The Rams lose to the Packers in preseason game #2. The final score was Packers 19 – Rams 7. After losing our first 2 preseason games should we be concerned Rams fans? My answer would be no. In yesterday’s game we should only worry about the first half of the game because that’s when the starters played. In the first half the Rams held Aaron Rodgers and company to 3 field goals. Even during tough times the Rams defense has played well in Red Zone situations and this remained true against GB. The Rams offense went off the field at half time with no points, but 90% of the time they would have had 10 points. On the second drive of the game QB Bradford muffed any easy goal line pass in what should have been a TD. Later in the quarter Legatron (K Zuerlein) missed a 50 yard field goal that would have gone through the uprights on any other Sunday (or Saturday in this case). So, the game could just have easily been GB 9 – Rams 10 at halftime.
However, there were 3 glaring flags to be watched and corrected by the Rams over the next 2 preseason games.
1 Horrific tackling – bad tackling took place in every area of the defense. I don’t think the Rams made a single first-contact tackle in the first 2 GB Packer drives. Rodgers did his thing which is going to happen, but after the reception there was a tremendous amount of post catch yards gained that should never happen. This has got to be fixed.
2 Penalties – I’m not talking 2nd team penalties, but first half first team penalties. Over and over in the first half the Rams were getting whistled. A young team has to be able to focus on execution. They should never be in a place where they are hurting their own chances of winning a game.
3 3rd down conversions – do you know how many 3rd down conversion the Rams had in the first half? They had zero. Since it was a preseason game Rams coaching made some aggressive play calling decisions. Several times the Rams went for it on 4th down when they wouldn’t have in a regular season game. Hurray for Rams coaches, but all of these plays came up empty too. You can’t win a game if you can’t execute when it counts.
So, it’s still the preseason and it’s the time to expose and correct these types of problems. In my mind I’m going to say the Rams starters won their game 10-9. I’m not happy about the entire team’s performance, but I’m ok. I look forward to some serious improvements between now and Saturday when the Rams take on the Denver Broncos in Denver (fyi… Broncos Lost 40-10 to Seattle this weekend).