Bradford Impresses, Rams Lose 21-7

Posted Aug 16, 2014

Sam Bradford looked healthy as can be in the Rams 21-7 loss to the Green Bay Packers at the Edward Jones Dome in Week Two of the NFL preseason.

With the NFL more and more becoming a passing-driven league, it’s vital for any championship-caliber team to have a healthy, effective quarterback. It may have been just two drives, but the Rams look like they’re on the right track in that department with Sam Bradford’s return in Saturday’s 21-7 loss to the Packers.

As head coach Jeff Fisher said was the plan, Bradford played into the second quarter. He connected on nine of his 12 passes for 101 yards and a touchdown. The quarterback wasn’t sacked, but did take a couple of hits and got up fine after each of them.

“It felt good,” Bradford said of his game action. “I think for everyone else it’s probably a bigger deal for me to get back out on the field. But it was nice to get out there in a live game, feel the pass rush, get the ball out of my hand, and go out there and execute the way we did.”

"For anybody that's had questions about Sam's condition -- his physical condition -- I think they were answered today," Fisher said. "I was pleased with his performance in the brief amount of time that he played."

The Rams’ first drive stalled out after 10 plays, including a deep incompletion down the right side to wideout Kenny Britt. The next time the Rams had the ball -- with play in the second quarter -- Bradford opened the possession with a play-action pass deep over the middle to wide receiver Brian Quick. The play went 41 yards to the Green Bay 35-yard line.

“Big catch,” Bradford said. “That’s what we’ve seen from him from OTAs, during training camp. I mean, he’s made plays like that for a long time now, and it’s good to finally see it showing up on the field.”

A few snaps later, Bradford hit tight end Lance Kendricks up the seam for an 11-yard touchdown pass.

“We've called that play quite a bit in training camp and I'm not sure the ball has ever gone there," Bradford said. "But it was just a look where their safety was playing outside and Lance did a great job of getting around the backer and inside the safety. And he made a great catch, because that's not an easy catch."

One of those quarterbacks hits came on the Rams’ second drive. New Packers defensive end Julius Peppers hit Bradford as he was throwing on a second-down play, and the pass fell incomplete. Bradford got up with no problems, and again threw to Quick on the next snap, though this one ended with defensive pass interference.

The quarterback did not look like he had to shake off too much rust from his season-ending ACL injury, especially in engineering the Rams’ first scoring drive. But he said his missed throw to Britt had a little to do with getting re-acquainted with the game.

"Obviously, that's a tough one," Bradford said. "But to come back and respond the way the offense did the next drive, and go out and put points on the board, I think that says a lot about our group."

While the offense was effective on that drive, running back Zac Stacy endured some tough sledding. The running back gained just six yards in six carries in limited playing time during the first half.

Defensively, the Rams had a rough go of trying to stop Aaron Rodgers. The Green Bay offense picked St. Louis apart on its first two drives, both of which went 12 plays, 80-plus yards, and ended in scores.

The first saw Rodgers complete all six of his passes, as the Packers faced only one third down en route to a touchdown. St. Louis didn’t slow Green Bay down much on the second drive either, as only an illegal use of hands penalty prevented the Packers from scoring another touchdown.

The Packers would end up with two nullified touchdowns from illegal use of hands penalties -- the other coming midway through the third quarter.


After the game, Fisher announced running back Isaiah Pead likely suffered a season-ending injury on a kick return.

"After talking to our doctors, it's unlikely that he has not torn his ACL, which is very tough for him." Fisher said, adding that Pead was fighting back from surgery on his finger. "He was excited about getting an opportunity to return kicks with the ball in his left hand. It's unfortunate that that happened. We just hope for the best as far as that's concerned."

...If there was one young player who stood out on defense in the first half, it was undrafted rookie Ethan Westrbooks. The defensive lineman -- who has lined up at both end and tackle during the preseason -- recorded a sack, a QB hit, and shed a block for a stop in the backfield during the second quarter.

"I felt good about it, overall," Westbrooks said of his day. "But there's always that one play that you miss that kind of sticks out in your mind more than anything."

We'll have more from Westbrooks, a D-II product, later in the week.

...Defensive end Michael Sam recorded his first preseason sack on a nice rush around the left side in the fourth quarter.

"That was a play I was supposed to make, and I ended up making it," Sam said. "There's no excuses."

...Rookie Lamarcus Joyner had an up-and-down day, but did come up with a nice forced fumble in the third quarter, which Cody Davis recovered.