Rams Vs. Colts: Andrew Luck Helps Send St. Louis To 38-3 Loss

The St. Louis Rams and the Indianapolis Colts meet for their preseason opener and it was all Colts all the time.

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Real Talk For The St. Louis Rams' Preseason Week 1

Some real talk on the St. Louis Rams' preseason Week 1 loss to the Indianapolis Colts. I think we're all a bit shocked at how bad this revamped roster actually looked in action.

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Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams Suffer Same Old Offensive Line Problems Vs. Colts

Once again, in Sunday's 2012 preseason opener against the Indianapolis Colts, the St. Louis Rams' offensive line proved it could straddle the line between incompetent and criminally negligent in its protection of erstwhile franchise savior Sam Bradford. Don't get me wrong: Bradford's 7-for-9, not-very-many-yards line, a Rams staple by now, is the product of a number of external factors, including a mediocre wide receiving corps and a tentative coaching staff.

He also missed on some plays he had to make—and plays Andrew Luck did make—particularly that airmailed bomb to Giants Steve Smith. He looked uncomfortable, if not quite as uncomfortable as he did by the end of last season. But I have to imagine Bradford would have shown a little more arm by now if he were able to look downfield without sudden, pervasive thoughts of impending doom.

This'll get a little better—as Turf Show Times notes in its recap, the line is still in flux, and major acquisition Scott Wells still hasn't returned to the field. But if the Rams want to ever get their money's worth from Bradford, they'll have to keep him from developing a permanent case of shell-shock. On Sunday the defense was constantly in his face.

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Rams Vs. Colts Final Score: St. Louis Gets Crushed 38-3 In Preseason Opener

The St. Louis Rams are hoping to rebound from a disappointing 2011 this year, but they didn't get off to a great start on Sunday. In the team's preseason debut, St. Louis got crushed 38-3 by the Indianapolis Colts, as 2012 No. 1 overall pick Andrew Luck made his in-game debut.

Considered a potential franchise player, Luck didn't disappoint on Sunday, completing his first pass for a 63-yard touchdown before ultimately finishing 10-of-16 for 188 yards and two touchdowns while leading the Colts to a 21-3 halftime advantage.

Even with Luck off the field, things didn't get much better for the Rams in second half as the Colts simply expanded their lead. St. Louis never got in the end zone, finishing the game with 215 total yards, two turnovers and a single field goal in the second quarter after a solid drive led by Kellen Clemens.

The Rams played solid run defense throughout the game, but they struggled to stop the Colts' passing game. Between Luck, back-up Drew Stanton and third-stringer Chandler Harnisch, the three combined to complete 21-of-30 passes for 314 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions, plus they only got sacked a combined one time.

For more on this game, stick with SB Nation St. Louis. For more on the Rams, head over to Turf Show Times. For more news, notes and analysis from around the league, visit SB Nation's NFL news hub.

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Danario Alexander: Injury Sidelines St. Louis Rams Wide Receiver For Preseason Opener

The St. Louis Rams' most talented wide receiver just can't catch a—well, break might be an insensitive word. Another Danario Alexander injury will leave the Rams without the Mizzou alum, who in two years with the club has been either their dynamic No. 1 receiver of the future or sidelined with various knee injuries. Jim Thomas reports that Sunday's preseason opener against the Indianapolis Colts, thanks to his hamstring, will be a sidelined kind of day; he and Brandon Gibson will each be missing from the Rams' perpetually in-flux wide receiving corps.

Turf Show Times notes the unspoken result of this: It'll be that much harder for Alexander to make the team. After two years of waiting for him to remain healthy the Rams are just unlikely to wait any longer, no matter how impressive he's been when he plays; with Brian Quick and Chris Givens in the system they just can't afford to hold a spot open for a guy who can't play consistently.

More Rams vs. Colts coverage from SB Nation St. Louis:

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Rams Vs. Colts: Isaiah Pead Could Be St. Louis's Most Important Debut

The St. Louis Rams have a lot of NFL Draft picks to watch for in 2012, but as they take on the Indianapolis Colts in their preseason debut Sunday the most immediately interesting question could be just how well Isaiah Pead, their second-round running back, works in complement to long-time star Steven Jackson. Pead is the change-of-pace guy now, but if he performs strongly enough in that role the Rams have made it clear that he could be their future at the position.

It's been a long time since the Rams have had a strong running back behind Jackson—in fact, it might not have been since Jackson was the guy behind Marshall Faulk. When Cadillac Williams was healthy last year the Rams got a rare look at just how effective their running game could be when Jackson wasn't their only option there; this year they'll have fresh legs to throw at the problem.

More St. Louis Rams vs. Indianapolis Colts coverage from SB Nation St. Louis:

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St. Louis Rams Need Big Preseason Debuts From Sam Bradford, Jeff Fisher

The St. Louis Rams, who take on Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts at 12:30 PM (on NFL Network) in their preseason opener, have undergone enough of a transformation in the wake of their disastrous 2011 season that everything bears watching. But two performances can serve as shorthand for all the changes the Rams have claimed to make for 2012—Sam Bradford's command of the offense, and Jeff Fisher's command of his team.

Sam Bradford, after two years in various states of limbo, finally needs to show his upside as consisting of something more than a pretty good caretaker quarterback. We want to see yards-per-attempt that are at least in keeping with the league average; we want to see pinpoint accuracy, or at least pretty-good accuracy. We want to see passes downfield, for once.

As for Jeff Fisher, his influence will be harder to detect, but just ask yourself this: Does the Rams' performance infuriate you? Are there weird lapses in reason and common sense on offense and defense? Are the Rams in this game until the end? If you answered no to the first two questions, and yes to the second, congratulations: Somebody fired Steve Spagnuolo.

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Indianapolis Colts Preseason Features A Brand New Look, Andrew Luck

Andrew Luck is the new face of the Indianapolis Colts, but it's important to remember—as they get set to play the St. Louis Rams at 12:30, opening both teams' 2012 preseason schedules—just how new the body is, too. This wasn't just a Peyton Manning transplant; as Colts blog Stampede Blue notes, this team is under brand-new management, and besides trading franchise quarterbacks they've also managed to trade out most of their aging team.

The Rams are pretty new, themselves—they're on year three of their own franchise quarterback, the occasionally successful Sam Bradford, and Steven Jackson remains their star on offense, but Jeff Fisher and company have come in promising to alter the team chemistry, which has been increasingly dysfunctional since before Mike Martz left and the Greatest Show on Turf era ended.

One team, at least, will get the chance Sunday to prove that their own makeover has taken. The Rams will want to see a big game from Sam Bradford, and a tough night from their young, exciting defense; the Colts will want to see Andrew Luck, taking their first few offensive series, with some of the preternatural fit and finish that made him the best quarterback prospect in years.

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