Sam Bradford couldn't quite get his first passing touchdown of the game in the fourth quarter of the St. Louis Rams' Week 6 matchup vs. the Miami Dolphins; he got a one-yarder to Brian Quick that was inches away from crossing the plane of the end-zone on third down, but Jeff Fisher's challenge failed to reverse the no-touchdown call on the field. So with fourth-and-inches to deal with, Sam Bradford picked up the first rushing touchdown of the team's season—by himself. The Rams trail 17-14 in the fourth quarter after Bradford and Steven Jackson picked up the two-point conversion.
Quick had just one reception through the first five weeks of the Rams season—and while the one-yarder was his first catch of the game on Sunday, he's been more visible in the offense without Danny Amendola. The Rams' running backs have been excellent, too, with Daryl Richardson picking up 76 yards and Jackson adding 52 more. But they're still without a touchdown, and given this team's struggles in the red zone that shouldn't come as an enormous shock.
For more score updates, injury reports, and fantasy analysis in this week's Rams vs. Dolphins game, stay tuned to SB Nation St. Louis.
Greg Zuerlein is no longer perfect, and we as St. Louis Rams fans will somehow have to deal with that: Through three quarters he's missed twice at the Miami Dolphins, leaving him 2-4 in a sloppy Rams offensive game. Zuerlein made his first two of the afternoon, from 48 and 32, to give the Rams a 6-0 lead, but as they fell behind he was unable to make field goals of 52 and then 37 yards.
No need to throw out your Zuerlein jersey or destroy your Zuerlein idol just yet; he's still having an outstanding rookie season, and the Rams are lucky to have him. But in a game where every finisher on the Rams has been unable to get things done—he shouldn't even have four field goal attempts in a game where the Rams offense is over 300 total yards—Greg Zuerlein's been no exception.
It's fitting, at least, that the first field goal attempt he missed was from more than 50 yards out. Zuerlein and the Rams have one quarter left to make things right; stay tuned to SB Nation St. Louis for updates and analysis about whether they'll manage to do it.
Sam Bradford and the St. Louis Rams had individual plays of 65 and 44 yards in the 1st half of their noon game with the Miami Dolphins, and 100 yards on the ground and through the air. But all they had to show for it were two field goals. Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins have been totally silenced on the ground, but Tannehill's ability to execute all the way through a drive means they lead by a score of 17-6 halfway through the third quarter.
Without Danny Amendola lots of fans and experts were worried about the Rams' passing game, but Bradford's found three players three times so far—Chris Givens, for 85 yards; Brandon Gibson, for 40; and Lance Kendricks, for 34.
That is—the Rams have found replacements for Amendola everywhere except when it comes time to find the end zone, and that could cost them the game. Of course, the Dolphins have been pretty solid on offense themselves, so it's hard to blame this entirely on the Rams; at the same time, the Rams have 323 total yards on offense, and exactly six points to show for it.
The St. Louis Rams were unable to hold the Miami Dolphins in the second quarter. They go into the locker room trailing 10-6 after a 29-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Tannehill to Marlon Moore followed by a field goal.
Austin Pettis has three receptions for 28 yards this year, was a disaster in his rookie season, and was suspended for the first two weeks of this one on a drug violation. But aside from that, the St. Louis Rams' sophomore receiver is in a pretty good place right now. With Danny Amendola injured, Pettis—who had a big preseason before finishing out his suspension—is a popular pick for the primary beneficiary. We should know soon if that's the case; somebody has to take those snaps, and Pettis is in the best position of his career to do it.
Pettis, a Boise State product well-regarded for his size and his hands, is exactly the kind of safe receiver Danny Amendola represents, even if he comes by that safety in a different way. In the preseason he caught the ball six times for 63 yards and—this tied with Amendola for the team lead—two touchdowns.
Of course, Brian Quick caught the ball five times for 68 yards in the preseason, and he's barely registered on the regular season. So things could go much differently. But every so often a receiver becomes the talk of the team's fanbase through no fault of his own, and this—this is Austin Pettis's week.
Sam Bradford and Danny Amendola accounted for 395 of the St. Louis Rams' 1024 passing yards through the first five weeks of the 2012 season. 395. With Danny Amendola injured, that leaves 39 percent of the Rams' passing game up for grabs—and with Steve Smith inactive for the last two weeks, that leaves a number of young wide receivers ready to scramble for them. Austin Pettis, Brian Quick, and Chris Givens are the contestants—with young Lance Kendricks lurking for the security-blanket stuff Amendola perfected in 2010.
Austin Pettis is the dark horse of the group, having gotten off to a slow start last year and missing the first part of this one under suspension, but he might be best-positioned to succeed. He's impressed in limited playing time in 2012, during which he seems already to have grasped the offense better than Quick, and he's a better possession receiver than Givens.
Among this year's rookies, Givens has already impressed in a limited way—he's caught 50-yard passes in each of the last two games, with Week 5's ending in a big fourth-quarter touchdown. But he's caught just four balls in 15 pass attempts, so he seems like an unlikely answer to the Amendola question; he'll remain nothing but a home run threat for at least a while longer.
Quick is the enigma: He started the season inactive, and he's been targeted all of five times, catching one ball for 19 yards. He's supposed to be a possible No. 1 receiver for a Rams team that hasn't had one since Torry Holt left. But the Rams haven't reaped the benefits yet, and Amendola's injury probably won't push up the timeline too much.