<
>

W2W4 Revisited: St. Louis Rams

ST. LOUIS -- Looking back at three things to watch from the St. Louis Rams' 21-7 loss to the Green Bay Packers on Saturday afternoon.

1. Bradford's return

Quarterback Sam Bradford's return to the field for the first time in 300 days was mostly a success. Yes, he missed a throw to an open Kenny Britt down the right sideline, but he mostly stood tall in the pocket and delivered accurate throws for most of the day.

Bradford took only one big hit courtesy of Green Bay linebacker Julius Peppers but got up quickly and went back to work. In fact, the play Peppers hit him was Bradford's only incompletion on the team's lone scoring drive.

For the day, Bradford went 0 of 12 for 101 yards with a touchdown for a rating of 127.4 His touchdown pass to tight end Lance Kendricks was particularly impressive as Bradford threaded the needle into tight coverage.

2. Sorting the secondary

Starting cornerback Trumaine Johnson returned after sitting out the preseason opener, but the Rams were still thin at corner again without the services of starter Janoris Jenkins and key backups Brandon McGee and Darren Woodard. More surprising was the absence of rookie E.J. Gaines after a strong performance in the opener. Gaines left a practice earlier in the week with an apparent injury but returned to that workout and didn't seem to have any problems. He ended up sitting out Saturday apparently as a precaution.

For the second consecutive week, that left plenty of opportunities for young corners such as Marcus Roberson, who actually started opposite Johnson, Lamarcus Joyner and Greg Reid.

Joyner led the team with six tackles and added a pass defended and a forced fumble though he had some rough moments in coverage against Green Bay's top offense. Reid had some good moments with three tackles and a pair of passes defended. Roberson was harder to find, making just a single tackle but had some good moments in coverage.

3. Cleaning up mistakes

At first blush, the Rams appeared to have a better tackling performance this week than last week, though the defense struggled in that regard early on and there really wasn't anywhere to go but up after last week. Safety Cody Davis, in particular, was much better than he was against the Saints.

But coach Jeff Fisher was more concerned with the continued penalty issues. The Rams shaved two off their total of 12 from last week, which still left them at a whopping 10 for 76 yards. That's actually right in line with the league average in this preseason but still an area Fisher would like to see improve.

Rams preseason television broadcaster Andrew Siciliano even mentioned that Fisher dangled an early end to training camp as a reward should his team be penalized seven times or less against the Packers. Alas, the Rams will have another week of camp before breaking.