Here are my final thoughts on the game, the roster and the direction of the team:
1) Players that look much improved over a season ago—Bradford, Saffold, Kendricks, Pettis, Amendola (back from injury) and Quinn.
2) Players making a strong push to make this roster—Cudjo (DT), McLeod (FS), McIntosh (OLB), Richardson (RB), Conrath (DT), Austin Davis (a lock to make the roster as the third QB), Mike McNeil (TE, very impressive late in the game) and Sammy Brown (depth at linebacker, special teams).
3) Players who are on notice right now—Trevor Laws (DT), Darian Stewart (FS), Greg Salas (WR), Danario Alexander (WR), Brandon Gibson (WR), Jason Smith (RT) and Bradley Fletcher (DB).
4) Final thoughts on this game, and this game only—The Rams played really well. They finally scored some points. Like I said last week, wins and losses are so overrated right now. Heck, the Rams went 4-0 last year in the preseason, and look how that turned out!
I'm more worried about the eye test than the scoreboard right now, and tonight the Rams passed the eye test. They played more physical, and they are definitely more talented and have much more team speed than they had a year ago.
5) What does this game mean for the regular season?—The Rams have a simple formula that could lead to a decent season. If they can stop the run, that sets up the pass rush and the secondary to be a major factor in every game. Steven Jackson running the ball behind a physical offensive line should keep the defense honest, and that should keep Sam Bradford clean.
The receivers are better, and while that position group is much deeper, but it's still not an elite group. For those drives that stall, the Rams have a secret weapon in rookie kicker Greg Zeurlein. Basically, the Rams are going to be a solid team without a lot of margin for error.
My prediction, no lower than 5-11, no higher than 9-7.
As always, thanks for reading.