The Rams opened their preseason schedule with a home game against the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings are certainly a better team than the Rams and showed it even in the preseason. The Rams had a few player highlights including the play of George Selvie and Larry Grant.
The number one highlight play for the Rams was Danny Amendola’s 94 yard kickoff TD in the first quarter. The Rams had as much momentum as you could expect in the first game in the preseason, but that all went quickly out the window and Danny Amendola fumbled his next punt return, giving the ball to the Vikings in the red zone. Sage Rosenfels and the Vikings quickly said thank you and completed a 2 yard TD pass.
Sam Bradford debuted in the second quarter, led offense to a turnover on down in Vikings territory. His first completion was an 18 yard first down to Laurent Robinson. He had a three and out in his second drive with three incomplete passes. The Rams offensive line, which was passable in early going, soon began to spring leaks, even with the Rams first team offensive line and the Vikings second team defensive line. Smith is still coming off injury his foot surgery and it was Saffold’s first game in the NFL, but both had struggles with speed rushers. Also inside protection has trouble with center Jason Brown and Adam Goldberg starting at guards with Hank Fraley starting at center. The Vikings sacked Sam Bradford 4 times. Bradford was dropped at least once on his surgically repaired shoulder and he bounced back up without any hesitation. So, there is always a silver lining.
The Rams offense did not score an offensive touchdown the entire game. The offense looked vanilla complete with short passes and a porous offensive line. So, pretty much the same as all of the 2009 regular season.
Sage Rosenfels sliced and diced the Rams offense with one short TD pass and two very long touchdown passes. The Rams lost 2 corners early in the game and they were starting without Justin King and Bradley Fletcher. Bartell was active but did not play much at all. 65 yard TD from Sage Rosenfels to Garrett Mills on a blown coverage by Chris Chamberlain. 77 yard TD from Sage Rosenfels to Marko Mitchell on a blown coverage by Marquis Johnson and another player. The Rams continue to have problems rushing the passer and they even had trouble getting to the Vikings quarterback on blitzes. The two long touchdown passes were on blitzes that were easily picked up by the Vikings offensive line. However, Larry Grant had an impressive 1st half with the Rams 1st team defense. He had two great plays in coverage and one tackle of the Vikings running back in the hole for a loss. George Selvie also built on his strong training camp and had a strong preseason debut. He punctuated his game with a sack and forced fumble on Sage Rosenfels to end the half. The Rams are looking for pass rushers and there is a big opportunity for someone to step up. So far George Selvie looks like the first player to earn himself some playing time.
The Rams inactives were Josh Brown, Brandon Gibson, Justin King, Bradley Fletcher, Jacob Bell, Jon Greco, Eugene Sims, James Hall and CJ Ah You.