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Rams Beat Jaguars, Finish Preseason 4-0

September 2, 2011

Sam Bradford is pressured during the first quarter in Jacksonville. (AP Photo/Stephen Morton)

The Rams finished their preseason in fine fashion Thursday night, getting a win on the road in Jacksonville by the score of 24-17. The first team offensive unit played the first quarter, and then were pulled, giving way to the backups. Sam Bradford had a great quarter, throwing for 133 yard and one touchdown before A.J. Feeley came in to take his place. Steven Jackson only racked up 7 yards on three carries, but showed nice burst on a 27-yard screen pass. Although it’s only the preseason and the games don’t really count, the momentum from the past four games will lead into the meaningful schedule. “The big thing is, we made it out of the preseason largely healthy and guys were able to put in great work. The record doesn’t carry over, but the work we put in does,” said defensive end Chris Long. The Rams’ defensive starters had a successful night, and didn’t surrender a single score to the Jaguars through the first quarter. Then, like the offensive starters, the first team got the rest of the night off. By far the biggest suprise for the Rams throughout the preseason, Lance Kendricks once again had a productive night at tight end. He totaled 83 yards receiving, including one touchdown, and also did an adequate job on his blocking assignments. “It was nice to go out there and catch a few passes, get some looks that we really haven’t seen much,” Kendricks said. “I think going out there tonight and kind of keeping that rhythm was good.” Screen plays definitely were working against the Jacksonville defense. The Rams had two on the night that totaled more than twenty yards. “One of the things that I was particularly happy to see tonight was our screen game,” Bradford said. “It’s something that we just really kind of struggled with early in the preseason. So to see some of those go was really nice.” After the starters exited the contest, intrigue remained due to the undecided roster spots on both sides of the field. Jacksonville quarterback Blaine Gabbert, who played for Mizzou and is a Parkway West grad, had a decent night with 132 yards passing in the second half. It seems as though he will be the Jaguars second string quarterback, behind veteran David Garrard. The Rams will have some tough decisions to make before 3 p.m. local time on Saturday. The current Rams roster of 80 must be trimmed down to 53. The positions most affected by these cuts will be linebacker, wide receiver, and surpisingly quarterback. Sam Bradford has a choke-hold on the number one quarterback slot, but it is a topic of intrigue as to how many quarterbacks the Rams will keep on the roster. Veteran A.J. Feeley has done nothing to disappoint throughout the preseason, but Thaddeus Lewis is giving him a run for his money. Lewis completed 12 of his 15 passes against the Jaguars for 164 total yards through the air. The Rams may be forced into keeping three quarterbacks due to the impressive play from all three. But this morning, on 101.1 ESPN radio in St. Louis, fans were reminded that the quartback competition doesn’t really matter, because, if Sam goes down, “we’re screwed anyway”. Sam Bradford has come along way to quiet his critics who laughed at the Rams for taking him number one overall. Sam Bradford is to the Rams what Michael Jordan once was to the Bulls. Bradford is the face of the Rams’ franchise, and for the team to win, Sam has to be on the field. And we can feel could putting our trust in faith in Bradford this year, being as though last year he played every offensive snap. This weekend we will find out who the Rams will keep for Sam to throw to, and who will shape up the Rams’ linebacker core, as many dreams will be either achieved or crushed. Spagnuolo and his staff have a lot of evaluating to do.

-KG

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