Chiefs vs. Rams: St. Louis' Biggest Winners and Losers from Preseason Week 2

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Chiefs vs. Rams: St. Louis' Biggest Winners and Losers from Preseason Week 2
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

The St. Louis Rams were dominated in their 2012 preseason debut against the Indianapolis Colts, but their second preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs was extremely promising. 

The offense was running on all cylinders, scoring two touchdowns on the first two drives, and the defense was very effective, even if they did allow too many easy completions. 

The Rams clearly won the "varsity" game, and the backups were able to add some points and finish off an encouraging 31-17 victory.

It's vital that we all remember the preseason is meaningless. But if you were concerned over the debacle in Indianapolis, then your worries have surely been diminished with tonight's antidote. 

And while most of the play was positive, there were still some negatives that need to be addressed before the season opener in Detroit

Here are the winners and losers from tonight's game. 

 

Winners 

Sam Bradford

Sam Bradford was a clear winner against the Chiefs and has looked very sharp throughout the first two preseason exhibitions. 

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images
St. Louis Rams QB Sam Bradford had a superb performance against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Bradford was 7-of-9 against the Colts, but he received mild criticism for not completing any deep passes or leading the offense to the end-zone. 

But this week, he completed a 35-yard pass to Danny Amendola on the very first play and ended that drive with a touchdown to tight end Lance Kendricks. 

On the next drive, Bradford was able to hit Amendola with a beautifully placed eight-yard touchdown pass on a fourth-down conversion.

Bradford finished 6-of-9 with 102 yards and two touchdowns.  

 

Steven Jackson

Steven Jackson was the only running back to see action with the first-team offense and appears to be at the top of his game. 

There has been a lot of noise about Jackson's age (29) eventually catching up with him, but he hasn't slowed down even slightly, at least based on what we've seen so far this preseason. 

Jackson carried the ball seven times for 49 yards, a whopping seven yards per carry average, which includes an 18-yard run. 

 

Lance Kendricks

So far in Lance Kendricks' short career, he has teased Rams fans with clear receiving talent, but an inability to manifest those skills during regular-season games. 

Kendricks appeared to be a major part of the offense during the 2011 preseason, but he was non-existent in the regular season. 

Once again, Kendricks is a factor in the preseason, but now, the only question is whether or not he'll continue to produce when the real games begin. 

Kendricks had two receptions a week ago against the Colts, and he followed that up with two catches for 34 yards against Kansas City, including a 23-yard touchdown reception. 

Solid production from Kendricks would be a welcomed surprise in 2012. 

 

Front Eight

The defense was a little shaky defending the pass, and while the run defense was far from perfect, there was a lot of promise from the linebackers and defensive line. 

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images
The St. Louis Rams linebackers and defensive linemen were effective against the Kansas City run game.

Chris Long and James Laurinaitis each batted down a pass, Robert Quinn recorded a sack, defensive tackle Matt Conrath intercepted a pass, and the defense forced Chiefs quarterback Ricky Stanzi to fumble. 

The second- and third-team defensive units were particularly impressive after forcing four sacks and limiting the backup running backs to just 30 yards on 10 carries (three yards per carry).

 

Backup Quarterbacks

After a mediocre showing in Indianapolis, second-string quarterback Kellen Clemens was able to bounce back and put together a respectable performance. 

Clemens failed to find the end zone, but he was 8-of-10 (80.0 percent) with 50 yards, while also carrying the ball once for 22 yards to keep a drive alive. 

Austin Davis had a nice debut against the Colts and continued his success with a 5-of-7 performance against the Chiefs with 70 yards. 

No one is talking about it right now, but there could be a struggle for the No. 2 job at some point between Davis and Clemens. 

 

Daryl Richardson

There aren't a lot of expectations when it comes to seventh-round rookie Daryl Richardson, but his production against Kansas City is difficult to ignore. 

Richardson was able to avoid dancing in the backfield as he burst through the holes and moved the ball with consistency. 

Richardson ran the ball eight times for 35 yards (4.37 yards per carry) and was able to find the end zone for a touchdown. 

 

Losers

Isaiah Pead

Isaiah Pead has been a major disappointment throughout his first two preseason games. 

Last week against Indianapolis, he carried the ball 10 times for 33 yards, but he also caused two fumbles. 

His game against Kansas City was equally troubling. He carried the ball six times for minus-five yards and was completely stuffed at the line of scrimmage every single play. 

He did manage to score a touchdown on a half-yard carry, which is a positive, but it's hard to believe that we would've scored had the offense been two or three yards away from the end-zone. 

Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE
Rookie RB Isaiah Pead has struggled to gain yardage throughout the 2012 preseason.

It's somewhat ridiculous to show any major concern over a rookie who is only two preseason games into his career, but you'd think he could at least slightly flash some potential, which he has not done whatsoever.

Also, Pead's situation is somewhat unique because the team needs a No. 2 running back to give Steven Jackson some rest. 

At this point, Pead doesn't even look remotely close to being ready for regular season action. And if that's the case, Jackson will have to carry the entire load by himself, as usual. 

This is supposed to be a run-heavy offense, but how is that going to work with Jackson being the only runner ready for regular season action? 

 

Secondary

The secondary looked good on the very first series. Cortland Finnegan wrapped up the receiver on the first play and allowed just a one-yard gain, and Janoris Jenkins caused a fumble the very next play. 

The rest of the game was rather shaky. 

They didn't give up any crippling big plays, but just like in Indianapolis, the secondary allowed the quarterbacks to get into a great rhythm with the receivers. 

The defensive line has to get pressure, but the secondary has to share the blame as well. There's no excuse for a quarterback of Matt Cassel's caliber to go 10-of-12 on the first three drives. 

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