St. Louis Rams: Winners and Losers in Week 2 Win Over the 'Skins
The St. Louis Rams improved to 1-1 with a terrific come-from-behind win over the Washington Redskins. In a hyped QB matchup between Rams' QB Sam Bradford and 'Skins QB Robert Griffin III—the man the Rams could have drafted last April—Bradford played his best game as a pro.
Follow along as I give you my take on who the Rams' "Winners and Losers" were from Week 2.
Winner: Sam Bradford
Sam Bradford completed 26-of-35 passes for 310 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Bradford was simply fantastic in this game. Playing behind a makeshift offensive line—a constant theme during his Rams' career—Bradford anticipated the rush, he stepped up in the pocket and he got the ball out of his hands quickly.
With the game Griffin had against the Saints last week and the fact that the Rams traded the right to draft Griffin last April, Bradford was under the microscope this week. Bradford had to play well, and he had his best game as a St. Louis Ram.
Sam Bradford, you get the game ball this week. You put the Rams on your back and willed this team to victory.
Winner: Danny Amendola
Danny Amendola caught the first pass of the game, and then, fumbled the ball on the turf. The Redskins promptly picked the football up and ran it in for an easy touchdown.
Just like that, the Rams were down 7-0.
Amendola spent the rest of the day making up for his mistake. He tied an NFL record with 12 catches in the first half and finished the game with 15 catches for 160 yards and a touchdown. Amendola caught 85 passes in 2010 and has a chance to shatter that mark this season.
If Amendola keeps this up, he will establish himself as one of the better receivers in the NFL.
Winner: Daryl Richardson
The Rams found a gem in the seventh round when they drafted Daryl Richardson. The rookie has established himself as the clear No. 2 running back on the Rams' depth chart.
Richardson ran the ball 15 times for a team-high 83 yards while also catching two passes for 19 yards. With Steven Jackson on the sidelines (coach's decision), Richardson played a terrific game. He fumbled late as the Rams were trying to ice the win—his only glaring mistake of the game.
Winner: Jeff Fisher
Jeff Fisher's impact on these Rams is obvious.
They fumble on the first play of the game, falling behind 7-0. After a Rams' field goal, Griffin gets a gift on a personal foul call from the officials. So instead of a field goal, the Skins scored a touchdown, putting the Rams down 14-3.
Then, Steven Jackson was robbed of a touchdown, and the Rams had to settle for a field goal. Griffin came back and hit the Rams with a 68-yard bomb for a touchdown against blown coverage. The Rams were trailing 21-6, when they easily could have been tied or winning.
The Rams would have put their head down and quit last year.
The Rams rallied to come back and win this football game. The officials were horrible, against both teams, but the blown calls against the Rams resulted in points on the scoreboard. The Rams turned the ball over three times. They lost their starting left tackle in the first five minutes of the game.
Everything that could have gone wrong, did go wrong.
They won anyway. That is a credit to Jeff Fisher and this coaching staff.
Winner: The Fans at the Edward Jones Dome
The Dome was rocking. Griffin is a talented young player, and he gave the Skins a chance to win. Sam Bradford and the Rams, despite the turnovers, refused to roll over. Coming down the stretch, the crowd was into this game, and it clearly helped the Rams defense.
The blueprint is there for Rams fans to see.
We have a QB to build around, a talented D Line, a talented secondary and some emerging weapons on offense. The Rams aren't going to win the Super Bowl this year, but they are light-years ahead of where they were this time last season.
Loser: Isaiah Pead
Isaiah Pead didn't get a carry in this football game—again.
The Rams' second-round pick has rode the pine for the last two weeks as Jeff Fisher has gone with Daryl Richardson as Steven Jackson's backup.
Richardson has been great through the first two games. Pead is a talented player, but barring an injury to Richardson or Jackson, he isn't going to get much time at running back in 2012.
Loser: Rodger Saffold
Last week, Rodger Saffold was carted off with a neck injury. Miraculously, he came back to start this week, only to leave early in the game with what appears to be a serious knee injury.
After showing so much promise as a rookie in 2010, Saffold has not been able to stay healthy. The Rams can't afford to leave Sam Bradford's protection in the hands of backup players like Wayne Hunter.
The offensive-tackle position was a huge question mark coming into the season. Jason Smith has already been traded, and if Saffold is injured for any length of time, the front office might be forced to draft a left tackle in April.
Loser: The Rams' Pass Rush
Robert Quinn has two sacks through two games. We're still waiting on the rest of this hyped pass rush the Rams were supposed to have.
Hey, I'm as guilty as anybody else out there. I really thought, between Quinn, Chris Long, Michael Brockers and Kendall Langford, the Rams' front four would be able to really get after opposing QB's. Brockers is still out with a high-ankle sprain, but the there is no excusing the rest of the Rams' D linemen.
The Rams did hit RG3 more than the Saints did a week ago, but they didn't get there in time to get the sack. This is one area of the team that could improve greatly over the course of the season, and if they do, look for the Rams D to go to take its play to another level.
Loser: The Refs and Roger Goodell
In baseball, they play 162 games. In basketball, they play 82 games. In both of those sports, bad teams beat good teams all the time. The season is just so long that it is bound to happen every now and then.
This is the NFL, with a 16-game schedule, where every single game counts.
Roger Goodell, these refs have no control of the game. Somebody is going to get hurt. There was a scuffle after nearly every play during the first half of this football game. The refs were lost out there. There were countless blown calls, and that was just what we could see on TV.
I can't imagine how much went on in the trenches.
Roger Goodell, fix this. Sit down with the real officials. You are in charge of a league that makes billions and billions of dollars. Is it really worth saving a few thousand a year to have horrible officials possibly impact the standings?
The Refs were awful.
I know this is a Rams' article, but I just have to point this out.
I'm not going to trash RG3, not even close. This guy can flat-out ball. He completed 20-of-29 passes for 206 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He also ran for 82 yards and two touchdowns on 11 rushing attempts.
RG3 could be a star.
However, for all the hype about RG3, just look around him. The Redskins don't have a lot of talent to put around him. Think about all the complaints we hear about Bradford—poor offensive line, lack of elite receivers, etc.
RG3 is in the same boat, and because of the trade to acquire him, the Redskins don't have any first-round picks for the next two years. They're going to have to nail those second- and third-round picks. They're going to have to find some Daryl Richardsons in the late rounds.
Because RG3 has an average left tackle and average receivers. He's a good player, but as we've seen with Bradford, it's really hard on the QB when he has no time to throw and nobody to throw to.
I don't know about you, but thinking about the tough road RG3 has ahead of him, it really shines a light on the kind of powerhouse football team the Rams could build over the next couple of years.
As always, thanks for reading.