Friday, August 26, 2011

Rams vs. Chiefs: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

The St. Louis Rams (3-0) took on the Kansas City Chiefs (0-3) at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, and they were able to win the Governor's Cup in the process.

The annual preseason competition between the two teams for the Governor's Cup trophy is usually a minor accomplishment for the winner, but this year's game had an increased significance as some of the proceeds went towards aiding the victims of the Joplin tornado disaster last April.

This year the Rams were able to take home the trophy with a 14-10 victory over the Chiefs.

The win wasn’t quite as dominate as their performance against the Indianapolis Colts during the first preseason game, but it was certainly a great improvement over their disappointing display last week against the Tennessee Titans.

So without further ado, here is “The Good, The Bad & The Ugly”…

The Good

-Other than an interception while the Rams offense was backed up deep in their own territory, quarterback Sam Bradford had a solid outing going 9-for-16 with 95 yards and two touchdowns. And when the quarterback is rolling, the team is rolling.

- Steven Jackson had a questionable game last week against the Titans with a 1.7 yards per carry average, but he turned it around tonight with 72 rushing yards on 15 carries, including a 25-yard run on the first drive of the game.

-It was only a single six yard reception, but after a 25-yard reception against the Titans last week, receiver Mike Sims-Walker was able to get involved once again with his six yard touchdown reception tonight against the Chiefs.

-Newly drafted tight end Lance Kendricks came on strong in the first preseason game with five receptions for 47 yards and a touchdown, but he was a non-factor last week against the Titans. However, he was able to continue his progress tonight with two receptions for 26 yards and a touchdown.

-The offensive line showed up to play tonight, as oppose to the pitiful performance they put on against the Titans last week. The run lanes were wide open and Sam Bradford had enough time to make plays.

-Prior to tonight, the Rams defensive line had zero sacks in the preseason, but defensive ends Robert Quinn and James Hall were both able to record a sack each. The front four looked less like the pushovers we saw last week and more like the line we were expecting to see in 2011.

-On top of Quinn's quarterback sack, he also came up big with a field-goal block in the second-half. It's good to see the Rams 2011 first-round pick making plays in the preseason. He should be fun to watch. 

The Bad

-Wide receivers Mardy Gilyard and Danario Alexander both had drops tonight. They’re both supposedly fighting for a roster spot, but unfortunately neither of them was able to clearly stand out tonight. Of the two, Gilyard was probably the most impressive with three catches for 18 yards, including a 14-yard catch, as oppose to Alexander and his single three yard reception.

-The backups looked phenomenal in the first two preseason games, and they actually won the game for the Rams last week against the Titans with a last second field-goal. However, they were not nearly as dominate tonight, as they allowed a 32-yard touchdown catch to Chiefs receiver Cody Slate. But in the end they kept the Rams in the game and secured a win.

-Donnie Avery looked solid for a second week straight. He had two catches for 26 yards against the Chiefs, including an 18-yard catch. However, for the second consecutive game he played with the backups as oppose to the first-team offense. Perhaps next week they’ll stick him with the Bradford and try to make something happen.

The Ugly

If you were watching the game tonight either on television or through the online NFL preseason package, then you experienced some technical difficulties during the first half.

There was supposedly a power surge that interfered with the broadcast, but it’s hard to not get frustrated with a situation like that, especially since Rams fans missed a Lance Kendricks touchdown during the blackout.

The blackout also caused a change in momentum. The first-string Rams offense was dominating before the blackout, but the game returned just in time for Bradford to throw an interception. It was a nightmare for those who believe in superstitions.         

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