Sunday, August 12, 2012
Three things revisited: Rams-Colts
By Mike Sando
Looking back on three things discussed here before the St. Louis Rams' preseason opener Sunday against Indianapolis, a game the Colts led 35-3 as I filed this in the fourth quarter:
1. Isaiah Pead's debut. Steven Jackson started the game at running back and found room initially, finishing with four carries for 17 yards. The Rams ran Jackson three times to start the game. They worked Pead, one of their rookie second-round choices, into the game quickly. Pead generally struggled. He fumbled once and contributed to another fumble through a botched exchange on a delayed handoff from the shotgun formation. Pead carried 10 times for 33 yards, with a long run of 11 yards.
2. Dueling No. 1 overall QBs. The Colts' Andrew Luck was outstanding in his NFL preseason debut, outproducing the Rams' Sam Bradford. Luck, like predecessor Peyton Manning in 1998, connected for a touchdown on his first preseason pass attempt. Luck completed 10 of 16 passes for 188 yards and two scores. He read the Rams' coverages effectively, including when he found a receiver matched against linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar down the middle of the field for a gain to the 1-yard line. Bradford completed 7 of 9 passes for 57 yards. That included a quick, high pass to Austin Pettis for a conversion on third-and-short. Pettis made a couple tough catches. Bradford seemed to have a good rapport with tight end Lance Kendricks. There wasn't much happening down the field for Bradford, however. He went deep for Steve Smith up the left sideline, but a defender was near, Bradford had pressure in his face and the pass sailed out of bounds.
3. Jenkins' impact. The Rams' promising rookie corner started and played extensively. He had tight coverage on Colts receiver Reggie Wayne early in the game, forcing Luck to scramble. The Rams stopped Luck short of the first-down marker on the play, forcing a punt. Luck challenged Jenkins with success when he found rookie T.Y. Hilton for a sideline completion on an out route. Jenkins jumped the route, but Luck had enough velocity on the ball to find Hilton before Jenkins could arrive. Jenkins was not in coverage on either of Luck's scoring passes.