that really impressed us were not present this week and while preseason is meant to shake off the dust, you have to imagine that some people are thinking the high notes from the game against Indy may be just that, instead of a consistent level of excellence. Here we go with week two of the Quick Five!
QB doesn't bite tongue on Rams' defense - NFC West Blog - ESPN: Matt Hasselbeck bit his tongue during and not after the Tennessee Titans' preseason game Saturday night against the St. Louis Rams. [+] Enlarge AP Photo/Jeff Roberson Titans QB Matt Hasselbeck came away from Saturday's preseason game in St. Louis impressed with the Rams' defense. "These guys are really underrated," Hasselbeck said, speaking clearly despite the unsightly tongue injury he suffered during the game. "They have a very good defense, they are well coached and they give you a lot of different things to talk about." The veteran quarterback and longtime Rams nemesis is beginning his first season with the Titans after 10 with the Seattle Seahawks. He won eight consecutive starts against the Rams from 2005 to 2009, then lost his only start against them last season as the Rams' improving defense shined during a 20-3 victory. "They play so many different coverages, they use so many different blitzes and (James) Laurinaitis checks them in and out of stuff, and they are sound," Hasselbeck said.
Rams receivers locked in battle to make team: Three weeks of Rams training camp and two preseason games are in the books. And the logjam at wide receiver is no less congested. "I saw a lot of good play there" Saturday in the Rams' 17-16 victory over Tennessee, coach Steve Spagnuolo said. "It was nice to see Greg Salas out there. Danario (Alexander) made a play on a quick screen, ran with the ball pretty good. Mardy (Gilyard) had one good catch there at the end. And certainly Donnie Avery, having him back in there and catching a long ball like that (19-yard TD) is pretty good. Brandon Gibson opened up the game with a good play (83-yard TD). "So I thought we got some production out of the receiving corps, and the competition continues."
Camp Confidential: St. Louis Rams - NFC West Blog - ESPN: Unfazed by the NFL lockout and energized by a new offense, Sam Bradford shatters perceptions of him as a young player scrambling to make up lost ground. "We’re going to push the ball down the field," the St. Louis Rams' second-year quarterback says with some excitement. "I think we’re going to be aggressive." Building steadily for the long term isn't the focus for Bradford and the Rams' new offensive coordinator, Josh McDaniels. They're living week to week, play to play.
Losing TE would be problem for Rams - NFC West Blog - ESPN: The St. Louis Rams have shrugged off concerns over their wide receivers in part because they felt so good about their tight ends. One of those tight ends, Mike Hoomanawanui, had ankle problems last season and missed eight games.
First Impressions - Titans @ Rams | ProFootballFocus.com: St. Louis – Three Things of Note . ● The Rams’ secondary looked like the strongest defensive unit they fielded Saturday night. Bradley Fletcher showcased his ability to put the Titans receivers on lock down. Fletcher, along with the rest of the starters, played the majority of the first half. Fletcher did two things particularly well: he effectively jammed Tennessee’s receivers off the line and played the ball well while in the air; finishing the night with two passes defended. St. Louis’ secondary only gave up one reception to the Titans’ wide receivers through two quarters. James Butler chipped-in with a second-half interception, showing that he can still make plays when given the opportunity.