Breaking Down The Big Plays & Big Decisions

Preseason is officially underway. Even if one has not seen a game or has been living in a cave the last few months this weekend left no doubt that football is back.  You need to do nothing more than turn on ESPN, NFL Network or any other program this morning and you’ll see an analyst breaking down the 4th Quarter action between the number 4 QB going up against, at best, the 3rd and 4th string opposing defense.  None of whom will be on either roster come the regular season.

The preseason should not be about Wins & Loses for the Rams. It should be about seeing what the Rams have, what the Rams need and what they need to work on.  As such some of the biggest plays and biggest decisions in the preseason can be seen both on and off the field. Who plays and who doesn’t, and who they play with. Is the 1’s or 2’s, special teams, etc.?  The grouping of players can be as big a decision as any play that is actually called.

That being said there were big plays and big decisions made yesterday in the Edward Jones Dome. Here are some that stood out from the rest. (A few almost immediately)

  • On just the 2nd snap for the Defense new Rams safety Quintin Mikell intercepted Colts QB Curtis Painter and returned it 25 yards.
  • Newly acquired RB Cadillac Williams goes for 11 yards on his 1st carry as a Ram setting up Sam Bradford 6-yard touchdown pass three plays later to 2nd round draft pick Lance Kendricks.  (This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship)
  • The second interceptions by the Rams D, this time by Craig Dahl set up Josh Browns first FG of the day. This one from 23-yards.
  • Spagnuolo decided to go for it on 4th & 1 handing it off to FB Brit Miller who got the first down. The decision to go for lead to Cadillac Williams’ 1-yard touchdown run.
  • Going in to the game not many expected Bradford and most of the 1’s to be out there for much more than one or two series let alone four.  The play of the offensive line, and the fact they Dahl, Saffold and company allowed no sacks of Bradford gave Spags the confidence to leave them in.
  • A missed play lead to perhaps the biggest play of the day. An incomplete pass from A.J. Feeley lead to Josh Browns 60-yard FG to close out the first half and give the Rams a 23-3 lead.
  • Big plays were a big part of the Rams new backfield.  The decisions to hold out Steven Jackson allowed the spotlight to be on Williams, Jerious Norwood and Keith Toston.  Toston’s 5-yard touchdown run capped off his impressive 64-yard total on the day.
  • Not to be outdone again Josh Brown added a 53-yard FG to bring his total for the day to four FG’s and 154-yards.
  • In my opinion the decision to have Gilyard involved in the action as much as possible might have been the biggest decision of the day. He made plays on returns, showed the ability to run after the catch and had a great YAC on a pass to him behind the line of scrimmage. For a guy trying hard to make the team Gilyard made some big plays and Spags made the decision to keep running him out there.
  • Robert Quinn showed big play flashes getting into the backfield and had it not been for slipping on the turf at the Ed would have had a safety.
  • Big plays were made all night by the defensive line. Keeping the Colts offense completely ineffective on 3rd downs.

I apologize to any Rams players if you were left off of this list. But keep it up and you’ll find yourself here soon enough.