In the aftermath of the St. Louis Rams' one-point loss to Dallas on Saturday night, SB Nation Rams site Turf Show Times advised fans to forget the final score and look at the on-field progress:
Preseason is a time for ironing out the kinks, evaluating the players on the roster and sewing the various pieces together into a whole. The scoreboard is secondary, which is fine considering the St. Louis Rams lost by a final score of 20-19.
The first half of the game, with the starting offense and defense, revealed a team with its work cut out for it in the weeks leading up to the start of the regular season, or even a Thursday showdown with the Baltimore Ravens to conclude the preseason.
The offense in general, and the passing game in particular, were singled out for criticism:
Dallas' secondary, a unit built to contend with the likes of Hakeem Nicks and Jeremy Maclin, shut down the Rams receivers, leaving Bradford little to work with since none of the defensive backs had to concern themselves with Jackson.
That shouldn't excuse the offensive performance. Bradford looked tentative, but that was partly due to his receivers being locked up in single coverage. His protection could have been better, but it could have been much worse considering the line was without Harvey Dahl and Scott Wells was seeing his first action of the preseason.
Bradford and the offense did not respond well to the challenge, but they have more time to work on things.
It wasn't all negative, though. TST found some positives, especially in the play of tackle Barry Richardson. Nevertheless, the Rams clearly need some work in preparation for their season opener at Detroit on Sept. 9.