The St. Louis Rams saw their worst nightmares manifest in the first three quarters of their 27-23 loss to the Detroit Lions. The defense was every bit as good as Jeff Fisher could have hoped—Matthew Stafford was intercepted three times—and Sam Bradford's struggles still kept them from taking a commanding lead. In his defense, Steven Jackson was even more ineffective—21 carries for 53 yards—but Bradford looked tentative and underthrew a crucial deep pass to Chris Givens.
The fourth quarter still got away from them, but Bradford just missed beating the Lions; he finished the game 6-for-8 for 84 yards and a touchdown, the kind of performance the Rams expected from him when he came out of Oklahoma one of the most highly touted college quarterbacks in years.
They haven't seen that Sam Bradford much—especially not behind an offensive line as banged up as the one he worked behind in that fourth quarter. But they'll need him if Jeff Fisher wants to finish this turnaround any time soon, at least without bringing another highly touted college quarterback into the mix.