The obligatory post-preseason game writeup

Friday, August 14, 2015 11:01 PM

Sure, sure, it’s fantastic to have the NFL back.

But. Isn’t it crazy how every year we have to remember how much these games can kind of, you know, suck? If it weren’t for a whole bunch of Red Stripe and the PST time zone, the essential unviewability (that’s a word that just now made up) of last night’s Raiders-Rams game would have been overwhelming.

So thank the football gods for the miracle of beer with its concomitant natural lowering of expectations.

The good bits for the Rams all happened on the first drive – as is the standard MO for game one of the preseason – and can be easily seen in the official NFL highlight clip. (Note to self: In future, turn these games off after the first quarter.)

While Rams fans are certainly most anticipating a dominant defense in 2015, many prospective starters and others high on the depth chart (among them E.J. Gaines, Chris Long, Brandon McGee, Eugene Sims, Korey Toomer and Doug Worthington) didn’t play a down. Happily, at least a couple members of the secondary – thought to be the chink in the defensive armor – stood out with nice interceptions: Trumaine Johnson and the undrafted Imoan Claiborne were bright spots on a unit which surrendered touchdowns to David Carr and Christian Ponder. (Yeesh.)

The foolishly optimistic among us were hoping to gain some idea about the new-look offense, but, well, most starters lasted for the first two series. Except Rodger Saffold. Saffold started at left guard and was taken out due to injury on the Rams’ fourth play from scrimmage; as of this writing, no new information regarding the injury has been released, but it sure didn’t look very good at the time.

On the Rams’ first two drives, the starters on the right side – center Tim Barnes, appearing to be leading this position battle, with rookies Rob Havenstein and Jamon Brown – appeared competent enough to bend-not-break but, as the blogosphere is declaring en masse this morning, more work remains to be done for these guys.

And then there’s Nick Foles, that much-lauded acquisition. What can we glean from two series about a guy who hasn’t played a full NFL season in his three years in the league?

Welllllllll … those first two completions – 26 yards to Lance Kendricks, 35 yards to Tavon Austin – looked good. Foles seems completely healthy, and the Rams offense will apparently feature lots of dink-and-dunk stuff befitting of Foles’ style. Naturally, the whole complexion of the Foles-led offense will morph once Todd Gurley’s in the lineup and/or when Tre Mason is given more touches than those within this tiny sample size, but at very base we have indication of a suitable gameplan.

It almost makes me look forward to the Titans game next Sunday – until I recall those 10 penalties. Ugly.

– written by Os Davis

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