Despite a wide disparity in first half yardage during their visit to South Beach, the St. Louis Rams lost to the Miami Dolphins 17-14. The score was nearly identical to the one predicted here in the preview article a few days ago, but with Miami edging the Rams rather than the other way around. Even though this win drops the Rams back to .500 at 3-3, there are still plenty of positives to take away from this one.
As was said in the opening, the Rams out gained the Dolphins by a total of 294 to 100 yards in the first half. This proves that the team still has a fully functional offense without wideout Danny Amendola on the field. Quarterback Sam Bradford threw for 315 yards and completed two-thirds of his throws. He had zero touchdowns, but perhaps even more importantly, he had zero interceptions which kept the Rams in the game.
The running game really carried the team for the bulk of the contest. Carries were just about evenly divided between veteran Steven Jackson and rookie Daryl Richardson. Jackson toted the rock a dozen times for 52 yards while Richardson carried it 11 times for 76 yards. The fact that the ground game finally got going in this game is very positive moving forward given the Rams’ propensity to play sound defensively while wanting to shorten the game.
One area where the team came back to earth on Sunday was special teams as rookie kicker Greg Zuerlein missed three of his five field goal attempts. Zuerlein hadn’t missed a kick in his career up to this point, but he missed two in the first half, a 52-yarder and a 37-yard gimme. He also missed on a prayer from 66 yards at the end of the game, but that one was less discouraging. No one thought that Greg “The Leg” was going to go perfecto for the season or his entire career for that matter, but this misses were very untimely and set the team back beyond repair in this one.
What we learned from this tilt is that the Rams are a very talented young group of players, but the operative word here is still “young”. The fact that they so thoroughly dominated the Fins in the first half in terms of yardage just shows what the team is capable of, but consistency and ball security are still serious questions. There’s no doubt that the team will grow from this loss and get better because of it, but next weekend the Green Bay Packers visit the Edward Jones Dome and the level of competition will see a serious raising of the bar.
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