Rams Vs. Ravens Final: Torrey Smith, Joe Flacco Punish St. Louis Early And Often, Win 37-7

The St. Louis Rams fall to 0-3 after a bad day against the Baltimore Ravens.

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17 Total Updates since September 25, 2011
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Sam Bradford Shows Promise, Problems In Third Straight Rams Loss

Sam Bradford's fantasy football owners—and St. Louis Rams savior-watchers—have expected big things out of the second-year quarterback now that Josh McDaniels has allowed him to open up and throw deep, and at times they've seen exactly that kind of promise. Sunday Bradford hit Brandon Gibson in the chest at the back of the end zone from 40-yards away on the run; last Monday night he and Danario Alexander went more than 60 yards for a touchdown. 

He also showed the problems that remain with the Rams' receiving corps. Gibson slipped up in the middle of a bomb of a pass that would have gone 60-70 yards for a touchdown, eventually diving for a ball that fell out of his hands as he rolled into the end zone. And on the interception, Alexander fell down on a route, leaving the Ravens' defensive back wide open for an interception on the baseline. 

Bradford's not perfect, but it looks like his wide receiver corps is even less perfect. That's going to be the primary question for him going forward, particularly in the 2011 season. 

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Rams Vs. Ravens Final: Torrey Smith, Joe Flacco Punish St. Louis Early And Often, Win 37-7

Joe Flacco and Torrey Smith combined for three touchdowns and 133 yards on their first three connections and the Baltimore Ravens never looked back, pasting Sam Bradford, a gimpy Steven Jackson, and the St. Louis Rams for 37 points in their 37-7 victory Week 3. The Rams defense, already dinged up in the backfield, couldn't stop the rookie Smith in the first quarter, when the Ravens ran up 21 points, and with Jackson still less-than-100% and Sam Bradford struggling to get established in the first half the Ravens faced no opposition. 

By the time Bradford got going—he finished 16-for-32 with 166 yards, a touchdown, and a Danario Alexander-influenced interception—and found Brandon Gibson, who caught five balls and the only touchdown, there was nothing left to be done; the defense had taken too much punishment from Ray Rice and Ricky Williams, who averaged more the nine yards a carry, and been run too ragged from Flacco's 389 passing yards and 48 attempts. 

Only Robert Quinn and Chris Long, who got consistent pressure on Joe Flacco—who didn't seem to mind it—played well all game. It's a rough road ahead for the 0-3 Rams, who face a near-must-win situation against the Washington Redskins next week before going out on the road against the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys

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St. Louis Rams Score: Sam Bradford And Brandon Gibson End Shutout With Touchdown

The St. Louis Rams' offense finally got on the board in the third quarter of their rough Week 3 contest with the Baltimore Ravens when Sam Bradford unleashed a beautiful throw on the run and hit a leaping Brandon Gibson in the chest for a 34-yard touchdown pass into the back of the end zone. Bradford's roll-out and line drive throw was one of the most perfect passes in his short career to date, and it improved his still-ugly line to 9-for-20 for 100 yards, a touchdown, and an interception.

For Brandon Gibson it's his first touchdown of the season and a reminder of his strong preseason; he has four catches four 48 yards despite the offensive shutdown the Rams have been under all game. If the Rams can stop the Ravens once more in the third quarter he and Bradford are likely to get several more deep ball opportunities before the day is through; with Cadillac Williams and Steven Jackson both injured there wouldn't be many other options even if they weren't down 30-7. 

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Torrey Smith Injury: Incredible Debut Paces Ravens Vs. Rams

A Lee Evans injury meant it looked like the Baltimore Ravens would be sans deep threat for Sunday's game against the St. Louis Rams. That was until Torrey Smith got the start. Lined up against a backup cornerback Smith has had a debut for the ages, catching his first three balls for 133 yards and three touchdowns. According to the broadcast team on CBS no wide receiver in history has ever caught his first three passes for touchdowns since 1991. Now, though, Smith might be injured himself.

That's been more than enough for the Ravens, who—with the help of their heretofore inactive second-round draft pick—lead the Rams 27-0 at halftime. 

Smith, a kick returner and deep threat in three years of Maryland football, was the 58th overall selection the 2011 NFL Draft, but after his fourth reception just before halftime—not a touchdown, unfortunately—he limped off the field and was replaced. No updates yet as to the severity of his injury, and given the way he was moving he could be back soon after halftime. 

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St. Louis Rams Foiled By Jason Smith's Unnecessary Roughness, Sam Bradford Interception

The St. Louis Rams can't get out of their own way. At the 15-yard-line in the start of the second quarter, down 21-0 after the defense finally stopped Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens, A Jason Smith unnecessary roughness penalty stuffed the drive on first down and pushed them back to the 30. There, Danario Alexander got tripped up going down the sideline, leading to a clean interception on Sam Bradford's downfield pass. It's emblematic of the Rams' struggles this season, which has involved more disastrous mistakes than poor play.

If you're Jason Smith, a perpetual disappointment as the first overall pick in the NFL Draft and passed in the depth chart by rookie Rodger Saffold last year, the goal has to be avoiding notoriety in this way. But that hasn't happened; at his worst, Smith is not only ineffectual but also visible for all the wrong reasons. 

The Rams have to stop the Ravens again, and they have to score in the second quarter. Thanks to Smith's inability to control his temper, they haven't done that yet. 

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Joe Flacco Dominates St. Louis Rams In First Quarter, Ravens Lead 21-0

Joe Flacco has put together a dominant performance already in the first quarter of the Baltimore Ravens’ visit to the St. Louis Rams, going 8-for-12 with 181 yards and three touchdowns in the first 15 minutes and leading the Rams by a score of 21-0. With the Rams owning just four passing yards on seven attempts and Sam Bradford leading the team in rushing yards with 22, St. Louis has had no means of responding to the unexpected offensive onslaught, which has been led by 133 yards and three touchdowns for Torrey Smith, who’s hammered backup cornerback Justin King.

The Rams managed to stop the Ravens to start the second quarter, but they’ll need to put seven points on the board almost immediately if they want to compete in this game and avoid starting their nightmare schedule at 0-3. Steven Jackson’s absence, at least, will matter less and less as they fall so far behind that they can’t afford any rushing plays; Cadillac Williams has three carries for 19 yards after being cleared to play Sunday morning.

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Sam Bradford And The St. Louis Rams' New Offense Could Surprise Ravens

Sam Bradford and the St. Louis Rams aren't alone when it comes to one thing: Nobody in America needs to be reminded that the Baltimore Ravens have an excellent defense. They've been known for it since the moment they became a force in the NFL and it's remained true since then; even after allowing 26 points to the Tennessee Titans in their Week 2 loss they're fifth in the league in points allowed, thanks to the way they held Ben Roethlisberger and the PIttsburgh Steelers to 7 Week 1. The Ravens might need a reminder that the Rams suddenly have a dangerous offense again, and I can offer it to them, in the form of this Giants fake injury video from last week. 

That seemed to be Josh McDaniels's game plan in Week 2, especially when the offense was working at its best: He didn't just want Sam Bradford and company to look for the big play, he wanted them to look for the big play repeatedly, and often enough that the Giants couldn't keep up with them without calling an ersatz timeout on the goal line. Forget about controlling the field—McDaniels seemed to decide that since teams get three downs before they have to punt he might as well call play after play that Bradford would be able to complete about half the time. 

It was exciting when it worked, and if Steven Jackson had been available in the red zone—if Danario Alexander had been used more frequently—if the Rams just hadn't made a series of asinine mistakes on special teams, it might have pushed the Rams past the Giants. Even though it didn't, I should hope the Ravens' defense did some extra sprints this week, so that they cramp up a little less easily than the G-Men did. 

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